Let’s just get right to it…
10. You’re Next
This spot could have easily gone to Frozen, or Wolf of Wall Street, something a bit more obvious, but I decided to include something that is maybe not as good, technically, but that I enjoyed more. 2013 was hit and miss for Horror, but when it worked, it worked really well. You’re Next does everything it intends to, has so much fun with it and features a kick-ass heroine at the front and center.
9. Blue Jasmine
Blue Jasmine is nothing without Cate Blanchett, who elevates a fine movie and makes it something more. Blanchett’s performance has stuck with me all year, through all the other fantastic female performances we have seen. The final scene on the park bench? Chills, still.
8. This Is The End
Just really fucking funny.
A movie I saw early in the year, was captivated by, and haven’t forgotten since. Kidman is electric and gives another fine performance. Affecting, visually arresting and just bat-shit fun.
6. Spring Breakers
Yes, of course. It’s Spraaaaaaaang Breakkkkkkkk, bitches. Look, before Wolf of Wall Street there was Spring Breakers, an inside joke of a movie made for but not really for it’s own audience. You want sex, drugs & EDM for 2 hours? Then we will give you that for two hours. Many movies were divisive this year but none as much as this one. If you get it, you love it, if you don’t, you detest it and if you do get it and don’t care for it, well then it did it’s job.
A simple, electric, performance driven, by-the-numbers, chilling, whodunnit? with cinematography by Roger Deakins. Literally, there is nothing more I need from a movie than all that.
4. 12 Years A Slave
Far from my favourite movie of the year, but one of, if not, the best movies of the year. 12 Years is a devastating, overwhelming experience that is, pardon my generic-critic slang, a “must see”. Chiwetel Ejiofor gives one of my favourite performances of the year (he says more with a simple facial expression) and it’s another win for McQueen who is slowly & silently crafting a flawless resume.
3. The Conjuring
This year, James Wan delivered a new horror classic. One to be mentioned in the same sentence as Halloween & The Exorcist. That is not a hyperbole, no. The Conjuring delivers the scares, yes, but for the first time in a long time, this is just a legitimately good movie – regardless of the genre classification.
Her is my favourite romance of the year. Timeless, timely & just plain-heart-breaking, Spike Jonze has crafted something that speaks on both the current state of our technology obsessed society and also finding yourself in a relationship, or not. Joaquin Phoenix, once again, continues to amaze me with his versatility, chameleon-like ability and really is one of the best working today.
I saw Gravity 4 times in theaters and each time I was in awe. Gravity, for me, is an experience on every single level – the script may be a little weak, the narrative a little thin (arguable) but there was no movie more exciting, freeing and captivating than Gravity this year. It reminded the general public of what going to the movies means in the truest sense. The score, the cinematography, the fun, the rush… everything. Oh, and, you know… just one of the major blockbusters this year that is 1) original and 2) lead by a female protagonist. More of this please.
Honorable Mentions: Wolf of Wall Street, Frozen, American Hustle, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, World War Z, The Heat, About Time (SHUT UP!), Stories We Tell, Sound City, Inside Llewyn Davis