My favourite films in 2013

by MovieGeekBlog | created - 10 Jan 2014 | updated - 23 Apr 2014 | Public

The order is sort of "a bit arbitrary". It's really hard to put films like "short term 12" and "gravity" next to each other. I loved them both for different reasons and the fact that one ended up 1st and the other 4th doesn't really mean one is better than the other, it's just that in this list I couldn't put 4 films as number 1. That's all.

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1. Short Term 12 (2013)

R | 96 min | Drama

82 Metascore

A 20-something supervising staff member of a residential treatment facility navigates the troubled waters of that world alongside her co-worker and longtime boyfriend.

Director: Destin Daniel Cretton | Stars: Brie Larson, Frantz Turner, John Gallagher Jr., Kaitlyn Dever

Votes: 68,938 | Gross: $1.01M

This film truly touched me. It made me smile, laugh, cry... And I've been thinking about adopting a child ever since...

2. Like Father, Like Son (2013)

Not Rated | 121 min | Drama

73 Metascore

Ryota is a successful workaholic businessman. When he learns that his biological son was switched with another boy after birth, he faces the difficult decision to choose his true son or the boy he and his wife have raised as their own.

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda | Stars: Masaharu Fukuyama, Machiko Ono, Yôko Maki, Lily Franky

Votes: 16,262 | Gross: $0.28M

One of the most touching films I've seen in a long time. It had me in tears pretty much throughout... Gentle, sweet, profound, never sentimental and yet incredibly emotional.

3. Her (2013)

R | 126 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi

90 Metascore

In a near future, a lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with an operating system designed to meet his every need.

Director: Spike Jonze | Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, Rooney Mara

Votes: 436,708 | Gross: $25.57M

One of the most accomplished films by Spike Jonze in my view. Clever, beautifully written, meaningful... disturbing and hilarious at the same time. Not for everyone, but I loved it.

4. Gravity (2013)

PG-13 | 91 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

96 Metascore

Two astronauts work together to survive after an accident which leaves them stranded in space.

Director: Alfonso Cuarón | Stars: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris, Orto Ignatiussen

Votes: 674,255 | Gross: $274.09M

Yes, I know the script might now amount to much... But it's been a long time since I can remember being so overwhelmed by the experience of a movie like I have been with this one. And of course, it has the best use of 3D EVER.

5. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

R | 180 min | Biography, Comedy, Crime

75 Metascore

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.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey

Votes: 968,673 | Gross: $116.90M

It's probably baggy, overlong, rude, misoginist, but I had not had so much fun in a cinema for a long time. Di Caprio is on top form and the editing is masterful.

6. The Act of Killing (2012)

Not Rated | 117 min | Documentary, Crime

89 Metascore

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.

Directors: Joshua Oppenheimer, Anonymous, Christine Cynn | Stars: Anwar Congo, Herman Koto, Syamsul Arifin, Ibrahim Sinik

Votes: 29,503 | Gross: $0.49M

A weird experiment... How on earth did they come up with this idea? An unforgettable film. It'll probably stay with me forever.

7. Wadjda (2012)

PG | 98 min | Comedy, Drama

81 Metascore

An enterprising Saudi girl signs on for her school's Koran recitation competition as a way to raise the remaining funds she needs in order to buy the green bicycle that has captured her interest.

Director: Haifaa Al-Mansour | Stars: Waad Mohammed, Reem Abdullah, Abdullrahman Al Gohani, Ahd

Votes: 15,822 | Gross: $1.35M

Transgressing powerful and yet light, quiet and intimate at the same time. Not just an important film, but a beautiful piece of cinema.

8. The Selfish Giant (2013)

Not Rated | 91 min | Drama

83 Metascore

Two thirteen year-old working-class friends in Bradford seek fortune by getting involved with a local scrap dealer and criminal.

Director: Clio Barnard | Stars: Conner Chapman, Shaun Thomas, Sean Gilder, Lorraine Ashbourne

Votes: 10,261 | Gross: $0.01M

Poignant and upsetting and yet tender and beautiful. A difficult film to recommend in the same way those old Italian film from the Neorealism time are difficult to digest and yet incredibly powerful.

9. Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

R | 117 min | Biography, Drama

84 Metascore

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.

Director: Jean-Marc Vallée | Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto, Steve Zahn

Votes: 384,505 | Gross: $27.30M

An amazing transformation from both Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto make this an unforgettable film and elevate it to a must-see

10. Saving Mr. Banks (2013)

PG-13 | 125 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

65 Metascore

Author P.L. Travers reflects on her childhood after reluctantly meeting with Walt Disney, who seeks to adapt her Mary Poppins books for the big screen.

