Thursday, 30 January 2014

Top 10: Best Movies of 2013

Honourable Mention: Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa

A welcome return to Steve Coogan's most iconic role. 'Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa' fittingly updates the character to the modern day whilst frequently delivering some side-splitting laughs. The best comedy of the year.

Honourable Mention: Pacific Rim

Blockbuster action on a colossal scale. Visonary director Guillermo Del Toro draws inspiration from classic anime mechs to create this breathtaking display of action and specacle.

Honourable Mention: Man of Steel

The best cinematic representation of Superman to date. Henry Cavill's Kal-el is a great portrayal of the character whilst the heroic aspects are captured excellently by Zack Snyder's direction. A very promising start to DC's cinematic universe.

10. Lone Survivor

An unrelenting and affecting war film based on a true story. Mark Wahlberg and his costars deliver fine performances that cement the reality of the engaging and visceral events of the film. Not to be missed.

9. The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman

A captivating story that deals with loss, love and existentialism without falling into pretension. Terrific performances from Shia LaBeouf and Mads Mikkelsen as well as the gorgeous cinematography blew me away, 'The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman' is not for everybody, but it was certainly for me.

8. Gravity

A gripping story and a technological marvel encapsulated in one film. 'Gravity' like 'Avatar' before it, demonstrates the reality filmakers have the ability to create when technology and vision are pushed to the limit.

7. The Broken Circle Breakdown

'The Broken Circle Breakdown' was my biggest surprise of the year, it is a phenomenaly well acted film with a heartbreaking script and fantastic characters. In a less crowded year this movie very well could have taken the top spot on my list.

6. 12 Years a Slave

An immensely powerful and emotionally devastating film that portrays the inhuman practice of slavery in 19th Century America. Director Steve McQueen's uncompromising tale is supported by a standout performance from frequent collaborator Michael Fassbender as the vicious slave owner Edwin Epps.


5. The Great Gatsby

A perfect adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's masterpiece. 'The Great Gatsby' wisely chooses to interpret the source material and produce a film in the spirit of the novel rather than attempt to match Fitzgerald's unequaled prose. Leonardo DiCaprio's stellar performance and Baz Luhrmann's unique style of direction make 'The Great Gatsby' a total success in my eyes, every bit deserving of being on this list.


4. Her

I found so much to love in 'Her' that I have trouble describing what in particular made me feel such an emotional connection with this excellently crafted film. Of course there is Spike Jonze's terrific script being brought to life by remarkable performances from both Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson, but what really made me fall in love with this film is its unique vision of the future. The sense of place set forth by Spike Jonze is so well presented that I still find myself thinking of it to this day.


3. Filth

'Filth' is one of those films where I just sat in awe as I watched it. From the same twistedly comedic mind that created 'Trainspotting', Irvine Welsh's 'Filth' is an even darker character study of a troubled individual where James McAvoy delivers an utterly compelling and career-defining performance that has somehow gone unrecognised. 'Filth' equals Danny Boyle's legendary 'Trainspotting' in delivering a darkly humourous story with oodles of style, personally I think 'Filth' actually bests Boyle's iconic classic.


2. Only God Forgives

'Only God Forgives' is a trancelike experience of visual splendour and extravagant performances. The content of the film may well be scarce for a casual viewer but if given the chance 'Only God Forgives'  can grip hold of your attention like no other film this year. The story it tells with words is merely the surface as the real plot is divulged through the film's stunning and evocative imagery.

1. The Wolf of Wall Street

Without a doubt my highlight of the year, the legendary Martin Scorsese pilots Leonardo DiCaprio's magnificent performance in bringing to life one of the best scripts in years. 'The Wolf of Wall Street' has everything I want from cinema and more. It is a supremely enjoyable and genre-defining movie.


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