erik lundegaard

Tuesday September 03, 2013

What are the Best Movies of 2013 So Far?

I was at a wedding the other day and a friend asked me what recent movies I'd recommend and I came up blank. I mentioned some of the movies from 2012 that skittered through Seattle in spring, like “No,” “The Gatekeepers,” “Rust and Bone.” But recent movies? In theaters?

I mean, these are my reviews of 2013 movies and only a few stand out and nothing really stuns the way “Rust and Bone” stuns. I know. We'll get those later. Hopefully.

Anyway, here are the 2013 movies I liked well enough to say I liked them. The first six I recommend highly:

  1. Muscle Shoals
  2. Mud
  3. We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks
  4. The Bling Ring
  5. The Trials of Muhammad Ali
  6. 20 Feet from Stardom
  7. Man of Steel
  8. Blue Jasmine
  9. Fruitvale Station
  10. Dirty Wars
  11. 2 Guns
  12. The World's End
  13. The Great Gatsby
  14. The Spectacular Now
  15. Warm Bodies
  16. World War Z
  17. The Way, Way Back
  18. 42
  19. The Heat
  20. Lee Daniels' The Butler

Four of my top 6 are are documentaries. It's the Year of the Documentary.

Of the top 6, “Mud” got the widest release, 960 theaters, and grossed the most, $21.5 million. Then “Bling Ring” (650, $5.8), “20 Feet” (147, $4.2), “We Steal Secrets” (25, $166K), and “Trials of Muhammad Ali” (1, $3K). “Muscle Shoals” is getting its close-up at the end of the month.

The first wide-release film on my list is “Man of Steel,” about which I have reservations, but it still makes me smile. Ditto “2 Guns” on the strength of the Denzel/Markie Mark chemistry. Ditto all of these, really, with greater reservations the further down we go.

The rest, below, blow. They're ranked within each category from best to worst, or worst to downright insulting. Apologies for this method, but it was just too difficult to parse the disappointment I felt for movies like “To the Wonder” and “Only God Forgives” with the absolute horror I felt from movies like “Olympus Has Fallen” and “Identity Thief.”

Your results will vary.

Dude, what happened? Your last movie rocked:

It's the end of the world as we know it ... and I feel deja vu:

Spare a cup of testosterone?

Way to shit all over a classic, Hollywood:



Again, results will vary. A few critics liked “Only God Forgives” while “Frances Ha” is beloved (93% on Rotten Tomatoes). Plus I have yet to see a few movies that are supposed to be good: “Before Midnight,” “The Conjuring,” “Much Ado About Nothing.” Not to mention “The Act of Killing.” But mostly it's been a godawful movie year for me. And I didn't even see “Grown Ups 2.”

Anyway it's nice to know it's not my memory.

Some of the best movies of 2013

The few, the proud, the worthwhile.

Posted at 06:43 AM on Tuesday September 03, 2013 in category Movies - Lists  
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Twitter: @ErikLundegaard