Top ten films of 2013

Looking back on the year we’ve had in terms of film, it’s been a pretty mixed bag. Some films have blown me away, some have disappointed me, some have been barely watchable. The following list of films aren’t necessarily box office smashes or Oscar contenders but have none the less stood out and stuck with me this year.

10: The Butler

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I saw this twice over it’s opening weekend as I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to take more people to see it. It’s a film about the civil rights movement that everybody can go watch and should watch with some truly powerful and shocking sequences. The father/son relationship that is at the centre of the film is well written and the long list of cast members that includes Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Alan Rickman, Robin Williams, Cuba Gooding Jr. and in particularly David Oyelowo all put in excellent performances.
9: Enough Said

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This is the best “rom-com” I’ve seen probably since As Good As It Gets. De-void of any Hollywood gloss, the characters and situations are real and familiar with James Gandolfini and Julia Louis-Dreyfus putting in career best performances and making for an excellent on-screen couple. Completely charming. 
8: Monsters University
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Pixar never disappoint and they didn’t with this sequel to Monsters Inc. I personally think Monsters University is a better film than it’s predecessor although I’ve struggled to find anybody else who agrees. The detail in the animation and character design is outstanding and the film is genuinely funny. Like all Pixar films it has heart and a great message at it’s core too.

7: The Conjuring

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This film completely terrified me, creeped me out and had me on the edge of my seat at it’s finale. James Wan knows how to do horror and whilst his other horror outing, Insidious: Chapter 2, proved a disappointment, The Conjuring proved to be a clever homage to 1970’s horror.
6: Captain Phillips

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I consider Paul Greengrass to be one of the great modern day film makers and Captain Phillips proved to be a great addition to his catalogue. Tom Hanks is almost unrecognisable in the lead role and his acting in the final scene is the best I have seen all year. The real revelation though is newcomer Barkhad Abdi as the leader of the Somali pirates, Muse, who is just incredible to watch and gives Hanks a run for his money.
5: Star Trek Into Darkness

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Voted the worst Star Trek film ever made by Trekkies I personally consider this to be the best. I may not be the biggest Trek fan but this had me entertained from beginning to end with its impressive set pieces, bold visuals and great sense of humour making for one of the best times at the cinema I’ve had all year.
4: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

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I connected with Walter Mitty on a number of levels and perhaps more so than any other film in 2013.  It’s the type of film made for filmgoers who for the most part are dreamers. Ben Stiller does a really great job at Directing as well as acting and there are some moments throughout which just felt magical to me. It has an excellent soundtrack too so looking forward to seeing this one again in the New Year.

3: Man of Steel

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When I first reviewed this I called it the best superhero film of all time. Do I stand by that statement? Yes I do. I know a lot of people had some issues with it, mainly concerning it’s pacing but to me there’s very little wrong with Man of Steel. I loved the stuff on Krypton with Russel Crowe and could have easily watched a whole film devoted to Jor-El. The action scenes are bigger and more chaotic than any other superhero film this year and Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack pushes the film to new heights. This turned out better than I ever thought it would be, I just hope it’s Batman Vs. Superman sequel doesn’t ruin the quality of this.

2: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

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I had pretty much reserved the top spot for this but unfortunately it didn’t quite make it. Whereas any time spent in Middle Earth is well spent in my opinion, this instalment in The Hobbit trilogy just didn’t work as well as the first. This is mainly due to the pacing of it with far too much time spent with elaborate sequences which were never in the book and the introduction of a needless love triangle. This being said it still makes my second spot based purely on it’s visuals and it’s moments of sheer geeky goodness such as the barrels out of bond sequence and getting to finally see Smaug realised on screen.

1: Prisoners

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I was not expecting to enjoy this film as much as I did so it’s a comment to how good Prisoners actually is in that it’s my favourite film of the year. I think the main reason I love the film so much is the clever screenplay by Aaron Guzikowski which gradually unravels until the finale’s reveal. It kept me guessing throughout and literally had me yelling at the screen in the final few moments. Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal and Paul Dano are all outstanding and the cinematography is excellent too. All in all Prisoners is captivating and haunted me so much since I left the screen that I had to go see it a few more times.

So that’s my list of my favourite films of the year, what are yours? Please feel free to comment below. I would also just like to say thank you to anybody who has followed this blog over the course of the year and wish you a very happy 2014.


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