My Favorite Movies of 2013

Now You See MeIt was a another great year for movies that I saw for the first time this year, with 28 movies receiving at least the coveted Stegmaier 4 Stars (out of 5) and 11 movies receiving ratings of at least 4.5 out of 5. Below are the best of the best in no particular order.

Man of Steel: I’m a Marvel guy, and I actually enjoyed Thor: The Dark World quite a bit (Iron Man 3…not so much). But my favorite comic book movie of the year was definitely Man of Steel. I like how it felt like a sci fi movie wrapped in the skin of a comic book movie. It felt like a fresh take on the genre.

Now You See Me: A magician heist movie? Yes please. This is a pure popcorn flick, but that’s not a bad thing. I watch movies to be entertained, and this movie definitely accomplished that goal.

Star Trek Into Darkness: The pace of this movie is brutal. Once it starts, it grabs you and doesn’t let go. I can’t wait to see what Abrams does with my space franchise of choice, Star Wars.

Ted: There were a number of hits and misses in terms of the humor in this movie, but I just love the idea and execution of this movie. Millions of people watched a movie about a drunk teddy bear. How awesome is that?!

American Hustle: This is one of the best acted movies I’ve ever seen. Period. It’s much more than just costumes and hair–it’s tiny mannerisms. It’s how Amy Adams plays a character who is pretending to have a British accent. It’s how Christian Bale responds as his character gets more and more in over his head. It’s how Bradley Cooper’s character wants so badly to be a hotshot. And Jennifer Lawrence…how is she only 23?!

Pitch Perfect: This is the funnest movie I saw this year. I don’t even mind that HBO plays it constantly–it’s the perfect movie for tuning in for 10-15 minutes. If you don’t find yourself singing along even a little bit, you’re probably a cylon.

Rush: I had low expectations going into this movie. I don’t care about car racing at all. But this movie is about much more than racing–it’s about rivalries and how we motivate ourselves. It’s a brilliant, intense film.

Warm Bodies: Yet another fresh take on a well-used genre. This is a rom com where the main love story is between a zombie boy and a human girl. It’s a very clever concept, and it’s executed in a humorous and often tense way.

Gravity: Movie of the year? Maybe. The direction is second to none. And the acting, especially given the constraints used for filming, is superb. This movie came the closest of any on this list to getting 5 stars, but I had several minor gripes that will get in the way of that rating (i.e., one too many things go wrong, and I have no desire to watch this movie again, especially on a tiny TV instead of the big screen). However, it’s truly a work of art and deserves an Academy Award.

What were some of your favorite movies of 2013? I do wish I had been able to see The Wolf of Wall Street and Her before the end of the year, but they’ll have to wait for 2014.

2 thoughts on “My Favorite Movies of 2013”

  1. To me, 2013 was a roller coaster. There were a few hits and misses but into the current season, I still have a long list of movies that I enjoyed.
    Warm Bodies was hysterical and one of a handful that I saw more than once.
    I’m going to focus those that I didn’t see on your list. Maybe I am hoping you will see some.
    1)I loved 12 Years a Slave. It is gritty. I did close my eyes once but I loved it.

    2) Surprisingly, I liked, “This is the End.” Not stellar, mind you, but I did laugh a bit.

    3) Also saw, “The Heat” twice. I love the city of Boston and laughed heartily.

    4) I agree on American Hustle for the most part. I love David O. Russell now; thus, chances are I will see anything he directs. As you probably know, he also directed Silver Linings Playbook.

    5) Don Jon is also notable.

    6) Dallas Buyers Club.

    7) August: Osage County. Great cast and great setting.

    8) Captain Phillips.

    9) The Croods.

    And many, more.

    I have to point out that this was an incredible year for tv also. I am addicted to the Blacklist.


  2. I loathed “Now You See Me.” So much so that I’ve blocked out why it was so bad. I just remember it ending and being really disappointed. It was just really weird and unbelievable and made me irrationally angry for some reason!

    I really enjoyed “Gravity” and “Captain Phillips.” Both had me in tears at some point while watching them, even if I agree that a few too many things went wrong for Sandra Bullock. The scene in “Captain Phillips” where Tom Hanks is being checked out by the medic is some of the best acting I’ve seen in a long time.

    I think I would have enjoyed “American Hustle” more if I hadn’t been stuck in the front row, neck crooked up at the screen the whole time. That will teach me about arriving to the movies on time! I still thought it was great though. I couldn’t help but chuckle because for some reason, my theater was full of older retirees, and these little biddies behind me kept gasping and whispering “Oh my gosh!” every time Amy Adams came on screen in one of her jaw-dropping costumes. I’m sure they left talking about how they never wore such scandalous outfits in the 70’s!

    “Pitch Perfect” is a new classic for me; I’ve seen it way too many times, and I’m still not sick of it! Charlotte can do the “Cups” routine, and while it gets a bit tedious to hear that all the time, the movie still makes me smile. “Warm Bodies” was excellent as well, and another one I’ve watched more than once.

    “Catching Fire” was great and I thought it went by really quickly, despite the running time. “Frozen” was a good kid’s movie with some fun songs. I recently saw “Some Velvet Morning” and it was brutal but strangely intriguing. “Safety Not Guaranteed” was another movie I’d recommend. “About Time” had its flaws, but I was a complete blubbering mess by the end of it, so I guess that says something!

    I still have a LOT of movies that I still want to see that have come out recently, including “Out of the Furnace”, “All is Lost”, “12 Years a Slave”, “The Spectacular Now” and about a bajillion others. All in time!


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