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Top 15 Movies of 2013

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It is time to look back on the awesome movies from 2013.  Here we go….

Movies I want to see but haven’t yet:

  • Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • Her
  • Nebraska
  • Lone Survivor
  • The Butler
  • 42
  • Heat


Worst Movie of 2013: Warm Bodies

After a highly unusual zombie saves a still-living girl from an attack, the two form a relationship that sets in motion events that might transform the entire lifeless world.

Director: Jonathan Levine
Writers: Jonathan Levine (screenplay), Isaac Marion (novel)
Stars: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich

Warm Bodies wasn’t a bad movie, it was just the worst movie I saw in 2013.  It was the only film that I couldn’t wait for it to be over.  Enough Said.


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Honorable Mention:  Monsters University & Despicable Me 2

Both movies were great family movies that were enjoyable sequels.  Micah enjoyed them and I would imagine that will be seeing them over and over again in the future.



Honorable Mention:  Prisoners

When Keller Dover’s daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts. But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family?

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Writer: Aaron Guzikowski
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis

I really enjoyed this film’s premise.  While watching it, I imagined what I would do if my child was kidnapped.  Hugh Jackman’s acting was superb.



Honorable Mention:  Out of the Furnace

When Rodney Baze mysteriously disappears and law enforcement doesn’t follow through fast enough, his older brother, Russell, takes matters into his own hands to find justice.

Director: Scott Cooper
Writers: Brad Ingelsby, Scott Cooper
Stars: Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Zoe Saldana

Christian Bale played the vengeful older brother who tracked down his younger sibling’s murderer.  Woody Harrelson did a great job as the villain in this film.



15.  Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 

The dwarves, along with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey, continue their quest to reclaim Erebor, their homeland, from Smaug. Bilbo Baggins is in possession of a mysterious and magical ring.

Director: Peter Jackson
Writers: Fran Walsh (screenplay), Philippa Boyens (screenplay)
Stars: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage

To be honest, I didn’t like the first Hobbit film at all.  This one was better, but still failed to live up to the Lord of the Rings trilogy in writing and execution.  There were several scenes that I loved – the barrel ride down the river and the scenes with Smaug.  It was a stunning film to watch.



14.  The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

A day-dreamer escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker are threatened, he takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.

Director: Ben Stiller
Writers: Steve Conrad (screenplay), James Thurber (based on the short story by)
Stars: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Jon Daly

I really enjoyed this story of virtue and transformation.  I found myself rooting for Walter to overcome his awkwardness.  As he stepped out in courage, you could see the confidence emerge.  Ben Stiller directed, produced, and acted in this amazing film.



13. Iron Man 3

When Tony Stark’s world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution.

Director: Shane Black
Writers: Drew Pearce (screenplay), Shane Black (screenplay)
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Guy Pearce, Gwyneth Paltrow

I have read that this will be the final Iron Man movie with Robert Downey Jr.  This one was better that the second film, and equal to the first.  I didn’t see the Manderin twist coming – so that was a good “unexpected” moment in the film.  Honestly, I didn’t care for the ending battle at all.  But overall, a nice Marvel Superhero movie.



12.  World War Z

United Nations employee Gerry Lane traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, and threatening to destroy humanity itself.

Director: Marc Forster
Writers: Matthew Michael Carnahan (screenplay), Drew Goddard (screenplay)
Stars: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz

I like going to see a movie that I don’t expect much from and be pleasantly surprised.  That was my experienced with World War Z.  I remember sitting on the edge of my seat for the first 30 minutes.  Several of my friends didn’t like the end of the film, but I thought it was good.  I’m looking forward to watching this one again.



11. Man of Steel

A young itinerant worker is forced to confront his secret extrastellar origin when Earth is invaded by members of his own race.

Director: Zack Snyder
Writers: David S. Goyer (screenplay), Christopher Nolan (story)
Stars: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon

We just watched this one again a few nights ago.  It was a good movie, but not great.  I thought the effects were fantastic during the fight scenes.  The hype for the sequel Batman vs. Superman is insane – can’t wait.



