ByJerome Maida, writer at
Jerome Maida

There were so many movies out this year, covering such a broad array of topics and involving so many of my favorite franchises and actors, that I saw more in theaters than I could ever recall - and still could easily name a half-dozen that I was unable to fit in.

From Robert Downey, Jr. in "Iron Man 3"; to Hugh Jackman in "The Wolverine" to Jennifer Lawrence in "The Hunger Games"...some of the most popular combinations of huge actor/actress to huge franchise hit the screen and, for the most part, delivered.

Jackman also gave one of the most powerful performances of the year in the haunting "Prisoners", in which he made Wolverine look as threatening as Elmo by comparison.

Vin Diesel, The Rock, Paul walker and Michelle Rodriguez all helped "Fast and Furious 6" be such an adrenaline rush that it powered the sixth installment to reach new heights box-office wise.

Meanwhile, going old-school in "Bullet To The Head" and finally teaming with fellow '80s icon Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Escape Plan" failed to appeal to American audiences in 2013; neither did a typical Stallone script he originally wrote to start in, "Homefront", but eventually let Jason Statham star in.

But toss in "Thor: The Dark World"; "Oz: The Great and Powerful"; Despicable Me 2"; "Monsters University"; "Star Trek Into Darkness"; "The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug" and even "Kick-Ass 2"; "A Good Day To Die Hard" and "RED 2" and the 2013 box-office was dominated by familiar faces and franchises.

So it is ironic that the Best Film of 2013 was a fresh, unique tale in which a sequel is all but impossible.

The Best Film of 2013 is "Gravity".

First, Sandra Bullock gives what is easily the performance of her career. It is one of the best performances put to film. Period.

More than her performance, however - and to a lesser extent, George Clooney's - is the fact that "Gravity" reminded audiences of the true "Magic of Movies". By transporting us and making us feel like we were actually in the wonder and terror of space, "Gravity" received extraordinary word-of-mouth and a selling point you almost never hear anymore: "If you're going to see it, make sure to see it in the theater. If you wait for the DVD it won't be the same and you'll wonder what all the fuss was about".

Millions of moviegoers opted not to wait for the DVD of "Gravity". With $254 million domestically to date, it is the sixth-highest-grossing film domestically this year - though it likely will be passed by "Frozen" in a day or two and likely "The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug" as well eventually.

But who really remembers who made what in which year over time? Or even who wins Academy awards or Golden Globes for the most part? No, what makes "Gravity" the year's best film is that it is the type of film that will be talked about 50 years from now.

Why? It's unique premise; Bullock rising to the challenge of the role; the smart use of 3-D; being as realistic as possible by showing us the true wonder and awe of space; using models and getting little things right and authentic rather than relying on CGI and breaking movie conventions by having nine-minute-long scenes and a story that seems to take place in real time and eschewing the quick cuts that seem mandatory anymore for the MTV/ADD generation.

In short, many films will be compared to "Gravity", but right now it's impossible to compare "Gravity" to anything ELSE. It is a wonderful film with a fresh premise that surprised us, kept us guessing and reminded us all of why we love movies in the first place.

As such, it was easily the Best Film of 2013.


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