The Top 10 Best and Worst films of 2013

Hello everyone! I’d first like to thank you all for checking out my blog this past 8 months. I’ve been able to get 1400 views, 18 reviews, and some list. I hope that will be far better stats come the end of the new year! I think we can all agree that this year wasn’t the best of years for cinema, especially towards the beginning of the year. However after summer some quality films were able to come out. As we await the new films to grace our theaters this year, take a moment to see my reflection on this years best and worst films.

Unfortunately I was unable to see The Grand Beauty and Dallas Buyers Club

The Best

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Runner-up –  Captain Phillips – Based on a true story, Tom Hanks is the captain of a ship that is taken over by Somali pirates. This film is pretty good besides the annoying zooms and shakes it starts off with. Barkhad Abdi gives a great performance for his first film as the head pirate. Tom Hanks gives yet another fine performance, with an ending that is completely moving; don’t be surprised if Hanks gets an Oscar nomination.

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10. Fruitvale Station– This film is the debut feature from Ryan Coogler. This is a true story shows the last day of Oscar Grants life, before he was wrongfully killed on new year 2008 by Bart Police in Oakland California. I praise the director for accurately portraying life in the Bay Area; For me it had a nostalgic feel to it. The camerawork brought the real life feel to it & the acting from Michael B. Jordan is one to look out for. Glad to see the amount of praise it’s received.

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9. Evil Dead – Easily the most gruesome film of 2013. This is a remake of the 1981 Cult Classic The Evil Dead. Apart from the who’s going to die next aspect of the film; this is a great film that has a lot of heart put into practical effects. This is not for people who have a weak stomach, because there are bodies dismembered and agonizing torture. They are able to bring in the comedic tone to it as well but looks to go for a slightly more serious approach than the original. I’m glad they didn’t have an Ash type character in this film and they gave a legitimate reason for not being able to leave the cabin. You can find my review here

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8. Prisoners – How far would you go to protect your family and find your missing daughter? These are the questions asked in Prisoners. This film is full of mystery, twist, and turns. Fortunately, I didn’t find the story to be confusing as some have said it is. You are given the opportunity to test your morals on whether you side with  Jake Gyllenhaal, finding the kidnapper the legal way or taking matters into your own hand as Hugh Jackman does. There are some brutal scenes in this film, and some shocking scenes as well. The major pitfall of this film is it’s long run time of 153 minutes.

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7. The Conjuring – Based on a true story, Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse. James Wan presents us with a brilliant horror film. Not everything in the film is brand new, there is some cliche moments, but there is also a lot of moments that provide real horror, without the use of jump scares. My favorite scene is probably when the two girls are in the bedroom and one girl believes there is something lurking in the shadows, that was terrifying. A big reason what sets this apart from other films similar to this is the direction and camerawork.

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6. Gravity – Wow, The most incredible experience I’ve ever had in a theater. The long takes in this film push the limits, and the technology is innovative. The cinematography and special effects is no doubt the best of 2013. The scenes of Bullock being hurled through space towards objects was riveting. The only problem I had with it was the story was relatively too simple, however I hope with another view on blu ray my thoughts will have changed. This is Cuaron’s most recent film after the brilliant Children of Men; and may this be too early to suggest… but are we looking at the next Kubrick? Only time will tell. You can find my review here

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5. Place Beyond The Pines – The first hour of this film is quite possibly one of my favorite films ever, it’s immaculate. The film depicts how fathers actions and consequences can affect the next generation (their sons). The story is told over three acts each not living up to the act of the former. However that doesn’t prevent Director’s Cianfrance’s ambitious vision from being actualized. The acting from Gosling and Cooper is fantastic in here, hopefully they can do another film together in a more drama orientated film.

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4. The Wolf of Wall Street – Scorsese still has it for those wondering. He strikes big here, similar to Goodfellas in someways, but with far more comedic approach & Stockbrokers instead of mobsters. This was definitely an experience, I don’t feel like anyone could have directed this better, or play the role of Jordan Belfort better than Leonardo DiCaprio. All I can say is the Popeye the sailor scene is one of the best things i’ve seen…EVER.

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3. Star Trek Into Darkness – J.J. Abrams second Star Trek comes at us with bigger risk and the return of the franchises best villain Khan. The film is not perfect but it is damn good. The chemistry between the cast is great and even better than before. Benedict Cumberbatch is villain of the year for me; I haven’t been that scared of a villain for some time. I believe if the ending was altered to rid of the blood this film could have been that much better, but it works and moves the story forward for hopefully many more films.

