|12 Years a Slave is one of last year's finest.|
2013 was a magnificent year for films. There were so many films I loved, and even more that I really liked. In fact, I saw over 25 films that I gave 4-star ratings, and that doesn't include films, such as The Past, Beyond the Hills, The Great Beauty, and Like Someone in Love, that I won't get to watch until they're released on DVD. Still, I loved a lot, so I've included several honorable mentions beneath the list.
10. Blue is the Warmest Color (dir. Abdellatif Kechiche)
This French drama is a moving story of a young lesbian romance. Stars Adèle Exarchopolous and Léa Seydoux deliver two of the year's best performances, and Kechiche gambles to great success with the intense intimate moments and controversial erotic scenes.
9. Trance (dir. Danny Boyle)
Boyle's genre film never really found its audience, but it's one of the year's most interesting experiments. A scrambled timeline laced with memory manipulation works like a charm with solid performances, crisp visuals, and a fantastic score.
8. Inside Llewyn Davis (dir. Joel & Ethan Coen)
This tale of a down-on-his-luck folk singer finds the Coens at their most effective. Additional viewings are a must, as the film only improves upon further evaluation. Of course, Oscar Isaac's performance is a highlight, as is the brilliant soundtrack.
7. Spring Breakers (dir. Harmony Korine)
Korine's film is insane. Bikini-clad women and a grill-sporting, rapping gangster live it up in St. Petersburg, Florida, with a banging soundtrack, luminescent cinematography, and wonderful performances to complete the chaos.
6. The Place Beyond the Pines (dir. Derek Cianfrance)
Cianfrance's crime drama is a sprawling morality tale of fathers, sons, and the sins that span generations. All of the incredible ensemble cast are on point, with each storyline finding its own resonance within the larger scope of the piece.
5. The Wolf of Wall Street (dir. Martin Scorsese)
Scorsese's bloated nose dive into the debaucheries and financial schemes of Jordan Belfort's time on Wall Street features Leonardo DiCaprio in a sensational performance, with Jonah Hill and Margot Robbie providing a compelling background.
4. The Selfish Giant (dir. Clio Barnard)
Barnard's British drama is probably the finest of its kind since Andrea Arnold's Fish Tank. The emotions are raw; the cinematography is bleak and absolutely stunning; and newcomer Conner Chapman gives a firecracker performance.
3. The Hunt (dir. Thomas Vinterberg)
Mads Mikkelsen delivers a heartbreaking performance in Vinterberg's fierce drama. It's a fascinating glimpse at the power of perception and misinformation and the assumptions and judgments of society against alleged child molesters.
2. Before Midnight (dir. Richard Linklater)
This again proves that sequels can be worthwhile. Even more mature than its beloved predecessors, Linklater, Hawke, and Delpy take Jesse and Celine and test the waters of their long term relationship. Needless to say, it is time well spent.
1. Gravity (dir. Alfonso Cuarón)
Cuarón's uplifting sci-fi drama is the spectacle of the year. It's a breakneck thrill ride that's beautifully shot, emotionally draining, and features a gut-wrenching performance from Sandra Bullock. Bravo to all involved.
Frances Ha, Laurence Anyways, Mother of George, In the House, Her, 12 Years a Slave, Out of the Furnace, What Richard Did, Prisoners, To the Wonder, Our Children, Adore, Blancanieves, Captain Phillips, The World's End, The Spectacular Now, Fruitvale Station, Lore, Mud, Side Effects, The Bling Ring, and Upstream Color
Look out for my personal awards ballot on Friday.
Awesome list! Love that Gravity is still your #1. I've seen five of these. Sad Lawrence Anyways isn't in your top ten (it is still far and away my favorite film of the year) but this is a crazy awesome (and diverse) list so YAY! Can't wait to see your personal ballot come Friday.ReplyDelete
Thanks man! If it helps, Laurence Anyways is literally at #12 behind Frances Ha. Glad you dig the diversity! :)Delete
Great list! It's nice to see Trance getting some love.ReplyDelete
Thanks! I LOVE that movie. I've seen it 3 times, and I want to watch it again soon.Delete
Love your picks, 2013 was indeed an awesome year - this award season is going to be tough! The Hunt is so so good, I'm glad to see it that high on your list. I've never heard of The Selfish Giant, but I did love Fish Tank so I must check it out.ReplyDelete
Thanks! I love The Hunt and The Selfish Giant so much. Hope you like the latter too. It's similar to the work of filmmakers like Andrea Arnold, Ken Loach and Shane Meadows.Delete
So awesome to see Gravity top so many lists. It's just a miracle of a movie.ReplyDelete
It's brilliant! Glad we share the same #1. :)Delete
Spring Break 4Eva! Sorry, I have to write this everytime I find the movie on someone's best of list. Freakin' love that movie. Just like WoWS, Gravity and The Hunt.ReplyDelete
Yay! Those movies are awesome. Spring Break 4Eva!Delete
Wonderful post, Josh! I want to watch all the movies on this list, though I'm still kind of on the fence about Spring Breakers. :-)ReplyDelete
Thanks! Haha, I'm not sure whether to recommend it or not. ;)Delete
Im late to the party but wanted to mention you have a great list. Trance is one that did not last at all and I really wanted to see that in theaters. Havent even heard of The Selfish Giant. WIll have to look out for that oneReplyDelete
Thanks Vern! Trance completely disappeared after a week or two. I can't believe it bombed at the box office. The Selfish Giant was a great find for me. Hope you get a chance to see it.Delete
Great list man, love that we have so many picks in common. I had no idea you liked Trance that much. A groovy little flick, for sure.ReplyDelete
Thanks man! 6 out of 10 films in common is pretty awesome. I LOVE Trance. I've seen it 3 times, and it's still fascinating. For me, it's the most underrated film of last year.Delete
By the way, did you get a chance to look at my 2013 ballot? I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.
Great list Josh! I'm guessing your top 10 has changed a bit now that we have reached March?ReplyDelete
I had Gravity as my no 1 for a while, in the end it was Wolf of Wall Street that took the top spot for me.
I've only seen these once, though, so my ranking may change in future.
Thanks Chris! It hasn't changed, though Mother of George is very close to making the top 10. In fact, I watched it shortly after I posted this, and I added it to the honorable mentions.Delete
Wolf of Wall Street was my #1 right after I saw it the first time, but it slowly fell down a few spots. I saw it again before I posted this to make sure.