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.
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.