Well it has once again come to that time of year when all of us movie geeks go over our list of movies we have seen over the past year and try to make our top ten lists. As I look over my list of movies that I saw in 2013, there have been some good ones (more on that later), along with some I wish I could get my time back (Amour, How I Live Now, and The Great Gatsby just to name a few). According to my list, I have seen 92 new movies in 2013, and by new, I mean anything I have not seen before, for example, I finally got North by Northwest off my list of shame.
Continue reading to see my list.
I had made up a list at the halfway point of the year, and I am pretty sure I did not post a blog for it, so here is a quick recap of my top ten at the halfway point of 2013:
1. Rust and Bone
2. The Impossible
4. The East
5. The Kings of Summer
6. Monsters University
7. Spring Breakers
8. Man of Steel
9. Pacific Rim
10. This is the End
And so now the big step is trying to figure out which of those titles are going to stay in the top ten, and will Rust and Bone still be in the top spot. I can say that it was looking like that for a bit, but I can say that a plethora (yeah I used that word in my blog) of great contenders have been released in the last few months of 2013. Oscar season always seems to throw a wrench in my top ten lists. And living in Milwaukee, sometimes that means I have to drive down to Chicago to see some of these movies, cause it takes awhile before it opens here in Milwaukee unfortunately.
But enough about that, let’s start off with a few Honorable Mention Movies of 2013:
And you can also add any title that didn’t make the final top ten from the halfway point list from above, I didn’t want to spoil anything for you.
Only God Forgives
The Worlds End
All of those movies are worth checking out in my book, just not good enough to crack my top ten list of the year. But let’s move onto the ones that did make that list.
#10: Pacific Rim
I have only seen this movie once, but I saw it in the best way possible, on a real IMAX screen in 3D. I bought it on Blu-ray and I’ve been meaning to check it out to see how it holds up on my TV, but other stuff got in the way of that. No it’s not perfect, there is plenty of cheese, but it does deliver us giant monsters fighting giant robots, and for that I love this movie. And I think we can all agree if we get a Pacific Rim/Godzilla crossover, that would be the greatest thing ever.
#9: Rust and Bone
My #1 movie at the half way point, did fall a bit, but still held on to make it to the final top ten. A powerful movie, with a great cast, and just one of the movies revolving around whales, just one of the themes this year. It’s not a very happy movie and you may need to have something a little lighter to watch after this to even you out a bit. An accident during a routine at a Sea World type place, changes one life and with the help of a man, with a few struggle of his own, seems that they both were something each other needed.
#8: The Kings of Summer
I need to thank the guys at Film State for introducing this movie to me, actually there are a few of these movies on this list, they are responsible for. It’s a classic coming of age film, along with the next film on the list, as you get to relive a little what is was like growing up and dealing with parents, friends and love, and realizing you have a lot to learn about all of them.
#7: The Way, Way Back
Going into this one, I was a little worried it was going to remind me too much of Adventureland, and even though there are some similarities, I can say that I really enjoyed this one. Sam Rockwell was great as always, and we get to see a different side of Steve Carell. And plenty of laughs during this heartfelt movie.
#6: The East
It seems that the past few years, movie with Brit Marling in them have found there way onto my top ten list, and it seems that this year is no different. A nice thriller and another memorable score, which another reason these movies seem to stick out for me. I can’t wait to see what’s next. Follows an operative as she tries to make her way into a secret terrorist group getting revenge on rich people for acts that no punishment was given.
And we have our second movies about whales, and this one brings us the story of one particular whale and the folks at Sea World. It’s a one sided story, but it’s a movie that has made quite an impact this year and perhaps a reason many people have re-thought their plans to visit Sea World. And it seems there are numerous way to see this one, even a few free options. It’s one you should see, maybe nothing you need to see more than once, but one viewing will make quite an impact on you.
#4: Secret Life of Walter Mitty
From the moment I first saw this trailer I was hooked on this one. It’s got a story that I knew I was going to love, and it had that visual feel that just drew me into the world of his. And you can add a killer song, which sticks with you, I even ended up buying the soundtrack for this one. I know the critics seem to be bashing this one, but I really enjoyed and I would be surprised if you didn’t enjoy it too. A man whose life is changed once his dad dies, and spends most of his life day dreaming about things he wishes he did, finally breaks out and goes on a journey, all revolved around a missing photo.
Look beyond the whole premise of the story, as it is a hard one to sell a person on. I had some weird looks when I told some people what the movie was about. But if you look any group of people in public, I can bet that there are a few that are glued to their phones, so maybe this story isn’t as far fetched as you think. I know this is the movie in my top ten that most are going to skip, there is always one. But if you at least watch it and give it a shot to draw you in, that is all I ask. Love or hate it, at least you watched it. This was the movie I drove down to Chicago to see it, cause it wasn’t opening here in Milwaukee till this weekend. And this was officially the last movie I saw for 2013.
#2: Short Term 12
If you are ready for an emotional roller coaster, I have you covered with this one. It seems to favor the sad and depressing side a bit, so perhaps another one that needs to be followed by something a little light-hearted. It seems that this year was big for Brie Larson, who most of us last saw in Scott Pilgrim vs the World. She popped up in numerous movies that made my top ten list and honorable mention. Even her Silent Bob role in Don Jon was quite memorable. This is one you might have to fight back the tears a little, and then maybe laugh a little as you wipe them away. Like I said, it was a roller coaster, but a ride I really enjoyed. It follows two counselors at a home for troubled youths, as they deal with their personal issues and help a few kids see the light at the end of the tunnel.
After seeing this movie in IMAX 3D, in fact within the first few minutes, I knew this was most likely going to be my #1 movie of the year. I may be a little biased due to my NASA geek in me, and yes I know it has been proved wrong in certain aspects, but that didn’t seem to bother me at all. I saw this one at three times in the theater, all in 3D, on various sized screens and enjoyed it every time, and even though I knew what was coming, still got goosebumps and a little emotional at parts. It’s amazing what they did with a movie that basically just involves two actors, being stuck out in low earth orbit. A great soundtrack and some amazing sights are just a few more reasons why this one, made the top of my list.
And there you have it, the movie that stood out in 2013, and now we get to experience a whole new year of cinema, both good and bad. I wonder what will be the standout films in 2014, I have a few that I am looking forward to, but I always love a few surprises during the year. Please feel free to leave a comment or two, did I pick a few that made your top ten list, or perhaps ones you hated.