I always use the term "Favorite" instead of "Best" because that's what this list is. It's a look at my favorite movies from the year that was. I'm sure there are movies that were better and more Oscar worthy, but those don't always end up being all that entertaining to me. These 10 films are the ones that gave me the most enjoyment in 2013.
And, yes...they are in order.
#10 American Hustle
Forget what the trailers and commercials show you, this movie is right along the same lines as the Ocean's series and Italian Job. There are a few twists that I didn't see coming. The acting is absolutely incredible. Jennifer Lawrence steals the show every time she pops up on the screen. Christian Bale is one of the most committed actors out there. I think American Hustle could have been a little shorter but it's definitely going to get some Oscar attention.
#9 About Time
What would you do if you had the ability to re-live moments of your life over and over again? Would you go back and change them, or would you live with the consequences? That's the central theme of About Time. It's such a beautiful story. Rachel McAdams is nearly perfect in her best role since The Notebook.
#8 Evil Dead
The original Evil Dead trilogy is up there in my favorites of all time. I was a little worried about how this one would stack up. There's more gore and less humor, but it holds up very well. I don't even know if I would call this a reboot, but get ready for a sequel. There's a very clever moment after the credits that leads me to believe there will be more. This is perfect if you're looking for a disgusting and scary movie night.
#7 12 Years A Slave
I'm not sure I could watch this movie over and over (it's pretty heavy material) but it definitely ranks up there with the best I've ever seen. 12 Years A Slave would definitely have my vote for the best picture of the year award...if they gave me a vote. It's an intense look at slavery in the 1800's and can even be used as an educational experience for middle school and older. The scenes would be a little intense for the younger elementary school kids.
#6 Fast & Furious 6
The beauty in this series is that it plays to its strengths. They're not shooting for any Academy Awards. All they want is to produce a very entertaining film experience. The chases are faster, the explosions are bigger and, somehow, the Rock is bigger. Speaking of which, he completely revitalized this franchise. The 7th installment will likely be the highest grossing of all with viewers curious to see how the team deals with the real-life death of Paul Walker.
#5 The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
I applaud the directors of this series. It would be so easy to take this hugely popular series and turn it into a flashy movie for the teen audience. But, they don't do that. The books are dark and not very uplifting, and that's how the directors keep he film series. Jennifer Lawrence is quickly solidifying herself as one of the best actors of our generation. This girl is absolutely incredible. The supporting cast is fantastic as well with Stanley Tucci, Josh Hutcherson and Woody Harrelson all putting in great performances. The ending is abrupt, but that's how the book ends so deal with it.
I went into this movie with absolutely no expectations at all. I was curious how they were going to make a full-length feature film basically with only one character. Oh, and did I mention that the character is trapped in space? What the team behind this movie (including Sandra Bullock and George Clooney) did with Gravity is mind-blowing. It's an assault on the senses, in a good way. However, I wonder if it will translate as well off the big screen. It was amazing in the theater but will it be as good on a personal TV? We'll have to wait and see.
#3 The Conjuring
This movie scared the crap out of me. I watched it with my roommate and we were nearly holding each other by the time it ended. There's not much else that needs to be said. It's terrifying. If that's what you're looking for, turn the lights out and get The Conjuring.
#2 Pacific Rim
Everything from the score to the acting and from the action to the graphics is perfect. Pacific Rim isn't reinventing the wheel...it's just setting a new standard for it. I applaud creativity and this movie definitely has it. Pacific Rim has sat in my blu ray player since the day it came out in stores. To put it simply, it's phenomenal.
#1 The Way, Way Back
Watching Steve Carell play a bad guy is not something we're used to. "Bad guy" is a relative term. It's not like he's robbing banks but he is demoralizing and insulting to his girlfriend's son, Duncan. The Way, Way Back follows Duncan as he turns a potentially terrible summer vacation into a chance to learn more about himself. It's funny, enjoyable and will leave you with a smile on your face. Sam Rockwell is perfect in his role as waterpark manager Owen and Allison Janey plays a great inebriated, fun-loving neighbor. You will NOT regret picking up this film. This is easily my favorite movie of the year.
A few honorable mentions...
This Is The End
Insidious: Chapter 2
Saving Mr. Banks