I saw a lot of movies in 2013, too many to count. These were the 10 best!
10. This Is The End - By far the funniest movie I saw this year, a sharp, satirical comedy set against the end of the world in Hollywood featured great cameos, intelligent dialogue and great performances by the leads.
9. Prisoners - This is one that snuck up on me and surprised me. 2 girls go missing and one father does anything necessary and more to find out what happened to them. Hugh Jackman was strong in the lead role and Jake Gyllenhaal gave an Oscar worthy supporting performance as the detective assigned the case.
8. Captain Phillips - Paul Greengrass scored again with this telling of Somali Pirates who hijack a cargo freighter and the Captain (Tom Hanks) who steadfastly remains strong even as peril is waiting him and his crew. Newcomer Barkhad Abdi gave in my mind the breakout performance of the year.
7. Her - Joaquin Phoenix took what was quite possibly the most difficult role of the year and did a stunning job as a man who falls in love with his OS (operating system, voiced by Scarlett Johansson) just as his divorce is finalized. The film has much to say about connection and love in this era of technology and it is surprisingly charming and witty.
6. The Wolf of Wall Street - I'm convinced if Leonardo Dicaprio doesn't win an Oscar for this he might never win one. He gives a tour de force performance as Jordan Belfort, a stockbroker who scams people for a living and lives a life of excess. Scorsese's best work since The Departed.
5. Saving Mr. Banks - Sentimental to be sure, this story of the journey of author P.L. Travers and her character Mary Poppins, is quite simply a great time at the movies. Emma Thompson has never been better and the whole cast shines. This movie made me feel good.
4. Gravity - Visually stunning, this 2 man film starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney is the best use of IMAX and 3D I've ever seen. Director Alfonso Cuaron should take home an Oscar for this.
3. The Place Beyond The Pines - Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper carry this film about a stunt motorcyle rider who turns to bank robberies and the cop who tracks him down. Film has a stunning shift in narrative and plot and yet Director Derek Cianfrance takes bold chances and succeeds.
2. Out of The Furnace - A bleak, dark film about a blue collar worker (Christian Bale) in a blue collar town who's life forever changes one fateful night. A strong supporting cast led by Woody Harrelson and Casey Affleck help set the tone but its Bale who gives one of the best performances by anyone this year.
1. Mud - 2 boys head down the Mississippi River and come across an island where they meet Mud (Matthew McConaughey), a man on the run who longs to meet up with the love of his life, Juniper (Reese Witherspoon.) Their chance meeting sets events in motion that will forever change all their lives. This is an audacious, bold, daring film with a career defining performance by McConaughey.