Tag Archives: best films
I haven’t been to the theater much lately. And by lately, I mean since I was a kid. I’m basically waiting for them to make movies again (see The Idea of What a Movie Is). I mostly deferred to John’s list to see what even came out this year:
Didn’t see too many new movies this year. Only thirteen in total. Mostly just watched older stuff. In fact, I went to the theaters to see old movies way more than I went to see new ones. This was a particularly great year for screenings of classics, here in NYC. BAM devoted a month to all of John Cassavetes’ films, and did a mini Douglas Sirk retrospective too. And Film Forum had King Kong—a staggeringly gorgeous print of it.
The new movies I did see in theaters this year were Blue Jasmine, This is the End, Gravity, and Escape From Tomorrow. Only liked one of those. As such, I doubt I’ll be going to the theaters to see a new movie any time soon.
Of the thirteen 2013 movies I saw this year (four in theaters, nine on VOD or Netflix) I only liked half, so my list is split into two parts. Part one is the good, part two is the bad. Any films marked 2012 were originally completed in 2012, but released theatrically in 2013.
By the way, there were a bunch of 2013 movies I tried on Netflix that I couldn’t bring myself to finish, and tapped out at the 15-minute mark—such as Frances Ha and Computer Chess—but I didn’t feel comfortable putting all those on this list because I didn’t give them a full viewing. Full enough to know I didn’t want to watch them, yes, but not full enough to really pick them apart.
Anyway, here goes. Feel free to agree or disagree with me in the comments section and whatnot.
What a year! Lots of challenging, beautiful films. A strong year for minority representation—including films that weren’t about that, like Fast & Furious 6 or The Best Man Holiday (oh lord), the latter of which I haven’t seen yet. Probably the strongest spread of black cinema since the late 1990s, but the prospect of a long-term sea change in that regard is rocky. And lots of films about the changing landscape of the American Dream, both excellent (Spring Breakers) and terrible (The Canyons).
If you’re not up to date on the Direct-to-Video action renaissance, you’re missing out on much of the most powerful and ambitious filmmaking in the world today. Last year, this market was dominated by the incredible Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning, which has made the whole movement kinda too good to ignore for a lot mainstream critics. This is wonderful news, but unfortunately none that I saw wowed me this year—if I missed any good ones, let me know. I hope going forward, we cease to be surprised to find quality in DTV, and instead expect ambition in the cracks as a matter of course. There’s no reason not to, right?
Here’s every 2013 movie I’ve seen, in order from best to worst. (Any film marked ‘2012’ was originally completed in 2012, but officially released in 2013.)
Feel free to comment and argue!