My (maybe) favorite movies of 2013

I know I’m a bit late to the whole “Best of 2013” game, but I’ve been reconsidering that concept lately anyway, after taking a closer look at my best rated movies of the last years and the time when I rated/watched them. In 2012 I had watched 34 movies which came out that year, in 2011 I even managed to catch 67. However, I’ve also watched a lot of movies from both years later on, and as of today only half of my ten highest rated movies of each year are ones that I watched “in time”.

So it’s a safe bet that even though I’ve seen 40 newly released movies in 2013, about half of a top ten compiled now wouldn’t actually deserve the honor. Therefore, and as there were only nine that got a rating of 7/10 or better, I’ll just present a top five (of which I’ve seen 3(!) in 2014).
I’d still like to come up with a better solution but so far nothing seemed satisfactory and I didn’t want to pass on it completely. My ideas so far: Either shift the whole thing by one year, i.e. publish top ten of 2013 at the end of 2014, or don’t focus on release year at all, just make the top ten of 2013 about all movies I’ve seen in 2013. Please let me know if you have another idea.

My top five favorite movies of 2013 – so far

(Some spoilers ahead.)

5. This Is the End

Worth it for Michael Cera alone. I’ve always liked the Franco/Rogen/Hill crowd, and this movie was all I wanted it to be. While a little less gore would not have hurt, it still was one of the funniest films I’ve seen in a very long time. And how could I not love a movie that ends with the fucking Backstreet Boys.

4. Dallas Buyers Club

Great movie, touching story. Would have liked it better if it was closer to reality, but still very moving. Sadly, Garner just did her usual routine. It becomes even more obvious in contrast to McConaughey who isn’t noticeably acting a single second and surely delivered his best performance yet. Even more shocking to me was Jared Leto. After about 3/4 of the movie, when he confronted his father, I suddenly recognized/remembered him – “Holy crap, right. That’s Jared Leto. I knew he was in the movie, I had just forgotten until now.”

3. The Wolf of Wall Street

Finally, a movie I’ve been waiting for that didn’t disappoint and was pretty much all I hoped for. I understand the criticism that it doesn’t satirize enough or depicts all those assholes in too bright a light, but for me personally it worked very well as an impulse to ponder about so many things in the movie for quite a while – be it drug use, the sick cancer that is finance, greed, pride or even rape. I’m still quivering when I think of that sucker punch from Leo when Naomi tried to prevent him from grabbing their daughter. The imagery was terrific, for the fraction of a second I really thought there was more cock to see than just Jonah Hill’s prosthetic one. Sex and nudity in general were pretty awesome in this film. I really hope that cinema will evolve to a point where it will be normal to show even more nakedness and sex on screen if it fits the story. Considering that some things had to be cut for the MPAA, I really hope there will be a director’s cut. Not only were the images a pleasure to enjoy, but also did the soundtrack often make me almost dance in my chair. Decent to great acting from everyone involved, and it was great to see so many Scorsese/Winter alumni together in this twisted joyride de force.

2. The Lone Ranger

Apart from the main story being told from old Tonto’s perspective, I loved pretty much everything about this movie. Scenery, music, action, chemistry, acting (seriously, I believed absolutely everyone that they were living the role, not playing it), costumes/makeup… brilliant. The story wasn’t taking itself too seriously, so the nonsense was all the more enjoyable. Also, it contained what was probably the closest to a live-action version of that stupendous avalanche of the Huns in Mulan I will ever get.

1. Prisoners

I don’t even know whom to praise more, Hugh Jackman or Jake Gyllenhaal. It’s not like both hadn’t previously done great work, but here they really blew me away. I was not prepared for that movie in any way. Not only an emotional rollercoaster but also a haunting story, making for one of the best whodunnits ever. If only more thrillers of that magnitude would still be made, it was like a recall from movies like The Fugitive or The Usual Suspects.