1. Philomena – Of all the films I saw this year none affected me as much as Philomena did. The magnificent cast perfectly blended the drama with enough lighthearted humor to create something really beautiful, especially when considering the dark subject matter. The end result was the best experience I had at the movies in 2013.
2. Dallas Buyers Club – One of the most emotional and impactful films of the year. Dallas Buyers also features two of the year’s best performances from Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto who bring their character’s to life with shocking realism.
3. Gravity – Certainly the most fun movie of the year and easily the most beautiful. Gravity features gripping tension, jaw-dropping action, grand adventure, and Sandra Bullock exercising her acting chops. Gravity breathes new life into filmmaking.
4. The Way Way Back – Charming, heartfelt, and laugh-out-loud hilarious. The Way Way Back is 2013’s Little Miss Sunshine and I couldn’t be happier about it. The cast is superb and the simple yet effective styling make it a must see that left the biggest smile on my face.
5. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – It was going to be a smash hit, we knew that much, what I didn’t expect is just how good it would be. In fact, it was better than it needed to be. Jennifer Lawrence owns the roll and the new cast members are superb. We need more movies like this!
6. Frozen – I’ve always been a fan of animated movies and none surprised me as much as Frozen did. I laughed, I cried, I loved every minute of it! Frozen is a throwback to classic Disney with wonderful musical numbers and awe-inspiring animation, not to mention some of the best characters to come out of Disney in years.
7. The Wolf of Wall Street – Shocking and terribly uncomfortable doesn’t even begin to describe this raunchy, drug filled, foul mouthed, nudity aplenty Scorsese pic about an arrogant Wall Street hot-shot who made it rich and fell hard at the hands of the FBI. It’s a wild ride that will leave you wide-eyed and picking your jaw up off the floor from time to time.
8. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – Setting the Hobbits back on the right foot, Smaug is a fantastic return to Middle Earth. Where the first movie fell short, Smaug makes up for it in strides and gives us the movie we’ve been waiting for!
9. Nebraska – There were a few “dysfunctional family” type films this year but none were as well done as Nebraska. Where others fell short, Nebraska packs a punch with great humor and a touching story (albeit uncomfortable at times).
10. Don Jon – Joseph Gordon-Levitt seems to be able to do no wrong. Not only does he star in Don Jon, but he also wrote and directed it, only further cementing in my mind that he is someone to keep an eye on. The movie is fantastic fun and he is superb as the porn-addicted young man trying to find himself.--