On the twelfth day of Christmas
The movies gave to me
Twelve Enders gaming
Nine iron men
Seven rushing racers
Six piney places
That was my top twelve of 2013, but I’m just getting started, as my post for Twelfth Night is my review of 2013, from my limited viewing record. I thought it would be fun to rank and rate every theatrical release of 2013 that I saw, with divisions within them.
A known story that nonetheless pulls you in, taught direction that turns a cold gaze on shadowy events, and a final hour that had my shoulders clenched throughout.
Gripping, frightening, believable and moving. The first film to move me to tears!
Political history comes to life through measured direction that allows stunning performances to dazzle and delight.
The experience of cinema has rarely been so terrifying, gut-clenching and astounding.
Saving Mr. Banks
Touching, moving, charming, funny and a wonderful companion piece to Mary Poppins.
The blue-collar equivalent of gangster epics like Heat and The Departed, fresh and surprising in its narrative structure.
Fabulous charisma meets steely calculation in visceral, terrifying races.
One of the best representations of super powers I’ve seen, combining the fear, exhilaration and plausibility of extraordinary abilities and the choices of those who possess them.
A brilliant portrayal of PTSD as part of a new exploration of heroism.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
From children’s games to a growing rebellion, things get darker, deadlier and better.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
A further development of Middle Earth with possibly the greatest dragon ever committed to film.
Wonderfully realised science fiction that convincingly goes to strange dark places.
Abrams repackages The Wrath of Khan for a new audience, delighting them while seriously hacking off the original fans. Must have done something right.
A hypnotic, mesmerising vision of a mad, bad world.
Fast, smart and with more twists than a corkscrew, Danny Boyle puts the fractured mind on screen.
Gorgeous, lyrical, sober and moving. Malick does it again.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Ben Stiller makes himself and the world around him beautiful and mysterious all at once.
Thor: The Dark World
One of the year’s funniest films, which balances its laughs with thrills and spills aplenty.
Guillermo Del Toro demonstrates again why he is a master of the fantastic.
Could have been better
Atmospheric, gruelling, thought-provoking. A disappointing final act detracts but does not completely negate two hours of superb intensity.
Majestic, sprawling, grand, indulgent. When Tarantino reins it in he delivers genius. If only he would do that more often.
The music was great! The film, wasn’t. So many great elements, but perhaps too much reverence for the source material.
Jack the Giant Slayer
A furiously fun fairy tale.
A touching if twee tale of time travel.
Sleek and bleak sci-fi.
Much Ado About Nothing
A decent comedy of misunderstandings. What else has the writer done?
Hopelessly cheesy but in an enjoyable way.
The World’s End
A rather damp squib ending to an uproarious trilogy.
When the best part of the film is the foreshadowing of the next one, you know something’s gone badly wrong.
A reminder that sometimes you really don’t need a sequel.
Lives fall apart! And no one gets excited. Mental health is a serious issue! And we’re going to cheapen it. Drug companies and medical ethics are really complicated! But more importantly, lesbians are really dangerous to patriarchy! Oh, go away.
Not focused, not funny, not worth it.
Turkey of the Year
So many interesting ideas; a complete lack of exploration. An unconvincing future world and no discernible tension.