Top 10 of 2013


Hey everybody!

So, as you all know, it’s the new year (or at least, it has been for the past three weeks), which also means that we have to say “buh bye” to the one that has just past; which, in this case, was the wonderful year of 2013. At first, it started-off a bit sketchy with some months that didn’t have much quality in it, but once the summer hit, things began to look up and by the end of the year, I was absolutely soaked, head-to-toe, in some very good, very awesome movies. Definitely a great year for my life, as well as for my life in movies (and yes, they are two separate things), and one that I will truly not, no matter how brain-cells I accidentally kill, ever forget.

But enough of my yacking! Here’s the list you’ve all been waiting for:

10. Star Trek Into Darkness

 Not a lot of people liked this, but I for one absolutely had as great of a time with this, as I did with the first four years ago. Not only were the emotions from the first enhanced here, but it actually felt like we were really working onto something big, adventurous and, especially with the inclusion of Mr. Benedict Cumberbatch himself, a hell of a lot more epic. Also, goes to show us that J.J. Abrams will be more than able to handle himself, as well as the Star Wars franchise. Here’s to hoping he doesn’t prove us wrong.

9. Inside Llewyn Davis

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I know, I know, I know! Before any of you say anything about this being a bit of a “cheat”, I just want to let you know that I am fully aware that this was ranked as a “Matinee!!” for me, and yet, is still in my Top 10, as well as ranked-higher than a movie that scored a “Full Price!!” from me. But here’s the reason why: The more and more I think about this movie, the more I love it. No, not just because I have sweet, sweet memories of the time that star Oscar Isaac and yours truly had a grand old time a the Ritz Five, but because this is something that the Coen Brothers have ever done before, and yet, it works out so perfectly for them. It’s heart-warming, soft, funny, a tad sweet, small, and rather brutally honest in its depiction of how sometimes, it doesn’t matter whether or not you have the talent, nor the passion to do what it is that you want to do for the rest of your life, because sometimes, life just may not turn-out so well for you. That’s not just being a pessimist, that’s just being a realist and I am glad that the Coens tapped into this idea, no matter how light and playful the rest of the flick may be.

8. This is the End

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Possibly, if not is, my favorite full-on comedy of the year. Maybe the fact that I am huge fan of just about everybody in this movie is why I loved it so much more than some others out there, but so be it if that is a fact! I had a great time feeling like I was hanging around with these guys, making jokes, acting dumb, doing strange things and best of all, trying to survive the end of the world. Not only was it hilarious-as-hell, but actually pretty damn entertaining when it got into the whole “action”-aspect of its story, without making it just an after-thought. Goes to show you that you can still have plenty of laughs and star-power for your big-budget, R-rated comedy, but you can also have everything else that makes a movie even more fun. Including the Backstreet Boys. Wow. How awesome was that? I mean, really?!?!

7. Captain Phillips 

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By far the best thriller of the year. It’s no shock to the common-person that Paul Greengrass knows how to rack-up tension, but lord in heaven did this get my heart racing! Even though most out there did know what was going to happen at the end, it didn’t matter. Greengrass always found a way to add on something new to the story to give you an extra jolt or two, just for the heck of it, but it wasn’t done in a manipulative way (in a way that I didn’t respect Argo, but that’s a different discussion, for a different year). And also, even though he was wrongfully snubbed this year for Best Actor, Tom Hanks damn-well deserved it; not just for what he does throughout the movie, which is still great, but what he gives us to chew-on in those final minutes. Without spoiling it, he shows us sides to his acting-ability that, I for one, have never seen him utilize before and found a way to spin a beautiful, heart-warming moment, into something rather disturbing. Goes to show us that somebody who is considered “one of the best actors working today”, truly is just that.

6. Blackfish

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Yet again, here’s another amazing work-of-art that was unjustly snubbed by the Oscars this year, but in a far different category, with even more controversy surrounding it. Everybody thinks that SeaWorld is this big, bright and beautiful place where the whales get to do fancy and neat little tricks with their loving-trainers joining in the fun as well. However, the painful truth that this documentary shines a light on is that what you see in front of your eyes, isn’t what’s usually happening behind the closed-curtains. In fact, these killer whales are being downright tortured from day one and it only continues to happen, even now as we speak. However, what makes this documentary such a novelty is that it does what all documentaries should do: Change a common-notion that the rest of society has. And with all of these bands and celebrities talking-out against the theme-park, it seems like an action may be taken. If not now, then definitely sometime in the near-future. Let’s just hope it happens before it’s not too late.

