Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Best Movies of 2013

I don’t grade films I watch in any metrical way (stars, numbers or anything similar); because I don’t know how to say that one film is 30 or 40% better than the other one. But, in spite of that, I still love some movies more than other. 

Here is my list of the films that came to movie theaters over the previous year.

The Conjuring – James Wan is a genius at making horrors that require a modest budget (no CGI or fancy gimmicks in the costume department) and result in scary, creepy films. The Conjuring is a perfect example, and is one of two finest horrors in the previous year.

Evil Dead – This film is the other one. One of the best remakes/reboots I have ever seen, Evil Dead brought splatter horror back to life and then tried to kill it with a chainsaw. Compact film that excels in everything its director planned to do.

This Is the End – Set Rogan and crew made a great comedy in their unique style. Backstreet Boys included.

Only God Forgives – Nicolas Winding Refn pseudo-thriller in the Bangkok underworld is a fantastic cinematic piece, rich in visual symbolism. If I had to bet on one film that will survive the next 50 years and become a classic, I would bet on this one.

Mud – A drama that captures the essence of growing up in modern, poor and southern USA, and presents the incredible, but not always visible talent of Matthew McConaughey.

Prisoners – A grim thriller about child abduction that is difficult to watch, but is also one of the hardest gripping films of the year.

Upstream Color – Best Sci-Fi film of the year, because Shane Carruth is a master thinker in every cinematographic role he takes. In the year that brought so many science fiction films with enormous budgets that sucked completely and will be forgotten in two years, Upstream Color won’t share their faith.

The Way Way Back – A warm and funny family story that also showed us that Steve Carell could play a real and very unsympathetic jackass.  

Man of Tai Chi – certainly one of the best martial action films of the past several years.

Drinking Buddies – An odd story about friendship and love that somehow became a very impressive small film.

Don Jon – A fine way for Joseph Gordon-Levitt to start his directing career, this film is truly innovating in its exploration of modern sexuality and relationships. It may look like it’s about porn, but it’s actually about all of us.