2013 Top 30

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There have been fairly mixed opinions towards film in 2013, some have said it was a great year others will take more convincing. I saw around 50 films of 2013 and I did enjoy the majority of them so I wanted to take you through my Top 30 films of the year.  30 may seem like a big number but there were a lot of films I enjoyed and although they may not all be as good as my top 5 I simply wanted to highlight most of the ones I enjoyed!

I find it hard to rank films against each other and creating this list was difficult, so it has been compiled through a number of factors.  These included how much I enjoyed the film, if it made my feel anything, how I felt after watching it and if im dying to watch it again! So this list may look quite different to others being published at the minute and of course I didn’t see every film this year so if you think there are some obvious titles missing it is probably down to the fact I simply didn’t get to the cinema to see it.  Also it has to be taken into account I have seen some of these films more than the others so bear that in mind too, aaaaand breathe! (Apologies for the longest introduction into an end of year film list ever.)

30) You’re Next – a decent horror flick that entertained!

29) Thor The Dark World – Although it didn’t match the original it was still a really enjoyable sequel with loads of positives.

28) A Good Day To Die Hard

ImageSo I feel that this entry shall require some explanation, I know that the majority of readers will probably have to stop here and lift their jaw off the floor.  Yes I liked Die Hard 5, sorry but I’m not sorry. I love this franchise, and although I was able to realise that this installment wasn’t the best of the series I still thoroughly enjoyed it, I suppose I may have been blinded by my loyalty to the series but was it really that bad? Wait don’t answer that, I know what you will tell me.  I would be lying to myself if I simply joined the crowd on this one, and I know I’m going to be judged but haters gonna hate!

27) The Internship – Despite the reviews I genuinely thought this comedy had several good gags and it had me laughing.

26) Turbo – Ryan Reynolds delivered here despite ripping off Cars and Ratatouille all at once!

25) The Purge – Interesting take on the home invasion genre, more could have been done – but was a good horror flick.

24) Gangster Squad – Fantastic cast performed well and portrayed an interesting story making for a great film.

23) Gravity Image

Potentially another shock on this list to some readers.  I have seen a lot of lists already and Gravity generally features in the top 5.  Now don’t get me wrong I did enjoy this film and I understand what a masterpiece it was – however for me all the hype completely killed it! I was so underwhelmed when I saw it and although that isn’t a fault of the film itself it still affected my viewing experience.  Gravity is great but for me there were many films that were more enjoyable and made me feel something more! Sorry to the Gravity groupies (i.e everyone).

22) Despicable Me 2 – Actually funnier than most of the comedies of 2013, and a brilliant sequel to the original. Steve Carell you are a hero!

21) Escape Plan – Arnie, Stallone – what’s not to like?

20) Runner Runner – Okay I know this film was kind of missing it’s whole finale but what it did have was great and had mighty potential

19) Iron Man 3 – Tony Stark back again, not the best outing for him but it was always going to be a good watch!

18) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire –Fitting sequel to the  first installment which stuck close to the book, great watch!

17) Parkland – I was one of the few film fans to enjoy this historical film, showcasing the more personal implications of this tragedy. 

16) Frozen – A magnificent effort from Disney, original storyline paired with a great soundtrack made for some pleasing viewing.

15) Oblivion Cruise in a somewhat unoriginal Sci-Fi epic, although it was visually stunning and provided an involved plot.

14) Pacific Rim

pacific-rim Probably one of the films that divided viewers most in 2013, Pacific Rim saw GDT unleash his  Robots vs Monsters epic! Some dismissed it as childish and silly others enjoyed the fantastic designs and effects on show here.  I fall into the later category, I thought it really was great.  One of the best summer blockbusters and equally as entertaining with a second watch.  It was transformers meets Godzilla, what was there not to love!?

13) Philomena – The surprise hit of 2013 for me, Philomena was emotional, funny and endearing.  Great show. Dench and Coogan were fantastic

12) Star Trek: Into Darkness – Another great summer blockbuster, the crew of the enterprise reprise their roles resulting in a great Sci-Fi sequel

11) The Secret Life of Walter MittyBen Stiller provokes a desire for adventure in this understated film which was thoroughly enjoyable

10) Elysium elysium

Elysium saw the second outing for film director Neill Bloomkamp after his great debut with District 9.  This sci-fi adventure was brilliant, I really thought it was well done.  It  had interesting themes running throughout and provoked some morality questions amongst the viewers which is always enjoyable! I am not always Damon’s biggest fan but he won me over with his performance here and the villains present in Elysium added something great and it was fantastic watching the struggle between them play out!

