Top 10 Films of 2013
1. The Place Beyond The Pines dir. Derek Cianfrance (pictured)
If it were a novel, it would have been one of the greatest American novels of the last decade. As a film it reaches for something few attempt, and even fewer succeed at: literary scope.
Thematically deeper, more structurally ambitious and more intertextually aware than any other film in 2013, Pines is a story of fathers and sons, of sin and forgiveness, of the legacy handed down between generations.
As cinema, it is breathtaking, haunting, and mesmerising. As art, it transcends its form, its subject, and its star power; and creates a truly affecting, profound experience that lasts well beyond the final frame.
2. Blackfish dir. Gabriela Cowperthwaite
A shocking, upsetting documentary that examines our wilfill abuse of both majestic animal and fellow human for the sake of profit and entertainment.
3. Gravity dir. Alfonso Cuaron
There may be flaws, but Gravity is the technical masterpiece of our generation. One of the most unique, thrilling experiences I’ve had in a cinema.
4. The Way Way Back dir. Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
Charming, whimsical, hilarious, and moving, The Way Way Back is pitch perfect in every area, and more proof that God is a lot like Sam Rockwell.
5. The Heat dir. Paul Feig
Holy shit this film is hilarious. Comedy of the year, hands down. It’s a crime it didn’t make more top 10 lists. I hope they make a dozen sequels.
6. Prisoners dir. Denis Villeneuve
The best crime film since Zodiac. Powerful, dark and gripping, with stand-out performances from Jackman, Dano and Gyllenhaal.
7. Blue Jasmine dir. Woody Allen
If Place Beyond The Pines is a novel, Blue Jasmine is a cinematic novella. Blanchett is a lock for the Oscar, and Bobby Canavale is fucking hilarious.
8. Mud dir. Jeff Nichols
Almost a counter-point to The Way Way Back, opting for quiet drama instead of playing for laughs. Moving and understated.
9. The Counselor dir. Ridley Scott
Oh you hated this film? Cormac McCarthy does not give a fuck. Creeping, insidious, and unsettling, this is pure McCarthy. Crime doesn’t pay, kids.
10. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug dir. Peter Jackson
Nothing short of epic, a hundred-fold improvement over the first instalment, and I loved the first one. Smaug needs an Oscar.