It's hard to praise cinema these days, and although I remain foolishly optimistic, it seems Hollywood is relentless in its efforts to keep me out of the theaters. However I found myself pleasantly surprised a handful of times throughout the year, and I write this piece in the interest of saving the reader their valuable time and cutting to the chase with the top four films of 2013. And before anyone asks, Gravity is not on this list because the cliché dialogue is tough to sit through a second time, and I think great films have replay value. And Trance just barely missed the mark for me, and fell tragically just short of my expectations (Boyle should have consulted Nolan).
1) The Place Beyond The Pines by Derek Ciafrance
This film is an instant classic with a captivating three-part story, breathtaking cinematography/score, and was well acted by everyone involved. It is a bold film that will stand the test of time , and I expect big things from Derek Ciafrance
Mud has a vibe similar to Stand by Me, and is equally effective in its storytelling. Some of the best performances of the year, and a story simplistic but enchanting, and its quality really took me off guard.
3) You're Next
I haven’t had this much fun at a horror film in quite a while. This has a classic 80’s slasher score, really violent in the best way, aside from the protagonist (and the antagonist from Dumb & Dumber) it’s a no name cast which helps deliver the story in a fresh way. If you have a dark side, you’ll be pleasantly entertained.
4) Out of the Furnace
I don’t care if critics have been saying this story is overly-simplistic, because that grounds the plot in reality and the performances are so phenomenal that if you didn’t know this star studded cast you’d believe this was a true story. It’s has tension you could cut with a knife, heart, substance, and I turned to the people I was with three times to say “this movie is f*@#ing awesome”
There they are, I’m not talking pure performances or cinematography, I am simply referring to the most valuable pieces of cinema from 2013