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Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10! 
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Post Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
Jeff already has a 2013 retrospective thread going, but every year I like making a thread where people are compelled, nay, forced to make an arbitrary list of 10 films in an order they will no doubt regret the instant they make it and their beloved fellow forum-dwellers start in with the "How could you put Fruitvale Station about 12 Years a Slave" chatter.

Because you know what? It's fun. Please try to give a few thoughts or annotations on your list. Makes things a bit more fun to read

So here we go. I have to say that I am, as of this writing, regrettably not a person who has seen Her, despite nuttage of reasonably solid proportions. So just place that in eleventeenth place. For the here and now:

1. The Wolf of Wall Street
2. Before Midnight
3. Prisoners
4. All is Lost
5. Nebraska
6. Gravity
7. Blue Jasmine
8. Mud
9. 12 Years a Slave
10. Captain Phillips


Comments:
My 1 and 2 are virtually uncomparable, so deciding which to give the top spot to was pretty absurd. I'm reasonably confident in my decision...for now.

Two movies on the list are about people stranded on their own far from rescue. Gravity is most assuredly the more technically accomplished, but I found that I empathized more with quiet Robert Redford than with chatty Sandra Bullock. So it gets the higher position.

I didn't even really like 12 Years a Slave that much (hell, in terms of personal impact, Catching Fire would rank higher) but there's no doubt it's an exceptionally well-made movie, even if I found it a chilly one, so it makes the grade.

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Tue Dec 31, 2013 1:50 pm
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Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
I unfortunately had a dreadful November/December as far as watching movies go. I didn't see a lot of the films I was hoping to. I was marginally disappointed by all the ones that I did see however. Which is uncommon for me. I think 2013 was a really good year for big budget block buster movies. A lot of my favorite films this year aren't consistent with my usual tastes with obviously a few exceptions near the top of the list. Here is my tentative top 10.

1. Prisoners
2.The Place Beyond the Pines
3. Elysium
4. Man of Steel
5. The Worlds End
6. Thor 2: The Dark World
7. World War Z
8. Captain Phillips
9. The Wolf of Wall Street
10. Gravity


I guess in looking at my list I can say that 2013 was not a great year. Hell, I barely even enjoyed my 9 and 10 slot. Prisoners was basically unanimously praised around here, so I don't expect too much heat on that one. The rest of my list is full of soft blockbuster movies that I really had an amazing time watching in the theater this year. The Wolf of Wall Street sits on my list as more of a movie I can admire heavily. I was fairly put off by a lot of its material. But damn it all Leonardo DiCaprio is worth it. Gravity's first 40 minutes are awe-inspiring and panic inducing, but
[Reveal] Spoiler:
after George drifts off into the black
I lost all interest. Still though, those first 40 were quite something.

I will undoubtedly see the rest of 2013's movies that get such glowing recommendations around here. I thought I would have seen close to 10 movies in December this year like I normally do. I didn't. My list could change quite drastically.

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Tue Dec 31, 2013 3:00 pm
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Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
I actually seen enough movies to make a real top 10 list!

1. The Wolf of Wall Street
2. The Conjuring
3. Saving Mr. Banks
4. Ender's Game
5. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
6. Frozen
7. The Worlds End
8. Olympus Has Fallen
9. Prisoners
10. Pain and Gain


Tue Dec 31, 2013 4:03 pm
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Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
There's still a lot of movies I need to see before I can assemble a respectable Top 10. Until then, how about my Top 5, which will all very likely make my Top 10 when it's ready.

1. Before Midnight
2. 12 Years a Slave
3. Spring Breakers
4. Captain Phillips
5. Prisoners

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Tue Dec 31, 2013 5:02 pm
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Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
So far, I've seen nothing spectacular...

Mud = B+
Stoker = B+
The Lone Ranger = B/B+
World War Z = B
Star Trek Into Darkness = B
Side Effects = B
The Last Stand = B-
Olympus Has Fallen = C
Mama = C
Oblivion = C-


That's all I've seen. Although I really wouldn't know where to put Sharknado.

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Tue Dec 31, 2013 5:43 pm
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Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
IMO really a Top 10 of 2013 shouldn't be considered for a few more months yet. If my own experience is anything to go by, I suspect that many won't have had an opportunity to see EVERYTHING good that 2013 had to offer, and it will take a few more months to catch up with upcoming DVD/Blu-Ray/streaming releases. Especially for the foreign films, it can be very problematic to keep on top of everything.


