Best Movies of 2013 -

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Best Movies of 2013

What was the best?

By Rob Vaux     December 31, 2013

Best Movies of 2013 by Mania
© Warner Bros.
2013 wasn’t a great year. It finished strong and it had a few highlights along the way, but an overall exhaustion seemed to permeate cinemas this year. From less-than-heroic superhero movies to indie films that never quite found their spark, it felt like we’d been there and done that through week after meh-laden week. It was even hard to find really terrible movies – the kind of memorable badness that at least leaves a lasting impression. It was a lengthy wallow in mediocrity, a sign that Hollywood’s corporate formula may have well and truly run out of gas.
Even so, there were modest pleasures to be had, and even not-so-modest ones if you looked hard enough. Science fiction films did fairly well, making up for the empty wasteland over in the horror genre. Dependable directors weren’t always as dependable as we wanted them to be, but others came through with flying colors and a few surprises lurked here and there that kept hope alive as we trudged to the theaters.
 Here there, is our annual breakdown of the best genre films of the year, topped by the best film of any sort this year… which just so happens (in our humble estimation) to be a piece of science fiction.
Best Action Movie: Dhoom 3

It’s tempting to list The Fast and The Furious 6 here, with a nod to the late Paul Walker if nothing else. But for sheer balls-to-the-wall outrageousness, then Bollywood’s reigning action movie franchise had them all beat. Featuring an intriguing backstory  of a circus acrobat’s revenge, multiple audacious bank robberies followed by slam-bang car chases, and the most cheerfully bizarre motorcycle transformation scene that doesn’t involve anyone named Optimus Prime, Dhoom 3 was even big enough here to crack the box office Top 10. There’s a reason for it, especially considering the genre’s largely dismal status otherwise. 
Best Animated Feature: Frozen

For the second year in a row, Disney reaffirms just who exactly runs this damn genre anyway. The classic princess tale gets unique twist with a pair of sisters whose troubled, touching relationship puts all those “happily ever after” romances to shame. Kudos too for including co-director Jennifer Lee, helping to balance the scales of what is still a horrendous boys club of animation directors. And how does that snowman actually end up being cute?
Best Comic Book Movie: The Wolverine

Hugh Jackman continues the rehabilitation of the X-Men franchise started by First Class (and hopefully continued by Days of Future Past) with a crackerjack riff on the vaunted Chris Claremont/Frank Miller miniseries. Director James Mangold makes the stake more intimate, which provides just the right jolt of adrenaline to remind us that Jackman’s iconic Canucklehead still has a few snikts left in his claws.
Best Horror Movie: Stoker

I’m cheating a bit here because Stoker is probably more thriller than flat-out horror movie. But Oldboy director Chan-wook Park delivers so many ice-cold blasts to the spine – along with gorgeous scenery and a knowing, clever retake on American Gothic – that it’s impossible to tell. Mia Wasikowska announces herself with a ferocity we’ve yet to see from her, while Nicole Kidman shows us she can still bring it for the right project. More films like this please!
Best Science Fiction Movie: Her

Weird. Haunting. Sad. Beautiful. The best science fiction film on our list is actually the #2 film of the whole year for me… and yet only the #2 science fiction film at that. (Okay, so we’re cheating.) There were a lot of strong contenders in the field, such as Elysium, Europe Report, The World’s End and even honorable also-rans like Oblivion. Her sets them all to shame, with Joaquin Phoenix’s heartsick schlub finding redemption and maybe something much more at the hands of a sentient OS. Spike Jonze picks his projects carefully, but rarely makes the results less than stunning. In fact, this one would have gone to the top of my list were it not for one slightly better rival.

The Best Movie of the Year: Gravity

If Her is the mind and the soul, the Gravity is the body: an exercise in pure technique that transcends mere button pushing to become a work of art. A second Oscar for Sandra Bullock? If there’s any justice in the world, yes. And as for director Alfonso Cuaron, this stands as the highlight of a career that hasn’t exactly wanted for amazing feats of filmmaking. The small screen will never do this white-knuckler justice; I’ll always be grateful to 2013 for letting us see it on the big one.


Happy New Year everyone! We’ll be back in a couple of days with a look at what’s coming up in 2014!


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violator14 12/31/2013 7:54:08 AM

  I agree Gravity best movie of the year. I've never seen a movie in imax 3 times within 1 month before.

But I think Thor 2 was by FAR the best CBM of the year and many years for that matter.

Best action movie: Fast and Furious... RIP Paul Walker.

