As 2013 comes to an end, Screen Critix looks back at our favourite films from the last year. Countdown with us from ten to one and see if you agree.
It’s never easy to do one of these lists; twelve months of films and to choose just ten movies. It’s especially difficult to, due to so many great films being released late in December (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Hobbit 2) and January 2014 (American Hustle, 12 years a Slave). We managed it though.
Here are our favourite films of 2013, counting down from 10. These are the movies we enjoyed the most as viewers.
10.) Star Trek Into Darkness
JJ Abrams has made Star Trek cool again. That may be a bold statement and one that trekkies may not like, but for the average person who doesn’t own the ‘Next Generation’ box set, Star Trek and its sequel Star Trek Into Darkness are both approachable for newcomers and people who just want to watch a big and bold spectacle.
Into Darkness expanded upon its predecessor along with adding a classic villain in Khan. Benedict Cumberbatch stole the show as the villain – making Spock and co earn their futuristic money by running the ragged all over the universe.
9.) The World’s End
2013 saw Edgar Wright finish his Cornetto Trilogy with a hilarious pub crawl. If Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz taught us anything, it was that the pairing of Wright and Simon Pegg is brilliant for British comedy that the whole world simply gets.
When loser Pegg gets his old school friends together to try and end a pub crawl in his home town that they attempted years earlier, they all get more than they expected – realizing that this quaint little part of suburbia is now over run by robotic aliens looking to invade the planet. Watch if you are in need of a good old laugh.
8.) Alpha Papa: Alan Partridge
Still working at Norwich FM, Partridge finds the station under siege when a former radio presenter takes the building and the station employees hostage in an attempt to gain his job back. Looking at the situation as an opportunity to get himself back in the spotlight and the public eye, Partridge acts as a go-between for the police and the former DJ.
Laugh out loud funny, partridge will get you with his hilarious and often ridiculous one-liners and 80’s references.
7.) Fruitvale Station
Based on a true story, Fruitvale Station is hard-hitting. The movie sees us spending the last day of Oscar Grant III life, as he prepares for New year festivities with his family. From picking his daughter up from kindergarten to having an evening meal with his mum, the whole movie builds up to the moment he was (apparently) accidently shot by a police officer at the titular train station.
Michael B. Jordan is on fine form as Oscar and could well be in for an Oscar nomination, which would be fitting.
6.) Thor: The Dark World
Taking over where Kenneth Branagh left off, Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor builds upon the story of Thor, his brother Loki and the world of Asgard. Banished for many a year, the Dark Elves returned with a plan to turn the universe into total darkness so they can rule once more. It’s then up to our hero to save the day, but to do so he will need help from an unlikely partner.
Thor: The Dark World was, in our opinion, greater than the first film and the best Marvel movie of 2013 (we still haven’t forgiven Shane Black and co for what they did to The Mandarin in Iron Man 3).
5.) Man of Steel
This may be a little controversial as Man of Steel has had some mixed reviews from critics and fans alike – but we loved it. With a little help from Christopher Nolan, Zack Snyder rebuilt the story of Superman from the ground up.
We have an exhilarating opening on Krypton and then a look at Cal El as he grows up as Clark Kent, knowing he is “different” than everybody else. Wondering how and why he is on Earth, Kent decides to put his powers to use and help save mankind from itself and, after Kryptonian General Zod arrives, others from different planets. As well as brilliant action set-pieces and heartfelt scenes, Man of Steel also has a brilliant soundtrack courtesy of the god-like Hans Zimmer.
4.) Saving Mr. Banks
Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson are on fine form as Walt Disney and P.L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks. Based on a true story, the film revolves around Disney trying to keep a promise to his daughters to turn Travers book Mary Poppins into a live-action movie, must against the wishes of the author herself.
Saving Mr. Banks is handled delicately and we, the viewer, is transported to both the 1960’s and the early 1900’s fantastically.
When Hugh a young girl and her friend go missing in small-town America, the police and detective Jake Gyllenhaal attempt to bring them to safety but, with little leads to go on, it proves difficult. Enter one of their dads – Hugh Jackman, to take matters in his own hands.
Prisoners is a dark movie that is both thriller, horror and a terrifying drama rolled into one. A must-see film, it makes for solid viewing full of excellent performances.
One of the most talked about movies of 2013, Gravity is an incredible spectacle. Never have we seen onscreen such amazing imagery as Alfonso Curon takes us a little outside the Earth’s atmosphere. When astronauts George Clooney and Sandra Bullock are hit by debris whilst fixing the Hubble telescope, their lives are instantaneously at risk as they battle to survive in space itself.
Gravity forces us to ask questions on how we would survive if put in the same position as the characters and leaves us biting our nails as if they were the popcorn we were intended to eat. Incredible cinematography and a brilliant soundtrack adds to one of the most unforgettable cinema experiences we are likely to see in our lifetime.
1.) Captain Phillips
The choice between first and second place was such a hard one, that we literally changed a minds a few times whilst writing this article. In the end though (after much squabbling) we have settled on Captain Phillips being our favourite move of 2013.
Tom Hanks in another towering performance is the titular Captain Phillips. When his cargo ship comes under attack from Somali pirates, it’s up to Phillips to save his crew, even if it means an end to his life. Paul Greengrass shoots the film like a documentary with shaky camera shots and it suits the film to a tee.
Hanks is brilliant throughout, but his acting in the last few minutes of screen time will simply take your breath away as we feel for his character and the ordeal he was put through. The fact that this is based on a true story is incredible in itself.
Captain Phillips, our favourite film of 2013.