Tue Dec 31, 2013 6:40 pm
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Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
I still have several movies to see before I'll be happy moving on to 2014. Ones I'll definitely catch before the Oscars include: 12 Years a Slave, Dallas Buyers Club, Philomena, Wolf of Wall Street, and All is Lost.

I feel not good at all about this list. And it's likely that it looks nothing like this in even a month or two.


1 - Gravity - I had problems of varying degree with this one, but only one other movie this year made me want to buy another ticket and see it again immediately.
2 - Hunger Games: Catching Fire - It feels a little silly, since I didn't much like the first one, but I seriously considered putting this at #1. Around the two hour mark, I whispered to my wife, "holy crap." The ending didn't quite live up to the first two hours, but overall it was a remarkably assured action/adventure story.
3 - Side Effects - I suspect I feel about this one like a lot of people felt about Argo. Or how some people felt about What Lies Beneath. A genre movie that nails its genre perfectly. It's maybe a little neat, but left me giddy by the end.
4 - Saving Mr. Banks
5 - Inside Llewyn Davis - A better (or at least more enjoyable) version of A Serious Man, with good music.
6 - American Hustle
7 - Rush
8 - Captain Phillips
9 - Monsters University - I've liked it a little more each time I've re-watched it. Among the Pixar movies, I rank it somewhere around the middle.
10 - Frozen - I can't believe I have 3 Disney movies in my top 10. But there it is. The story in this one is a little wobbly in spots and the songs are not quite on a level with the 1990s Disney movies. But it's still a very good musical.


Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:39 pm
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Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
The only film that I haven't seen that I believe could affect my top 10 is "Her"...if when I do see it in 2014 and it's that good, maybe it will qualify for the 2014 top 10.
Anyways here goes:

1. The Wolf of Wall Street
2. Captain Phillips
3. Stories We Tell
4. Gravity
5. Prisoners
6. The Great Beauty
7. 12 Years A Slave
8. Blue Is The Warmest Color
9. The Spectacular Now
10 Dallas Buyers Club


Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:11 pm
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Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
Bones wrote:

5 - Inside Llewyn Davis - A better (or at least more enjoyable) version of A Serious Man, with good music.


*Furrows brow* They both have bearded people, but other than that, I don't think they have much in common.

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Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:18 pm
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Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
I will probably come back to update this at the end of the the next two months. So many I've yet to see.

1. Before Midnight - Conjures memory of long-distant relationship and, more forcefully, of almost being a kid of divorce (so many unpleasant sit-ins in heated arguments)
2. Gravity - The most I feel completely caught up in a movie this year.
3. The Place Beyond the Pines - Ambitious to a fault, I still love it all.
4. Prisoners - Dark and gripping, with powerful performances.
5. Drug War - Great crime thriller, and it has the single best action scene of the year.
6. The Dark Knight Returns - Benefits from an already great source, but the visuals also help elevate it.
7. Snowpiercer - A completely different movie from Cloud Atlas, but I expect it to be as divisive.
8. Stoker - Gorgeous visual in service of a haunting protagonist.
9. Spring Breakers - A Malick nightmare. Both disturbing and compelling.
10. Stories We Tell - The documentary proves real life sometimes has as many twists and turns as a movie.

HM: Catching Fire, The Past, The Attack, Blue is the Warmest Color, The Spectacular Now.


Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:02 am
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Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
JamesKunz wrote:
Bones wrote:

5 - Inside Llewyn Davis - A better (or at least more enjoyable) version of A Serious Man, with good music.


*Furrows brow* They both have bearded people, but other than that, I don't think they have much in common.


Maybe not. Llewyn Davis certainly seems to earn his misfortunes more than Larry Gopnick. Mostly, I guess, the two movies left me with a similar feeling. With a sort of "universe is conspiring" sense to the plotting. And the humor seemed pitched at a similar level.


Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:09 am
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Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
Having not seen Her, Inside Llewyn Davis, or The Act of Killing I feel very hesitant about constructing a Top 10 at this time. However, we have been commanded to put aside feeble issues--to man up and make a list regardless of excuses, and that my fellow forum friends is what we shall do!