And Rob, 2013 was one of, if not THE best year in movies.

Happy New Year Maniacs!!! Dont drive u fools!

Wiseguy 12/31/2013 8:07:30 AM

No big disagreements here but Captain Phillips may be my best of the year.

I agree with violator on Thor but Wolverine is right there too

I really dug Oblivion but Star Trek would get my sci/fi vote

Haven't seen any of the Dhoom films, I have a bias against indian films because they often break into a dance number, that shit pisses me off

goirish83 12/31/2013 9:53:50 AM

Agree with Gravity 100%.  Disagree with Wolverine, that was another lackluster movie and Thor 2 was a lot better than that, just my opinion.

Happy New Year Maniacs !!!

blankczech 12/31/2013 9:54:28 AM

 I can't argue with anyone's "best of" choices for 2013.  We all have our opinions...I certainly can't tell you what you should like.

Movies are far from being my favorite form of entertainment.  I don't think a movie can weave an interesting tale in 2 or 3 hours the way a television series can over the span of three months, and for sheer drama and excitement I'll take spectator sports over movies which I often find to be silly and predictable.

I do like movies and watch them all the time on different devices.  Of course this gives me an advantage over theatre goers who are restricted to seeing only those movies which are released to the theatres.

My favorite theatrical release this year is "Inside llewyn Davis" which effected me more on a personal level than "Gravity," though I admit to being dazzled by Gravity's special effects.  My favorite CBM was Iron Man 3 which I know isn't a popular selection...but i liked the film's sense of humor, the Mandarin twist (many hated) and the fact that RDJ did most of it without his iron man suit on.






violator14 12/31/2013 10:11:16 AM


millean 12/31/2013 10:14:16 AM

My favorite movie of the year is Man of Steel.  However, just because I said it was my favorite, I don't think it was by any means the best.  I just love all of the possibilities this movies brings with an expanded DCU on film.  Plus, I thought it was still a really good movie despite a few of its flaws.

Best movie of the year?  That is a bit of a tougher one, but I think it is a tie between 42 and Star Trek: Into Darkness  with a slight nod over Gravity.  Gravity suffers a bit to me because I think it will lose a lot of the spectacle not viewing it in an IMAX theatre.  It is just not as re-watchable as any of the other movies.  I haven't seen 42 discussed much on this site, but that was a great film.

Both of the Thor movies have been pleasant surprises to me, but I still feel like they lack... something (though I just can't put my finger on it).  The Wolverine was better than expected.

Honorable mentions: Now You See Me, Warm Bodies (expected that to be crap) & Hunger Games: Catching Fire.


millean 12/31/2013 10:18:59 AM

Well, since blankczech brought up sports, I was at the 2013 Iron Bowl and that trumps anything and everything I've seen in person - EVER.

WDE!  :)

violator14 12/31/2013 10:39:52 AM

  Wow Millean- "Now you see me" and "warm bodies"?!?! Total snorefests for me... no offense. haha

Ok, Man of Steel was sick. Pacific Rim was the greatest Imax experience of my life so far. I was blown away when i saw that honestly. The detail and the epic scenes on Imax was crazy. Star Trek is probably my 2nd or 3rd favorite of the year. I also really enjoyed World War Z, Riddick, and Elysium too.... and i cant forget The Hobbit 2 of course (The greatest Dragon in history)

Wolverine pissed me off, cuz i really thought there was gonna be a crazy ass epic battle scene with him and those ninjas in the village on the roofs, but nothing happened (something that always happened in the comics in which i wanted to see on the big screen). The rest of the movie was good i guess especially if u compare it to part 1.

Oh and I found my new funniest movie of the year this year, "This Is The End"!!

And I still haven't even seen Hunger Games 2, Anchorman 2, American Hustle, Wolf of Wall street, & Captain Philips,

"2013 wasn't a great year in movies".... PSSHHHH!!

hanso 12/31/2013 10:45:52 AM

Missed way too much stuff this year but from what I was able to catch, I would say my top movies were:

Gravity, Man of Steel, Anchorman 2, Thor, World War Z and The To Do List

Biggest let downs were:  Iron Man 3, Hangover 3 and Gangster Squad

Movies I thought were going suck balls but ended up enjoying them:  We're The Millers, The Internship

Movies I thought were going to suck balls and I was right:  RIPD and White House Down

hanso 12/31/2013 10:49:38 AM

Violator, I think The Wolverine Extended cut has the ninja fight you were looking for.  I've heard the extended cut is way better but unfortunately its only available if you buy the 3D set.

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