The 40 best films of 2013

I've now seen well over 100 films from 2013, and these are the top 40, in my opinion.
View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective. (140 mins.)
 
2.
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stock-broker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government. (180 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
 
3.
12 Years a Slave (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. (134 mins.)
Director: Steve McQueen
 
4.
Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
In 1985 Dallas, electrician and hustler Ron Woodroof works around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need after he is diagnosed with the disease. (117 mins.)
 
5.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The dwarves, along with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey, continue their quest to reclaim Erebor, their homeland, from Smaug. Bilbo Baggins is in possession of a mysterious and magical ring. (161 mins.)
Director: Peter Jackson
 
6.
Mud (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Two young boys encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the vigilantes that are on his trail and to reunite him with his true love. (130 mins.)
Director: Jeff Nichols
 
7.
Nebraska (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million-dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize. (115 mins.)
Director: Alexander Payne
 
8.
Monsters University (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A look at the relationship between Mike and Sulley during their days at Monsters University -- when they weren't necessarily the best of friends. (104 mins.)
Director: Dan Scanlon
 
9.
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
After the crew of the Enterprise find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction. (132 mins.)
Director: J.J. Abrams
 
10.
Prisoners (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
When Keller Dover's daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts. But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family? (153 mins.)
 
11.
Her (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with his newly purchased operating system that's designed to meet his every need. (126 mins.)
Director: Spike Jonze
 
12.
Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Adele's life is changed when she meets Emma, a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire, to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. In front of others, Adele grows, seeks herself, loses herself and ultimately finds herself through love and loss. (180 mins.)
 
13.
Gravity (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A medical engineer and an astronaut work together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space. (91 mins.)
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
 
14.
Man of Steel (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Clark Kent, one of the last of an extinguished race disguised as an unremarkable human, is forced to reveal his identity when Earth is invaded by an army of survivors who threaten to bring the planet to the brink of destruction. (143 mins.)
Director: Zack Snyder
 
15.
Pacific Rim (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
As a war between humankind and monstrous sea creatures wages on, a former pilot and a trainee are paired up to drive a seemingly obsolete special weapon in a desperate effort to save the world from the apocalypse. (131 mins.)
 
16.
Elysium (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
In the year 2154, the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth. A man takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds. (109 mins.)
Director: Neill Blomkamp
 
17.
The Act of Killing (2012 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A documentary which challenges former Indonesian death-squad leaders to reenact their mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish, including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers. (115 mins.)
 
18.
47 Ronin (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A band of samurai set out to avenge the death and dishonor of their master at the hands of a ruthless shogun. (128 mins.)
Director: Carl Rinsch
 
19.
American Hustle (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A con man, Irving Rosenfeld, along with his seductive partner Sydney Prosser, is forced to work for a wild FBI agent, Richie DiMaso, who pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia. (138 mins.)
 
20.
Iron Man 3 (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
When Tony Stark's world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution. (130 mins.)
Director: Shane Black
 
21.
Out of the Furnace (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
When Rodney Baze mysteriously disappears and law enforcement doesn't follow through fast enough, his older brother, Russell, takes matters into his own hands to find justice. (116 mins.)
Director: Scott Cooper
 
22.
Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A week in the life of a young singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. (104 mins.)
 
23.
Blue Jasmine (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A New York socialite, deeply troubled and in denial, arrives in San Francisco to impose upon her sister. She looks a million, but isn't bringing money, peace, or love... (98 mins.)
Director: Woody Allen
 
24.
The Selfish Giant (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Two thirteen year-old working-class friends in Bradford seek fortune by getting involved with a local scrap dealer and criminal. (91 mins.)
Director: Clio Barnard
 
25.
Alan Partridge (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
When famous DJ Alan Partridge's radio station is taken over by a new media conglomerate, it sets in motion a chain of events which see Alan having to work with the police to defuse a potentially violent siege. (90 mins.)
Director: Declan Lowney
 
26.
Frozen (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
When the newly crowned Queen Elsa accidentally uses her power to turn things into ice to curse her home in infinite winter, her sister, Anna, teams up with a mountain man, his playful reindeer, and a snowman to change the weather condition. (102 mins.)
 
27.
Behind the Candelabra (2013 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Based on the autobiographical novel, the tempestuous 6-year relationship between Liberace and his teenage lover, Scott Thorson, is recounted. (118 mins.)
 
28.
The Iceman (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
The story of Richard Kuklinski, the notorious contract killer and family man. When finally arrested in 1986, neither his wife nor daughters have any clue about his real profession. (106 mins.)
Director: Ariel Vromen
 
29.
The Hangover Part III (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
When one of their own is kidnapped by an angry gangster, the Wolf Pack must track down Mr. Chow, who has escaped from prison and is on the lam. (100 mins.)
Director: Todd Phillips
 
30.
Side Effects (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A young woman's world unravels when a drug prescribed by her psychiatrist has unexpected side effects. (106 mins.)
 
31.
Oldboy (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Obsessed with vengeance, a man sets out to find out why he was kidnapped and locked into solitary confinement for twenty years without reason. (104 mins.)
Director: Spike Lee
 
32.
Gangster Squad (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
It's 1949 Los Angeles, the city is run by gangsters and a malicious mobster, Mickey Cohen. Determined to end the corruption, John O'Mara assembles a team of cops, ready to take down the ruthless leader and restore peace to the city. (113 mins.)
Director: Ruben Fleischer
 
33.
Only God Forgives (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
Julian, a drug-smuggler thriving in Bangkok's criminal underworld, sees his life get even more complicated when his mother compels him to find and kill whoever is responsible for his brother's recent death. (90 mins.)
 
34.
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
When Dr. Jane Foster gets cursed with a powerful entity known as the Aether, Thor is heralded of the cosmic event known as the Convergence and the genocidal Dark Elves. (112 mins.)
Director: Alan Taylor
 
35.
Filth (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A corrupt, junkie cop with Borderline Personality Disorder attempts to manipulate his way through a promotion in order to win back his wife and daughter while also fighting his own borderline-fueled inner demons. (97 mins.)
Director: Jon S. Baird
 
36.
Blackfish (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A documentary following the controversial captivity of killer whales, and its dangers for both humans and whales. (83 mins.)
 
37.
Ain't Them Bodies Saints (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
The tale of an outlaw who escapes from prison and sets out across the Texas hills to reunite with his wife and the daughter he has never met. (96 mins.)
Director: David Lowery
 
38.
Don Jon (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A New Jersey guy dedicated to his family, friends, and church, develops unrealistic expectations from watching porn and works to find happiness and intimacy with his potential true love. (90 mins.)
 
39.
Evil Dead (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Five friends head to a remote cabin, where the discovery of a Book of the Dead leads them to unwittingly summon up demons living in the nearby woods. (91 mins.)
Director: Fede Alvarez
 
40.
Trance (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
An art auctioneer who has become mixed up with a group of criminals partners with a hypnotherapist in order to recover a lost painting. (101 mins.)
Director: Danny Boyle