29 December 2013

My Top 5 Movies of 2013

Like last year, I made a good start on the film front, helped by attending a preview day for journalists and bloggers, where I got to watch five films in a single day. Again, though, I faded fast and managed only to see 68 movies this year — only a little more than one per week. One of my resolutions for 2013 was to re-watch more of my favourite movies and seven of the films on the list are re-watches. My top five are all rather mainstream this year, partly due to my new South of the River location making visits to independent cinemas a little more long-winded. It was a pretty good year for films, and there are too many runners-up this year to list them all.

1. Gravity. As I noted when I reviewed Gravity, it quite literally took my breath away. I haven't spent as unsettling a 90 minutes at the cinema in a long time, and for once, I felt the 3D was completely justified. Gravity is beautifully shot and features a brilliant performance from Sandra Bullock.

2. Before Midnight. I've long been a fan of Richard Linklater's Before... series but was slightly nervous about whether the third film — which could have been called Before Middle Age — would live up to its predecessors. Darker and more intense than the first two films, Before Midnight is moving but still funny, and shows Ethan Hawke's Jesse and Julie Delpy's Céline as older but not any wiser than their younger selves.

3. Django Unchained. Yes, at almost three hours, Tarantino's latest effort could do with a bit of editing but Django Unchained is his best film in years. It's entertaining and worth watching to see Leo playing a bad guy alone. It's violent, it's bloody and it's bloody funny. Oh, and Christoph Waltz is fantastic.

4. Blue Jasmine. Without wishing to seem repetitive, Blue Jasmine is Woody Allen's best film in years. It is Cate Blanchett's performance as the titular Jasmine, a selfish, self-absorbed drama queen, that will be remembered. It is also a tightly edited film with a great script and cracking ensemble cast.

5. The Great Gatsby. I know, I know. You wait for ages for a good Leonardo DiCaprio and then two come along at once. I'd waited a long time for Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of Fitzgerald's novel to be released and it didn't disappoint. Big, loud and visually stunning, with great music, and some good performances, especially from Carey Mulligan and Joel Edgerton (Leo was fine, but not at his best). Watch it on as big a screen as possible.

Other films I watched this year (re-watches in italics):

  • Die Hard (TV)
  • The Impossible
  • Catch Me If You Can
  • Another Earth (TV)
  • Hyde Park on Hudson
  • A Late Quartet
  • Lincoln
  • Hitchcock
  • Flight
  • Les Misérables
  • Zero Dark Thirty
  • I Give It a Year
  • No
  • To the Wonder
  • Amour (DVD)
  • Lore
  • Stoker
  • Broken City
  • Welcome to the Punch
  • Side Effects
  • One Day
  • Compliance
  • Goon (DVD)
  • Trance
  • Dans la Maison (In the House)
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower (plane)
  • Arbitrage (plane)
  • Star Trek Into Darkness
  • Los amantes pasajeros (I'm So Excited)
  • The Reluctant Fundamentalist
  • Mud
  • Behind the Candelabra
  • Man of Steel
  • The Internship
  • The Bling Ring
  • Midnight in Paris
  • Breathe In (online)
  • Dial M for Murder
  • About Time
  • The Way Way Back
  • What Maisie Knew
  • The Italian Job (1969)
  • Rush
  • Shifty (TV)
  • Love Is All You Need (plane)
  • In a World
  • 360 (TV)
  • Don Jon
  • The Grandmaster
  • Drinking Buddies
  • Captain Phillips
  • Café de Flore
  • Wreckers (TV)
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
  • Scream
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • Now You See Me (TV)
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
  • Elf (TV)
  • Never Let Me Go
  • Of Gods and Men (TV)
  • American Hustle
  • Iron Man (TV)

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