HERE. I really almost didn't put this on here, and then I rewatched it last night (I must stress that THIS time, as opposed to the first, I watched it with language and other things edited out..) and was just blown away. I loved the first two entries so much that I think the first time I saw it, I wasn't sure if it lived up to them. The tone and feel of it is so unlike the others, that it almost didn't feel like a member of the same family (and if it was, it was a little more of an older, more depressed distant relative.) But watching it again, even though it wasn't where I expected the story to go, after all, these years of waiting for a sequel to this story of star-crossed lovers, I must appreciate the beauty of the realism here (THAT HIMYM writers is realism in case you were wondering btw.) As always, the conversations had in these films are absolutely fascinating and I just love all the concepts being discussed....even when it leads into a huge fight. Whenever I watch these I almost want to just jump into the conversation with them and honestly, what more can you ask for in a movie?
HERE. Look. I had to put one blockbuster on here, and this one was absolutely my favorite of not only the summer, but the year as well. JJ, you have my heart. I fully trust that Star Wars is in your capable hands. Just don't go crazy with the lens flares. I jest. But back to Trek. This movie just was a ride. It breezed by and I enjoyed every second (well...maybe I could have done without the gratuitous/unnecessary shot of Alice Eve...) The characters are coming into their own and their chemistry with one another is delightful.
HERE. If we can take one thing away from 2013 it's that it was a dang fine year for the "teenage boy summer coming of age" film. I loved both Mud and Kings of Summer equally in their execution, so I chose to have them appear side by side on this list. Mud had more going on than just that, namely Matthew McConaughey's solid performance about an escaped convict who befriends two teenage boys. The humor in both films was impeccable, but I might say that the friendship between the boys in The Kings of Summer resonated with me by the slightest bit more.
6. SAVING MR. BANKS - Original review HERE. It takes a really good movie to trick me into watching Mary Poppins again. Haha just kidding. But I really enjoyed this movie for a myriad of reasons, starting with: it was whimsical, emotional and beautiful. The performances were all great, especially from Emma Thompson who was seriously overlooked by the Academy. And I must admit, I just really enjoy movies about filmmaking. This one in particular...I just completely got it. Plus it's just such a fun story and time period to visit. In such a cynical time for filmmaking, it's nice to find movies that have some heart.
HERE. This movie was heartbreakingly brutal. The acting all across the board was phenomenal and knowing this was based on a true story makes it all the more powerful. Honestly, all the elements of filmmaking were firing on all cylinders in the production of this movie; every aspect from acting, music, cinematography...you name it is top notch. This certainly isn't the type of movie that I'll be eager to revisit over and over (especially any time soon,) but it's kind of like to slavery what Schindler's List was to the holocaust. Told with poeticism and reverence but not neglecting to show the brutality that happened.
And my #1 movie of 2013 was..... drumroll....
1. THE WAY WAY BACK - Original review HERE. One of the first movies I saw last year remained my favorite all year long, and nothing really managed to top it for me. And it's not like it was some amazing new feat of filmmaking. In fact, it was a lot of the familiar; but executed in such a delightful and meaningful way that I just adored it right when I saw it at Sundance. Like I said, teenage boy coming of age summer films were on trend for 2013, and this one was my favorite of them all. The story though not anything new, was welcome in its familiarity because the characters felt so lived in and important. It didn't matter if I'd seen the story before, because I loved and cared for the characters right from the get-go and the writing was absolutely key in that. Right from the opening lines of Steve Carell telling our young protagonist he thought of him as "a 3,"they had my attention and never let it go.
HERE. Surprise! Another addition, but this time to keep my street cred I will not assign it a number (even though it mayyyy have been my heart's true favorite.) I loved this movie for the following reasons 1) My poor heart was starved for a rom-com 2) I love Jane Austen 3) I have to give it props for honestly keeping me guessing til the end. It's rare to find that in a rom-com. 4) It made me laugh. Even if guiltily so...I laughed a lot. So yeah. I love it. Haters gonna hate.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Captain Phillips, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Conjuring, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Spectacular Now, The Great Gatsby, Frozen, All Is Lost, August Osage County, Inside Llewyn Davis