5. American Hustle

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Though it definitely wasn’t a perfect movie, and O. Russell’s direction more than just simply “copied” Scrorsese’s sense-of-style, it was still one of the better, more entertaining-times I had at the movies this year. Mainly though, that’s attributed to the ensemble who all, even down to the smallest, most measly role, is pitch-perfect. Bale, Renner, Adams, and even a special cameo from a special person I won’t give away, are all great, but for me, the real stand-outs were Cooper and Lawrence. Hopefully both get the Oscars they’re more than just deserving of receiving, but that they continue to go down the path that they’re on, because they’re exciting talents to watch and see what happens next with them.

4. Blue Is The Warmest Color

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All dirty jokes that you know that I am more than willing to deliver, aside, this movie is pretty freakin’ romantic. Not only does it capture what it’s like to experience new, and in ways, a “first love”, but to experience all of the exciting, new possibilities that come along with it. It’s all told and shown to us in a believable way that doesn’t leave much to imagination, but also doesn’t shy-away from giving us the brutal, raw and unrelenting feelings that come along with love, and how, for one second, you could feel like you’re on the top of the world, and then, the next second, feel like that said world is crashing down all around you. It’s heart-breaking to watch, but for anybody who has ever experienced the same thing in their life, it’s damn-near soul-crushing. Add on the fact that 20-year-old lead Adèle Exarchopoulos gives the best female performance of the year, but is also so believable as a young, blissful woman just wanting to experience love, life and everything else that comes along with it. Even the painful, sad things as well. Then again though, that’s life. You learn, you move on and you start all over again.

3. The Wolf of Wall Street

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In case you’ve been living under a rock for, I don’t know, say the past month or so, there’s been an awful-lot made about this movie; most of which is deserved, but at the same time, doesn’t matter. Either way, it didn’t bother me as for each and every single moment of this near-three hour movie, I had an absolute great time. Marty Scorsese shows us why, even at age 71, should not be counted-out as one of the greatest directors of all-time, as he not only slows down for a single second, but throws just about every piece of coke, sex, drugs, hookers, sex, money, debauchery, greed, and more sex that he can even possibly think of. It’s entertaining to watch, and even though it is, sadly, all true-to-point, it also feels like Scorsese himself is still not fully on-board with these guys, despite what other critics have been saying. Also, it should be mentioned that, even though he won’t get it, Leo deserves, yet again, deserves an Oscar for what he does as Jordan Belfort. Not for just making this guy the least bit of a likable, charismatic character to watch, but for pulling-out all of the stops with this role and showing us, that even despite him acting and giving us great performances, year after year, that he’s still able to surprise us and show us his wide-range. Somebody just give him a damn Oscar already! I mean, seriously!?!?!?!

2. Her

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Took me awhile to actually get a chance and see it, but gosh, was it ever so worth the wait! It’s no surprise to anyone who knows me that I am a huge Spike Jonze fan, but just when I thought he couldn’t possibly surprise me anymore, he does just that. Though the premise of a man falling in love with his operating-system isn’t the most normal romance we’ve ever seen brought to screen, Jonze somehow finds a way to make it all believable, giving us a glimpse at two living, feeling and emoting beings that just want to live life, be loved and feel as if they have a reason to exist in this world. But through this relationship, and in the way that it develops over time into some very surprising places, Jonze is able to channel honest-to-God, insightful observations about what constitutes a romance and the motions that two people go through when they are in one. At times, it can be hilarious to watch, but at other times, it can be painfully sad. However, at the end of the day, it still feels like the type of romance that will have you looking deep on the inside, thinking of all the romances you’ve had in the past and how, regardless of whether or not they’ve been considered “eventful”, they’re still connections you’ve shared with a fellow human-being, and in ways, may have even shaped you to be the person you are today. Beautiful stuff right there, but it’s also very true. So get out there and continue making human-connections, you sad-sacks!

