Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Top Films of 2013

Happy new year! And thanks for stopping by. While I certainly don't get to post my thoughts on film and filmmaking in this little corner of the internet very regularly anymore, one thing I do continue to do is watch a ton of movies. And this past year was no exception. 2013 was loaded with a veritable banquet of cinematic delights for the eyes, ears, heart and mind; and I tried my damnedest to take advantage of all the wealth. So, before I launch into it, let me just say that while this list is pretty exhaustive, it still by no means fully encompasses all of the movies I wish I had seen. Nor does this list fully represent all of the films I had seen in 2013 (there were a few real stinkers that do not merit any mention here). Nevertheless, out of all the films that were released in 2013, either in theaters or at festivals in the U.S., these are my Top 50. Hope you enjoy. And more importantly, if you haven't seen any of these films yet, I sincerely hope you get the chance to do so!

TOP 10

1. 12 Years a Slave, dir. Steve McQueen

2. The Hunt, dir. Thomas Vinterberg

3. A Touch of Sin, dir. Zhangke Jia

4. The Selfish Giant, dir. Clio Barnard

5. All Is Lost, dir. J.C. Chandor

6. The Great Beauty, dir. Paolo Sorrentino

7. Her, dir. Spike Jonze

8. Gravity, dir. Alfonso Cuarón

9. Stories We Tell, dir. Sarah Polley

10. The Grandmaster, dir. Wong Kar Wai

TOP 20-50

11. Before Midnight, dir. Richard Linklater
12. Blancanieves, dir. Pablo Berger
13. American Hustle, David O. Russell
14. Blue Is the Warmest Color, dir. Abdellatif Kechiche
15. The Wolf of Wall Street, dir. Martin Scorsese
16. Side Effects, dir. Steven Soderbergh
17. Byzantium, dir. Neil Jordan
18. To the Wonder, dir. Terrence Malick
19. Inside Llewyn Davis, dir. Ethan and Joel Coen
20. Dallas Buyers Club, Jean-Marc Vallée
21. Short Term 12, dir. Destin Cretton
22. Cutie and the Boxer, dir. Zachary Heinzerling
23. This Is the End, dir. Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen
24. The World's End, dir. Edgar Wright
25. Wadjda, dir. Haifaa Al-Monsour
26. The Rocket, dir. Kim Mordaunt
27. Ain't Them Bodies Saints, dir. David Lowery
28. Stand Clear of the Closing Doors, dir. Sam Fleischner
29. The Kill Team, dir. Dan Krauss
30. Frances Ha, dir. Noah Baumbach
31. A Birder's Guide to Everything, dir. Rob Meyer
32. No, dir. Pablo Larraín
33. Beyond the Hills, dir. Cristian Mungiu
34. S#x Acts, dir. Jonathan Gurfinkel
35. The Bling Ring, dir. Sofia Coppola
36. Kon-Tiki, dir. Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg
37. Upstream Color, dir. Shane Carruth
38. Leviathan, dir. Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel
39. Blackfish, dir. Gabriela Cowperthwaite
40. Sightseers, dir. Ben Wheatley
41. Haute Cuisine, dir. Christian Vincent
42. The Broken Circle Breakdown, dir. Felix Van Groeningen
43. Just a Sigh, dir. Jérôme Bonnell
44. Don Jon's Addiction, dir. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
45. What Maisie Knew, dir. Scott McGehee and David Siegel
46. At Any Price, dir. Ramin Bahrani
47. Hide Your Smiling Faces, dir. Daniel Patrick Carbone
48. Lily, dir. Matt Creed
49. The Girl, dir. David Riker
50. The Reluctant Fundamentalist, dir. Mira Nair

As in previous years, my top 10 films have also been tallied as part of an annual mini-poll conducted amongst a casual group of film critics and writers, organized and compiled by the indefatigable Michael Anderson. You can find the collective results of the poll at Ten Best Films.