2013 Films – our top 20 picks
2013 films #20 – Man of Steel
Surprisingly low? Well, Kal-El, you’ve got a lot of reparations to make after Superman Returns made us all briefly hate Kevin Spacey (who knew that was even possible?) way back in 2006. Nevertheless, we’re letting Man of Steel creep onto the list because we’ve rejected The Wolverine and BFF doesn’t have enough balls to give two superheroes the cold shoulder in one blog. Zack Snyder directing, Christopher Nolan producing and Michael Shannon making everyone kneel – it can’t be that bad. Can it?
2013 films #19 – Evil Dead
Sam Raimi’s cult 80s horror returns to the screen in the hands of Fede ‘who?’ Álvarez, the only man on the planet obscure enough to defeat Wikipedia. Raimi’s still on hand as producer, but the word on the street is that this brutal horror will be less ‘Cabin in the Woods‘ and more ‘scream until your heart actually considers jumping out of your mouth and running away’. And if you still need convincing, we’ve got two words for you. You know what they are, don’t you? They’re ‘tree rape’. See you in the cinema!
Read our Evil Dead review!
2013 films #18 – Anchorman: The Legend Continues
Against our better judgement, we’re quietly excited about Ron Burgundy’s return to cinemas. Anchorman was arguably the best of the Frat Pack comedies that littered the mid-2000s, and while nobody’s begging for an Old School sequel (Frank the Tank slowly dying of cirrhosis) the stage is pretty much permanently set for some impromptu jazz flute and a bit of serious dog-kicking. Anyway, it’s been NINE YEARS since anyone really understood how much we love this lamp…
2013 films #17 – Thor: The Dark World
One of the best of Marvel’s pre-Avengers appetisers, Thor delivered the goods like few superhero films before or since – macho hero with a stupid weapon and a cloak, greasy villain with a massive helmet and a supply of one-liners, Natalie Portman – and we’ve since fallen completely in love with Chris Hemsworth’s improbably Shakespearean intonation. Thor: The Dark World promises more of the same, PLUS Christopher Eccleston as Malekith the Accursed, ruler of the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim. We want that on our business cards.
2013 films #16 – Les Misérables
Even if you’re not into musicals, you can’t have failed to get at least a bit excited about The King’s Speech director Tom Hooper’s next endeavour – an all-singing, all-dancing take on the French Revolution, starring Hugh Jackman with a beard, Russell Crowe with a hat and Anne Hathaway with something that looks like syphilis but might just be starvation. Maximus and Logan facing off against each other with the burning Bastille as a backdrop? We’ll take that, thank you very much.
Read our Les Misérables review!
2013 films #15 – Kick-Ass 2
Even if it isn’t called Balls to the Wall any more (seriously, what a great name that was), the long-awaited sequel to Matthew Vaughn’s Kick-Ass is virtually guaranteed to prod even more buttock than the original. Jim Carrey’s at his best playing ridiculous super-twerps, and anything that gives us access to Chloë Grace Moretz is pretty much a shoe-in. Plus, Nic Cage‘s character is dead! If there’s one thing that makes us excited about a film, it’s knowing that Nicolas Cage has literally no way of being in it.
2013 films #14 – Carrie
What’s that you say – a Chloë Grace Moretz double whammy? Well, if you insist. Possibly the most impressively-pedigreed remake on this list, Carrie returns from her 1976 grave to bring unprecedented levels of period-induced telekinetic badassery to one of those Maine towns Stephen King’s always making up. Now, when’s someone going to get on and remake The Dead Zone? Still starring Christopher Walken, obviously. You don’t just recast Christopher Walken.
2013 films #13 – Stoker
The Internet says Stoker is a “horror film, family drama and psychological thriller”, which seems to be shorthand for ‘we don’t know what this film even IS, Park Chan-wook!’. The Oldboy director has courted controversy by choosing to focus his English-language debut on the chronically overused vampire motif, but… what? Sorry, is it not even about vampires? See, not even we can keep up. The point is that Mia Wasikowska is in it and so are Matthew Goode and Nicole Kidman and there are going to be LOADS of murders. We’re psyched.
Read our Stoker review!
2013 films #12 – Twelve Years a Slave
Shame and Hunger director Steve McQueen branches out into films with a) multiple word titles and b) leading men other than Michael Fassbender with Twelve Years a Slave, based on the memoir of a free-born African American who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the Deep South. Chiwetel Ejiofor is playing the enslaved Solomon Northup, whilst luminaries including Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti and (obviously) Fassbender pad out the supporting cast. There’s literally no way this won’t be good, is there?
2013 films #11 – Pacific Rim
Guillermo Del Toro. Giant robots. Do you need to hear anything else? The twisted genius behind Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth has turned his laser gaze to the East, imagining a dystopian near-future where titanic beasts inspired by Japanese monster movies rise from the sea and wage war on humanity. With conventional weaponry proving useless, all of mankind’s resources are funnelled into creating Jaegers, huge mechanical warriors controlled by pairs of mind-melded pilots. Guillermo Del Toro. Giant robots. SCREAM!