9) Man of Steel

man-of-steel-stills-35_0_0_0_0_0I loved this film.  I had never seen any Superman films before so my knowledge of this character was very limited however this was no issue at all.  I loved that this was an origin story, it was the perfect introduction for me.  My favourite scenes were when Clark was growing up with his earth family, they were some really powerful scenes that teased out emotions that I wasn’t expecting to feel.  The action was great, despite what many film goers think about the mass destruction that is featured I thought it was realistic and is that not what you want to see anyway! Great cast and performed well, it is safe to say that I am pumped for the next installment. Oh and probably the best score of the year from Hans Zimmer!

8) Wreck-It Ralphwreck-it-ralph-poster-16601-1280x800

Wreck-It Ralph is hands down my favourite animation of 2013, for several reasons.  The numerous nods to past and present popular culture were enjoyable and well placed throughout the film.  The storyline was actually surprising sophisticated and well developed, I was certainly not expecting this from a film like this, taught me not to underestimate animations.  Also a genuinely funny film that I am confident the whole family could enjoy.

7) Prisoners

prisoners-poster06This was a powerful film, I was not expecting this film to provoke such feelings within me! I highly praise this film for being able to make me so involved in what I was watching, at times I would struggle to call this entertainment however I have to say that it was fantastically acted and produced as there was no point that I felt that I was watching a fictional film.  It felt more like a documentary or at least a true story.  It was so interesting to see how each character dealt with the situation and on many occasions it was left to the viewer to decide who was in the right or wrong.  I left the cinema feeling drained and actually unable to give Prisoners a rating out of 10 but since then I have wanted to re-watch it and I certainly haven’t forgotten this picture, meaning it had to feature in my top 10.

6) Captain PhillipsTom Hanks

Everything Tom Hanks touches seem to turn to gold, and that certainly was the case for Captain Phillips, a wonderfully crafted film based on a true story.  Despite the films long running time I was hooked from the word go and desperate to see what the fate of Phillips and his crew would be.  The film was great but it was the final scene that made it for me, if it doesn’t win Hanks some kind of award I would be seriously surprised.  This is up with the Hanks classics for me and one of 2013’s best efforts in cinema.

5) The Impossible

the-impossible1 Along with Prisoners this was the film that had me the most involved.  I was genuinely on the verge of tears for the majority of this film.  The fact that it is a true story puts so much weight behind the film.  The performances were all so realistic and believable and The Impossible much like Gravity made you feel like you were really in the situation! This is by far the best disaster movie that I have ever seen and I think it has been massively underrated.

4) Olympus Has FallenOlympus-Has-Fallen-poster

This is how you do a White House film.  Olympus Has Fallen was flipping unreal! It was Die Hard in the white house, that was the best description of this film I heard.  It is the first action film in a long time that had me on the edge of my seat, the atmosphere of tension throughout was well done and Gerard Butlers character was quality! I am dubious about the sequel planned, ‘London Has Fallen’ however this installment was the best action film I have seen in a long time!

3) Fast & Furious 6

FF6_wallpaper_paul_1024x768Fast & Furious is one of the best film series out, and fans knew to expect big things from number 6 and boy we were not disappointed.  I was so buzzin’ after coming out of the cinema, I properly loved this film.  It had everything and somehow managed to equal and maybe even top the previous installment.  It was great to see The Rock back again and the cast was perfect, any unnecessary characters were let go and the ones we wanted to see got the appropriate screen time.  Fast & Furious 6 gave us what we love about these films but also simultaneously continued to develop the storyline creating a well thought out plot.  After the very sad news of Paul Walker’s passing this just makes this film even more special for me as he plays such an intrinsic role in the fast family, he will be missed but his contribution to this franchise will always be appreciated and remembered.

2) The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug the-hobbit-smaug-01

The second outing for Bilbo after an Unexpected Journey, and the first experience I had ever had of Middle Earth.  I was dubious before watching this but I am so glad that I went to see this movie.  I enjoyed it more than I ever thought I would and it opened up this whole franchise for me.  Since seeing it I have worked through all the LOTR and the first Hobbit movie.  I think it could be the best of them all though, the characters, action sequences and humour throughout should keep anyone entertained!

1) The Way Way Back

THE WAY, WAY BACKAnother surprise for me personally.  I never thought a ‘coming of age’ style film would top any list of mine.  I am not usually a fan of this kind of film, I am more a trashy action movie kind of guy however The Way Way Back was simply perfect.  It was so charming and was identifiable in so many different aspects.  A change of role for Steve Carrell was one of it’s strongest aspects as it showcased Carell as a developed actor not just a comedic one.  As for Sam Rockwell he stole the show, and has created one of my favourite movie characters of all time in this film! I challenge anyone to see this film without enjoying it and I am confident in this because I almost dismissed it myself, something I am so glad that I didn’t do.  The Way Way Back is firmly at the top of my list for 2013 and 2014 is going to have produce some really special films if it wants to match it!

