The Top 10 Films of 2013!

The Top 10 Films of 2013!

It’s that time again to take stock of the films that have graced our local screens over the past year.

This years list is a varied affair. I cannot remember a year in recent memory when so many different kinds of films made my top 10 list. Typically lists of this nature are filled with long dramas and period pieces, but this year we have sci-fi, horror, documentaries, action and comedy. This is a good thing, variety, after all, is the spice of life. I am very pleased that films of these genres are finally hitting them out of the park and getting the attention they so greatly deserve. So without further ado, here are my 10 favorite films of 2013 followed by a short list of notable mentions that almost made the list.

10. The Great Gatsby

Baz Luhrman’s last acid-trip/love story grand opus has an “everything and the kitchen sink” type approach, but works in not only inspiring awe with it’s beauty, but making you truly care about it’s characters and story ark.

9. The Act of Killing

One of the most powerful documentaries I have ever seen, this disturbing story of mass murderers in Indonesia in the early 90’s is something everyone should see. Both a piece of tragic history and a deep look into the psychology of killers, it is truly a masterpiece.

8. 47 Ronin

A film I saw only a week ago, this sweeping Japanese epic surprised me with its astonishing and colorful cinematography and it’s enthralling and moving story.

7. Hotel Noir

This is the latest film by Sebastian Gutierrez, a filmmaker I fell in love with several years ago after seeing his first few films, Women in Trouble, Elekrta Luxx, and Girl Walks Into a Bar. This one is a period piece, shot in black and white and stars his usual ensemble cast of Carla Gugino, Malin Akerman, Rufus Sewell, Danny DeVito and Robert Forster among many others. An absolute must see, he is quickly becoming the 21st centuries Woody Allen.

6. The Lifeguard

Kristen Bell knocks it out of the park in this independent film about a 30 year old moving home after not making it in the big city and taking a job as a lifeguard at a condominium complex pool. Basically a study of what one truly wants out of life, Bell is mesmerizing in this surprisingly amazing little film.

5. American Hustle

The plot being almost insignificant in this film, it holds such a high place on the list because of stellar performances by Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Each kills it in this con-artist drama/comedy set in the 70’s. It almost seems like director David O. Russell just put the actors in a room and said, “show me what you got”.  Well, they all certainly did!

4. Parkland

The story of the behind the scenes action on the day of President Kennedy’s assassination set mostly around Parkland Hospital where he was brought after being shot, this is a moving, and at times harrowing tale, of regular people dealing with an unbelievable tragedy. Filled with powerful performances by the likes of Paul Giamatti, Marcia Gay Harden, Billy Bob Thorton and Jackie Weaver, this is definitely this years little picture that could.

3. You’re Next

This little low budget horror film from earlier in the year got a lot of good reviews and even won some awards at film festivals. It looked interesting but I didn’t see it until very recently, and boy were they right. I was sitting up straight at attention and completely enthralled for 90 minutes watching this very scary and at the same time very funny little film. Putting a very unique twist on the home invasion thriller this is definitely one you should seek out as soon as possible. But be warned, this is not a film for the faint of heart!

2. 12 Years a Slave

The true story of Solomon Northup, a free black family man from Washington D.C., who is kidnapped and spends 12 years as a slave in Georgia, this film is brilliantly acted, brilliantly directed, and brilliantly shot and will most likely be this years Best Picture winner at the Academy Awards. Moving, historically poignant, and horrifically sad for the most part, this is that rare critical darling that is well deserving of all it’s praise.

1. Pacific Rim

By far my favorite film of not only 2013 but of the last several years, this film delivered on all it promised and much more. A beautiful homage to old monster movies like Godzilla and old robot fighting films from Asia, this film has not just some of the best action scenes I have ever seen, but a great plot, fine acting performances and characters you actually care about. Directed by Guillermo del Toro, everything from the music to the costumes is top notch. Every giant robot and every monster was designed with care and incredible skill and every bit of effort the filmmakers put into their work is right up there on the screen. I have not been that completely entertained in a theater in many, many years.

Notable mentions: Pain & Gain, Fast & Furious 6, Blackfish, Only God Forgives, Enough Said, About Time, The Butler, Fruitvale Station & The Wolf of Wall Street.

Here’s hoping 2014 is another year of great movies!

What were your favorite films of 2013?


Max Tieman

About The Author

Maximilian Tieman is a lifelong Torrington resident and has been a film buff since his mother brought him to the movies as a child. He is a graphic designer and print specialist and manages the Franklin Print Shoppe in downtown Torrington.

Special thanks to Torrington's Digiplex Destinations.