My Favorite Movies Of 2013
Oblivion - I know, I’m crazy. This was actually in my top 10 until I saw Wolf Of Wall Street. I absolutely loved this movie, in full screen IMAX, 70mm. I honestly don’t know if it will have the same impact on a tv but it’s just so damn beautiful.
Joseph Kosinski has a visual style all is own. I enjoyed looking at TRON, but the story just didn’t stack up. Oblivion has some of the most beautiful visuals you will ever see, and Cruise is the perfect man for it.
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints - Rooney Mara was in 3 big time movies this year and this was her best performance. I always love seeing Ben Foster, and Casey Affleck does his quiet toughguy role well. It’s visually stunning, very Terrence Malick but the story actualy makes sense. Don’t expect action, it’s a story about people.
The Way Way Back - 2013 was the year of the Coming of Age movie. Spectacular Now, The Boys Of Summer, and the Way Way Back all came out in the span of just a few months. While the previous 2 were both great, The Way Way Back is exactly what I want out of these stories.
The Wolf Of Wall Street - This movie. It’s just wild. Three hours that flew by. Hill was great, but Leo is as good as he gets. There’s a (very long) scene I still can’t believe he pulled off. Comedic gold.
Dallas Buyers Club - Matthew McDonaughey is the best. Have you see True Detective on HBO? Incredible. I really enjoyed DBC, and he was fantastic as the homophobic red neck who contracts HIV and becomes a drug dealer.
The Act Of Killing - How this movie got made, I’ll never know. You’ve never seen anything like it before and you likely never will. I saw the 2 hour and 45 minute cut, and I could have kept watching. It’s such a strange story.
Top 10 Of 2013:
10. The Wind Rises - Was lucky to see Hayao Miyazakis “last” film when it showed for a week in LA. If you’re a fan of his previous work, (and if you aren’t, what’s wrong with you) make sure you see this when it makes it way stateside in Feb. Although you’ll likely have to listen to the dubed over American version. The animation is as beautiful as ever.
9. Mud - Jeff Nichols 2012 film Take Shelter was one of my favorites of the year, and this years Mud was a worthy sucsessor. Another coming of age story featuring young boys on the run, but my main man McConaughey ties it all together. Beautifull filmed in Arkansas.
8. Short term 12 - This is a perfect indie movie. It’s funny, shows you a part of the world we all ignore, and punches you in the throat. Brie Larson is just so strong, and all the kids; but most particuarly Marcus, are just amazing. See this movie.
7. Nebraska - I love Will Forte. Watch MacGruber again. It’s hilarious. and I was very excited hearing about Paynes next film. It took me about 15 minutes to understand why this was in black and white, and it all clicked. The supporting cast is fantastic; and the ending is one of the most beautiful of the year.
6. Before Midnight - The conclusion to one of the most incredible film trilogies, and easily the most romantic movies of all time. Before Sunrise (1995), Before Sunset (2004), and now Before Midnight follow Jesse and Celine though…their entire lives. We were there when this couple met, broke up, grew up, got married, had kids, and are trying to be married. Richard Linklater shoots these movies in almost real time in these giant 20 minute shots that feel so natural between Hawke and Delpy. If you haven’t seen any of these, DON’T start with the third. Grab your significant other and watch them back to back to back.
5. Captain Phillips - The most intense movie of the year. Yes more than Gravity. Paul Greengrass takes Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi (where did they find this guy?!) and shove them inside a tiny rescue vessel. The places he’s able to put and ways he uses the camera are just so claustrophobic. The suspense starts 5 minutes in and doesn’t end till the credits.
4. 12 Years a Slave - I never want to watch this film again, but I’ll never forget it. Why do so many movies aim to make us depressed?! An all star cast, particularly the lead Chiwetel Ejiofor is incredible. Some of the brutal violence just lasts longer than you would like, Steve McQueen really puts you in the middle of the suffering.
3. Inside Lewyen Davis - The biggest “snub” this year at the Oscars by a mile. I’m always excited for Coen brothers movies; and add live music, Isacc, Mulligan, Timberlake and I was sold before I entered the theater. The soundtrack is amazing. Movie is funny, dark, and touching at time. John Goodman being scared by a cat is legendary.
2. Her - A lot of people didn’t see this because they didn’t like the trailer; when I saw it I couldn’t have been more excited. Phoenix in a Spike Jonze movie about evolving technology. Scarlett Johansson has the perfect voice for his AI lover, and it has the best soundtrack of the year.
The world that Jonze is able to create; blending scenery for Shanghai and LA, he’s created a not so different future that feels almost to real.
1. Gravity - You didn’t see gravity in full frame 70mm IMAX 3D? Then you didn’t see it. The script isn’t perfect, and yes the ending is a little convoluted; but this movie is a visual masterpiece. Alfonso Cuaron is a genius, Children of Men is a masterpiece, and Prisoner of Azkaban is the best of the Harry Potter collection.
The way that he is able to create his long shots, the scene doesn’t cut for a full 15-20 minutes, setting the movie in near real time. It’s beautiful. Perfect integration with CG and the actors faces. Hoping to see this again in theaters because it will never be the same at home.