PorchDrinking.com’s Best Movies of 2013
Let’s keep this going, shall we? On the heals of our Best Songs post, here are our selections for the Best Movies of 2013. We’ve asked several PD writers to provide their top 5 of last year along with a brief explanation. Enjoy! As always, please leave your own lists in the comment section below.
The Wolf of Wall Street: Good god, Scorsese: you’ve done it again! Scorsese delivers a true balls-to-the-wall film that is not for the faint of heart. For the first time, I walked out of a three hour movie wanting more! And DiCaprio gives the dick-swinging performance of a lifetime! If you thought his turn as Calvin Candy in Django Unchained was good, wait until you catch this one. Make sure to leave your parents at home. Hell, make sure to leave anyone you’d feel uncomfortable watching porn with at home. You’ll thank me for it.
Inside Llewyn Davis: I’m not entirely sure how the Coen Brothers continue to do this. Not much in the way of plot, but another fantastic performance. The way this movie looks, feels, and sounds really makes it something special. Oscar Isaac’s turn as the down-on-his-luck wannabe folk singer, Llewyn Davis, is fantastic. His performances of “Hang Me, Oh Hang Me” and “Fare Thee Well” are absolutely amazing. Do yourself a favor: see this movie and buy the soundtrack.
Frances Ha: I have a complete crush on Gretta Gerwig thanks to this one. Another quiet film, but goddamn it feels so natural. Gerwig nails the role of the 27 year old who isn’t quite ready to grow up. And for this, I connect to her. Sure, I’m married and have a stable job, but that in no way means I know where I want to go or what I want to be. It’s a hard time for us twenty-somethings, and I think this movie nails that.
The World’s End: One of two end-of-the-world comedies, but the only one that matters. Edgar Wright finishes his “Cornetto Trilogy” with a bang. An emotional roller coaster that perfectly sends up the “doomsday genre” perfectly.
Dallas Buyer’s Club: Your classic (re: cliché?) movie about the underdog facing adversity to stick it to the man finds itself at number four in this list not for its fairly predictable plot, but rather for its performances. Matthew McConaughey had himself a bit of a career renaissance this year (or McConaughaissance?) and this movie is no different. He should score himself an Oscar nom for this one.
Spring Breakers: Yeah. I went there. I’m still not sure if I like this movie or not, but goddamn it is fun to look at. (And, for the record, I am talking about the movie as a whole and not just the tits.) James Franco as the rapper Alien is a showstopper.
Tristan Chan *note these picks were made before the end of December movies were released
Fast and the Furious 6: I have so much more to say about this series that I’ll eventually release in a full post, but the Fast and the Furious series has transformed itself from a cheesy Bruckheimer-esque joke, that aspired to be something more than it was, (substitute fast cars for explosions and keep the gratuitous sex appeal) to a series that fully embraces the over-the-top-ness it’s meant to be. All I have to say is Vin Diesel + the Rock + jumping out of a moving car to catch someone from falling = recipe for awesome. This was by a long distance the best movie of 2013.
Ender’s Game: It’s sad that author Orson Scott Card had to go revealing himself to be a bigot because the book is amazing and the film managed to pull off an incredibly difficult translation from that novel. Scifi fans can truly celebrate this piece and film goers can appreciate the visual beauty in this adaptation.
Star Trek Into Darkness: As a diehard Star Wars fan I feel a bit guilty about how much I love the Star Trek series but this follow up to the series reboot did not disappoint. KHANNNNN!
The Way Way Back: This is a fantastic coming of age piece that is clever, nostalgic and features an incredibly strong cast. Its just scary how great of an asshole Steve Carrel can play, and I don’t like it.
The Kings of Summer: Similar to the Way Way Back, the Kings of Summer is a fun, witty coming of age film which features a hilarious Nick Offerman playing a father who has a hard time relating to his son after the loss of his wife. But the film centers on the son and his two buddies who escape into the wild and build their own house after their cartoonish parents show little support.
Inside Llewyn Davis: The musical sequences are beautifully filmed and occasionally poignant, the performances are each remarkable in their own way, and the story has a sad feel to it without losing it’s sense of humor. So basically, the Coen brothers hit it out of the park again.
12 Years a Slave: I described this to my wife after walking out of the theater as “soul crushing,” and I still feel it’s the most accurate way to describe the feelings you’ll experience after viewing this film. It’s truly one of the most powerful viewing experiences I can recall, and the only time I’ve heard a collective gasp from every audience member outside of a horror movie. Should be seen by all.
Upstream Color: This movie is just impossible for me to categorize. It’s unique, and I hesitate to even describe the plot out of fear of destroying the experience (don’t worry, the trailer does a great job of being incredibly vague). It’s streaming on Netflix right now, and I only recommend watching it when you can devote your full attention to the screen.
The Conjuring: Man, James Wan is on a helluva roll right now. Insidious was good, but unraveled in the last 20 minutes or so. This was his first truly complete effort – an effective horror movie without relying on gore or terrible CGI. Look for him next as he directs Fast and the Furious 7 (ahem, Tristan).
Gravity: I’m glad I made the effort and saw this in theaters, because I don’t know if the impact would have been the same on a small screen. Seeing it in 3D on a large screen makes you feel the isolation as if you are there with these stranded astronauts. It’s an insane and lonely movie to watch.
Crafting a Nation: Truly awe-inspiring. A great film.
Evil Dead: This remake was a great viddy and oh so ultraviolent.
Insidious Chapter 2: A great continuance of the story of Insidious. Can’t wait for the third film!
This is the End: Amazing cast. Outrageous story. Apatownian in its nature. A great comedy to not watch with your parents.
The World’s End: The rounding out of the Cornetto trilogy. This science fiction apocalyptic film is a great jaunt through the comedy that was so great in Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.
This is the End
The World’s End
The Place Beyond the Pines