Thursday, January 2, 2014
Star Trek and The Way Way Back top 2013’s best movies
See the top 25 picks from the critics at Reel & Unscripted.
With our second year in the books, we are learning a lot on how to be critics. Is a movie entertaining enough? Is the movie necessary? Does it have too much fluff? Is the story original or does it lack one all together? At the end of the day, we just want to sit back and watch something we can love and enjoy, but most of all, entertain! 2013 might not have been anywhere close to what greatness came from 2012 (in terms of award-winning films), but there were a few that turned our heads. Now for the first time… OUR BEST MOVIES OF 2013!
25. This is the End — Hilarious post-apocalyptical movie starring James Franco, Seth Rogan, Danny McBride, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel and Craig Robinson as themselves! Totally raunchy! Totally entertaining!
24. Now You See Me — All-star cast that has plenty of charm and class. This movie didn’t get much love from critics, but I enjoyed the story and it was entertaining from beginning to end! Loved the ending!
23. You’re Next — A fun and action-packed horror film that felt a lot like last year's horror surprise, The Cabin in the Woods. This will scare and entertain even the hardcore fans!
22. 12 Years a Slave — A genuine artistic journey that showcases the true tale of a free black man who is taken into slavery. This movie is emotional and at times a little repetitive, but one of the best made movies of the year all around!
21. The Place Beyond the Pines — A three-part drama that has pretty good acting and an interesting story told in a way you don’t see everyday. It’s only downside is that it was “too safe” and didn’t live up to it’s full potential.
20. Side Effects — A well told Steven Soderbergh film that has an all-star cast and a nice twist ending. Too bad I kinda figured it out ahead of time, but that doesn’t detour it from being a quality entertaining watch!
19. Olympus Has Fallen — The first of the two “White House” movies on the list. This one is more serious and tactical and has less flare, but still entertaining and something good to watch!
18. The Iceman — The true tale of a family man/hitman who killed over 100 people back in the 1970s. Michael Shannon does a great acting job even if the rest of the story is a little drab… still a winner in my book!
17. American Hustle — Superbly acted, directed and put together… even though I expected more. Coming in at No. 17 tells you that it still is a quality entertaining film, I just expected it to be in the top 10… Not to mention Jennifer Lawrence!
16. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug — Much improved on the first Hobbit film, the special effects on the river scene might have been weak, but the dragon at the end is excellent! Totally engaging and continues the story nicely!
15. Fast & Furious 6 — After six movies, these are just getting bigger, faster and more action packed. And I love it! It’s sad that Paul Walker has left us, but he left us an excellent legacy! Pure entertainment!
14. Iron Man 3 — Seeing how I loved the first movie and the second was pretty good, Iron Man 3 felt “same old same old.” However, it’s still Iron Man and this movie is entertaining and fun… it just might not offer anything new.
13. White House Down — Directed by the guy who did Independence Day, this “White House” attack movie is over-the-top entertainment with plenty of laughs and thrills, the better of the two this year!
12. Evil Dead — Best horror movie of the year… terrifying, quirky, and fun! I saw the originals and this keeps true to the campy nature, but cuts out the cheesy gore and makes you squirm!
11. Frozen — A wonderful Disney feature that has catchy songs, likable characters and a story that I appreciated. This is a family movie not to be missed!
10. Thor: The Dark World — Might not be as fun and action packed as the first movie, this darker side of Thor lets Loki steal the show and plays into what the audience wants. A great addition to the Avenger series!
9. Mud — In a year that showcased Matthew McConaughey, Mud is a great feature that allows him to shine behind a good supporting cast and story. However, just like with The Place Beyond the Pines, I wish it offered more, but that doesn’t stop it from being in the top 10!
8. Rush — A movie that I didn’t expect to like, but Ron Howard took a subject I care little about and made me enjoy it with great story telling and wonderful acting from the two leads!
7. Gravity — High adrenaline from beginning to end! Something you don’t see everyday that will take you on a ride you will never forget! Not to mention Sandra Bullock does an amazing job!
6. Before Midnight — The third chapter in this series, the two love birds have hit reality after being together with kids and they fight just like any married couple does! It’s wonderful and magical and something we can relate with!
5. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire — After the first movie made it to No. 1 on my top 25 of 2012, I had high expectations. And even though I felt slightly let down, this movie is very entertaining and continues a story I love!
4. World War Z — Wasn’t sure what to expect when I saw the previews, but after playing The Last of Us on the PS3, WWZ reminded me of a video game and it’s pure zombie entertainment!
3. Prisoners — A wonderfully acted and told mystery suspense thriller, Prisoners will grip you from beginning to end with a subject matter that isn’t as bad as some might think! Hugh Jackman shines!
2. The Way Way Back — This is my surprise gem of the year! The Way Way Back is a coming of age story that is charming, funny and joyous! Anyone age 10-16 should be required to see this movie! Way to go Sam Rockwell!
