the Best Movies of 2013

This includes films that were, according to IMDB, released in either 2012 or 2013 but that I only saw for the first time in this, this specific, this and this only, calendar year. It’s a pretty weak list, not because I didn’t see a lot of movies (I saw more theatrically than ever before, and all as a service to you, the reader), but because (a) a lot of the most acclaimed films out this year didn’t do much for me; (b) several of the movies I was most interested in — Nebraska; Inside Llewyn Davis — didn’t get screened anywhere near me, which gigantically sucks. Our “arthouse” “outlet” has decided it’s more profitable to show the same junk as the multiplexes most of the time lately. Barring constant drives to our state capital, not much I can do. So now that I’ve basically negated the value of the list, here’s the list! I am pretty confident that the top three, anyway, are major.

Films I saw theatrically are noted with an asterisk, because.

10. MONSTERS UNIVERSITY (Dan Scanlon) *
9. THE SPECTACULAR NOW (James Ponsoldt) *
8. THE BLING RING (Sofia Coppola)
7. ARBITRAGE (Nicholas Jarecki)
6. BLUE JASMINE (Woody Allen) *
5. ALL IS LOST (J.C. Chandor) *
4. GRAVITY (Alfonso Cuarón) *
3. MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (Joss Whedon) *
2. CAPTAIN PHILLIPS (Paul Greengrass) *
1. FRANCES HA (Noah Baumbach) *

(The only other thing that really could be potentially added to this is American Hustle, because we’re seeing it in the next few days. On the very slim chance we feel like going out tonight, perhaps it will even magically appear here.)

All subject to change because I’ve only seen anything listed once except The Bling Ring, Arbitrage and Frances Ha. The complete absence of any non-American film above is my shame, and the shame of my film screening community. Anything I see from 2012 in the year to come that merits inclusion here will be added in a separate part of this post.

Also liked (chronologically, not ranked):
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (David O. Russell)*; STORIES WE TELL (Sarah Polley)*; BEFORE MIDNIGHT (Richard Linklater)*; BRAVE (Mark Andrews & Brenda Chapman); THE HUNGER GAMES (Gary Ross); THE WORLD’S END (Edgar Wright)*; BLACKFISH (Gabriela Cowperthwaite)*; RUSH (Ron Howard)*; ENOUGH SAID (Nicole Holofcener)*; TABU (Miguel Gomes); 12 YEARS A SLAVE (Steve McQueen)*; DALLAS BUYERS CLUB (Jean-Marc Vallee)*; PHILOMENA (Stephen Frears)*

Saw too late to make the list: THE ACT OF KILLING (Joshua Oppenheimer)

Worst film I saw in a theater this year: THE CONJURING (James Wan)*

Worst new-ish movie I saw this year, period: COSMOPOLIS (David Cronenberg)

Most excited about in 2014: THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL (Wes Anderson); NYMPHOMANIAC (Lars von Trier); GONE GIRL (David Fincher); MAGIC IN THE MOONIGHT (Woody Allen); and an as-yet-unnamed Noah Baumbach film.

Selected significant releases of 2013 I’m interested in or feel obligated to mention but have yet to see, so don’t consider their omission above any kind of a comment:
UPSTREAM COLOR; LEVIATHAN; THE GRANDMASTER; TO THE WONDER; BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR; INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS; MUD; NEBRASKA; ONLY GOD FORGIVES [lololol]; SIDE EFFECTS; BASTARDS; COMPUTER CHESS; HER; NEIGHBORING SOUNDS; THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES; THE WOLF OF WALL STREET; THE GREAT BEAUTY; THE PAST; PARADISE: HOPE; TIM’S VERMEER; IS THE MAN WHO IS TALL HAPPY?; THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE; FROZEN; THE HOBBIT: BLAH BLAH WHATEVER; WADJDA; SHORT TERM 12; AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS; THE BUTLER; PRINCE AVALANCHE; FRUITVALE STATION; TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM; THIS IS THE END; STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS; ROOM 237; SPRING BREAKERS; 56 UP; ANCHORMAN 2: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG

Significant releases of 2012 I still haven’t seen cause I blow:
DAMSELS IN DISTRESS; LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE; BEYOND THE HILLS; BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO; ANNA KARENINA; THE AVENGERS; THE COMEDY; COMPLIANCE; THE RAID: REDEMPTION; SOUND OF MY VOICE; WRECK-IT RALPH; NO; BLANCANIEVES; PARANORMAN; THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE; THE RABBI’S CAT; THE IMPOSSIBLE; NOT FADE AWAY; THE SESSIONS; HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE; ALMAYER’S FOLLY; THE IMPOSTER; SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN; THE PIRATES!: BAND OF MISFITS; TAKE THIS WALTZ

Finally, something I didn’t do last year but thought would be fun. This is a list of my favorite films I saw this year, old or new, ranked. This, unlike the 2013 list, includes one film I honestly consider a masterpiece. I talked a bit about these here and maybe I’ll move all that over here next time.

10. DEMENTIA (1955, John Parker)
9. THE HOUSE ON 92ND STREET (1945, Henry Hathaway)
8. PANIC IN THE STREETS (1950, Elia Kazan)
7. THE DAWN PATROL (1930, Howard Hawks)
6. VACATION FROM MARRIAGE (1945, Alexander Korda)
5. MARWENCOL (2010, Jeff Malmberg)
4. THE SCOUNDREL (1935, Ben Hecht & Charles MacArthur)
3. FRANCES HA (2012, Noah Baumbach)
2. 7TH HEAVEN (1927, Frank Borzage)
1. BAD GIRL (1932, Frank Borzage)

I promise normal posts / reviews resume tomorrow or the next day, though I honestly don’t know what movie I’ll be talking about since the slot in question was meant for Nebraska. : ( 😥 Happy new year to all who care enough to be reading this, and all who don’t cause I’m a pushover.

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