Note: If any films I haven't seen make the cut I'll come back in and edit this, but for now this is it:

1. The Hunt (2012) Directed by Thomas Vinterberg

A dark, subdued piece of cinema in the vein of Hitchcock's "Wrong Man" films; The Hunt is easily my number one film of the year not only for its brilliant commentary on truth and belief, nor for its stellar central performance or direction, but how masterfully it creates and uses tension out of the slightest, somber situations. I've heard the complaints about the one-sided views of the towns people, but I don't buy them. This is a film about a man who has been accused of something unspeakable, and the worst in individuals truly come to head when such matters are allowed to breathe into the public. In that sense, The Hunt isn't about justice, but the thirst for justice, regardless of evidence or justification. Those hungry for vengeance or justice are against our protagonist not only for what they believe he has done, but for what he has arguably incited in them. The consequences of truth and falsity are on show here, all wrapped up in a stunning look at the human condition.

The Hunt may not be the "best" film of the year, but it's certainly the one that has resonated with me the most, and in my subjective opinion is one that will resonate with me and others for some time to come.

2. 12 Years a Slave (2013) Directed by Steve McQueen

I've said it once, and I'll say it again: 12 Years a Slave was without question one of the most astounding, memorable cinematic experiences of my life. McQueen has arguably created one of the most (if not the most) unremitting films on the institution of chattel slavery. With that said, 12 Years never flinches from the horrors of slavery; its vision is always direct, and in turn brings audiences face to face with inhumanity, brutality, and unjustified suffering. Even if you feel McQueen's approach is too cold and detached, its hard to deny the strength of such filmmaking.

3. Short Term 12 (2013) Directed by Destin Cretton

There's not a film in 2013 that has harnessed and conveyed more heart with the purest of emotions. I know, I know. It sounds corny and cliche, but this is a film that has a stuck with me for the long haul. Short Term 12 is about broken individuals; hell, its about anyone who has come to the realization that the past is best forgotten, along with the doubts of the future. Ultimately, Short Term 12 creates an often times grim portrayal of a dim world that is void of love and meaning--one that so many of us may know personally, but it also provides a sense of hope and compassion. And while there may be one or two unrealistic scenes within its totality, Short Term 12 never redacts its profound, vivid realism.

4. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) Directed by Martin Scorsese

Who would-a -thunk that Scorsese still had so much left in em? For me, The Wolf of Wall Street is Scorsese's examination of the American Dream through the morally vague avenues of capitalism; a film that echoes the spirit and form of Casino while analyzing our modern age of consumption and greed. While many have found Scorsese's latest outing to be somewhat glorifying of its subject matter, I would like to think that Scorsese is simply showing, and never judging--conveying a film that is about the very doctrine of capitalism, where the "rules" and expected norms don't always apply. In other words, The Wolf of Wall Street seems to be giving us a look inside the mind and life of a man who, for all intents and purposes, is the product of the capitalist way. With films like Spring Breakers and Pain and Gain trying so desperately to define an era and its mindset, its refreshing to see a film that does such defining with a master's ease.

5. All Is Lost (2013) Directed by J.C. Chandor

This is definitely one that has grown on me--a film that has evolved from a strong "like" to a devout sense of respect and cinematic love. All Is Lost is without a doubt one of the best directed films of the year. It's quiet, fixating journey captures a spiritual essence that is unparalleled to anything else shown in cinemas this year. Direction and essence aside, All Is Lost may contain one of the most interesting performances of the year, one that is soft yet silent, and unlike anything Mr. Redford has done in his career. It's important to note that the themes here are similar to the likes of Gravity and 12 Years a Slave, but for my money this is 2013's definitive tale of survival.

6. Blue is the Warmest Color (2013) Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche

Probably one of the most controversial films of the year in terms of production, but also one of the best coming of age dramas in recent memory; Blue is the Warmest Color is highly effective filmmaking with some of the years best performances to boot. While *ahem* "certain scenes" may lack taste and go past their welcome, such issues virtually pale in comparison to the emotion and confusion displayed on screen. In many ways this is a film about the realization of love--a transcendence from the story book fairytales of the traditional relationship to the real world be-goings. Unlike the jumbled messages presented in Frozen (i.e. love at first sight isn't real), Blue is the Warmest Color presents such a saying with a keen eye to infatuation. Instead of writing off the long-told love phrase, we see it bloom in the mind our main character, and see that such a thing may corrupt, destroy, and misplace the very foundations of love itself.

