We watched a lot of movies this year.
Some great ones, some not so great ones. Here’s a list of ten movies that we say really stood out this 2013. The list below goes from 10 to 1 and if your movie of choice is not on the list, share it with us!
10. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Peter Jackson surprised all with a vigorous and thrilling middle episode of the eight-hour trilogy of films based on a novel of less than 300 pages. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug saw Bilbo, Gandalf and the dwarves finally done with introductory dawdling as they dive into a nonstop adventure among the honourable Elves, the humans of Laketown and the unruly dragon Smaug. This second instalment of the trilogy scored big points with each complex encounter and the building romance of the warrior Elf Tauriel and dwarf cutie Kili.
9. The Act Of Killing
Taking us back to 1965 in Indonesia, The Act Of Killing is about the thug Anwar Congo who was hired by the Indonesian government to crush the threat of Communism which led to Anwar and his mob of gangsters forming paramilitary squads that tortured and killed thousands of innocents. Director Joshua Oppenheimer pulls off the impossible with this brutal, raw, terrifying and painfully difficult to swallow especially for those with a faint of heart but at the same time fascinating documentary that has without a doubt left a haunting effect for any viewer.
8. Fast & Furious 6
Planes, trains and automobiles collide stunningly in the fourth Fast & Furious movie that is directed by Justin Lin. Fast & Furious 6 is everything you expect it to be, from the cast to the astounding stunts in each locations, fights and of course, the chases, crushes and crashes. The movie saw the reunion of Vin Diesel, the late Paul Walker, their gang and girlfriends and DEA agent Dwayne Johnson as they blazed through Tenerife to Moscow and to London and left fans with a teaser to Fast & Furious 7. Little did we know, Fast 6 would be the last full movie with Brian O’Connor aka Paul Walker in it.
7. The Grandmaster
If you loved Ip Man, you’ll love this! Director Wong Kar-Wai produces a brilliant action feature, The Grandmaster that inspired by the life and times of legendary kung fu guru, Ip Man. The 2 hours and 10 minutes movie spans around the tumultuous Republican era that followed the fall of China’s last dynasty, a time of chaos, division and war, a time that was also the golden age of Chinese martial arts.
Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee nailed it with Disney’s Frozen. This musical enchantment features the voices of Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell and Jonathan Groff and tells the tale of Princess Elsa who has sorcery powers that are beyond her control who ultimately casts a nuclear winter on her northern kingdom. Her sister Anna however, the normal one that falls in love at the first sight of any eligible man, confronts her and saves their realm!
5. American Hustle
Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner stars in this riotously funny American comedy-crime drama film directed by David O. Russell. A crime film that dances, American Hustle takes viewers back to the late 70s and tells the story of brilliant con man Irving Rosenfeld and his equally cunning and seductive British partner Sydney Prosser as they are forced to work with Richie DiMaso, a FBI agent.
Joaquin Pheonix plays a man who’s job is to compose love letters for other people. A hopeless romantic, he’s bruised by the failure of his marriage and has enough sentiment left behind to fall head over heels with a compute operating system who calls herself Samantha. Heart warming and romantic, Her will get viewers on an emotional roller coster that leave a sweet lingering after feeling.
3. The Great Beauty / La Grande Bellezza
Paolo Sorrentino directed this beautiful film about a journalist, Jep Gambardella who has charmed and seduced his way through the luxurious and lavish nightlife of Rome for decades. Following the iconic success of his one and only novel, he’s dubbed as permanent fixture in the city’s literary and social circles. However, Jep gets a flash from the past on his 65th birthday that takes him back to a time of timeless landscape and exquisite beauty.
2. 12 Years a Slave
Directed by Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave has a creepy impact of a museum exhibit as it portrays the diorama of atrocity, populated by varying forms of evil by two characters and kindness by another. Focusing on the times where the Southern white or pre-Civil War plantation aristocracy dubbed themselves as the chosen ones from God and ill treated their slaves, the movie stars Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Brad Pitt and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
It is to no surprise that Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity is our number #1 pick for movie of the year. Starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, the science-fiction thriller of sheer brilliance takes your into the unforgiving realm of space was shot beautifully and reinvented the whole meaning of setting a modern feature film in space with nothing but just two on camera speaking roles.