Best of 2013

by temporal-vessels | created - 13 Nov 2014 | updated - 1 week ago | Public
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1. Prisoners (2013)

R | 153 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

74 Metascore

When Keller Dover's daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts.

Director: Denis Villeneuve | Stars: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Melissa Leo

Votes: 533,621 | Gross: $61.00M

A film that's ridden with sheer atmosphere. This is not just a straightforward abduction thriller, as the film has many thought-provoking qualities and symbolism. It's the kind of film where one can notice new details during each view. I've always admired films with excellent cinematography, especially ones that capture this sense of impending doom. I wish more films like this could be made. Jackman and Gyllenhaal both gave excellent, first-class performances. One of the most effective and well-made mystery thrillers I've ever seen, and the kind that stays in your mind long after the credits roll.

2. The Hunt (2012)

R | 115 min | Drama

77 Metascore

A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son's custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.

Director: Thomas Vinterberg | Stars: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Annika Wedderkopp, Lasse Fogelstrøm

Votes: 246,015 | Gross: $0.69M

Unappreciated and overlooked gem. Despite the fact that the film is in Danish, that didn't change my approach on viewing it with subtitles for its entirety because the story itself is compelling and keeps you wondering what the fate of the main character will turn out like till the very last frame.

3. Only God Forgives (2013)

R | 90 min | Crime, Drama

37 Metascore

Julian, a drug-smuggler thriving in Bangkok's criminal underworld, sees his life get even more complicated when his mother compels him to find and kill whoever is responsible for his brother's recent death.

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn | Stars: Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, Vithaya Pansringarm, Gordon Brown

Votes: 101,368 | Gross: $0.78M

Symbolic, violent, and artsy. Heavily panned because of the little to no dialogue, the brutal violence, and/or the lack of character development. The visuals, lighting, cinematography, and music by Cliff Martinez make up for this very much. It's nothing like "Drive", although Gosling does portray somewhat of a similar character. Awfully misunderstood film. Perhaps a soon to be masterpiece.

4. The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)

R | 140 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

68 Metascore

A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.

Director: Derek Cianfrance | Stars: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Craig Van Hook

Votes: 228,711 | Gross: $21.38M

Another film I wish they made more of. One of the best performances by Ryan Gosling, and the same goes for Bradley Cooper. This is the film that made me appreciate Gosling even more as an actor, and made me realize what a truly great talent he is. Takes you through a range of emotion from beginning to end, and the cinematography captures the mood of a rural pine forest region like I've never seen before. An extraordinary film that stays with you.

5. Mud (2012)

PG-13 | 130 min | Drama

76 Metascore

Two young boys encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the vigilantes that are on his trail and to reunite him with his true love.

Director: Jeff Nichols | Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Sam Shepard

Votes: 157,812 | Gross: $21.59M

A superbly acted coming-of-age drama set on the Mississippi River. Matthew McConaughey plays a very likable character and does an excellent job as always, along with Tye Sheridan, who displayed some top-notch acting. A film where every character is just as significant as the other. Not only that, but the film has several messages that deal with family, friendship, trust, betrayal, heartbreak, and how important it is to appreciate what you have in life. An immensely powerful and moving film with remarkable storytelling.

6. The Way Way Back (2013)

PG-13 | 103 min | Comedy, Drama

68 Metascore

Shy 14-year-old Duncan goes on summer vacation with his mother, her overbearing boyfriend, and her boyfriend's daughter. Having a rough time fitting in, Duncan finds an unexpected friend in Owen, manager of the Water Wizz water park.

Directors: Nat Faxon, Jim Rash | Stars: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, AnnaSophia Robb

Votes: 133,436 | Gross: $21.50M

One of the better coming-of-age films I have seen in a while, and perhaps one of the best I'll ever see. Sam Rockwell pretty much stole the entire film. Can't recall the last time a drama film left an overwhelming impression on me after the credits rolled.

7. About Time (I) (2013)

R | 123 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

55 Metascore

At the age of 21, Tim discovers he can travel in time and change what happens and has happened in his own life. His decision to make his world a better place by getting a girlfriend turns out not to be as easy as you might think.

Director: Richard Curtis | Stars: Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Lydia Wilson

Votes: 268,370 | Gross: $15.32M

8. Captain Phillips (2013)

PG-13 | 134 min | Biography, Drama, Thriller

83 Metascore

The true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the U.S.-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years.

Director: Paul Greengrass | Stars: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, Catherine Keener

Votes: 390,855 | Gross: $107.10M

Brilliant, intense, overseas thriller that further proves to show that Tom Hanks is one of the greatest actors of our time. He really deserved that Oscar. Kept me intrigued from start to finish.

9. Dead Man Down (2013)

R | 118 min | Action, Crime, Drama

39 Metascore

In New York City, a crime lord's right-hand man is helped by a woman seeking retribution.

