My Top 20 Films of 2013

Here it is. These are my favorite films of the year, not the best. Films that either got my blood up or made me feel queasy or happy or feel something at all. These are films I feel should be seen in a cinema and with others. I loved all of these movies, and though there were a few films I missed this year, I can’t imagine many would have cracked this list, (Unseen Coens film aside…). So, without further interruption…


20. This Is The End – Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg



This film surprised me by being a full on horror comedy. I love that. Also, between this and Wolf of Wall Street, I think Jonah Hill must be just awful. I love him.


19. Oz: The Great And Powerful – Sam Raimi



This film is a hell of a theatrical experience in 3D and includes one of the most ingeniously satisfying non-violent resolutions I have ever seen in a film. The subtext about the perceived threats of our superiors is rich and carefully realized. This film is much more than a children’s film. It builds upon and honors Baum’s work and the Judy Garland classic. I loved it.


18. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Francis Lawrence



This is a handsome film with a silly plot and a very sexy Jennifer Lawrence. Hey if they want to make Rage Against The Machine movies for teen girls that are this good a powerful, (mostly thanks Lawrence’s steadfast direction and Jennifer Lawrence being that rare talent that exists waaaaaaay above the material), I’ll keep watching em’!


17. Thor: The Dark World  – Alan Taylor



This is the last title on the list with a colon in its name. This is the best Star Wars film I’ve seen since Return of the Jedi. Also, don’t you just fucking LOVE Tom Hiddleston?


16. Sightseers – Ben Wheatley



If you don’t think this film is hilarious, don’t talk to me.


15. Why Don’t You Play In Hell? – Sion Sono



If you love making films, then you love playing in hell, and this film is a love letter to you.


14. Frances Ha – Noah Baumbach



I want to have my own place someday. This seemingly small victory is a major triumph in the hands of Gerwig and Baumbach. Frances is a hero for saving herself and I fucking love it.


13. Upstream Color – Shane Carruth



Oblique and beautiful, like David Lynch speaking through a Terrence Malick film.


12. Riddick – David Twohy




I love that Diesel owns his own superhero and that he and Twohy are making sci-fi Conan movies. More please.


11. Kiss Of The Damned – Xan Cassavetes



This is how you do sexy vampires. Also, could you find more beautiful women than the women in this film? Amazing.


10. Gravity – Alfonso Cuaron



Too scary or it would be higher on the list.


9. Computer Chess – Andrew Bujalski



The swinger scene. “You can stay, or not stay.” This film is like a fucking time machine.


8. Only God Forgives – Nicholas Winding Refn



It’s crazy how overrated I found Drive and how underrated I find this film. Kristen Scott-Thomas is THE reason to love this film. She’s my favorite screen villain this year.


7. Blue Jasmine – Woody Allen



Wow, Cate Blanchett. Just Wow. Woody’s still got game.


6. The Conjuring – James Wan



This is the true coming of age as a filmmaker for Mr. Wan. The Conjuring is his first GREAT film and it evokes classic horror films without aping anything visually. This film is maybe the most old-school film on my list that’s exactly why it’s as high as it is. This is like watching a film of another era. Best zero body count horror film since Poltergeist.


5. Pacific Rim – Guillermo Del Toro



What is it with Mexican directors and showing us things never seen before in a cinema? Between this and Gravity the language of film has been heavily revised in the last year. Now lets see a movie with both kinds of visuals in the same film.


4. Iron Man Three – Shane Black



Is this a pro drone or anti-drone film? You decide.


3. Stoker – Chan Wook-Park



Holy Shit this is the most beautiful film of the year. Stoker sports a stellar story, incredible performances and absolutely riveting cinematography, editing and music. This film cast a spell over me from which I did not want to wake.


2. The Wolf Of Wall Street – Martin Scorsese



How do you even make this fucking movie? A condemnation of the evils of greed that let’s it’s Lex Luthor’s off light, just like the really real world. Get ‘em Marty.


1. The World’s End – Edgar Wright



This film is Mr. Wright and Mr. Pegg’s MASTERPIECE. The shading of character and dialogue and plot and editing are so confident, so forward thinking, so sophisticated that most viewers were bowled over by it. The film is even funnier in subsequent viewings because you know we get to tell the network to fuck off. Everyone gets what he or she deserves. The film is pro robot and anti-hive. It’s an amazing work of science fiction, which will grow better with age like fine wine and John Carpenter films. That this genius is now making a Marvel film about Ant-Man is insane to me and I can’t wait to see what that looks like.


It’s been a great year. I’ll Have a list up soon of my most anticipated films of 2014!



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