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2. Her – The moment I walked out of the theaters I was not able to verbally express what I just saw. Spike Jonze brings 2013 with easily one of the best films, and it’s easy for people to connect with the emotions it presents. Well for those who don’t know the premise, It’s a sensitive writer named Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with a new operating system voiced by Scarlett Johansson. It’s much more than that as the film starts to unveil itself. The social commentary is incredible and the film really looks at different themes revolving around relationships, and people’s attachment towards technology. It’s an inspiring film, with possibly my favorite cinematography of the 2013.

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1. 12 Years A Slave – Easily the film of the year for me. I had to see this three times because I was completely blown away from the performances. This film is based on the true story of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), who was a freeman that was captured and sold into slavery. It’s emotionally draining but nonetheless a great film to watch. Everyone is incredible in their roles, but Fassbender stole the show for me as a whacky but brutal slave owner, and I think he should win Best Supporting Actor. This is a film that will hold well to the test of time; Hans Zimmers beautiful score, the cinematography, and Steve McQueen’s direction is why it’s my pick for the film of the year. You can find my review here

Honorable Mention – American Hustle, Before Midnight, This is the End, and The World’s End. 

The Worst

10. The Counselor – I thought this would be in the best category, but this film a prime example of a film missing it’s mark. An all-star cast, top director, story by a great writer, but the outcome was a mess. I’ve never been so disappointed about a film. It was realistic to the point of being to realistic and incredibly dull. Poor Ferrari. To it’s credit, the film did look nice!

9. Mama – I don’t know what this movie was trying to accomplish. Was it suppose to be scary? or did the director try to include this on Disney’s Halloween special but choose to bring it to the big screen instead? A part of being scary is to allow the main “monster” to not be revealed right when it makes it’s first appearance.

8. Dark Skies – This brought nothing new to the extra-terrestrial films. It used everything that past movies have done before, family ignores the signs, birds fly into house, they consultant a crazy man. Besides that there is nothing to wrong about this movie besides the cliff hanger at the end, which will probably lead to a sequel (yawn)

7. Gangster Squad – This had a great cast of Josh Brolin, Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, and Emma Stone but wasn’t too interesting. I don’t remember being able to connect with any of the characters, maybe because of not being interested in the story, or not development. My friends enjoyed though, so maybe it’s just me.

6. The Great Gatsby – I’ve never read the book, but I wasn’t interested in the story at all besides watching the old sport Leonardo DiCaprio. The soundtrack was extremely out of place and will cause the film to be unwatchable in 10 years I believe. I’m pretty sure I remember seeing black people driving on the bridge dancing to some Jay Z music playing over the film which is set in the 1920s… that’s enough for me to not like it.

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5.  After Earth – The first time I saw the trailer for this I expected something visually stunning, until I saw the words “M. Night Shyamalan” I don’t know too much about the guy besides the fact he will be a big let down. As the film resulted in a massive let down. There is few things to take away from this film. I suppose two things will be don’t cripple one of the best actors in Hollywood during your movie, and that Jaden Smith needs to take some acting classes.

4. Identity Theft – I thought this film was not funny at all. It felt way to forced & unrealistic. 

3. Texas Chainsaw – Why did this even have to happen? I’m not going to lie the first 5 minutes of this film is promising, but after that it turns into what was expected, pointless remake of a classic. It was able to bring something new to the story involving it in a more modern time, but the atmosphere wasn’t well defined.

2. Dead Man Down – This film had a decent amount of potential with a cast of Collin Farrell, Noomi Repace, and Terrance Howard. However the story complete miss and become rather convincing. It felt lost between a love story and serious crime story.

Drumrolll…

Suspension of disbelief … Ashley Bell as Nell in The Last Exorcism Part II.

1. The Last Exorcism 2 – In a year filled will sequels, This has to be the most pointless of them all. In comparison to the first “Last Exorcism” I feel the horror elements have completely diminished in quality. It is completely mediocre, and couldn’t even use real flames for the cheesy ending? To be fair the film if it was a stand alone film it would not have been as bad. I don’t think I’ve seen so many people leave the theater during a film.

Well I hope you all enjoyed this list! I would love to hear any comments about the films or if you see something you disagree with. Cheers to the New Years!

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