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.


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).


Review: Gravity (2013) — Bringing Art Back to the Multiplex; an Out-of-This-World Big-Screen Experience


From Oscar-nominated Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity is the long-awaited directorial follow-up to the filmmaker’s acclaimed and ground-breaking dystopian science-fiction film Children of Men, released all the way back in 2006. Seven years is a long time between films — especially with the buzz that Children of Men generated with audiences — but thankfully Gravity is every bit the worthy continuation in Cuarón’s stellar filmography (which also includes the best Harry Potter: The Prisoner of Azkaban.

Gravity is minimalist sci-fi at its best: veteran astronaut Kowalski (George Clooney) leads his final space expedition and finds himself guiding rookie engineer Dr. Stone (Sandra Bullock) on her first. When debris irreparably damages their shuttle during a space-walk, the duo find themselves at the mercy of the vast isolation of space with time, and oxygen, running out and obstacles mounting.

No kidding, the WHOLE MOVIE looks like this!

No kidding, the WHOLE MOVIE looks like this!

Gravity is a visually transcendent film: amongst the best looking films in the past ten years, potentially amongst the best of all time. Cuarón made a name for himself with Children of Men with his complex visual compositions and unusually long shot takes. Gravity steps this up to another level; the opening shot of the film is a staggering 13 minutes without cuts! Considering the number of camera movements in that single shot — which starts out serenely and winds up in total chaos — along with the awe-inspiring photography (courtesy of Emmanuel Lubezki, The Tree of Life), it’s no wonder that Gravity has esteemed visual film-makers such as James Cameron and Rian Johnson gushing its praises.


%d bloggers like this: