Top 10 Movies of 2013

Ladies and gentlemen...the moment of truth. (Can you feel the pretentiousness?)
Here is my list of the top 10 movies of 2013. Keep in mind that there were many movies that I wanted to see like "Nebraska", "Inside Llewyn Davis", "The Act of Killing", "Kill Your Darlings", "Blue Is the Warmest Color", and "Her"; but alas, living in a small town means you get no limited release films.'s the list:

10. The Conjuring
James Wan's re-invention of the horror film. "Scary" hardly does it justice. Yet beneath the scares and screams, is a tightly crafted and precisely filmed movie.

9. Fruitvale Station
A day in the life of Oscar Grant. It's an unimportant day to all but the viewer. Clever and emotional.

8. Prisoners
Yes, surprising to many to see this on here. I was immensely impressed with this thriller. It's fueled by good writing and a great performance by Jake Gyllenhall.

7. Trance
Danny Boyle's newest film is a hypnosis-heist complicated mess. But it is beautiful and it was the most fun I've had watching a movie all year.

6. Gravity
I wasn't as impressed with this film as the next person was. Still, the movie is quite spectacular and the rising star of the picture is cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki.

5. Blackfish
Not only is it the best documentary I've seen all year, it's one of the best films. "Blackfish" is a film with a purpose; but its impact stretches far beyond that.

4. To the Wonder
Terrence Malick's film of love coincidentally also shot by Lubezki. Beautiful as always and full of intangibles. His movies always leave a mark on me.

3. Blue Jasmine
Woody Allen's dark, insane world of a woman fallen from riches. Featuring the performance of the year by Cate Blanchett, this movie is one that pulls you in.

2. 12 Years a Slave
The true story of Solomon Northup. Steve McQueen brings the sad story to life. Brutal beyond words, this film is powerful and filled with unforgettable scenes.

1. Upstream Color
I struggled a long time with the top two movies on this list. But in the end, it never felt right to not put Shane Carruth's visionary masterpiece at the very top. "Upstream Color" is a movie that many will hate because the film demands a mental surrender. It's bewildering, unapologetic, and a work of true genius. It's the one film that I can't seem to stop talking about.
After seeing it three times and still not quite understanding everything about it, I can safely say that "Upstream Color" is the most original film in years and far above everything else made in 2013.

Honorable Mentions:
Frances Ha—Funny, poignant, and featuring a delightful performance by Greta Gerwig.
The Bling Ring—Sofia Coppola's commentary on adolescence and materialism.

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