My Top 10 Films of 2013

As is customary at this time of the year, most people put together their ‘best of the year’ lists, and so here’s mine. Of course, there are plenty of films that came out in 2013 that I haven’t seen yet and there are some that have already come out in other countries that we haven’t had in the UK yet, but these are my 10 favourite films of 2013…

10. The Way Way Back

This was a real surprise for me, as I’m sure it was for many others. There are plenty of coming of age stories knocking around but fantastic performances from Steve Carell, Alison Janney and, in particular, Sam Rockwell ensure this one stands out from most. Read my review here.

9. Captain Phillips

Tom Hanks gives a brilliant performance in Paul Greengrass’s dramatisation of the real life hijacking of the Maersk Alabama. Mention should also go to first time actor Barkhad Abdi who is superb as lead pirate Muse. Read my review here.

8. Philomena


Inspired by a heartbreaking true story, Philomena may not be the flashiest film of the year but it’s without a doubt one of the most affecting. Dame Judi Dench gives a wondeful titular performance, whilst Steve Coogan is also excellent as the standoffish journalist Martin Sixsmith. Read my review here.

7. Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa

This is one for the Alan Partridge fans, of which I am one, rather than the everyday filmgoer. A big screen appearance for Norfolk’s finest has been on the cards for some years but it was only in July 2013 did it finally materialise. Granted, the character may be slightly better suited to TV but there are still belly laughs a-plenty here. Full review here.

6. Gravity


This may well be a lot higher in some other ‘best of’ lists, and if this list was purely based on visuals then this would be right at the very top. However, some story and dialogue issues prevent it from being any higher, although an excellent performance from Sandra Bullock should be noted. Full review here.

5. Before Midnight

A near perfect conclusion (maybe?) to Richard Linklater’s ‘Before’ trilogy. Before Midnight takes a slightly different direction to its predecessors, Before Sunrise and Before Sunset and reveals some chinks in the armour of Jesse and Celine’s relationship. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy are astounding in the lead roles as usual. Read my full review here.

4. The Hunt

Not a particularly easy watch due to its rather emotive subject matter, but one you can’t tear your eyes away from as you root for Mads Mikkelsen’s Lucas to clear his name after he’s accused of being a paedophile. A fantastic performance from Mikkelsen and one that fully deserves any awards attention it receives. Full review here.

3. Mud

Matthew McConaughey has gone from rom com laughing stock to Hollywood hot property in no time at all and Mud shows exactly why. A brilliant performance on his part, as well as from youngsters Tye Sheriden and Jacob Lofland, added to gorgeous cinematography and rattling soundtrack make Mud one of 2013’s underrated gems. Read my review here.

2. The Act of Killing

Definitely not the most uplifting film of the year, but undoubtedly one of the most unique and important. The Act of Killing is a documentary telling the story of the genocide of millions of Indonesians in the 1960s at the hands of the military. However, the story is told by the killers themselves as they recreate their atrocities in the style of American films they love. Truly shocking. Full review here.

1. Rush


By no means technically the best film of the year, but no other film got my heart beating as fast as Rush. Dramatising the rivalry between Formula 1 drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda, director Ron Howard perfectly captured the sound and speed of F1, whilst also telling the story of two characters who were equal amounts loveable and loathable. Chris Hemsworth’s beautiful face gave a great performance but it was Daniel Brühl who really stole the show and could be a dark horse for an Oscar nomination. Read my review here.

So there we have it – my favourite films of 2013. Disagree? Want to shower me with loving praise? Either way, leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.

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81 thoughts on “My Top 10 Films of 2013

  1. What a solid list. Love to see Rush in there. It also leads my Top ten list and I think it’ll stay there.

  2. Mark Walker says:

    Fine list, my man. I’ve yet to see a few (Rush included) but there’s still a few on here that would make my list too. I generally don’t make these lists myself though, as I’m always late in catching up with some films that I’m pretty certain would make the cut.

    • Thanks Mark!Ya know, I toyed with the idea of making a list or not for the very same reason and that was the reason I didn’t make one last year but I figured I’ve seen enough this year to put one together, even though there’s plenty I haven’t seen from last year.

  3. vinnieh says:

    Solid list of movies.

  4. ckckred says:

    Nice list. I’m very much looking forward to The Act of Killing.

  5. You loved Rush too? Tom over at Digital Shortbread had that as his number one also. Hmmm, probably need to revisit that one as I liked it but didn’t love it. Great list Chris. I’m not going to do a list as there are too many quality films I haven’t caught up with. As such, I’ll look a fool! Your blog has been a pleasure to read all year mate and I look forward to what you have to offer for the next 12 months. Maybe another blogathon, eh?

