The Best Films of 2013

Luke Miksa's: The Negative Space Bar

2013 was a pretty fantastic year for cinema — as long as you look past onset of blockbuster/superhero fatigue, often ridiculous Australian release schedules for smaller films (aka Stupid Australian Release Schedules), and a strange fascination with the apocalypse arriving a year too late. But I kid; for every annoyance, the medium produces many things to be excited about. I’m keeping this positive!

Let’s get down to it:

Missing the cut: The Wolverine, The Way Way Back, Side Effects, The Kings of Summer

I havn’t seen these (mainly due to Stupid Australian Release Schedules) but I’d probably dig them: The Wolf of Wall Street, Her, Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska, Dallas Buyers Club, 12 Years a Slave, Short Term 12

Cloud Atlas was released in Australia in 2013 (Stupid Australian Release Schedules), but for the sake of this list it will be treated as a 2012 film.

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10. Captain Phillips

The second-most intense film of the year (number one is below), which is made more so due to the fact that the incredible events depicted in Captain Phillips actually happened (sans the Hollywood artistic license). Tom Hanks knocks this role out of the water with an incredibly strong showing, and his performance in the final scenes left me in shocked silence for a while. Director Paul Greengrass knocked this one up a notch, even with his visceral, shaky-shaky handheld style (which I’m generally not a fan of).

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MIFF 2013 Review: Drinking Buddies (2013) — A Loosely Scripted but Massively Charming Bender

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Independent darling and micro-budget director extraordinaire Joe Swanberg has been a busy guy: he has over a dozen directing credits to his name in the past ten years, not to mention a large number of acting appearances and producing credits. A pioneer of the “mumblecore” movement has certainly been churning out the features, which have honestly not made any major waves outside of the festival circuit. The romantic comedy Drinking Buddies may be his mainstream breakthrough picture; a slightly higher budget has brought with it a more recognisable cast, which in turn should make it more attractive to a wider audience. The good thing is that Drinking Buddies does deserve a wider audience due to its charming leads and realistic take on modern romance.

This promo pic is phony: Jake Johnson has a beard throughout the movie.

This promo pic is phony: Jake Johnson has a beard throughout the movie.

The film follows Kate (Olivia Wilde) and Luke (Jake Johnson), workers at a Chicago brewery. They share an undeniable chemistry; they drink hard and they flirt hard. These feelings go unspoken due to both of them being in relationships with other people (Ron Livingston and Anna Kendrick, respectively). Things come to a head when the two couples take a weekend vacation that rocks the foundations of both these partnerships, who then have to traverse rocky terrain filled with sexual tensions and relationship hurdles.

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