1. Before Midnight

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It’s been quite some time since the last time we saw everybody’s favorite star-crossed, Jesse and Celine, together (Nine years, to be exact), and getting the chance to see them, finally, together once again, was something one film-lover needed to see. And while the circumstances of their being together was in fact surprising, it was even more shocking to see that time hasn’t really done much damage to either of these two. However, things do start to spin out of control and what is definitely one of my favorite scenes of the year, we are treated (or “punished”, depending on how you look at it) to what seems to be the one, romantic-getaway these two are finally getting to have with one another, that starts off beautiful and sweet at first, and then gets downright brutal, mean, sadistic and heart-thrashing. Many truths are unearthed, some brutal ones to say, and right in front of our eyes, we watch as one of cinema’s favorite screen-couples in the past two decades, actually seem like they may be over, and over FOR GOOD. I won’t dare to give away what ending Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy all go with, but it’s perfect in its ambiguous way. On the surface, things seem to be a-okay, but look closer, and you’ll see a huge amount of heartbreak, pain and agony just awaiting. That’s as much as I’ll say, as this definitely deserves to be seen. Aka, my favorite film of the year that was 2013.

Well, there you have it, folks! Hope you enjoyed yourselves and liked what I had to throw out at you! Sorry if some of it was a bit more than you probably expected, but it was all coming to me in one, fell-swoop, so you must sympathize. Anyway though, I would definitely like to say thanks to all of those loyal readers, commentators and supporters who have been here for me this past year. Who knows where I’d be without you guys, and if it weren’t for you, DTMMR would have been over a long, LONG time ago. Regardless, let’s make this next year even better, shall we?

Photo’s Credit to: IMDBColliderJobloComingSoon.net

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91 comments

  1. I still haven’t seen the “Before” films of Linklater’s yet, and I plan to see them all this year sometime. I was impressed with your Blue Is The Warmest Colour review, and agree entirely with your sentiments on that one – especially regarding Exarchopoulos not snagging any kind of awards for her performance in it – she was goddam amazing to watch. Hoping to watch HER this week, and I agree with the position of Wolf Of Wall Street. That was a damn good film.

  2. Well, we didn’t agree on all that much here. But I agree that Star Trek II was pretty awesome, especially considering I hate the Sci Fi genre as a whole. And “Her” was pretty awesome as well. But Blackfish was a truly moving story, and it shares something I’ve been aware of for far too many years. I mean, considering the size of these whales, it’s a lot like keeping a human in a bathroom sized cage and calling it ‘spacious and invigorating’. And what do they have to do all day? Nothing. Except when they get to do the same tricks they’ve done every other day. Because brilliant creatures enjoy being toys like that. I loved the documentary, and I hope it puts change in motion! (And of course the Oscars overlooked it, they overlook all the good stuff)

  3. Good list bar ‘Star Trek: Into Darkness’ … I thought it was one of the biggest let-downs of 2013! Watching ‘Her’ and ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ this week as they were just released here in Australia and am equally exited to see both! Finally while I loved Hanks’ performance in ‘Captain Phillips,’ I thought the film dragged on a bit, it was about a 3 star affair for me! Pretty nice list altogether though!

  4. Dan, I also had “Before Midnight” as my #1 film of 2013, and you captured the reasons for it perfectly. I’m 37 and have two kids, and I can see so much truth in the whole film. While their situation is much different from my own, it still hit home for me. Cool list!

    • Yeah, I know that if I ever start to settle down and go through what Jesse and Celine are going through in that movie, it’s going to tear me to shreds. But hey, I’ll allow it since I love them as a couple, and characters on their own. Great minds truly do think alike, Dan!

  5. thanks for putting up the effort of compiling the list, those lists are always valuable inspiration on catching up on some movies.Not sure yet, but I think once I will have seen all my must-sees, at least 12 Years A Slave will elbow itself on my own list, while your “This Is The End” and “Star Trek” choices will probably not be found on my own list. Despite my dislike of the recent Woody Allen films, I could also imagine “Blue Jasmine” will show up somewhere, as I hear a lot of good things about it. And now really looking forward to “Her” and “Wolf”…

  6. Good list. Sadly, Star Trek was the only one out of these that I saw (I plan on “American Hustle” and “Her”, preferably in the immediate future, we’ll see). And after reading your intriguing review of “This is the End,” I shoulda figured right away it’d be in the mix somewhere. I’ll definitely have to see it to truly believe the unanticipated hype it got.

