Top Ten Films of 2013
10. Zero Dark Thirty
A gripping and relatively restrained film considering it’s subject matter. I applaud them for telling this story without any strong punching the air/we got the bastard sentiments.
9. Robot and Frank
This was released with very little fanfare so wasn’t seen by many people but that is okay as it is more of a ‘cup of tea on the sofa on a Sunday afternoon film’ anyway. Rent it.
8. What Maisie Knew
A simple yet heartbreaking film about a small girl caught in the middle of a divorce. It also proved that there was more to Steve Coogan, two weeks after the release of Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa and six months before Philomena.
7. Iron Man 3
Undoubtedly the most fun I have had watching a film this year. The movie Scream took the conventions of its genre and both celebrated and lampooned them. Iron Man 3 does the same thing.
Like About Time, Nebraska has a relationship between a father and a son at its centre but tackles it with an honesty and lightness of touch that Richard Curtis could only dream of.
5. Much Ado About Nothing
Two of my favourite storytellers, William Shakespeare and Joss Whedon, coming together in a way that is just as wonderful as I hoped it could be.
4. Captain Phillips
A relatively straight forward tale told with breathtaking skill by its director and cast. The final scene is just incredible but actually, so is every other scene that comes before it.
3. Les Miserables
Released right at the beginning of 2013, Les Miserables got most of its attention twelve months ago but, even considering the three Oscars and the four BAFTAs, I don’t think it was celebrated enough. It is a simply staggering piece of film making that does something with the musical that could never be achieved on stage.
Alfred Hitchock was a genius who knew how to create incredible stories in the medium of film and in Korean director Chan Wook Park he finally has an equal. Park’s Stoker is a generic serial killer movie on the page but in its transfer to the screen it has been become a brilliant, brilliant work of art. This movie is a true cinematic masterpiece.
Just pipping Stoker to the post, my film of the year is Gravity. It has been widely heralded as a visual and technical masterpiece (which it is) but it also has a superb performance from Miss Congeniality and a beautiful poetry that a lot of the reviews seemed to have missed. It is this that will allow it to live on on Bluray, not the special effects.
Honorary mentions for other superb films in contention for my top ten:
Stories We Tell
Thor The Dark World
The Way Way Back
The Bling Ring
Three films that really weren’t as good as they thought they were:
Three films that were fine:
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Three films that I think I’m going to like more on a second viewing:
The World’s End
The Great Gatsby
Three things I’ve learnt from watching movies this year:
If you are carrying firearms on slippery surfaces you should keep the safety on. (World War Z)
Everyone appreciates your singing when you are a psychopathic killer with a lethal sword hidden in your shirt. (Only God Forgives)
Writing stuff on your hand means your body can be easily identified in the event of your death. (Welcome to the Punch)
The Worst Three Films of 2013
Cloud Atlas – like a comedy sketch show with all of the wigs and fake noses but with none of the laughs.
Man of Steel – pompous, over confident, loud, amoral and boring.
A Good Day to Die Hard – one of the greatest action franchises in the history of cinema dies, hard!
The One That Got Away
There is always at least one film that I’m particularly keen to see but don’t get a chance. Last year it was The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Well, I’m afraid I have let Judy Dench down again this year having failed to catch Philomena.