Wednesday, January 01, 2014

The Top 10 Movies of 2013

Happy New Year, Carp Dimers!

Have you missed me? I'm going to give you the usual excuses. The holidays got busy, then they got lazy... in that order. Actually, it wasn't the holidays. I got busy, then lazy, in that order. I've got some stories to tell. But today isn't the day for all that.

We all know I have a tendency to see a lot of movies. What follows is my top 10. Please note: these films are my personal top 10. This list does not take into account movies that I did not see and will only include films that were released in theaters in 2013. And if you're ever interested in ranking the movies you've seen, I recommend Flickchart. But be careful, it can become an addictive activity. And now, starting with number 10...

10. Now You See Me
I caught this one over the summer and thought it was a pretty decent heist movie. Might have been a bit predictable, though. Actually, I'm a little surprised it's ranked in my top 10, but I guess Flickchart makes no mistakes.

9. Frozen
I went into Frozen with lowered expectations. I felt like Disney was trying to overhype and oversell their latest animated feature by calling it the best one since The Lion King. What about Tangled? What about Wreck-It Ralph? I thought both of those were excellent. This one was pretty good, but I sure didn't think it was in the same league as The Lion King or any of the other Disney renaissance movies from the early 90s. I definitely would have liked it better if Elsa (the Snow Queen) had been a little more developed as a character.

8. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Not a surprise that this is in my top 10. Though I'm a little surprised it's not higher. I just saw this last week and thought it was incredible. Even in 3D, which I'm rarely a fan of. Maybe it's the addition of Tauriel, played by Evangeline Lilly. She's kind of awesome. My problem with these movies, like with any prequel, is that I have no sense of dread for characters that I know survive to appear in The Lord of the Rings. I know I'm supposed to feel some kind of suspense when Bilbo goes toe to toe with Smaug, but I don't.

7. Saving Mr. Banks
My family traditionally sees one movie on Christmas Day. This year, it was Saving Mr. Banks. I thought it was a great behind the scenes look at what it took to bring Mary Poppins to the big screen. Beyond that, it was an interesting look at what made Mary Poppins' creator tick. My only complaint is Walt Disney. Don't get me wrong, I think that Tom Hanks is an outstanding actor, probably the best of his generation. But watching him play Disney, I only saw Tom Hanks. Walt Disney was not a role that Tom Hanks was able to disappear into. Though I did appreciate that the studio did not attempt to glorify their founder. They were willing to show the real Walt Disney, a man with flaws just like anyone else.

6. American Hustle
Director David O. Russell really impressed me with The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook. So now I kind of want to give him a shot with whatever he's making. American Hustle does not disappoint. It's loosely (probably very loosely) based on actual events, but they're events that took place mostly before I was born. But I did like the way the story played out as told by each of the main cast.

5. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
I went into this with extremely low expectations. I was unimpressed with the first installment and I don't have high hopes for Mockingjay, simply because they've chosen to split it into two films. But Catching Fire was very well done. Which is great, because it was my favorite of the books. It seemed like Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson have grown into their roles and the addition of new characters was well done.

4. Iron Man 3
This is another surprise. Not because it wasn't a good movie. I just didn't think it would be as highly ranked as it is. For me, this one tops 2, but not the first.

3. Star Trek Into Darkness
Umm... wow. I thought the reboot film was excellent. This one left the reboot in the dust. At least, it did in my eyes. Not sure how I felt about the depiction of Klingons in this new continuity. Not sure why the changes that have taken place in the universe would cause such drastic changes in their appearance at that point in time. But Benedict Cumberbatch's portrayal of (spoiler alert) Khan was spectacular. I'm sorry if that was a secret you weren't yet privy to. JJ Abrams didn't do a very good job of keeping that a secret from the world before the film was released.

2. Man of Steel
I know! This one isn't number 1! I'm sure you're all shocked, seeing as how I'm such a huge Superman fan and all. It may not rank as my top movie of the year, but it was absolutely outstanding in my book. For my full thoughts, click here for the review. It's kind of lengthy, so settle in.

1. 12 Years a Slave
This is another one I've seen recently that I actually wrote about on here. I said before, if this doesn't receive multiple Oscars, I will be disappointed.

So that's it for 2013 in movies. What were your favorites? Do you agree with any of my rankings? Do you disagree? Let me know what your favorites of the year were in the comments below. Stay tuned for more of my thoughts as we enter 2014. And I promise, there will be more than just movies to read about.


  1. Have you seen "The Wolverine" yet, Aaron? Thoughts on the movie if you have seen it at all?

    1. I haven't gotten around to seeing that one yet. I've heard it's decent though. Not sure it would've made my top 10 though, but that's what I thought about Now You See Me too.

    2. Thanks for your reply, Aaron! I agree with everything on this list (except for the "Star Trek" sequel), including the two movies on your list that I've already seen, "Man Of Steel" and "Iron Man 3"!

  2. Good list. I had such high hopes for Now You See Me and it started so well and then just ended up...weird? So, although I don't agree with that one, the rest of your list is pretty spot on!

    1. Yeah, I really was surprised by how that one fell on the list. I should probably go into Flickchart and re-rank it.