So that is 2013 wrapped up, as I said there were numerous titles that I wanted to see but I simply didn’t manage to get to the cinema for but what did you think of my list, let me know in the comments or on twitter.  Hope you enjoyed reading, I certainly enjoyed watching all of these films!

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12 thoughts on “2013 Top 30

    • Runner Runner – yes! I loved this film, I will admit that it did lack in terms of its finale but I enjoyed the performances and the story here – it had potential and it could have been great, that is why it is no higher than 20, I stand by that. I have the Impossible down as a 2013 release for the UK (1st January) Yeah you definitely should check that out, fantastic movie!

      • I just watched the first half of “The Way Way Back” but turned it off b/c it’s so predictable and looks like it follows a beat-sheet to the tee. It’s boring. Everything I thought was going to happen before the movie even started is happening. So cliche. I don’t get what the hype is about.

      • Well I know very little about this genre as a whole so maybe it is predictable, although I think you should give it a watch the whole way through! However maybe it just isn’t for you but personally I found the whole thing very endearing, funny and thought provoking!

      • I’ve seen this premise done in the 80’s multiple times by John Hughes, and with better execution. Films like The Way, Way Back look like they’re imitating films from decades earlier.

        I would gladly watch The Way, Way Back if I didn’t already know nearly everything that was about to transpire. In the end Duncan will stand up to his mothers boyfriend and have some kind of romantic interest with that blonde chick; she will probably be his first kiss. He will sad fully part ways from Sam Rockwell at the end and as he thanks Owen for helping him learn to stand up for himself, Owen will tell Duncan something along the lines that he should be thanking him b/c he learned so much from him, etc. – or something similar.

        I don’t watch movies that I already know how they end before I watch them. That’s why I don’t watch many action films b/c I already know the good guy saves the day; like “Die Hard” for example. I just watched part 1 for the first time earlier this year. I thought it was good, but nothing spectacular. I prefer 80’s Schwarzenegger action like “Predator”. Yes, I know Arnie wins in the end in “Predator” but I didn’t know exactly HOW he would defeat the Predator, and that makes it interesting.

      • That is a fair enough explanation however does that not limit film for you? Okay so you may have an idea of how the plot will unfold and what the ending may look like but do the details of how the characters get their not interest you? These small parts of the films are what intrigue me and I think it would be incredibly difficult to predict all of these. Although if you prefer to watch films that you have no idea how they will go I am sure that is fun too, although if I was to go by that logic I think I would miss out on some great films. Thanks for sharing your opinion though as the difference in opinion is what makes talking about movies so interesting!

      • That’s the thing, though. I don’t care how the characters reach their destination in The Way Way Back simply b/c the film is not interesting. As I said, I’ve seen films like this done before and done better. I study screenwriting, so I know how the formula goes, and can generally identify a film that follows the typical formula. There are ways to follow the formula, yet dress it up differently so you don’t feel like you’re watching the same movie over and over. Those are the films I like to watch. But The Way Way Back follows the typical formula, which tells me what’s about to happen, therefore I lose all interest in films like this.

        No, I don’t worry about missing out on films b/c if I overlook a good movie I will hear enough about it over time to make me give it a chance eventually. I will give a movie 10 minutes, and if I don’t like it, then I’m going to turn it off and find something else. I don’t care what anyone says – 10 minutes is plenty of time to grab the audience’s attention.

        Have you seen any John Hughes films from the 80’s?

      • Personally I don’t really feel that 10 minutes would be enough for me, sometimes I need to watch the film a few times before deciding! I am not sure, is he a director or and actor?

      • John Hughes is a director/writer/producer who basically invented the teen coming-of-age genre in the 80’s.

        He wrote and directed “Sixteen Candles”, “The Breakfast Club”, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Weird Science” among others…

        He also wrote a slew of other hits like “Pretty in Pink”, “Some Kind of Wonderful”, “Vacation”, “Home Alone” and “Uncle Buck” among many others.

        If you like The Way, Way Back I recommend “Some Kind of Wonderful” and “Sixteen Candles” which were better coming-of-age tales.

      • I have seen Ferris Bueller’s Day off, one of my favourite films ever! Thank you for the recommendations I may check them out sometime!

  1. I loved “The Way Way Back.” It surprised me, too. Yeah, the storyline is familiar but there are enough fresh material on there to make it stand out. Sam Rockwell playing both a father and a brother figure is just wonderful. Too bad his role here hasn’t gotten the recognition it deserves.

    • Yeah, it was unreal wasn’t it!? He is great in every role I see him in, this was the film that properly introduced him to me so I was glad I got to see it!

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