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The Lucky 13: My ‘OTHER’ Favorite Films of 2013

January 25, 2014

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The LAST 2013 list. I’ve constructed this list because I was saving it for “Her”, sadly I didn’t see the film in Dec., so it wouldn’t make my original Lucky 13 list, if the movie was indeed as a good as it would turn out to be [which it did].

So, here’s my special list focusing on the films that didn’t make the cut for my official Lucky 13 best films of 2013, these are the OTHER best films of 2013.


13. “The Spectacular Now” – Miles Teller is already on the rise as becoming one of those young actors to watch out for, Shailene Woodley is pretty much already there, with her success’ in “The Descendants” and leading her own sci-fi franchise called “Divergent”. It’s nice to see these two in such an indie film where everything doesn’t have to be about the grand big picture, they show honesty and some integrity in their characters and it’s hard not to buy into it.

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12. “12 Years A Slave” – Steve McQueen isn’t afraid to show us the true horrors of slavery, but it’s not that we should be aware of the historical American Slavery, McQueen’s point was that slavery can be found anywhere, not just this country. Led by a powerhouse cast, including McQueen’s right hand man, Michael Fassbender, this is one of the finest historical dramas since Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List”.

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11. “Disconnect” – This is a movie that provides a strong ensemble, helping make the film a timely, effective exploration of modern society’s technological overload obsession. A multi-layered story about how the internet affects the rich, middle class, and poor in a very believable manner.

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10. “Much Ado About Nothing” – The films lighthearted atmosphere is perfection to a fault, it has this sort of giddy energy and intimate charm that could capture the hearts of any movie watcher, whether they’re fans of Shakespeare or not, I think this movie makes for an entertaining romantic comedy.

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9. “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” – “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” was 2013’s “Beasts of the Southern Wild”, which is a shame, because this was a movie that nobody saw. It deserved a wider release, a respectable release. Both films share one major common element; modern day fairy tale twist. “Saints” is Bonnie & Clyde fairy tale that is as timeless as the story itself of the infamous criminals themselves.

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8. “Sightseers” – It took me a while to realize it, but this movie is a straight up horror film, designed to be a black comedy crime film. But seriously, this is one of the scariest movies you’ll ever come across about a couple road tripping around rural England, killing people because they’re bored, and are looking for a little excitement.

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7. “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” – This will become an under-appreciated classic in the coming years. Stiller devises a beautiful look about adulthood after succeed the fear of earning a life you need to get by, then finding that extra element of wanting to really live above and beyond your full potential.

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6. “Stories We Tell” – Director, Sarah Polley creates a touching documentary about her family, then explores the nature of memory, and storytelling. She brilliantly crafts a thoughtful, compelling narrative story that unfolds like a mystery about the truth of her biological father.

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5. “The Place Beyond the Pines” – Powerful stuff here, it’s themes are potent, and it’s characters are fascinating to examine, “The Place Beyond the Pines” is one of the most ambitious crime drama’s focusing on the morality of fathers and sons.

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4. “Prisoners” – I wasn’t expecting this tale about the kidnapping of two young girls  would lead to complex, conspiracy, regarding the local history of a string of child kidnappings. Jake Gyllenhaal really takes lead in the role of the flawed Det. Loki, the man in charge of the investigation regarding the missing girls.

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3. “Captain Phillips” – The pacing is solid, the acting is great, and the story is sound. Barkhad Abdi gives a chilling performances as Muse, the other Captain. The final five minutes of the movie is some of the best acting in Hanks career.

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2. “Nebraska” – Bruce Dern gives the performance of his career as tortured soul with the determination of a lion, and SNL’s Will Forte surprisingly enough gives an incredibly nuanced performance as the son along for the ride. There are terrific supporting players; June Squibb is the great scene stealer of this movie and garner’s most of the laughs.

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1 . “Her” – With its miraculous color palette, transcendent score by Arcade Fire, far out production design, and Joaquin Phoenix giving a career best performance, thanks to a strong/wise voice belonging to Scarlett Johansson. But, it all comes down to the screenplay, the script is the star of this movie, Spike Jonze continues to prove to many of us that originality is never lost, and the power of originality is still out there. He’s carefully crafted a script that will have audiences touch and feel love for the first time all over again.

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The ‘OTHER’ Honorable Mentions: “Blue Jasmine”, “The East”, “Stoker”, “Don Jon”, “Kill Your Darlings”, “You’re Next”, “All is Lost”, “This is the End”, “Pacific Rim”, “Man of Steel”, “Crystal Fairy and the Magical Cactus”, “VHS 2″, “The Conjuring”, “42″, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”, ”Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”, “Philomena”, “Saving Mr. Banks”, “Out of the Furnace”, “Thor: The Dark World”, “Iron Man 3″, “Star Trek Into Darkness”, “The Family”, “Kick-Ass 2″, “Elysium”, “The Wolverine”, “Monsters University”, “The Company You Keep”, “Mud”, “Pain & Gain”, “Trance”, “Blackfish”, “Sound City”, & “The Crash Reel”

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