Director: Niels Arden Oplev | Stars: Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace, Dominic Cooper, Terrence Howard

Votes: 61,496 | Gross: $10.88M

Neo-noir action film that pushes itself a bit towards the romance side. Colin Farrell was an excellent choice, and proves that he is a talented actor who can take on any role, let alone underrated.

10. Out of the Furnace (2013)

R | 116 min | Action, Crime, Drama

63 Metascore

When Rodney Baze mysteriously disappears and law enforcement doesn't follow through fast enough, his older brother, Russell, takes matters into his own hands to find justice.

Director: Scott Cooper | Stars: Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Zoe Saldana, Woody Harrelson

Votes: 99,694 | Gross: $11.33M

11. A Single Shot (2013)

R | 116 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

53 Metascore

The tragic death of a beautiful young girl starts a tense and atmospheric game of cat and mouse between hunter John Moon and the hardened backwater criminals out for his blood.

Director: David M. Rosenthal | Stars: Sam Rockwell, Jeffrey Wright, Kelly Reilly, Jason Isaacs

Votes: 9,838 | Gross: $0.01M

One word that could perfectly describe this film, albeit slightly overused in my case, is "atmosphere". Sam Rockwell does not fail to impress, especially in a more serious role.

12. Prince Avalanche (2013)

R | 94 min | Comedy, Drama

73 Metascore

Two highway road workers spend the summer of 1988 away from their city lives. The isolated landscape becomes a place of misadventure as the men find themselves at odds with each other and the women they left behind.

Director: David Gordon Green | Stars: Paul Rudd, Emile Hirsch, Lance LeGault, Joyce Payne

Votes: 17,859 | Gross: $0.20M

Paul Rudd shines as always. I'm loving this unique style of filmmaking that director David Gordon Green brings to the table. His simple tales of morality and the human condition are a breath of fresh air.

13. Oblivion (I) (2013)

PG-13 | 124 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

54 Metascore

A veteran assigned to extract Earth's remaining resources begins to question what he knows about his mission and himself.

Director: Joseph Kosinski | Stars: Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Andrea Riseborough, Olga Kurylenko

Votes: 457,791 | Gross: $89.02M

Still don't get the hate it received. A unique blend of sci-fi, action, and aesthetically pleasing visuals. Tom Cruise certainly has been making wise career choices as of late.

14. Disconnect (I) (2012)

R | 115 min | Drama, Thriller

64 Metascore

A drama centered on a group of people searching for human connections in today's wired world.

Director: Henry Alex Rubin | Stars: Jason Bateman, Jonah Bobo, Haley Ramm, Hope Davis

Votes: 70,364 | Gross: $7.44M

Three interweaving stories about technology and humanity. The kind of film that needs to be seen by everyone, especially teenagers.

15. Charlie Countryman (2013)

R | 103 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

31 Metascore

While travelling abroad, a guy falls for a Romanian beauty whose unreachable heart has its origins in her violent, charismatic ex.

Director: Fredrik Bond | Stars: Shia LaBeouf, Evan Rachel Wood, Mads Mikkelsen, Til Schweiger

Votes: 25,537 | Gross: $0.01M

Captivating, unique, and mysterious at the same time. Shia LaBeouf gives an outstanding performance and perhaps one of the best of his career. Bucharest has never looked so good in the big screen. The cinematography captures its picturesque scenery like never before.

16. Don Jon (2013)

R | 90 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

66 Metascore

A New Jersey guy dedicated to his family, friends, and church, develops unrealistic expectations from watching porn and works to find happiness and intimacy with his potential true love.

Director: Joseph Gordon-Levitt | Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza

Votes: 217,646 | Gross: $24.48M

Practically any guy can relate to this. Excellent directorial debut by Mr. Levitt.

17. World War Z (2013)

PG-13 | 116 min | Action, Adventure, Horror

63 Metascore

Former United Nations employee Gerry Lane traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, and threatening to destroy humanity itself.

Director: Marc Forster | Stars: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, James Badge Dale

Votes: 558,548 | Gross: $202.36M

A different take on the zombie genre. More action than horror. Brad Pitt did excellent and takes this role seriously. I had doubts about it until it actually turned out to be better than expected. Don't understand all the hate and negativity, I personally enjoyed every bit of it despite its few flaws in storytelling.

18. The Conjuring (2013)

R | 112 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

68 Metascore

Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse.

Director: James Wan | Stars: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Ron Livingston, Lili Taylor

Votes: 403,835 | Gross: $137.40M

A lot of haunted house films these days are just too cliché, but this one is slightly original with overall much better execution. The R rating is there only for the horror itself.

