Stuart’s Best 10 of 2013

So my list of worst films of 2013 have been revealed and i could of easily made that list the worst 30/40, when it comes to the best films of the year that’s where i struggled a little as it took to nearly the end of the year for me to even had a good 15, in the end though a few films managed to shine through as the best of the best as well as a few honorable mentions.

So take a look at the 10 films that i thought were the best of 2013.

10. Sunshine on Leith 

Who would of thought that 2013 would produce not one but two fantastic musicals and in my opinion Sunshine on Leith stole the show.  Dexter Fletcher showed that he was a brilliant director when he brought us the fantastic Wild Bill, with his second film though he showed that he was a dab hand at musicals.  The main thing that shone with this film is not that the songs were based on The Proclaimers but that he managed to take those songs and not only make them feel fresh but also found the relevant spots to place them instead of making a bit of a mess of a movie.  It wasn’t just the placement of the songs that were expertly crafted the acting was top notch and the story was very engaging if a little simple.

9. The Impossible

Juan Antonio Bayona is one of my favorite directors, a director who is able to take something really simple and make it one of the most engaging things you will ever see and when he comes to The Impossible he showed that he has not lost his touch.  Taking a extremely horrendous event like the 2004 tsunami and turning it into a film was always going to be a hard thing however Bayona showed enough heart that you found yourself gripped throughout.  Everything about this movie is handled with such care that you really feel for the family involved (even though they were changed for the film).  One thing of note though is that you need to make sure you have a few hankies at hand as you will shed a tear or 10.

8. Pacific Rim 

What has been missing from the glut of the Summer blockbusters is a film that was just plain fun and that’s what Pacific Rim was, i missed those times where you go to the cinema just to watch a film where the story was very simple and the action was just good fun.  Pacific Rim though wasn’t just about how crazy it was it was also a visual treat as only Guillermo Del Toro could take huge robots battling against giant monsters and not make it a perverts paradise, Michael Bay could take a leaf from his book.

7. Byzantium

Out of all the films released this year, Byzantium was the movie that was the most overlooked and that was a shame as Neil Jordon showed how to make a really engaging interesting horror film.  The star of the show is the acting from both Gemma Arterton and Soarise Ronin, both of them play two really interesting characters that you want to follow and find out there story, live through there turmoil and even follow how a secret like there’s can really effect how you live your life.  Oh and don’t call them vampires as they are not.

6. Mud

Any kind of film that reminds me of my favorite movie of all time is a hit with me and that’s what Mud did with me.  I always thought that Matthew McConaughey was not that much of a actor and over the last 18 months he has proven me wrong especially with his role in Mud.  It’s not just down to him though the two roles played by Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland are superb, they both play there roles with such ease it makes you think that they have been acting longer than there age.  Mud is definitely a film that needs to be seen.

5. Captain Phillips 

Engaging, tense, brilliant acting, outstanding direction, these are just a few things to describe what Captain Phillips is like.  Paul Greengrass has a knack of taking what might be a very straight forward hijacking movie and adding something to it that makes it very special, he has a way of shooting scenes that elevate them higher than any other director is capable of doing.  The acting from Tom Hanks is top notch as usual however the star of the show has to be Barkhab Abdi, a actor who has never been in a film in his life yet he seems to have been doing this all of his life.  Brilliant from beginning to end.

4. Rush

I’m not a fan of Formula 1 at all, i find it a really boring sport so trying to take a sport and making it into a interesting drama was always going to be a hard thing however Ron Howard managed to pull this off with Rush.  Telling the story about the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda might of been interesting to fans but to someone like me i hadn’t a clue about them both however even i was gripped, this is down to not only the direction but also how both Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl play both characters, the film is gripping but also interesting.  On other thing about the movie is that the sound mixing is top notch, being able to not only hear the score but the roaring sounds of the cars was always going to be a hard thing to pull off yet the sound department manage to do it.

3. Saving Mr Banks

I’m going to keep this short and sweet, this movie has to be seen for Emma Thompson alone, she has never acted better in her life than she has in Saving Mr Banks.  It’s not just her though that shines, Tom Hanks is brilliant, the story flows with such grace and is so engaging that even though you know how it turns out you are still gripped throughout.  Oh and you’ll need a few hankies as it nearly sent me to tears.

2. From Up on Poppy Hill

Studio Ghibli at there best, i think that say’s enough doesn’t it, oh and it’s flipping brilliant.

1. Gravity

If a movie can change your mind about something just a little then it has done it’s job to the fullest and that’s what Gravity did with me.  You may know that i’m not a fan of 3D at all yet this movie has to be seen on the biggest screen possible and in 3D as it is one of those rare things, a film that is a technical marvel.  From the second the movie starts to the end credits you are gripped throughout and i had never felt like that with any movie i watched this year.  Just down right amazing.

Honorable Mentions  

Les Miserables – A true musical is a hard thing to sit through as you wait for just a few lines to be spoken not sung, Les Miserables however is that rare thing, a musical that you don’t care if they speak a single line as the songs and acting flow like a magical stream.  The director dreamed and dream that they film would turn out good and he got his wish as it turned out better than that.

What Richard Did – Another film that was grossly ignored by a lot of people, What Richard Did is a very simple story about someone coming to terms with actions they have done that not only changes his life but also effects the ones around him, however the story is told with such simplicity that it enables you to latch on to the characters rather than just letting them skip by.

Despicable Me 2 – It’s really difficult to get a laugh out of me from a comedy, you have more chance getting blood from a stone, Despicable Me 2 though manage to do something that very few comedy films have and that’s make me laugh like a little school girl throughout and that’s down to the brilliant minions, they have to be some of the best created animated characters EVER, the minions are just pure genius and the film has to be watched just for them.

Lions Raw – One of the only documentaries to make any impact on me this year and it was a documentary about Rugby.  The film focuses on the triumphant British Lions tour of Australia, even though you know the outcome you are still gripped throughout  and it’s really rare to see behind the scenes of any big tournament like this one.  Even if you are not a rugby fan you really need to see Lions Raw.

Posted on December 29, 2013, in Features and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Good list. I don’t agree with every selection, but I whole-heartedly agree with others.

    And, really, that’s what lists like this are all about, right?

  2. exactly, it’s probably my most mainstream list i have ever done though seeing as i normally go for mostly small films

  3. Lots of “small” films I haven’t seen good list though and liked the choice of Saving Mr Banks, Gravity and Captain Phillips! Have to catch rush at some point too, good post Stuart 🙂

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