    • Yep, Rush really struck a chord with me, I loved it! I reckon if you weren’t enamoured with it at the cinema then I’m not sure it’ll be as good on a smaller screen but I could be wrong. I almost didn’t do a list as there are loads of films I didn’t see but decided to anyway! Thanks for stopping by so often and commenting Mark, really appreciate all of your input, and I’d definitely be up for another blogathon at some point, the last one was great!

  6. thomasjford says:

    A good list my friend. I had four of them in my own top ten. I’ve not yet seen Rush or Captain Phillips, both of which I’m sure would be in there some where as well.

    I did a post about the rise of Matthew McConaughey a couple of months back, you should come check it out. The guy can do no wrong!

  7. hybridZone says:

    I am so glad that I am not the only one who thought that Rush was “just”a good film, your list is impressive ans I agree with most. Here are some honorable mentions…Fruitvale Station, Wolf of Wall Street and Elysium.

  8. chris2508 says:

    Great list, yet to see some. We’re you a fan of Only God Forgives?

  9. Gene says:

    Solid list. Need to catch Rush and Gravity myself.

  10. Great list; some of them are also my top films for the year.

  11. jjames36 says:

    Haven’t seen The Act of Killing or Allan Partridge yet, but otherwise, I think this a very solid list, save, I suppose, for Before Midnight. I don’t like that one.

    The Hunt and Mud will almost certainly factor into my finalized list, as well. The rest fall short, but I agree that all are good movies.

  12. Great list. And so glad that you have The Hunt and Act of Killing on there – two films that I think everyone should see. As you saw on my list, I just didn’t fall in love wit The Way, Way Back in the way that a lot of people did – but it was fun.

    Have a great 2014!

  13. keith7198 says:

    I love reading these! Some great flicks on your list and a couple I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing. It was a pretty good year for movies, wasn’t it?

  14. keith7198 says:

    Fantastic list bro. Some really good films listed and a few I haven’t had the privilege of seeing. I love these lists and it’s always fun to see how other people felt about the movie year.

  15. Mark Hobin says:

    Good heavens!! This is a fantastic list. I need to comment more on your blog. You sir, have excellent taste.

    You’re clearly a big Steve Coogan fan given that 2 of his movies made your Top 10. How did Despicable Me 2 fare? In all seriousness, I loved that film. I must admit Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa is a distinctly UK phenomenon so that’s not even on my radar but given the high quality of your list, I’d say I should seek it out.

    Happy 2014!!

    • Thanks so much Mark, that’s really nice of you to say so!

      I am a big Steve Coogan fan, I know he’s not everyone’s cup of tea but I think he’s a great writer and an underrated actor too. Alan Partridge is definitely more of a UK thing but I think everyone should give it a whirl as it’s fantastic! I haven’t actually seen Despicable Me 2 but I’ve heard great things about it, it’s definitely one I need to catch up with.

  16. Awesome list Chris! I have not seen Philomena yet and i’m so glad to see The Way Way Back on your list! It’s definitely a film that i enjoy 😀
    And yay Rush! I really hope Brühl got a nomination too! >_<

  17. Smash says:

    Wow, I was actually surprised to see Rush take the number one spot on your list. I haven’t seen it yet, but if it’s made it’s way to the top of your list then it must be worth watching.
    Also, I was very pleased to see my main man Steve Coogan in two movies on this list. Nicely done Steve!

  18. sati says:

    I heard Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa is super funny, I always enjoy a good comedy so I’ll definitely give this one a shot. Awesome to see Rush on top, such a terrific and highly entertaining movie.

  19. Nostra says:

    First of best wishes for 2014!

    Great list. Have seen The Way Way Back again recently and it is a joy to watch. Captain Philips I really liked as well and that last scene with Tom Hanks is one of the most emotionally convincing scenes I have seen the past year. Have not seen your numbers 7 and 8, but as for the rest. If I made a top 25 the ones I have not put in my own top 10 (which I have also put up now if you are interested) would have probably been in it.

    • Thanks mate, all the best to you too!

      Totally agree with that last scene in Captain Phillips, it was amazing and I reckon it could snag Hanks an Oscar nom. There were a few films that narrowly missed out on mine and plenty that I haven’t got around to watching yet. I’ll definitely pop over and see your list shortly.

  20. ianthecool says:

    Certainly not a conventional #1 pick.

  21. ruth says:

    I REALLY like Mud too, that’ll be on my Top 10 I think, though I really need to think it through this weekend. Gravity is for sure though. The Hunt is phenomenal though not something I can revisit it again as it’s so disturbing. Solid list here Chris, there are a few I still need to see!

