2013 was another great year for movies! I had a blast going to the theater and watching movies this year. I have to say that something strange happened this year with me. When making my list end of the year Top 10 favorite movie list… none of the big budget superhero movies ended up on it. I enjoyed those films, I had a great time watching them, but there were just a lot of smaller films out there that were better made. They may not have pulled in a ton of money, but they are all amazing films that I think people need to see. I surprisingly found it easy to pick out the films that I enjoyed.
I felt that all of these films on my list had incredible scripts, stories, direction, and acting. If you haven't seen any of these things you need to watch them!
10. Ender's Game
I grew up reading the book that this movie is based on. I was a huge fan before the movie came out. I have to admit, I thought this movie was going to suck, but I walked out of that theater with a huge smile on my face. It's one of the few films this year, that I actually saw in theaters more than once, and I hope we get to see some sequels!
I haven't seen this film on anybody's top 10 list that I've read, and I don't understand why. Danny Boyle's Trance was bloody insane, and I loved it! This is one of the most jacked up heist thrillers I've ever seen, and if you haven't seen it yet you need to!
8. The Kings of Summer
The first time I saw this film was at The Sundance Film Festival, and it stuck with me ever since. This is a movie I've seen a ton of times over the year. It's a hilarious coming of age drama that has the same feel as some of the movies I watched in the '80s. It was just entertaining from start to finish, and I absolutely loved the characters it introduces us to.
7. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Peter Jackson continues to blow me away with his Middle Earth films! The Hobbit is one of my favorite books ever, and I love what he's done with bringing that story to life so far. I'm sad that there is only one Middle Earth movie left, and then he will never make another one again. This last film was just entertaining as hell!
Spike Jonze's Her was by far the most unique movies that I've seen this year. It was one crazy love story, and it was told in the most beautiful way. I love Jonze's filmmaking and storytelling style.
5. American Hustle
This was such a fun movie with great, well-developed characters that I enjoyed watching. Director David O. Russell is is going to help keep the old school style of Hollywood storytelling alive. All of his films are just incredibly entertaining, and American Hustle is a fantastic addition to his body of work. I can't wait to see what he does next.
4. The Wolf of Wall Street
Damn Scorsese, you did it again! I'm such a huge fan of Martin Scorsese's work, and I absolutely loved what he did with The Wolf of Wall Street. On top of that, the acting was phenomenal, some of the best I've seen all year, and Leonardo DiCaprio deserves to finally get his best actor award.
3. The Conjuring
I love a good horror film, and James Wan's The Conjuring was freakin' amazing! This was one of the best and scariest horror movies I've seen in a long-ass time! This was just good solid storytelling, and I was extremely entertained from start to finish.
2. Saving Mr. Banks
This was the feel good movie of the year! It was really cool to see the untold story of how Mary Poppins finally made it to the big screen, and I thought this story was perfectly told. One of the things I liked most about the film was the good feeling it left me with when it was over. I also really enjoyed the humor. I found myself laughing a lot through the movie, but it also dealt with some serious dramatic issues. It had a great balance of humor and drama. I don't see how anyone can watch this movie and not like it.
How could this not be on the top of my list!? This film had everything that we love about movies–drama, suspense, humor and it was an inspiring tale of survival. It took the me to a place I have never really seen in that way before, and it simply blew me away and left me in awe. This is just one of those movies that helped change cinema.
Here are eleven more honorable mentions that didn't make my final list above:
Kon Tiki - It actually came out in 2012, but I didn't see it until 2013. It would have been number 1 on my list, if it had come out this year.
The Secert Life of Walter Mitty
The Way Way Back
Iron Man 3
Thor: The Dark World
The Book Thief
Philomena - This is a very small film that was highly recommended by a few people. I'm glad I went and saw it because it was a great movie. It's nothing like what I expected it to be, but it was a solid mystery style film based on a true story. Steve Coogan wrote, directed, and starred in the film alongside Judi Dench. If you haven't seen it yet, you've got to check it out!