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Top Ten Films I Saw in 2013

Posted by Velox , in Reviews, Other Jan 08 2014 · 159 views

So, this list includes both 2013 releases and films that I saw for the first time in 2013, since I don’t think I’ve even seen 10 2013 films. Still, I saw a lot of new films that came out earlier, and I was really impressed with the films I did see that came out this year, so I decided to make just one list.
 

Top Ten Films I Saw for the First Time in 2013
 

  • Saving Mr. Banks, by John Lee Hancock. I’m really surprised this is #1 on my list, but I saw this right as 2013 closed and was very pleasantly surprised. It’s really one of the greater movies I’ve seen, and both hilarious and heartbreaking.
  • Following, by Christopher Nolan. Never saw this film until this year, unfortunately, but it really is an amazing movie. Especially considering the incredibly low budget. Will be talking more about why I loved it when I rank Nolan’s films soon.
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, by Peter Jackson. I had some issues with this movie—more than An Unexpected Journey—but at the same time, the movie as a whole was fantastic, and I enjoyed it more than AUJ. I’ve had a review half-written for a while, so I’ll hopefully post that soon.
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey—Extended Edition, by Peter Jackson. So I’m a sucker for Middle-Earth. But I did really enjoy this film.
  • Star Trek Into Darkness, by J.J. Abrams. I really enjoyed this, particularly Benedict Cumberbatch.
  • Serenity, by Joss Whedon. I love this film, and it’s a great end to a great series that really shouldn’t’ve ended. If I were to rate the series as a whole, including this as a “final episode”, if you will, it’d be higher, but as a film on its own it was still pretty amazing. In fact, if I were to rate it completely separately from the series, it might be between 8-10 on this list, but because of the series and the characters that I had grown to love, it's hard for me to rate this film objectively and alone from the series. I do have to wonder how much less I would have enjoyed it if I had not seen the series first.
  • The Raven, by James McTeigue. This hasn’t gotten very high ratings, but I personally really, really enjoyed it. It’s a little hard for me to rank, so I’m just gonna leave it here before I change my mind again and put it under Catching Fire or Man of Steel (though it definitely wouldn’t be lower than Pacific Rim).
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, by Francis Lawrence. Quite impressed with this—makes me look forward to Mockingjay: Part 1. Not quite sure I agree with their decision to split it into two movies, though, but with the quality that Catching Fire gave, I’m hopeful.
  • Man of Steel, by Zack Snyder. So there’s definitely some issues with this film, but overall I really enjoyed it, and I’m not entirely sure it should be this low but eh. I am concerned about Batman vs. Superman, and I hope it can be better than MoS.
  • Pacific Rim, by Guillermo del Toro. Not a bad film, though not as good as I expected either. Still, it was definitely visually stunning, and giant robots fighting giant monsters? Count me in. I’ve had a half-written review of this done for a while now, too, so I’ll hopefully post that soon too. I may be forgetting some pre-2013 film I saw for the first time this year that was better than this, but I did enjoy this and it came out this year so eh.
Runner-Up: Olympus has Fallen. The only film that came out this year that’s not on this list, but it was close—this isn’t an amazing film by any means, but it gave me exactly what I expected and wanted from a film like this.
 
Worst film I saw this year: Transformers: Dark of the Moon
 
Films I haven’t seen that came out this year, but want to and would definitely have competed for a spot on this list: Iron Man 3, Thor 2, The Wolverine, The Great Gatsby, Frozen, Lone Survivor, Gravity, Ender’s Game, Escape Plan, The Book Thief…Yeah, I haven’t seen as many 2013 films as I would’ve liked, unfortunately (though then again, the only films I saw in theaters this year were Saving Mr. Banks, The Hobbit, Catching Fire, and Man of Steel, so I’ll see the rest of these eventually). I wonder how different this list would be if I just ranked the top ten 2013 films, including those. Anyway:
 

Top films I’m looking forward to next year (inspired by iBrow’s blog entry):

  • Interstellar, by Christopher Nolan. Nolan’s my favorite director, and as usual for his work, this film sounds amazing.
  • Captain America: Winter Soldier, by Anthony & Joe Russo. Captain America is probably my favorite superhero (tied with Batman), so I’m really looking forward to this.
  • The Hobbit: There and Back Again, by Peter Jackson. Cannot wait to see the end of the trilogy.
  • Gone Girl, by David Fincher. Fincher is one of my favorite directors, and while I haven’t read the book yet (hopefully will soon), it sounds really good.
  • Mockingjay: Part 1, by Francis Lawrence. Catching Fire left me with high hopes.
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past, by Bryan Singer.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy, by James Gunn.
  • The Amazing Spiderman 2, by Marc Webb. Wasn’t a huge fan of the first one, but the trailer for this one looks good.
  • Noah, by Darren Aronofsky. Looks like it may be really good, and it has some great actors in it (Watson, Crowe, Hopkins…).
  • Godzilla, by Gareth Edwards. Looks promising.
Next up: Books.