  7. Awesome list Dan! You put some very deserving films on here. Glad to see Her, that was my #1, but I didn’t see Before Midnight. I’ll have to see it now. This was certainly a lot more interesting and diverse then a lot of lists I’ve seen this year and it was a pleasure to read. Keep up the good work dude!

  8. Good list, Dan. I am not a huge fan of Stat Trek, but I recognize the quality of most of these and even see why many like Into Darkness.

    I really dislike Before Midnight, though.

  9. Nice list! Still need to see a few of these. Can’t wait to see Wolf of Wall Street and Her. Admittedly Star Trek didn’t really do much for me either. Also, where’s Frozen 😉

  10. Nice list Dan. I have to say, I’m surprised at all the love for This Is The End. I tried to watch that and turned it off after 20mins. It was cutting it for me but it sounds like I should give it another shot.

  11. Interesting list, Dan, and certainly some nice picks. I’m especially happy to see Blue is the Warmest Color ranked so highly, as that’s one that’s surprisingly gone overlooked from what I’ve seen during this “best of” season.

  12. Great list Dan, glad someone appreciates Into Darkness as much as I did. Australia being as far flung as it is, I haven’t been able to see either Her or The Wolf of Wall Street yet. Definitely going to make the time when they finally get released though 🙂

    • Yeah, I’ve been hearing a lot about how Australia has been cheaping-out on the movies as of late, but when they come around, do yourself a favor and check them out. You won’t be disappointed.

  13. Blackfish is my favourite entry on your list by far! Followed by Wolf of Wall Street (which I’m pleased to see outranks American Hustle on your list). I think it’s great that you have This Is the End in your top 10. That was the second funniest film of the year IMO, Bad Grandpa being the funniest.

    • That movie had me practically dying, but there was more to it than just its humor that made me love it. That’s why it’s in my Top 10 and Bad Grandpa isn’t to be found. Although, I definitely laughed myself simple more than a few times during that.

  14. I loved Star Trek Into Darkness. No surprises on your list, except I was surprised Before Midnight made it to your Number 1 spot. It was good, but the best of the year? You must have an emotional connection or history to the series like how I feel about Star Trek 😉

    • I think I really did, and that’s why it got to my numero uno. Thought some other movie during the year would change that thought, but such was not the case.

  15. Nice to see This Is The End in there. I was nearly gonna put it in my own top 10, but it lost out in the end. It does seem to divide opinion as a movie. You either love the humour or you don’t.

    • I think that’s what it all comes down to. If you love these guys, you’ll have an absolute wonderful time. But if you don’t love them, you’ll hate everything.

  16. Only seen two from your list. This is the End starts off well, but become tedious and overbearing by the end. Blackfish I absolutely hated, is easily one of the worst made docs I’ve seen in a long time.

  17. Awesome list, quite a few I still need to watch. I also thought Argo was done in a manipulative way. Before Midnight would be in my top 10 as well, their relationship is so real, complicated and painful … incredibly acted.

  18. Nice list Dan! I just wanted to say that I’ve enjoyed reading your reviews in 2013 and look forward to more in 2014. I’m continually impressed by how much quantity your produce without sacrificing quality. Good on you, congrats on a great 2013.

  19. The ones I’ve seen, I disagree with you except The Wolf of Wall Street, it was a blast and I agree, DiCaprio was, again, extraordinary. I don’t get what the Academy has against him. But Before Midnight was a bit of a disappointment to me or maybe I just can’t related being a single without children? And Captain Phillips is nothing compared to Argo! Argo was a real edge-of-your-seat thriller and Captain Phillips, although solid, nothing special and to me Hanks was a bit overacting (but Abdi was better, especially as a newcomer). Plus I’ve never liked shaky camera and that score sounded like Zimmer’s work and it really bothered me, especially in the end. But I can’t wait to see Her and American Hustle. The previous one especially.

    • Thanks for you points! Personally, I just fell suckered-in by most of these movies, but I definitely hope you enjoy both American Hustle and Her as much as I did.

    • Quite a few movies actually. Gravity, 12 Years a Slave, Fruitvale Station, Saving Mr. Banks, and I’m sure there are a few others out there as well. Plenty of good movies this year, just not great ones to crack my Top 10.