7. Prisoners (2013) Directed by Denis Villeneuve

Red herrings aside, Prisoners was one of the most engaging films of 2013 IMHO. A dark thriller that wasn't afraid to look morality dead in the eye, and viciously comment on the American need for vengeance. Prisoners is a great example of the kind of thrillers that we NEED--ones that aren't afraid to take chances and carry weighty material. And it would be a damn shame to not mention Jackman's superb performance and Deakins pitch perfect cinematography.

8. Nebraska (2013) Directed by Alexander Payne

Kinda great to see well done drama and comedy isn't it? I had little to no complaints with Nebraska. It's one of those films that has a pretty terrific lightness, while echoing some of the great screwball comedies of the past. Complementing its tone and atmosphere, Payne feels right at home with these characters and allows them to strongly develop through witty dialogue and conversation of events that took place in the golden days of youth. Theres a lot to like here, but I guess what I admire most is Payne's ability to craft and form characters that viewers can really care about--theres something so natural and organic within the fibers of Nebraska, and its just a complete joy to watch.

9. Gravity (2013) Directed by Alfonso Cuarón

Wow, what an experience. Gravity is hands down one of the most visceral experiences I've ever had in a theater. From its brilliant score to its visual wonderment (encompassing cinematography and special effects), Gravity cements itself as one of the most enthralling and spellbinding films of the year. Although praise for this film has been sung for sometime now, by no means is Gravity a perfect film. A "light" script, coupled with hokey dialogue keep Gravity from reaching greatness per se (IMHO). However the themes at the center of Gravity are never weak or hokey--Cuarón has crafted a film that visually and symbolically forms a solid commentary on grief, and one woman's journey to "get back" to a place she once knew.

10. The Place Beyond the Pines (2012) Directed by Derek Cianfrance

An epic fathers and sons story that examines responsibility, morality, and grief. In Blue Valentine, Cianfrance gave viewers an upclose and personal look at the destruction of a relationship. Similar to Blue Valentine, TPBTP boasts excellent, grounded relationships that are seeping with humanity. Yet this time around relationships end up forming a web of causality that often times evoke Biblical verses stating, "The son will not bear the punishment for the father's iniquity."

Even with a weak third act, The Place Beyond the Pines is a film that takes a chance and harnesses a great amount of ambition, and ultimately I really respect that. Oh and what about that opening sequence?! Well that alone justifies its placement here.

Honorable Mentions:

Ain't Them Bodies Saints-----an ode to Terrence Malick and the modern day western, boasting impeccable score and cinematography.

Blue Jasmine----- A Woody Allen film that doesn't really feel like a Woody Allen film, yet is all the better for it. Cate Blanchett is great, but is it just me or does Woody Allen have a hard time conveying the working class?

Stories We Tell----- A documentary about documentaries, but also about memory and the very way stories are told. Kinda sad this one didn't make the cut because I was a huge fan.

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Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:59 am
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Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
2013 Movie catch-up #1: Out of the Furnace

When I'm all caught up this will be on my list. I liked this a lot. Way more than most people here seemed to. More thoughts when I change the list.

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Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:48 pm
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Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
I'll get back to you on my 2013 Top 10 a year from now. For the time being, here's my Top 10 for 2012 (which includes a few that were theatrically released in '13):

HONORABLE MENTIONS: "To the Wonder," "Frankenweenie," "Mud," "Ruby Sparks"

10. "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
9. "The Place Beyond the Pines"
8. "Safety Not Guaranteed"
7. "Killing Them Softly"
6. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"
5. "Cloud Atlas"
4. "Frances Ha"
3. "Silver Linings Playbook"
2. "The Master"
1. "Moonrise Kingdom"


Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:35 am
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Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
I have a LOT to catch up on. The Wolf of Wall Street, American Hustle, Out of the Furnace, All is Lost, Dallas Buyers Club, Lone Survivor, Her, About Time, Enough Said, Fruitvale Station, Lee Daniels' The Butler, The Spectacular Now, Short Term 12, Before Midnight, Inside Llweyn Davis, Nebraska, Philomena, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Blue Jasmine, The East, Pacific Rim, The Way Way Back, Don Jon, Frances Ha, Saving Mr. Banks, Prince Avalanche, Stoker, Upstream Color, To the Wonder and Ain't Them Body Saints among others.