2013 films #10 – The World’s End
Fresh from working on everything from Star Trek to Ant Man, the British comedy Megazord that is Wright, Pegg and Frost is finally reuniting to complete the fabled Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy; Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz may seem a long time ago now, but if there’s one way to get everyone’s attention back it’s by bringing about the apocalypse during a mammoth pub crawl. Being from the UK without being excited about The World’s End is like slapping the Queen in the face and then telling her she looks fat on all the stamps.
2013 films #9 – Zero Dark Thirty
Semi-official ‘best lady director ever’ Kathryn Bigelow returns to the subject that won her an Oscar – Americans shooting people from the Middle East – with this chronicle of the decade-long manhunt for Osama Bin Laden. Despite allegations of improper behaviour from pretty much all sides – the American government thought Navy SEALs had leaked details of the operation to Bigelow, and the Republicans thought Obama had done the same thing – we don’t care because Jessica Chastain is in it and she’s perfect.
Read our Zero Dark Thirty review!
2013 films #8 – Wreck-It Ralph
The only animation on this list promises to be manna from heaven for fans of classic video games. Everyone from Bowser to the Pac-Man ghosts is due to show up in the high-octane and heartwarming tale of an arcade game villain (John C. Reilly) who abandons his game in order to go looking for a story in which he can finally play the hero. Watching Wreck-It Ralph is going to be like the time the old lady from next door looked after you and let you have more Ribena than was strictly a good idea.
Read our Wreck-It Ralph review!
2013 films #7 – Iron Man 3
Marvel’s second appearance on the list is pretty much unavoidable – it’s been proven by science that everyone on the planet is interested in AT LEAST Robert Downey Jr OR Ben Kingsley OR Gwyneth Paltrow possibly (please, God) getting spectacularly blown up. In a post-Avengers world, Tony Stark’s status as a national hero is assured; he’s even invested in a red, white and blue suit of armour. But will it be enough to protect him from Ben Kingsley’s borderline-racist Mandarin? Spoiler: probably.
Read our Iron Man 3 review!
2013 films #6 – The Wolf of Wall Street
Martin Scorsese’s fifth collaboration with Leonardo DiCaprio is set to be this decade’s The Departed, pulling in a galaxy of stars from Jean Dujardin (him out of The Artist) to Rob Reiner in a thrilling tale of corruption, mob infiltration and lots of men in suits on the most hated street in America. It also marks the end of an era for Scorsese – after making 3D extravaganza Hugo, the iconic director has finally given up on celluloid and is shooting The Wolf of Wall Street on digital cameras. Sad, yes, but oh-so-crisp!
2013 films #5 – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The improbably-named Desolation of Smaug marks the third successive year that a Hobbit film has appeared on our ‘Top 20 of Next Year’ list, but with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey due to land before Christmas we’re finally able to move onto the second in what has abruptly become a trilogy. Even if you’re not very interested in Tolkien, you’ll obviously go and see it because Benedict Cumberbatch is voicing a dragon and we’ve prayed for absolutely nothing else for about four years. Growl for us, Benny…
2013 films #4 – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Even without Gary Ross at the helm, we’ve got enough residual goodwill towards The Hunger Games to be excited about its imminent sequel. Philip Seymour Hoffman’s breaking his ‘no franchises’ rule for the first time since M:I:III, which bodes pretty well, and let’s not forget that Jennifer Lawrence still looks fabulous with an arrow tickling her earlobe. Will the only non-awful YA series of the last five years continue to wow us? We’d like to politely remind you that Lenny Kravitz is still in it.
2013 films #3 – Elysium
District 9 director Neill Blomkamp returns to his greatest loves – socially conscious sci-fi and massive futuristic guns – in Elysium, an unholy cross between Serenity and The Time Machine. In the near future, the majority of humanity ekes out an existence on the ravaged surface of the Earth while a privileged few live in a luxurious space station guarded by the tyrannical Jodie Foster. Would you be happy about that? Nope, and neither is Matt Damon. GAME ON!
2013 films #2 – Star Trek Into Darkness
JJ Abrams’ Star Trek reboot represented one of the most extraordinary franchise turnarounds in history – after decades (let’s be honest) as the preserve of fanboys, Star Trek was mainstream once more. Its stupid name aside, we have similarly high hopes for Star Trek Into Darkness – now we’ve got past all that tedious establishing-the-characters business, the floor is basically clear for a two-hour wrestling bout between Chris Pine and new villain Benedict Cumberbatch. Can you say ‘oiled nipple lens flare’?
Read our Star Trek Into Darkness review!
So, there you have it – nineteen of our top 2013 films. But what will reign supreme? It could only be…
2013 films #1 – Django Unchained
This list has been distressingly heavy on remakes and sequels, so it’s with enormous glee that we award the number one spot to a true original – Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, a film so exciting that it’s been given an entirely new genre. Yes, we know ‘Southern’ just means ‘Western, but in Mississippi’, but WHO CARES IT’S A NEW TARANTINO WITH JAMIE FOXX AND LEO AND I LIKE THE WAY YOU DIE, BOY. And the best thing is that it’s out in January! Think of it as a late Christmas present from us (and Quent, we suppose).
Read our Django Unchained review!