It’s time to look back at all of the movies that 2013 offered. A number of smash-hits delivered massive box office numbers in 2013 and several more films are poised for additional attention in the upcoming awards season (during the early month’s of 2014). Yet, in spite of broad critical acclaim or record breading ticket sales, some movies just resonated with the Screen Rant editorial. Since the entertainment industry is subjective, each year we present our individual Top 5 “Favorite” (not necessarily “Best”) movie offerings but this end of the year retrospective isn’t designed to put together a comprehensive list of award-contenders, it’s to share the movies that touched us, wowed us, and reminded us why we love this medium so very much.
Admittedly, some of the year’s “Best” movies won’t make all (or any) of our “Favorite” lists – so make sure to look over our movie review archive to find out what we thought of your own personal choices – as well as share your own Top 5 Favorite Movies of 2013 in the comments! You can also listen to us discuss our picks on the latest episode of the Screen Rant Underground podcast!
1. The Wolf of Wall Street
3. Man of Steel
4. Inside Llewyn Davis
5. Spring Breakers
Wolf of Wall Street topped my list at the very last minute because it has something timely and relevant to say – but Gravity is a cinematic experience I’ll remember forever.
No surprise that I like Man of Steel so much (I’ve said it often); however, for those wondering, Spring Breakers is in my top 5 because it’s a piece of cinematic art that is brilliantly trashy and manages to get under your skin even if you don’t quite know why. I love movies that challenge me.
2. Man of Steel
4. The Wolf of Wall Street
5. Side Effects
Gravity was my favorite 2013 film for a number reasons but more than anything else, it took me back to the feeling of seeing Jurassic Park for the first time on the big screen – delivering genuine movie magic. Man of Steel is definitely not the “best” movie of 2013, but as a longtime Superman fan, Zack Snyder’s epic scale, impactful drama, beautiful visuals, and much-appreciated super powered action scenes kept me coming back to the theater (in spite of a few shortcomings). Prisoners would also make my “Most Difficult to Watch” list but remains a favorite of the year due to a great story as well as incredible performances from Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal.
2. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
4. The Wolverine
5. The Great Gatsby
In a year where big budget superhero underwhelmed me, the character-focused and more grounded tale of Wolverine‘s journey to Japan did right by me and almost knocked it out of the park if it weren’t held back by some odd sci-fi elements and set pieces.
Gravity easily takes my top spot for delivering the most incredible-in-theater experience of my life and the first example of 3D working perfectly.
1 [Honorary]. Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain
3. Saving Mr. Banks
4. The Great Gatsby
5. Pain & Gain
Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain may not be my real favorite movie of 2013, but is sure is indicative of what’s coming in 2014: the year of Kevin Hart. Hart has been on the rise ever since Dave Attell tapped him for success at the start of his career, and he’s been slowly working his way to the top ever since. With guest appearances behind him and more than a few successful movies and TV shows under his belt, it’ll be exciting to see Hart go from selling out Madison Square Garden two nights in a row (which only 5 other comedians have ever done, ever) to take the next step in his career and become a leading man.
1. Inside Llewyn Davis
2. Man of Steel
4. American Hustle
5. Gravity/Spring Breakers
I’ve long been a fan of the Coen Brothers’ ironic Americana, yet was still caught off-guard by just how layered and personal a film Inside Llewyn Davis is.
Man of Steel, in my opinion, is a new touchstone for superhero cinema, Nebraska was a memorable examination of a fading generation, and American Hustle was another wild ride with David O. Russell. As for the split decision with my #5 selection: Gravity was perhaps *the* unique cinematic experience – while Spring Breakers was perhaps *the* unique work of art – released this year.
1. You’re Next
2. Pacific Rim
4. American Hustle
5. The World’s End
Though I was generally disappointed by movies in 2013 – genre movies in particular – there were more than a few bright spots. You’re Next was a clever, creative horror film that felt like Home Alone meets Halloween. Pacific Rim was pure fun in the form of a live action cartoon. Gravity was one of the more gripping thrillers I’ve ever experienced in theaters. American Hustle was a funny, brilliantly-acted, down-to-Earth con film – and the soundtrack was killer. And The World’s End was a great conclusion to one of my favorite “trilogies” ever.
1. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
3. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
4. Man of Steel
5. Star Trek into Darkness
This was a bit tough for 2013, I didn’t get out to see very many movies and the ones I did see didn’t blow me away (for the most part). The order above is not set in stone – these aren’t necessarily the films I consider the “best,” more like the ones I thought did the job they set out to do and were satisfying.
There are a bunch of movies that I still want to see (Walter Mitty, Saving Mr. Banks, American Hustle, and Frozen, among others), but I either haven’t found the time, or haven’t wanted to see them badly enough to go see them at a theater.
At the end of 2013, we want to thank all our supporters (once again) for reading Screen Rant and listening to the Screen Rant Underground podcast.
As we look toward what 2014 has to offer, make sure to check out other end of the year features that we’ve recently published:
– Favorite Movies of 2013 – SR Underground Ep. 124
– Screen Rant’s 20 Most Anticipated Movies of 2014
– 5 Most Polarizing ‘Love It or Hate It’ Movies of 2013
– 5 Big Answers for Movie Geeks in 2013
– 2013 Movies: The 10 Riskiest Box Office Bets (Revisited)
We’re interested to hear what films were your favorites in 2013, so make sure to list your own choices in the comment section!
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for future feature articles as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.