The Best Films of 2013

It may be January 16th today, but I am still reading the January issue of Empire, and therefore it doesn’t really feel like I’m up to date with films, so in my head, I’m right on time with a round up of 2013 blog!

Amy wrote one of these a few weeks ago – you can read that here – and surprisingly (or not…) only four of the films appear on both of our lists.

I struggled to cut it down, so mine isn’t a top ten list, but a top eleven list. When I looked back at the films released in the UK in 2013, I was really amazed by how many good films there had been, and realised how diverse my taste in movies really is. So, here’s my best films of 2013 list…

1. About Time

By far the best film of the year! Saw it twice at the cinema, it was super cute, made me cry a little bit, made me laugh, made me really like Richard Curtis even more than I already do, and it made me download the soundtrack. Rachel McAdams is pretty much awesome in every film she’s in, and Domhnall Gleeson was the perfect actor for the role. There was a moment where I thought the film was going to go really downhill (the bit where he’s at the theatre for those who have seen it), but thankfully it stayed on course, and was generally a great chick flick!

2. World War Z

An epic zombie film. What other way can I begin to explain?! I think what I like best about World War Z is the sheer scale and timing of the zombie apocalypse. I like that you see the zombies turn, and how quick it is, and I like that you see quite a lot of the people before they get zombied, and then as zombies. It’s a nice little addition. It’s a very tense movie at times, in fact a lot of the time. But I think that’s a key ingredient for a good zombie film! Brad Pitt was pretty good in it, and Daniella Kertesz did a very convicing job of being an amputee.

3. Now You See Me

This was definitely a favourite film of the year, and if you haven’t seen it, I urge you to!! I saw it once, and was totally blown away, and had to see it a second time, so went again within a week. The second time I saw it, it was like a different film. I don’t want to give too much away, so it’s hard to say much. The basic synopsis is that four magicians get together to steal from the rich and give to the poor. But it is so much more! All the cast are incredible, and you get thrown around from pillar to post trying to second guess the plot, but it doesn’t work. The long and the short of what I am saying is… there’s a twist. Watch it, deal with it.

4. Captain Phillips

I did not realise that this film was based on a true story. Going into the film, I was under the impression that it was based on some reality, but wasn’t actually a real life reconstruction. And oh… my… goodness… Such an incredible story, and no actor could do it justice more than Tom Hanks. The impressive part is that I felt a pang of empathy for the pirates, despite their story being hard to swallow, when you see things from their side, it is possible to see why they’re doing what they’re doing. It’s a difficult film to watch because of it’s realism, but it is incredibly well made, and worth a watch.

5. The Great Gatsby

Regardless of content and story this film would probably have made my list. It was a pretty film, and that makes it worth watching alone. The style, the costumes, the music; everything about it is so retro but with a modern twist, it oozes beauty. Once you saw beyond the surface level attraction, the film continued to impress. The story is a classic, so can’t really be faulted anyway, but it’s not a tired story, it was definitely worth making, and really worth watching. Watching it also made me want to read the book. Which I haven’t done yet, but I have downloaded it…

6. The Lone Ranger

A film that literally everyone was trashing, but I enjoyed immensely, maybe that’s why? So this may be a case of having had really low expectations, and it seeming greater than it was, but I don’t think that is the case. It was a fun film. You know it’s going to be with Johnny Depp in it, he doesn’t seem to do serious any more these days. I loved it, I know it’s not an original idea, but I don’t think I have ever watched a cowboy or western film before, so it seemed like a new concept to me, and I really enjoyed the gun-toting, wise-cracking storyline and dialogue.

7. Man Of Steel

Despite falling asleep two out of the three times I have seen this film, I highly recommend it. The first time I saw it, there was a combination of a fancy cinema with really comfy seats, a long day and not enough sleep the night before, the third time I saw it, we didn’t start watching it til around 11pm and I was in a really comfy seat. However, the second time I saw it, I stayed awake for the whole thing, was very excited to peace all the bits together that I had seen the first time, and I was not disappointed. I love the fancy suit, and I thought Henry Cavill was a pretty convincing Superman. The supporting cast was made up of quality actors too. If you like superheroes the way I do (which covers any origin, indiscriminate of creators, powers, how they came about their powers, how they use or reacted to them), then you’ll like it.

8. Oz the Great and Powerful

This film came and bit me on the backside. I thought, yeah, sure, that sounds like it’d be fun, so went and saw it, and actually, it was brilliant. A nice concept, looking at an old classic, but shifting the focus and looking at it from another perspective. It was good. And Mila Kunis was very good, as was James Franco.

9. Alpha Papa

I had never watched Alan Partridge before, but this was on at a really nice cinema, and I wanted to take my friend there, and the advert looked pretty funny, so we went along, and I pretty much laughed 70% of the time the film was on. It was funny. It was filled with inappropriate jokes, that nobody wants to make, but Alan Partidge has no awareness of political correctness, so he crosses that line, every time. Excellent film, made me go out and buy a boxset, which I have enjoyed. However, watching it a second time, it wasn’t as good. Still funny, but it was really funny the first time.

10. Frozen

This was an incredible film! As if Disney couldn’t pull it out of the bag…. I actually had no idea what the film was about before I went to see it. The only advert I saw for it was the reindeer and the snowman fighting over a carrot, so I thought the film was going to be about the snowman. How wrong was I? It was a typical Disney film! Yay! Everybody loves a Disney film, and this was filled with all the goodness that a Disney film should be. Good show, Disney, good show!

11. Elysium

Another surprise film for me. Wasn’t expecting much. Like Matt Damon, but he has been in a couple of questionable roles. This film however, was not that. It was cool. A look at how the future might be, with the rich being stupidly rich and the poor being crazy poor, and how people deal with that. I liked it, and it was quite a nice ending, that I didn’t really expect. Maybe I need to stop second guessing films. I still like Matt Damon. He lost no respect from me on this film.

That concludes the very long film round-up of 2013, but I highly recommend watching all the films I have written about here. And I have just realised that I forgot one of the best films of the year… oops! So why not add number twelve to the list…

12. The World’s End

Get’s better every time you watch it, as with all Wright/Pegg/Frost movies. So many little asides, and extra details in scenes that you do not notice until you watch them many times, but they make the films so much fun to watch, every time! You can read so many blogs and accounts online of all the different things to look out for in the film, and there are so many that you would have to watch it consistently for a few weeks to notice them all (which, coincidentally, I think I did for Hot Fuzz, but that was out whilst I was on study leave at some point in school, so it’s not a big deal really…). What I am getting at here, basically, is it’s a great film. It’s not as good as Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead in my opinion. I think this is because of the role reversal. I think Simon Pegg is much better at playing the straight up, more sensible of the two, and with Nick Frost playing that role in this film, it was a bit weird. But weird isn’t always bad. It was nice to see them take on the different roles, and I think they did do very well. I think it was nice that the third instalment of the Cornetto Trilogy was completely different from the other two, but still along the same lines. My advice with this film would be this: don’t go into it thinking it’s going to be as great as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Think about how many times you’ve seen and appreciated those films (and Spaced for that matter), and give it a go, then you’ll see the quirks, appreciate the small quips, and you’ll inevitably love it.

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