So, this will definitely change, but for now, my 10 favorite movies of 2013 are:

Honorable mentions: Jack the Giant Slayer, Elysium, The Company You Keep, Disconnect.

10. Insidious Chapter Two
9. Iron Man 3
8. The Spectacular Now
7. Lone Survivor
6. The Conjuring
5. Captain Phillips
4. Gravity
3. Side Effects
2. her
1. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty


Last edited by ilovemovies on Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:12 am, edited 2 times in total.



Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:48 am
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Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
1. The Wolf of Wall Street
2. Her
3. Before Midnight
4. Prisoners
5. All is Lost
6. Nebraska
7. Gravity
9. Blue Jasmine
9. Mud
10. 12 Years a Slave


Updated to add Her.

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Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:41 pm
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Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
JamesKunz wrote:
1. The Wolf of Wall Street
2. Her
3. Before Midnight
4. Prisoners
5. All is Lost
6. Nebraska
7. Gravity
9. Blue Jasmine
9. Mud
10. 12 Years a Slave


Updated to add Her.


Didn't you just give Her 4 stars? You gave WoWS 3.5 didn't you?

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Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:44 pm
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Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
Gedmud wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
1. The Wolf of Wall Street
2. Her
3. Before Midnight
4. Prisoners
5. All is Lost
6. Nebraska
7. Gravity
9. Blue Jasmine
9. Mud
10. 12 Years a Slave


Updated to add Her.


Didn't you just give Her 4 stars? You gave WoWS 3.5 didn't you?


I did. Though I ended up changing my mind and giving tWoWS 4. Still, Her might well be a better movie. But The Wolf of Wall Street invigorated me with the joy of cinema. So it gets the top slot

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Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:46 pm
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Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
1) Gravity. My only 9.0 of the year.
2) Ender's Game
3) The Wolf of Wall Street
4) Saving Mr. Banks
5) Prisoners
6) The World's End
7) Star Trek Into Darkness
8) The Croods
9) The Conjuring
10) Frozen

11) Hunger Games: Catching Fire
12) Before Midnight
13) Jack the Giant Slayer
14) The Place Beyond the Pines
15) 12 Years a Slave
16) Monsters University
17) Despicable Me 2
18) The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
19) The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
20) America Hustle
21) Oblivion

The worst 2013 film I saw was Machete Kills (4.0), by a large margin. I also didn't like Carrie, Elysium or Kick-Ass 2. To tell the truth, 2 - 5, 6-12, and 13 -21 are close. These are all the films I ranked 7.0 or above, but some of the 7.5s have moved ahead of some of the 8.0s and may move back tomorrow. I saw no foreign language films at all.

The best film I saw for the first time last year was "Early Summer" and the worst, by far, was "Tideland."

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Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:41 pm
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Post Re: Get over any issues with list making and make a 2013 Top 10!
Syd Henderson wrote:
1) Gravity. My only 9.0 of the year.
2) Ender's Game
3) The Wolf of Wall Street
4) Saving Mr. Banks
5) Prisoners
6) The World's End
7) Star Trek Into Darkness
8) The Croods
9) The Conjuring
10) Frozen

11) Hunger Games: Catching Fire
12) Before Midnight
13) Jack the Giant Slayer
14) The Place Beyond the Pines
15) 12 Years a Slave
16) Monsters University
17) Despicable Me 2
18) The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
19) The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
20) America Hustle
21) Oblivion

The worst 2013 film I saw was Machete Kills (4.0), by a large margin. I also didn't like Carrie, Elysium or Kick-Ass 2. To tell the truth, 2 - 5, 6-12, and 13 -21 are close. These are all the films I ranked 7.0 or above, but some of the 7.5s have moved ahead of some of the 8.0s and may move back tomorrow. I saw no foreign language films at all.

The best film I saw for the first time last year was "Early Summer" and the worst, by far, was "Tideland."

Yeah, Tideland still stands as one of the worst films i've ever seen. Though I did enjoy all the films you disliked. There wasn't really any film released this year that I outright disliked.


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