As we come to the end of 2013, it’s time to reflect on the stories that have struck us and entertained us on the silver screen over the past year. Below are my top 10 films of 2013.
10. Last Vegas
This movie surprised me. I thought it would be another movie with a great cast of celebrities doing a few humorous things for old times’ sake. As tears rolled down my face, I understood the importance of family, marriage, and everlasting friendship from a point of view far beyond my own experience.
9. Man of Steel
Man of Steel felt more like being introduced to Superman rather than a reminder of how awesome he is. Understanding how difficult it was not only for young Clark but for his Krypton AND Earth parents to simply live was heartbreaking and beautiful. Amy Adams made Lois Lane a knowledge-seeking, public-serving, no-bull ally to Superman without even needing a sex scene like most movies these days.
8. Despicable Me 2
What’s more heart warming than Gru in a tutu? With the promise of funny minion language and (deathly) fluffy unicorns, this sequel satisfied. The addition of espionage and a lovely lady put the BA in ba-na-na.
I’m still dying for a t-shirt from Dos Bros Tacos. This may be the most underrated film of 2013. I had to stop myself several times from shouting, “yes!” right in the theater. The underdog making a difference always gets me, and it’s not just about the snail. Tito completely stole my corazón.
6. American Hustle
The most profound part of this movie for me was seeing Batman with a beer belly and a comb over. That was a little difficult at first, but it eventually became endearing somehow. As a huge fan of Enchanted and The Hunger Games, I can’t even choose if I liked Jennifer Lawrence’s boisterous and proud or Amy Adams’ smooth and lying character better. Watching these actors transform was entertaining, and the movie itself left me with a familiar Christian Bale feeling of justice.
5. Monsters University
The beginning of this movie kinda bummed me out. I guess it’s just hard to imagine Mike and Sulley not being the mothership of bromances for a minute. New monster friends (who I didn’t realize I missed in Monsters, Inc.) make the movie hit close to home for a nerd just trying to make his/her way through the world. Plus, I can’t stop watching Art’s legs.
4. Saving Mr. Banks
As a HUGE lifetime fan of all things Disney, I went into this film with a mega-critical eye. As it began, I didn’t like Emma Thompson’s character. I didn’t even find it ironically funny. I found her to be rude and judgmental… which is perhaps how the real P.L. Travers was. I wasn’t a fan of Tom Hanks as Mr. Disney because, frankly, I don’t know a behind-the-scenes Mr. Disney. He is, to me, the icon of happiness, imagination, and knowledge… and even if Hanks portrayed him PERFECTLY, that’s not the Mr. Disney I know and love. What made this movie for me was Ralph, the driver, Don, the screenwriter, and the Sherman brothers, who created the music for Mary Poppins. Their struggles were exteriorly professional, but Travers’ struggles were internally personal. Through her difficult demands, tests, and quirks, these men fought to create an entertaining story while Travers fought to sustain a memory. I don’t think that P.L. Travers ever lightened up… but when I understood how important it was that the Studio did Mary Poppins and Mr. Banks justice, it clicked. At the end of the movie, I wiped my face and wanted nothing more than to go fly a kite.
I try not to hype myself up for movies, albums, or dates because they never live up to my expectations. I couldn’t help myself with Frozen… and wow was I wrong. It was even better than I thought! Olaf was more than the generic comic relief I thought he would be. An innocent being without knowing the sadness of the world, Olaf goes through the film with a smile under his carrot. Young Anna singing and pleading to her sister to play with her is absolutely heart wrenching because even without reply, it’s apparent that Elsa wants nothing more than to build a snowman. The story won me over when it exemplified again and again that true love doesn’t always have to be found in a prince/princess relationship. With magic, trolls, adventure, royalty, and surprise betrayal, this movie was the least predictable of the year. Also I bought some bleach to put a white streak in my hair right after I left the theater.
2. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
After watching seven Harry Potter books be transformed into eight movies, I tried not to get my hopes up for this one because I’ve learned how much it hurts when things don’t go right. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what happens when you take a book and make what actually happens in the book into a movie: you break Harry Potter‘s weekend record! When Katniss and Peeta are on tour, I felt guilty, too, when they were talking to the Districts. I cried over Rue all over again. When Johanna stripped in front of Peeta, I felt defensive, too! Thank you, Jennifer Lawrence, for your face. I felt even closer than before to the previous winners-turned-tributes than I did in the books without the movie changing the way things happened. I fell in love with Finnick and wanted to save Peeta more than I even knew. Catching Fire did nothing to disappoint. However, I am not looking forward to all of the emotional turmoil the next movie brings… especially if they continue to stick to the books.
1. The Conjuring
This movie has made number one on my list because it seriously stuck with me. Yes, I jumped and screamed and was generally scared, but it wasn’t all in good fun. When I got home after seeing it, I began doing research to know exactly what was taken from true events and put on the screen. I stopped very quickly. The tasks the Warrens take on are more than most humans can handle without going insane. I think what really stuck to me was their museum, where they keep all of the “haunted” artifacts so the spirits can’t escape them… and what can happen if they’re disturbed. It really feels, to me, more like a documentary than any form of entertainment. I don’t feel that it was clever, artful, or classy- I feel that it was accurate and true. That’s what makes a movie reach number one.
Do you agree with my list of top 10 films of 2013? Let us know which ones made your list.