  22. Beer Movie says:

    Great list man. A couple here that will more than likely appear on my list. I was one of the few people that didn’t like Rush though. I just felt like it never really got going. But that is definitely not the majority opinion.

  23. table9mutant says:

    Wow – interesting list. I can’t believe I’ve not seen SEVEN of them!!! 😦 But at least we have the same number 1. 🙂 I haven’t done my top ten yet as I really need to squeeze in Before Midnight (which may make the list?) and The Hobbit (which may not). Also wanted to see The Spectacular Now before doing my list but have no way of seeing it. :-/ Hopefully I’ll get around to doing this list before the end of January. Lol. And I almost watched Mud last night. Maybe I should have as we agree on so many movies!

    • Thank you! You’ve not seen 7 of them?! Shame on you 😉 No surprise we have the same number one though, we agree on pretty much everything! I haven’t even heard of The Spectacular Now, I’ll keep an eye out for that one! And yeah, you should definitely get around to Mud, it’s fantastic!

      • table9mutant says:

        I’ll definitely try to see Mud, then. 🙂 Hey – do you like John Hughes? If you’re interested, I’ll be doing a Hughes blogathon. Ignore what my post says – anyone can now choose any film they want, even if it’s taken. (You don’t have to – just letting you know just in case!) 🙂

      • I’d love to take part! I’ll swing by your site and see what’s goin’ down! 🙂

      • table9mutant says:

        Oh! And The Spectacular Now is a teen romance thing that’s been compared to some of the films I love, like Say Anything. People who’ve reviewed it LOVED it. Mainly guys as well! It didn’t get a general release here – I’m desperate to see it!

      • Wow, yeah I hadn’t heard anything about it but I’ll definitely keep my eyes open for it. Maybe it’ll hit later this year if it hasn’t already.

  24. Good stuff! I have yet to see Rush or The Act of Killing, but I’m pleased that Before Midnight and The Hunt are ranked so highly.

  25. Ooh, great list, Chris! Loved seeing Rush in the top spot; loved that one!

  26. Dan says:

    What pleases me most is that four out of your ten turned up in my early-2013 preview of the year and my predictions for “films to watch out for”. Captain Phillips was definitely one that stood out for me this year. Hanks has had a great year in terms of the movies he’s appeared in.

  27. Alex Withrow says:

    Really solid list. I love the spirited choice for number one, and I adore that The Way Way Back is on here. I enjoyed that film a lot more than I thought I would. Laughed all the way through it. Great work!

  28. Popcorn Nights says:

    Nice to read your list of favourites. Shamefully I’ve only seen 3 of these, hence no list from me!

  29. Wow, I’m so glad to see you have ‘The Act of Killing’ in there. Highly agree! Rush was good, too, and I’m surprised it is your number one. Good list, Chris. Here’s hoping 2014 has more to chose from. I was disappointed as a whole. Should be more than 10 films out there that were memorable. 😉

    • I think 2013 started off pretty poorly but it definitely got better as it went along and by the end there were some really strong films. There were more than 10 films I enjoyed, there were a few really good films that just missed the list unfortunately.

  30. Victor De Leon says:

    Great list! Just watched “The Way Way Back” Had a blast. Good film. I need to watch a few more on your list. Hopefully, I’ll get to them all this new year. Nice job!

  31. Tom says:

    F**k yeah on placing Rush at the #1 spot! Copy that, brother.

    Also, a very great list outside of that. Really wishing i got to see The Hunt; Philomena and The Act of Killing, but perhaps I will thru Netflix soon here. Good stuff Chris

  32. Jessica says:

    What a lovely top 10! I’m not quite ready to make mine, I have a few more 2013 write-up to knock off before I’m ready for it. But I can already reveal that several of your choices will be on my top 10 as well, though in a slightly different order.

  33. Glad to see Gravity, Rush and The Hunt on there. Loved all three of those films.
    Great list! Here’s hoping 2014 is a good year for film.

  34. Monkeyboy says:

    I was about to say, “Great list!” but then I realised I’ve only seen one of the movies out of the entire ten (Gravity)!! so for all I know, it might be a rubbish list!! Just kidding, 😉 all the other films are ones that I’ve heard great things about, and want to see, so it’s nice to see them recommended in your top 10.

  35. Paul Downey says:

    I really enjoyed Alan Partridge and The Way Way Back was excellent too

  36. Nice list. Mud (2012), is the only film I’ve seen from here. But it came in 2012 not 2013.
    I watched it in 2013 though. So I assume these are films you watched in 2013.

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