Compiled by Guillermo Troncoso.
What a year 2013 has been! Whether it be floating in a state of panic in outer space or reliving some of the horrors of a shameful period in United States’ history, it appears that studios have been putting their cash in some quality pieces of cinema. Of course, bombs are to be expected (you can find ten of the worst HERE), but it has been one competitive year in terms of critically acclaimed masterpieces. The upcoming award season is definitely looking like a doozy. Here are The Reel Word’s Top Ten Films of 2013.
What we said: Prisoners is a tense dramatic-thriller that packs a wallop. A nightmare for parents, this will also have everyone else sweating and emotionally exhausted come the end credits.
9. The Place Beyond the Pines
What we said: Primarily, it looks at the importance that fathers have on their sons and the role that our history can play in our lives and the lives of others. As an exploration of these themes, The Place Beyond the Pines works beautifully.
8. Captain Phillips
What we said: This is no-nonsense filmmaking of the highest order. Exhausting and thrilling, Captain Phillips is an experiential film that you won’t be forgetting in a hurry.
7. Before Midnight
What we said: Before Midnight can be painful, and at times brutal, in its attempt to give us an honest exploration of this relationship, but it still manages to be very romantic and quite funny. Richard Linklater and company have crafted a simple masterpiece here, providing insight and emotion in equal measure.
6. Blue Is the Warmest Color
What we said: A beautifully made look at love that manages to wriggle its way into your heart, warming and breaking it with a powerfully acted three-hour slice of life. A memorable and powerful look at a period of time in one woman’s life, and the love that brought and took so much.
5. 12 Years a Slave
What we said: An infuriating and painful film-going experience that doesn’t wear gloves to cushion the blows, it wallops the audience with a barefisted depiction of one man’s fight to survive. A director working at the top of his game, a cast giving their all, resulting in an important, beautifully made film that deserves, nay, needs to be seen.
4. The Great Beauty
What we said: The Great Beauty is a work of art painted on its own wondrous canvas. A sumptuous and enlightening cinematic experience that serves as a breath of fresh air into the symbolic lungs of cinema.
3. The Act of Killing
What we said: An undeniably important and perfectly realised film. This is a film that could well act as a rallying cry for social change. If nothing else, it has been the catalyst of change for a few of the protagonists within it. It may well be the most important film of this year.
What we said: A meditation on the indomitable human spirit and taking charge in the face of futility. Original, thrilling and ultimately inspiring, Gravity is a masterpiece on every front.
1. Django Unchained
What we said: Django Unchained is a rare sort of film – even for Quentin Tarantino’s already high standards. It’s as though he’s managed to find the perfect balance for his love of dialogue and his passion for cinematic imagery. An instant classic.
Agree? Disagree? Just want to rant? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below and tell us if there are any films you think should be included on the list. Make sure you check out our Worst Ten Films of 2013.