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Props for using "shouldn’t’ve." Too many people are scared to use it because it looks strange.

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Vorahk1Panrahk2
Jan 09 2014 01:20 AM
Noah, by Darren Aronofsky. Looks like it may be really good, and it has some great actors in it (Watson, Crowe, Hopkins…).

 

I'm a little nervous for this one after hearing about the (supposed) bad reactions at a test screening. I mean, it's an Aronofsky film. It can't be bad... right?

 

Anyway, it's surprising to me that you haven't seen The Book Thief yet. I mean, I haven't either, but I wasn't the one giving the book high praiser earlier in the year, either. :P

 

Sorry about the weird quote formatting... I don't know how it happened and I can't fix it because I can't be bothered to figure out how these stupid new quote boxes even work.

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5. Star Trek Into Darkness, by J.J. Abrams. I really enjoyed this, particularly Benedict Cumberbatch.

 

It was good, but Benedict Cumberbatch plays a better Sherlock than Khan, in my opinion.

 

Also yes to Catching Fire. Probably one of the best book-to-movie adaptations I have ever seen. Definitely want to see Mockingjay: Part 1 when it comes out later this year.

 

-TNTOS-

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Hurray inspiration

Anyway, comments on the top ten: 

 

1. Had I been able to see the film, I'm pretty sure it would have landed in my top ten somewhere.

2. Haven't seen it.

3. Not quite sure I liked the film enough for it to land in my top ten (let alone top three), but Benedict Cumberbatch needs to get some sort of reward for Smaug.

4. Disagree; it's definitely not as good as DOS, and I'm having trouble putting that in my top ten.

5. I would have placed this lower, if at all. The entire film felt too "fansservicey", and a lot of that was directed towards those who have seen The Wrath of Khan. I feel like the Starfleet Admiral traitor would have been a far better villain.

6. Haven't seen it.

7. Haven't seen it.

8. Must be higher! One of my favorite book to film adaptions.

9. Haven't seen it, not really interested after what I've heard.

10. Debatable; I think it might find a spot in my top ten, but I'm not quite sure I enjoyed it enough.

 

And for the 2014 list: I'm looking forward to seeing almost all of those in some sort of capacity, so no real comments.

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@ Sumi -- lol, thanks? I say it a lot in conversation, so it fits for more informal things I think--don't really care about how it looks haha. *shrug*

 

@ V1P2 -- You know, I've actually never seen anything by Aronofsky, surprisingly, but yeah, I'm just hesitantly optimistic. And yeah, as much as I really want to see films like, say, Iron Man 3, because I love superhero movies, or Lone Survivor because of Mark Wahlberg and the fact that the story is interesting, or Gravity and Frozen because of how much acclaim they've received...I'm probably most disappointed that I haven't seen The Book Thief yet, simply because it is one of my favorite books. Ah, well. I will eventually.

 

@ TNTOS -- Oh, definitely agreed. And I think I like him as Smaug better too. But I think he was still basically the best part of that film. =P

 

As for Catching Fire, definitely! I was really surprised at how accurate it was, especially because I didn't think The Hunger Games was all that bad (not a perfect adaptation by any means, but still, not horrible or anything), and yet somehow this managed to be so much better. 

 

@ iBrow -- 3&4. Yeah, I mean if I were to rate these films as objectively as possible, I'm almost certain they would be lower (at the very least, AUJ would be), but...like I said, I just really love Middle-Earth. =P And so I really, really enjoyed both. 

 

5. Yeah, I dunno--I've actually never seen Wrath of Khan, unfortunately, so I'm not sure if I'll feel differently once I do. 

 

8. Here I probably agree with you...this was definitely one of the harder ones to place, as I saw it most recent and hadn't seen some of the other films in a while. It may actually be before Into Darkness...ah well. The main thing was just that it got on my top ten list, as it definitely was an amazing film.

 

9. Yeah, there does seem to be a lot of criticism about it. Some of it very warranted, but even so I did end up enjoying it, even if not as much as I would've liked. 

 

10. Yeah, same here...I mostly listed it because I thought it was better than Olympus has Fallen, and there weren't any pre-2013 films that were screaming out to me. I really want to see all the films I listed above and then see how this list would be different. Maybe some day. But anyway, definitely agreed this one is debatable to have on a top ten list. 

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Ymper Trymon
Jan 10 2014 10:38 AM

Good on you for putting Serenity on the list - too few people have seen it.

 

As for Star Trek [Colon] Into Darkness... Eh, it felt kind of like Sherlock Goes to Space. As I noted previously, "Khan" was basically completely justified in most of his actions, and the final thirty minutes were really a desperate scramble from the writers to try and make him the villain.

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Yeah, definitely a great film--and TV show. Really one of my favorites, as it has amazing characterization, acting, writing...

 

Anyway, yeah, valid critique. I wished that had been done better, but oh well. 

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