  20. Good list Dan. I’ve only watched five of the films mentioned above, but it looks like I may have some catching up to do. Captain Philips needs to be watched, yet I keep putting it off for one reason or another.

  21. Nice list. I still need to watch a few before I make my own but you’ve got a lot of my favorites there (her, Inside Llewyn Davis, Before Midnight). I was very surprised how much I enjoyed This Is The End.

  22. Fun list. Surprisingly we don’t share a single movie on our Top 10 lists, LOL! I’m actually with you on Star Trek. I know it’s taken a lot of heat but I really enjoyed it. Before Midnight was interesting. I like the film but for me it was the weakest of the three. This was the first movie out of the three that had scenes which actually felt scripted. I also didn’t really buy into the ending. Still adore those characters though.

  23. Hey buddy, I was really surprised to see Before Midnight as your #1 movie of 2013. I loved the first two movies of the series and have yet to see the third one, guess I better get on that in the next few days! Also you really love Inside Llewyn Davis, so I will have to wait and see that one too.

  24. Great list. I enjoyed everything on your list. I haven’t seen Before Midnight yet because I still have to watch Before Sunset. Nice to see Star Trek Into Darkness on your list. That was unexpected. Captain Philips was my #1 so nice to see that made the cut.

  25. Excuse my jealousy against you because I’m really looking forward to seeing Inside Llewyn Davis and Wolf of Wall Street. 😛 If I weren’t letting my envy blind me, though… I’d say this is a great list. Interesting choice with Star Trek Into Darkness. I watched it on the plane to Manila, and I thought it was awesome. I always like J.J. Abrams’ movies and Tv shows. Into Darkness was no exception. The last thirty minutes were particularly good. Definitely agree with your choice to put Her at #2. It is spectacular, and that’s me lowballing it.

  26. Very solid list. I adore both “Before Midnight” and “Her”. I have to echo at least one other though, and argue that “Star Trek Into Darkness” was a huge letdown. Nice job though overall…my own Top Ten will be up by the end of the month. ML

  27. That list looks good (even though Star Trek should not be on it 😉 (just teasing). Having seen the new Coen movie yet, but since it has been getting so much praise I will see it soon. Saw Wolf this past weekend and it is a very enjoyable ride. Btw, no mention of Gravity?

  28. Interesting list man, a lot of those films have yet to grace our screens over here in the UK or have only just recently arrived. Definitely agree with Captain Philips and The Wolf of Wall Street, incredible films. Proper gutted I never got the chance to see Blackfish, don’t think there was a wide release for it over here.

  29. Yours is a Top 10 list I’ve been waiting patiently for Dan and it’s a great list. Still have yet to see a couple of films on there, but I know if anyone has plently of films to choose from it’s you!

  30. Some nice choices there Dan! Before Midnight was in my top ten too. I didn’t see Wolf…, Phillips, Her etc until 2014 otherwise my list may have been different, having said that I didn’t enjoy Captain Phillips as much as everyone else. I think my expectations had been raised too high.

  31. Dan
    I’ve been wanting to read your site for a long time, and I was amazed at the library of films you’ve reviewed. Amazing work. If my site got 1/100 of the views yours did, I would be feeling pretty good about that! Keep it up, bud.

    Aaron

  32. Excellent list! Brings a smile to my face to see Before Midnight make your number 1 slot 😀

    Also, This is The End – definitely a fantastic comedy. All out ridiculous funny shit.

  33. BLACKFISH! Still really gutted it got snubbed at the Oscars. Such a shame.
    Great list overall though, loving the mentions of Her, Wolf and This is the End.
    Star Trek Into Darkness was my favourite blockbuster of 2013, so happy to see you include that too.

  34. I agree that 8 of 10 titles in this list deserve to be in it. And since I haven’t watched “Blackfish”, my only objection is “Star Trek Into Darkness”. Maybe it’s because I’m not such a big fan of the Star Trek franchise, but I think that it had visible flaws and plot holes. And my recommendation – if you haven’t watched “Only God forgives”, please do. 🙂

  35. Good stuff Dan. My only disagreement would be Star Trek – one of the worst of the year for me. JJ Abrams is a terrible filmmaker. He needs to stick to making movie trailers and designing posters.

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