Best Movies Seen in 2013

















I have seen a lot of movies in 2013. Most of them, in fact, were not made this year. I didn't go out to the theater to spend ten bucks on a movie that I didn't want to see. So I stayed in mostly, and watched a whole lot of great movies. Working my way through "The Best" lists is harder than you image, because I now have to pick "the best" of the best.
I soon realized that it would be impossible to to a "Top 10" because I would have to make so many honorable mentions, they would far outnumber the actual list. So I made a "Top 30"....because I can.
I have my criteria—it has to be viewed for the FIRST time, this year. This excludes many re-watches and movies that would certainly land on this list like "Inception", "The Beaver", or "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button".
Without further hesitation, these are the best movies that I've seen for the first time this year. I'm excluding, of course, the films from 2013. That is another list entirely.


30. Man on Wire—2008
One of the best documentaries I've ever seen. Thrilling and evocative.

29. War Witch—2012
A movie about adulthood coming too soon, heartache, and survival.

28. Modern Times—1936
Charlie Chaplin's not-quite-silent masterpiece.

27. Clean, Shaven—1993
Perhaps the best movie that portrays the mind of a insane character.

26. Fahrenheit 9/11—2004
Michael Moore's controversial documentary. Perhaps biased, but undeniably powerful.

25. La Jetée—1962
This film is mind-blowing...in all the right ways. Shot in still photographs, this black-and-white short film is a staggering milestone in cinema.

24. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans—1927
Marriage, love, and life. This first Best Picture winner is terrific.

23. Martha Marcy May Marlene—2011
Elizabeth Olsen is stunning in this movie about being taken captive by an idea.

22. The House Is Black—1963
Another short film on this list—a documentary about a leper colony. Painful and full of love.

21. Meshes of the Afternoon—1943
The last short film on the list...a beautifully rendered dream movie that would certainly inspire and haunt filmmakers for years to come.

20. Shattered Glass—2003
This is an odd title to see here; but I found "Shattered Glass" an incredibly exciting and well-made movie.

19. I Killed My Mother—2009
Xavier Dolan's amazing film debut. Concerning mother and child, he crafts an emotional piece of art.

18. Harold and Maude—1971
A reinvention of romance. A sweet film. A funny film.

17. Bonnie and Clyde—1967
Dangerous duo, odd couple, beautiful film.

16. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly—2007
Movie making at its finest. This film is ingenious, dazzling, and moving.

15. All The King's Men—1949
A movie about political corruption way ahead of its time.

14. The Blair Witch Project—1999
An influential piece that proved movies didn't need huge budgets to be incredible. One of the most successful films ever made...and it's scary

13. Jackie Brown—1997
One of Tarantino's finest.

12. The White Ribbon—2009
Michael Haneke's portrait of a village, plagued by torment and twisted philosophies.

11. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford—2007
A task to say, but a privilege to watch. Holding up under scrutiny, the movie maintains a dream-like feeling that somehow goes hand-in-hand with the western material.

10. Funny Games—1997
Michael Haneke again with this frustratingly complex home-invasion/horror flick. It's intense and mind-bending. Not for the faint of heart.

9. Requiem for a Dream—2000
It's the quintessential movie about drugs and what a dozy this is! Powerful from the opening frame. Hard to watch, but essential.

8. The Passion of the Christ—2004
Mel Gibson can make an epic movie—this is no exception. Taking the story of Christ and making it as gut-wrenching and emotional as possible, Gibson has redefined passion.

7. sex, lies, and videotape—1989
Soderbergh's Pamle d'Or winner. This movie is reason enough for him not to retire. A study of humanity, a study of love.

6. The Celebration—1998
A messed-up family. A disturbing plot. A magnificent achievement.

5. The Impossible—2012
The story of a family's survival against a deadly tsunami. Emotional, graphic, and filled with amazing performances

4. Brazil—1985
Terry Gilliam's Owellian vision of society. Hilarious, disturbing, and boldly visual.

3. Z—1969
A movie about government and a movie about the people.

2. Apocalypse Now1979
Francis Ford Coppola's take on the Vietnam war. Hallucinatory, visceral, and stunning.

1. The Thin Red Line—1998
Please don't read my review. I don't like it. Just know that this is the best war movie ever made and lands in my top ten favorites list. A beautiful and haunting vision of war, brought to film by the poetic Terrence Malick


Honorable Mentions:
Breathless—1960
Full Metal Jacket—1987
Shoah—1985
This is Spinal Tap—1984
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?—1966

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