Top 25 Films of 2013

Here is the last list of 2013. We have had a pretty slow year with films until the last quarter, where I was sure we were doomed until almost every single good film of 2013 popped out just at the same time. Nonetheless, it’s never too late to have a good thing, right? After these past three or four months, with the odd great film from earlier on in the year, I can safely say that 2013 ended up being a terrific year for movies, where a lot of films I adored couldn’t even fit on the list.There are some films I wanted to see that I missed out on, sadly (Short Term 12, Philomena, etc.) so if you were hoping to see those on here, I apologize. Otherwise we may not have agreed at all, and I’d love to see your list as a comparison. As for me, let’s wrap up the top lists of mine of the year with my favorite subject to list: The Top 25 Films of 2013.

25. Spring Breakers

Harmony Korine’s first name has nothing to do with his work. Nothing is sweet about the movies he has directed, and Spring Breakers carries on his bleak commentary on life in America. With what may be the most disgusting (good) film of 2013, Spring Breakers is not a film to be taken literally. With such an implausible climax, you would be missing the point if you looked too deeply into the film as a source of reality. After all, Alien himself told us we were on another planet. We are. When sexuality is seen as revolting and not hot, you know Korine’s done a damn fine job trying to paint a stylized depiction of the dangers of partying. While working in movements, ala Scorpio Rising, rather than plot points, Spring Breakers is a moving and breathing poem with a full length running time symbol of how spring break can metaphorically represent the shattering of both a pretty thing and the process of development.

24. The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and Her

It never fails to take a chance. If your risk falls flat, at least you tried something new and people will acknowledge that. If you succeed, you will beak ground and be seen as an innovator. The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby may not be a revolutionary film, but it never intends on being one. It just took a chance with showing one story through the lives of two different people. The events aren’t unlike many you’d find in romantic dramas, but the inclusion of two different sides will add the kind of depth that many of these films lack (possibly because it existed on script but was lost in the story’s translation to film). You can swap the films and place either or as the starter and finisher film, yet you will never truly experience the story the other way around without knowing what will happen. That’s oddly how life works, though. You hear one side and your bias will always remain no matter how hard you try to get rid of it.

23. The World’s End

It’s the end of the Cornetto trilogy (a trilogy of movies influenced by flavors of ice cream. Yep.) and Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg went out with a bang. It isn’t the nods to the other two films in the trilogy (Shaun of the Dead and Hott Fuzz) that makes The World’s End special. It isn’t the fine genre bending, of which bested last year’s Cabin in the Woods and put this year’s This Is The End in its place, that bundled the film up as a complete package. It wasn’t the hilarious and witty dialogue either. It is the looking back on childhood that makes The World’s End something more than a comedy thriller. It is the chasing of a ludicrous dream (to drink a pint of beer at twelve bars on The Golden Mile), especially when reality is chasing him, that makes Gary King a tragic hero. He’s selfish, deluded, and childish, but it was he that unlocked the reality of the world, when maturity includes being brainwashed. The World’s End may be a barrel of laughs and an awesome time, but it’s also highly creative and a statement on life.

22. Hotell [Hotel] 22

This Swedish dramedy doesn’t hold anything back. It starts off in such a miserable way, that when the comedy rolls in, you will be completely lost. Alicia Vikander tries to make sense of it all herself, and half of the film’s charm is her slow discovery of how weird life can be sometimes. You’ll meet goofs, weirdos and kooks who deep down are just your everyday normal kind of people that couldn’t care less about appearances anymore. When life hands you miseries, you make whatever concoction you can with them. That’s the real place Vikander’s character stayed at: The mental state of denial. Once she stopped vacating that lonely room, she began to find something oddly charming in life despite its horrors, as we ourselves do when we grow to admire and adore much of the oddities on screen. Without ever losing sight of reality, Hotell is that friend that tries to open your eyes when you are at your lowest.

21. Captain Phillips

This movie could have easily been a good guy hero vs bad guy villains kind of film, and had it been handed over to other people, it could have easily ended up that way. Paul Greengrass is not one to sully the name of a real life event, however (let’s not forget United 93), and this real life tale of Captain Richard Phillips is handled with extreme care. The biases are fairly low. Could Phillips have prevented this entire attack earlier? Perhaps. Are the Somalian pirates to be sympathized for? I don’t see why not. The movie is bookended with a strong beginning and a strong middle and enough downtime in the middle to breath in the severity of the situation and the truths behind the characters. Tom Hanks gives one of his best performances yet, but he is not a one man show; Not with Barkhad Abdi and Faysal Ahmed on board, the former being a multi faceted leader and the latter being an intimidating machine. Captain Phillips carries the thrills of one of Greengrass’s Bourne films but it unravels a beating heart underneath all of its chaos.

About author

Former Film Editor & Music Writer at Live in Limbo. Co-host of the Capsule Podcast. A Greek/South African film enthusiast. He has recently earned a BFA honours degree in Cinema Studies at York University. He is also heavily into music, as he can play a number of instruments and was even in a few bands. He writes about both films and music constantly. You should follow him on Twitter @Andreasbabs.