Top 10 Films of 2013


Seems like everyone is doing a top 10 at the moment so I thought I would chime in!

I haven’t seen every film from 2013 (e.g. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – working on it Tim!) so your favourites might not be on here.  Hot favourites such as 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street etc will have to be included for 2014 release since they’ve only just come out in the UK.

So without further ado – here’s my top 10.

10) This is the End

If there was an actual apocalypse, the last place you would want to end up is at James Franco’s house! This film looked like it had the makings of a very bad movie but in reality this film made me laugh – hard.   The amount of celebrity cameos are amazing and if you need another reason to watch this film, Emma Watson – that is all.

9) Monsters University

It’s a tall order to do a sequel to Monsters Inc.  Whilst I didn’t think it was as good as the first film (because it’s such a classic), Monsters University is still a strong addition in the Pixar film catalogue.

8) Man of Steel

It was a tough summer for the summer blockbusters with many of them not living up to fan expectations.  Iron Man 3 had the Mandarin problem (not really a problem for me).  Star Trek into Darkness whilst good (because of Cumberbatch’s performance) but essentially took all the best parts of The Wrath of Khan and diluted it.  But if I had to pick a superhero film that at least delivered 90% of what the trailer promised, then my vote goes to Man of SteelMan of Steel had it’s issues (destruction of Metropolis, Jonathan Kent’s death etc.) but 2/3 of the film was spot on in tone.  The backstory with Krypton was excellent, Lois Lane right off the bat knowing who Superman was and using flashbacks to tell a familiar story worked in it’s favour.  Considering that I absolutely HATED Superman Returns, Man of Steel was always going to be a winner for me.  Now they got to address the amount of destruction in the next film!

7) Wreck-It Ralph

Ok I may have cheated here.  Wreck-It Ralph was out in 2012 but was only released in the UK in February 2013!  Whilst Monsters University was good but not as good as the original and I haven’t seen Frozen or Despicable Me 2 to judge but if I had to be honest, Wreck-It Ralph was the one animated film that I had the most fun with!  As a casual gamer (was a full time gamer, then real life got in the way!) I understood all the gaming references and in-jokes.  With remakes and sequels coming out left right and centre, Wreck-It Ralph was original, celebrated retro classics whilst doing the traditional Disney story.  To put it simply, it’s turbo-tastic!

6) Behind the Candelabra

Wow – what a comeback from Michael Douglas!  Unashamedly in your face and leaving nothing to the imagination, this brilliant film will make you laugh and enjoy the drama of the topsy turvy relationship between Liberace and Scott Thorson.  HBO + Steven Soderbergh = match made in heaven.

5) Captain Phillips

One word to sum up this film – tense.  Paul Greengrass does it again (shaky cam and all).  This is Tom Hanks best film in a long time with an outstanding performance from Barkhad Abdi as Muse.  While the big hitters are already making their mark in the award season, if there was a film with an outsider chance of scooping an award, Captain Phillips would be my choice.

4) The World’s End

Many people consider this as The Godfather: Part 3 of the Cornetto trilogy but what Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost managed to do was deliver a film that was unexpected and grown up.  Hot Fuzz will always be my favourite but The World’s End had a lot of heart with Nick Frost (especially in one particular scene) being the standout.

3) The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Whilst not perfect, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was a massive improvement over an An Unexpected Journey.  With the journey now into full swing and Cumberbatch stealing the show as Smaug, my anticipation for the third film is growing, especially after that cliffhanger!

2) Blackfish

Blackfish is a film that must be watched by everyone.  It’s the most powerful, shocking and emotionally involving documentary you will see.  After watching this, the words “I want to go to SeaWorld” will be quickly erased from your mind.  Should easily pick up best documentary at the Oscars.  If it doesn’t, it would be a complete sham.

1) Gravity

For a film that makes you go through all the motions, Gravity was an easy choice.  It is a stunning film with great performances from Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.  Just like in my review, it’s a film deserving of high praise.  Not only the best film of 2013 but in my opinion, one of the best sci-fi films ever made.


  1. Some very good movies on this list. I am not a huge fan of Man of Steel or The hobbit and I flatly dislike Behind the Candelabra (just reviewed that one earlier in the week and gave it an F+), but I agree the rest of your list are all very good.


    1. Thanks jjames!
      Man of Steel is understandable. It definitely had its issues but it was far better than Superman Returns which was just painful. The Hobbit – well guess I’ve got to pick my battles but it will come down to how the 3rd film concludes the whole trilogy and whether it was worth it. As for Behind the Candelabra, Douglas and Damon were outstanding. Liberace was an enigma and the film just proved he was more in love with himself than Scott! I’ll take a look at your review just to see the contrast 😉


      1. Just replied on your blog about the film. You make very good points and whilst Damon was far too old to play Scott I don’t think it takes away from the quality of the performances and that includes the explosive 3rd act. I think Soderbergh did that to show how volatile the relationship had become with all the jealousy, money and drugs going around.


      2. Thanks for the comment!

        The volatility fell a bit flat for me. Because I don’t think it was volatile enough, I don’t think it went far enough to capture the strife between the two men.

        Or maybe by the third act I was so disenfranchised that I was no longer fully engaged. Maybe it’s really my fault. I don’t know.


      3. In terms of the volatile 3rd act, no one really knows except for the real Scott and Liberace and how far the film should have addressed it. It was just disturbing Liberace’s behaviour towards Scott. He may have had his reasons (e.g. Scott’s drug addiction) but there was no excuse for what he was doing. Because of his fame and eccentric nature he used that as an excuse to cheat and naturally turned into a hypocrite. The third act and how quickly their relationship changed is what sold the film for me. In terms of balance Soderbergh got it right.

        You’ll probably feel like you’re in the minority but that’s ok 🙂 Not every film is meant for everybody. It’s great you have another view on it!


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