Director: John Lee Hancock | Stars: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Annie Rose Buckley, Colin Farrell

Votes: 133,490 | Gross: $83.30M

It might be my love for Mary Poppins, or maybe for Emma Thompson but I truly adored this one and by the end I was swept away by this charming comedy. One of the best of the year.

11. Stories We Tell (2012)

PG-13 | 108 min | Documentary

91 Metascore

A film that excavates layers of myth and memory to find the elusive truth at the core of a family of storytellers.

Director: Sarah Polley | Stars: Michael Polley, John Buchan, Mark Polley, Joanna Polley

Votes: 10,839 | Gross: $1.60M

An interesting, powerful and thoughtful documentary that challenges our notion of memory and family mythology and a study on storytelling and the slippery nature of truth. A detective story, a love letter, a film about making a film and, in the last act, an incredibly moving one too (even if it does loose some of its subtlety in places and actually it's very deceiving). Highly recommended

12. The Kings of Summer (2013)

R | 95 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

61 Metascore

Three teenage friends, in the ultimate act of independence, decide to spend their summer building a house in the woods and living off the land.

Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts | Stars: Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias, Nick Offerman

Votes: 70,842 | Gross: $1.29M

One of those little gems that hardly anyone saw at the time. Summer time, kids, and hut in a forest... Did somebody mention Stand by Me? Sweet, poignant, honest and... just lovely.

13. Blue Jasmine (2013)

PG-13 | 98 min | Drama

78 Metascore

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...

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin, Peter Sarsgaard, Sally Hawkins

Votes: 173,214 | Gross: $33.41M

The best Woody Allen in years... Maybe because it's not trying to be funny. In fact the best scenes are the most dramatic ones. .. And of course Cate is an Oscar Winner!!!

14. Mud (2012)

PG-13 | 130 min | Drama

76 Metascore

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.

Director: Jeff Nichols | Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Sam Shepard

Votes: 151,717 | Gross: $21.59M

The first unexpected turn from McConaughey I saw in 2013. A revelation. But it's the main kid who steals the show on this one. Delicate, hypnotizing, and beautiful.

15. Prisoners (2013)

R | 153 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

74 Metascore

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.

Director: Denis Villeneuve | Stars: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Melissa Leo

Votes: 494,163 | Gross: $61.00M

16. Before Midnight (2013)

R | 109 min | Drama, Romance

94 Metascore

We meet Jesse and Celine nine years on in Greece. Almost two decades have passed since their first meeting on that train bound for Vienna.

Director: Richard Linklater | Stars: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick, Ariane Labed

Votes: 116,324 | Gross: $8.11M

Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, any more clever and any more inspired... Before Midnight comes along making this one possibly the best trilogy together with Toy Story in the history of cinema.

17. The Way, Way Back (2013)

PG-13 | 103 min | Comedy, Drama

68 Metascore

Shy 14-year-old Duncan goes on summer vacation with his mother, her overbearing boyfriend, and her boyfriend's daughter. Having a rough time fitting in, Duncan finds an unexpected friend in Owen, manager of the Water Wizz water park.

Directors: Nat Faxon, Jim Rash | Stars: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, AnnaSophia Robb

Votes: 129,071 | Gross: $21.50M

lovely, unpretentious and sweet. And anyway, give me a story about a misunderstood kid growing up during a summer holiday and you can be sure I'm going with it!

18. Rush (I) (2013)

R | 123 min | Action, Biography, Drama

75 Metascore

The merciless 1970s rivalry between Formula One rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda.

Director: Ron Howard | Stars: Daniel Brühl, Chris Hemsworth, Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara

Votes: 375,290 | Gross: $26.95M

An unexpected surprise which almost made me forgive Ron Howard for the shameful Da Vinci Code and its terrible sequel/prequel Angels and Demons. Daniel Brühl as Niki Lauda is very very very good and deserves all the praises he's been getting. Pacy, snappy and slick entertainment the way only Hollywood can give you.

19. Metro Manila (2013)

Not Rated | 115 min | Crime, Drama

65 Metascore

Seeking a brighter future in megacity Manila, Oscar Ramirez and his family flee their impoverished life in the rice fields of the northern Philippines. But the sweltering capital's bustling... See full summary »

Director: Sean Ellis | Stars: Jake Macapagal, John Arcilla, Althea Vega, Erin Panlilio

Votes: 7,114

20. Nebraska (2013)

R | 115 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

86 Metascore

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.

Director: Alexander Payne | Stars: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb, Bob Odenkirk

Votes: 102,190 | Gross: $17.65M

21. Jagten (2012)

R | 115 min | Drama

77 Metascore

A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son's custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.

Director: Thomas Vinterberg | Stars: Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Annika Wedderkopp, Lasse Fogelstrøm

Votes: 224,396 | Gross: $0.69M

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