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Monday, March 3, 2014

The Top 10 Films of 2013 (Redux)

10) Fruitvale Station
Directed By: Ryan Coogler
Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz, & Octavia Spencer
STARS: 3 out of 4

Brief Description: This film takes an unflinching look at the last day Oscar Grant (Jordan) lives before his brutal murder on New Year's Eve in 2008. Analogous to Zero Dark Thirty, the third act is spectacular and makes the film.

9) Frozen
Directed By: Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee
Starring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, & Josh Gad
STARS: 3.5 out of 4

Brief Description: Frozen is Disney's adaptation of The Snow Queen, with some excellent songs. If this film was made in the 90's around the same time as The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, Frozen would be an instant classic right along with them.

8) Don Jon
Directed By: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, & Julianne Moore
STARS: 3.5 out of 4

Brief Description: Don Jon is the first film written and directed by Gordon-Levitt, and it tells the tale of a stereotypical New Jersey meat head (Gordon-Levitt)- who also happens to be a porn addict- and his relationship with a "dime" he met at club (Johansson).

7) Gravity
Directed By: Alfonso Cuaron
Starring: Sandra Bullock & George Clooney
STARS: 3.5 out of 4

Brief Description: This film is just gorgeous, beautiful, and haunting to watch. Despite what you may think about the plot (personally, I loved the simplicity of it), it's a visual masterpiece. If you can still see this on a big screen in 3D, do so.

6) Her
Directed By: Spike Jonze
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, & Amy Adams
STARS: 3.5 out of 4

Brief Description: Her is a love story in its most simplistic form. This is a love story with all the typical tropes, but without all of the cliches. A wonderful script by Jonze and great acting by Phoenix and Johansson makes this one of the best films of the year.

5) Nebraska
Directed By: Alexander Payne
Starring: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, & June Squibb
STARS: 3.5 out of 4

Brief Description: Nebraska tells the story about how a son (Forte) takes his naive, elderly father (Dern) to Lincoln, Nebraska from Montana because his father thinks he's won a million dollars. The vast majority of the film takes places where the father and his wife (Squibb) grew up, and the worst in friends and family come to light.

4) The Place Beyond The Pines
Directed By: Derek Cianfrance
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, & Eva Mendez
STARS: 3.5 out of 4

Brief Description: The less you know about The Place Beyond The Pines the better. The only thing I knew about it was that it was great, and that the 140 running time was worth it. Go rent or stream this film right now!

3) Blackfish
Directed By: Gabriela Cowperwaite
Starring: Tilikum, Former Sea World Trainers
STARS: 4 out of 4

Brief Description: This is a powerful documentary that you can currently stream on Netflix about how awful places like Sea World are in how they capture and treat their star animals.

2) This Is The End
Directed By: Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg
Starring: Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Craig Robinson, and Danny McBride
STARS: 4 out 4

Brief Description: Who says a 4 star film and easily one of the best films of 2013 has to be an "Oscar worthy" drama? There are very few films that make you want to watch it over and over again from 2013 besides this one. Despite all of the dick and fart jokes, this is a hilarious and great film about friendship.

1) The Wolf of Wall Street
Directed By: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, & Margot Robbie
STARS: 4 out of 4

Brief Description: Truthfully, This Is The End is probably my #1 film of the year in terms of quality of the final product, but no movie has both thoroughly captured my enjoyment while watching it, as well as made me think about it days and weeks after I saw it like The Wolf of Wall Street did. The movie tells the tale of Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio) and his rise to fortune on Wall Street during the late 80s/early 90s.

Other films I considered: Captain Phillips (Paul Greengrass), Cutie and the Boxer (Zachary Heinzerling), Star Trek Into Darkness (J.J. Abrams), The Hunt (Thomas Vinterberg), The World's End (Edgar Wright)

What did you think was the best film of 2013?

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