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.
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.
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.
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.
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.