It’s a few days into 2014 so thought it was about time to talk about my favourite films of 2013. I know all the cool kids do it in December but I do like to be different. Plus the end of December went past in a flash so there was no real chance for me to actually get down all my thoughts on the many films I saw in 2013.
So without further ado here are my favourite cinematic releases of 2013
Flight got a lot of publicity for its opening sequence of a plane crash and how pilot Denzel Washington did almost the impossible. Besides from the opening action piece there is not a lot of spectacle in this film – well I say that, but then theres Washington’s performance. He has long been one of my favourite actors and him struggling with drugs and drink while dealing with the media surrounding him was great to watch. There’s a moment towards the end of the film, the night before his tribunal and I have never been in a cinema screen where you could feel the entire audience so focused on one small bottle of vodka. It was a brilliant moment that stayed with me for a long time.
Welcome to the Punch
This film stars Mark Strong as a criminal who returns to London to help his son when a heist goes wrong. This, however, gives James McAvoy’s detective the chance he’s always wanted to finally catch Strong. This film was beautifully shot and showed a very slick and stylish London. McAvoy and Strong were brilliant with Strong playing one of my favourite types of character – a somewhat morally ambiguous one. He has many chances to seriously harm or kill the police on his tail led by McAvoy but he only ever does enough so that he can get away. The characters along with the look of this film made it one enjoyable experience.
Iron Man 3
Of course there had to be a Marvel film on this list. I was really quite excited by Iron Man 3 as not only was it the first film after the Avengers but also because it was directed by Shane Black a man who directed Kiss Kiss Bang Bang one of my favourite films. Now I know some fans didn’t like the films take on the Mandarin but I personally loved it. It’s something that in this internet age of spoilers that no one saw coming and keeping a secret like that has to be commended, plus it’s an adaption – nothing is ever 100% loyal to its source material. Iron Man 3 was also one of the funniest films I saw this year, I loved the development of the characters relationships and I loved the fact that Tony Stark spent more time out of the suit – the man behind the armour is always more interesting to me.
Olympus Has Fallen
This is a proper old fashioned action film. It’s very easy to follow but is just a lot of fun. Morgan Freeman has some of the best lines and the child isn’t annoying. White House Down came out a few months later but I have yet to see it so can’t compare the two right now but it would have to be pretty damn amazing to surpass my love for Olympus Has Fallen.
The Battle of the Sexes
This was my favourite film I saw at Edinburgh International Film Festival. It’s a documentary about the events leading up to the 1973 tennis match between retired men’s champion Bobby Riggs and the current women’s Wimbledon winner Billie Jean King. I think it would be a great watch for anyone, no matter if they liked tennis or not as it’s not just about one historic match but also about the Women’s Rights movement and the Civil Rights movement that was going on at that time across America, not just in the world of tennis. It was great at showing Riggs’ side as well as Billie Jean King’s and kept me hooked even though I knew the outcome of the tennis match.
I just love how much world building Guillermo del Toro managed to do in one two hour film. Having a film with an original screenplay and with a cast that doesn’t really consist of any stars is so rare for Hollywood that Pacific Rim would have had a place in my heart just for that. But! It had great characters, great relationships, and brilliant action sequences and the special effects were awesome.
Another sport related movie on this list! I’ve never really watched F1 but Rush kept me interested even though I have no real passion or knowledge of the sport. Daniel Brühl is brilliant and stole every scene he was in. it’s a film that’s got the perfect balance between action, tension, humour and emotion.
Sunshine on Leith
A musical featuring music from The Proclaimers took me away on a happy journey for a few hours. This film was just a lot of fun but still could pack an emotional punch. The whole cast was wonderful and by the last song I had a huge smile on my face.
What can I say about Gravity that no one else has said before? Well I think the many five star reviews did sum it up. I haven’t been so tense when watching a film for ages. Sandra Bullock was amazing and the special effects were unbelievable. I can find nothing bad to say about it.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Catching Fire is one of the best book-to-movie adaptations I have ever seen while at the same time made it accessible for those who haven’t read the book. The entire cast is amazing in their roles and the film continues to up the ante. The final shot of Jennifer Laurence blew me away.
So they were my top ten films I saw at the cinema in 2013 and I’m excited to see what 2014 brings.