1. Star Trek Into Darkness — I am not a Trekkie, but this is the most entertaining movie I saw this year! It has action and suspense. It has likable characters that we already know and like. It has a sinister villain that we love to hate and it never feels over-the-top. Pure entertainment!
25. Blue Jasmine — Classic Woody Allen, this film was a mental trip that shook my brain up. The true marvel here was the performance of Cate Blanchett! No word can do her work justice! Just fabulous!
24. Saving Mr. Banks — Fascinating and full of insight into one of my favorite films of all time, this movie just touched my heart. Plus, Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson shine!
23. Side Effects — I am sucker for a great ending and Side Effects delivered a nice twist at the end of its story. Plus Soderbergh delivers his classic style in a truly enjoyable way. Definitely one of the more intriguing films of the year.
22. You’re Next — I am not typically a fan of the horror genre but this one surprised me. Plus a female lead who kicks ass in a horror film is rare so I have to give it props for that!
21. Iron Man 3 — I am definitely in the minority for loving this film. Sure it wasn’t as great as the first one but it was still entertaining, thrilling and fun to watch. So it met my expectations and continued a series that I am truly enjoying.
20. Nebraska — This one was a surprise for me! My family background made it relatable, quirky and funny. It isn’t a film for everyone but there is a lot to appreciate about this off-the-wall movie.
19. 12 Years a Slave — Hollywood managed to get the race issue right with this one. Artistic and emotionally gut wrenching, it is hard to watch but somehow you just can’t take your eyes off the screen.
18. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug — Not the finest of Jackson’s Tolkein world films, but still entertaining none the less. Action-packed and thrilling (even if it is super long) everyone will enjoy this hobbit journey.
17. American Hustle — The cast of American Hustle is what gives it the edge. The story is simple but acted out by the all-star cast it comes to life. Plus the bang on time period elements are fabulous.
16. Captain Phillips — Tom Hanks has never failed to impress me. Point in case he shows up in two films on my top 25 this year (Saving Mr. Banks is the other). This harrowing true story shows Hanks at his best.
15. The Iceman — Surprising and disturbing are two words I would use to describe this one. Michael Shannon portrays a ruthless hit man/family man and his performance will chill you to the bone.
14. World War Z — With a year featuring many zombie themed films, WWZ stood out above the rest. Brad Pitt was impressive and the story while somewhat incomplete feeling was still out of the box compared to the rest.
13. Olympus Has Fallen — Opposite of my husband, I feel this was the better of the two white house destruction movies this year. They were both entertaining but this one felt fresh and offered something new.
12. Enough Said — As his last performance, James Gandolfini offers something real and relatable. Enough Said tells the story of a real feeling relationship, quirks and all. I enjoyed every minute of this quieter 2013 film.
11. Mud — Matthew McCounaughey is afforded the perfect platform to shine in Mud. With the feel of a Mark Twain novel the fairy tale like feel masks a disturbing undercurrent making this a deeper film.
10. Rush — I was surprised that this one cracked my top 10 films of the year. The need-for-speed feel was nothing compared to the frenemies relationship played brilliantly by Daniel Brühl and Chris Hemsworth.
9. Fast & Furious 6 — Okay, so two car-related movies in my top 10 … I know, but this series has always been a favorite of mine. Even this being the sixth one, it is still action-packed and extremely entertaining. R.I.P. Paul Walker, you left a legacy that is will always be considered great!
8. The Spectacular Now — Coming of age was a theme of more than a few movies this year. This one might not have been the best but it comes in high on my list for its sweet nature and fresh faces.
7. Gravity — This movie gave me an ulcer it was so packed with tension and drama. And it was only 90 minutes long! Definitely a rare jewel of a film.
6. Before Midnight — The third in a series about this love struck couple, this is my favorite of the three. Reality is the perfect description for what Before Midnight has to offer. Every married couple can relate. It is simply magical!
5. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire — Despite the feeling that it didn’t live up to the character and story development of the book, The Hunger Games was still one of the most entertaining films I saw this year. It left me “hungry” for film three!
4. Prisoners — This is mystery suspense thriller stressed me out…in a good way. The story is not for the faint of heart considering its about two kidnapped little girls and multiple murders. Hugh Jackman deserves an Oscar for living through this fictional drama!
3. The Way Way Back — I agree with my husband that is the surprise gem of the year! I am in love with this movie. It was sweet, funny and just fun to watch. It is a great film for your young coming-of-age kid and will not fail to touch your adult "hardened" heart!
2. Frozen — Disney was beginning to worry me that they couldn’t put out a successful film without the Pixar name attached. Frozen proves that wrong. It harkens back to the Disney films of old with great songs, a touching story and just a guaranteed fun time for any age.
1. Star Trek Into Darkness — This Trekkie was more than pleased with the second installment of the re-envisioning of Star Trek. Such an adrenaline rush with a villain that a fan will know and love to hate, and a newbie can appreciate! I can’t watch this film enough and am only disappointed that JJ Abrams will not be directing the next one!
Pegasus News Content partner - Reel & Unscripted
A husband/wife team movie review blog! Can't decide what to watch? We'll help.