19. The Family (I) (2013)

R | 111 min | Comedy, Crime, Thriller

42 Metascore

The Manzoni family, a notorious mafia clan, is relocated to Normandy, France under the Witness Protection Program, where fitting in soon becomes challenging, as their old habits die hard.

Director: Luc Besson | Stars: Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dianna Agron, John D'Leo

Votes: 103,271 | Gross: $36.92M

20. Hours (2013)

PG-13 | 97 min | Drama, Thriller

55 Metascore

A father struggles to keep his infant daughter alive in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Director: Eric Heisserer | Stars: Paul Walker, Genesis Rodriguez, Nancy Nave, Shane Jacobsen

Votes: 26,585

An emotional piece of Paul Walker's final on-screen moments. Despite how the film was poorly-received, it is still very much worth your time for the sole effort this man put in for his character. An underappreciated performance.

21. The Purge (I) (2013)

R | 85 min | Horror, Thriller

41 Metascore

A wealthy family are held hostage for harboring the target of a murderous syndicate during the Purge, a 12-hour period in which any and all crime is legal.

Director: James DeMonaco | Stars: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Max Burkholder, Adelaide Kane

Votes: 185,944 | Gross: $64.47M

This is simply just a straightforward, generic home-invasion thriller with an original concept. You can't deny the overall creepiness factor in the atmosphere. Didn't quite deliver to most audiences. Ignore all the hate.

22. The Dirties (2013)

Not Rated | 83 min | Crime, Drama

65 Metascore

Two best friends are filming a comedy about getting revenge on the bullies at their high school. One of them isn't joking.

Director: Matt Johnson | Stars: Matt Johnson, Owen Williams, Padraig Singal, Ross Hill

Votes: 5,795

Found-footage film centered around the theme of bullying. Really hits hard and delivers a strong message. Easily one of the most original and powerful films of this particular subject matter.

23. Bullet to the Head (2012)

R | 92 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

48 Metascore

After watching their respective partners die, a New Orleans hitman and a Washington, D.C. detective form an alliance in order to bring down their common enemy.

Director: Walter Hill | Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Momoa, Christian Slater, Sung Kang

Votes: 45,104 | Gross: $9.48M

Stallone's comeback movie and a throwback to '90s action. Very violent and surprisingly entertaining. I found myself laughing a lot at Stallone's witty and sarcastic lines. The sound editors deserve much credit here. All the hits, throws, jabs, and silenced gunshots were effectively mixed. A must-see for Stallone fans.

24. Redemption (I) (2013)

R | 100 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

43 Metascore

Homeless and on the run from a military court martial, a damaged ex-special forces soldier navigating London's criminal underworld seizes an opportunity to assume another man's identity -- transforming into an avenging angel in the process.

Director: Steven Knight | Stars: Jason Statham, Agata Buzek, Vicky McClure, Benedict Wong

Votes: 61,877 | Gross: $0.03M

A more dramatic role for Jason Statham. Not knowing anything about the film, I sat through it thinking it was going to be a typical Jason Statham action flick where he plays the same character, until then I realized it was more than an action film. That being said, it's nice to see Statham play in a character-driven drama. This is probably the best performance I've seen by him since "Snatch", considering he's always the typed-cast action hero. Proofs he does have a talent for acting.

25. How I Live Now (2013)

R | 101 min | Romance, Sci-Fi, Thriller

57 Metascore

An American girl, sent to the English countryside to stay with relatives, finds love and purpose while fighting for her survival as war envelops the world around her.

Director: Kevin Macdonald | Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Tom Holland, George MacKay, Harley Bird

Votes: 26,364 | Gross: $0.06M

26. The Spectacular Now (2013)

R | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

82 Metascore

A hard-partying high school senior's philosophy on life changes when he meets the not-so-typical "nice girl."

Director: James Ponsoldt | Stars: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Jason Leigh

Votes: 135,192 | Gross: $6.85M

27. The Selfish Giant (2013)

Not Rated | 91 min | Drama

83 Metascore

Two thirteen year-old working-class friends in Bradford seek fortune by getting involved with a local scrap dealer and criminal.

Director: Clio Barnard | Stars: Conner Chapman, Shaun Thomas, Sean Gilder, Lorraine Ashbourne

Votes: 10,747 | Gross: $0.01M

28. Pawn Shop Chronicles (2013)

R | 112 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

26 Metascore

An anthology of stories involving meth addicted white supremacists, a man looking for his kidnapped wife and an Elvis impersonator.

Director: Wayne Kramer | Stars: Paul Walker, Norman Reedus, Elijah Wood, Brendan Fraser

Votes: 10,037 | Gross: $0.00M

29. Side Effects (I) (2013)

R | 106 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

75 Metascore

A young woman's world unravels when a drug prescribed by her psychiatrist has unexpected side effects.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones

Votes: 169,849 | Gross: $32.17M

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