My Top Films of 2013

The Hobbit: The Desolation of SmaugBefore you read into this list too much, there’s something you must know: I only see movies that I have an interest in seeing.  I rarely find myself leaving my comfort zone, or randomly picking a movie from a list.  I also don’t go see movies just because they are “critically acclaimed.”  I don’t buy into that, as I don’t listen to critics.  I sometimes see movies that are, but that’s because I do make good choices in what films I see.

14. 42

Difficult to watch, but a fine historical drama.

13. After Earth

Didn’t launch a new Sci-Fi franchise like I had hoped it would.  It wasn’t a terrible movie, but it wasn’t great enough to land higher on my list.

12. Epic

The trailer may have been better than the film, but it was a bit inspiring that animated movies can look lush like this, and people are still trying to create fantastical worlds like this.  It makes the list because I had fun with it.

11. Ender’s Game

A good science fiction film that feels kind of old-fashioned.  I caught on to what was happening, just before the reveal, which was fine by me… because I was enjoying it.

10. The Wolverine

A solid Wolverine film.

9. The Lone Ranger

Fun. Very fun.  A bit long at times, but not near as bad as folks are making it out to be.  Watch it and have fun with it, and you’ll have a good time.

8. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

I have to say that, now that I know what’s ACTUALLY happening in this story, I like it a whole lot more.  The first film was a lot of intense action and death.  The second film had actual substance to it.  And it has an ending that makes me want to know what happens next, immediately.

7. Thor: The Dark World

Holy cow!  Bring on Thor 3.  Fast!

6. Monster’s University

A great film that takes nothing away from the original film, and enhances it in many ways.

5. Iron Man 3

Shane Black brings a fresh voice to the Iron Man films.  Only thing I wish was different was how Mandarin was handled.  What a twist it would have been had the actor turned out to be Mandarin, for real.  Could still happen, and it’d be brilliant.

4. Frozen

Surprise of the year, though I shouldn’t have been as surprised.  Both Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph are terrific, and this is the third in a line of great films from Disney Animation, the likes of which haven’t come from them in a very long time.

3.  Star Trek Into Darkness

A great adventure with a twist that I kind of predicted.  I managed to stay spoiler-free until literally the night before I saw the movie, when someone at a grocery store decided to talk about the movie loud enough for anyone to hear.  That made me so mad, because until that point, I still had NO idea that I was right.  Looking forward to J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII now, more than ever.  He’s exactly the right director for that movie, and I couldn’t be happier to have him leaving Star Trek for that.

2. Man of Steel

Holy smokes.  This was my favorite Superman movie that I’ve ever seen.  I was introduced to Superman comics when he was fighting Doomsday.  The Death of Superman battle was every bit as huge and devastating as the battle in Man of Steel.  And that was with a Superman that had fought many battles before, and things were still chaotic.  In Man of Steel, Superman is still learning his powers, as well as how to fight.  It makes for an interesting battle that leads up to an ending that could only go one direction.

Loved this movie and am very hopeful that Man of Steel 2 continues to dive into this world with Clark Kent working at the Daily Planet, finding his way as Superman, and the reaction of the world to his existence.

1. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Here’s what I said in my note explaining why I was anticipating this movie as my #1 most anticipated film of the year, and I was right on the nose with my assessment.

If you know me, you know what a big fan of Tolkien I am.  I’ve seen An Unexpected Journey three times (so far).  I’ve been waiting for these films since the credits rolled on The Return of the King, and so far I haven’t been disappointed.  Where the story goes from the end of the first one, it gets far more epic and enthralling.  I have a feeling that, for much of the audience, like The Fellowship of the Ring, the first film in this trilogy will only be strengthened by the power of the next parts of the story.  For better or for worse, this is all part of one single story, and that makes it impossible for me to judge the first part on its’ own, without having seen the rest.

All of this is absolutely true of my favorite film of 2013.  People are seeing it in droves, finding it to be a much more exciting part of the story, and are now greatly anticipating the final third of the story.  I know I am more excited for the last part than I was prior to seeing this one.  It’s going to be an emotional ride, for sure, and most of the audience doesn’t seem to know that is what’s coming.

Haven’t seen:

Oz: The Great and Powerful
Saving Mr. Banks
The Book Thief

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