10. Gravity

A medical engineer and an astronaut work together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space.

Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Writers: Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón
Stars: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris

While I enjoyed Gravity, it didn’t live up to all the hype.  I didn’t see the move in Imax, so I may have missed out on the experience that others were captivated by.  I enjoyed the effects and the acting of Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.



9. Pacific Rim

As a war between humankind and monstrous sea creatures wages on, a former pilot and a trainee are paired up to drive a seemingly obsolete special weapon in a desperate effort to save the world from the apocalypse.

Director: Guillermo del Toro
Writers: Travis Beacham (screenplay), Guillermo del Toro (screenplay)
Stars: Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi

This film featured one of my favorite actors – Charlie Hunnam (from Sons of Anarchy).  I thoroughly enjoyed this film from beginning to end.  Who doesn’t love big robots fighting monsters?



8. Star Trek into Darkness

After the crew of the Enterprise find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction.

Director: J.J. Abrams
Writers: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman
Stars: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana

I am not a trekkie, but I loved this film.  Benedict Cumberbatch as Kahn was genius.



7. Elysium

In the year 2154, the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth. A man takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds.

Director: Neill Blomkamp
Writer: Neill Blomkamp
Stars: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley

This movie had a great story that captivated me.  Weaving themes of heaven, redemption and social justice together challenged me during and after viewing the film.



6. Thor: The Dark World

Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.

Director: Alan Taylor
Writers: Christopher Yost (screenplay), Christopher Markus (screenplay)
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston

Out of all of the marvel “phase one” movies, I enjoyed Thor the most.  And I loved the sequel.  Tom Hiddleston stole the show once again.  Looking forward to seeing where the story goes in Thor 3.


5. Wolverine

When Wolverine is summoned to Japan by an old acquaintance, he is embroiled in a conflict that forces him to confront his own demons.

Director: James Mangold
Writers: Mark Bomback (screenplay), Scott Frank (screenplay)
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Will Yun Lee, Tao Okamoto

I have liked each of the X-men films, included this second Wolverine film.  What I liked most in this film, was the “inner turmoil” of Wolverine – contemplating death over the life that had.  Moving through this tension to determine that he is, in fact, a soldier.  I hope Hugh Jackman keeps playing the Wolverine in the future.


4. Rush

A re-creation of the merciless 1970s rivalry between Formula One rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda.

Director: Ron Howard
Writer: Peter Morgan (screenplay)
Stars: Daniel Brühl, Chris Hemsworth, Olivia Wilde

I have to admit, I am not a car-racing fan at all.  But that had little to do with why I liked this movie.  The rivalry between those two guys was intense.  Ron Howard did a great job directing this film.  And Daniel Bruhl’s acting was top-notch.


3. The Conjuring

Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse.

Director: James Wan
Writers: Chad Hayes, Carey Hayes
Stars: Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Ron Livingston

I hadn’t watched a Horror film in over a decade.  What I remember of the horror genre is that they were all cheesy.  “The Conjuring” was captivating.  I was sitting at the edge of my seat throughout.  If you have given up on horror movies, I recommend you give this one a view – you won’t be disappointed.



2. Captain Phillips

The true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years.

Director: Paul Greengrass
Writers: Billy Ray (screenplay), Richard Phillips (based upon the book “A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea” by),
Stars: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman

Tom Hanks has had a great year with Saving Mr. Banks and Captain Phillips.  This movie had great acting across the board with Hanks and all of the actors who played the pirates.  The last scene of the movie in which Hanks showed the shock of the experience was brilliant.



1. American Hustle

A con man, Irving Rosenfeld, along with his seductive British partner, Sydney Prosser, is forced to work for a wild FBI agent, Richie DiMaso. DiMaso pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia.

Director: David O. Russell
Writers: Eric Singer, David O. Russell
Stars: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper

I went into this film thinking it was a drama – It took me about 10 minutes to realize this was a comedy.  And it was fantastic.  I think this will be a movie that everyone quotes from years from now.  Christian Bale & Amy Adams were amazing in this film.   I loved this movie.


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