There’s almost nothing movie fans love more than making lists, and honestly, maybe that’s one of the things I love so much about movies. I’ve always loved to rank things, whether it is movies, favorite baseball players, or memes. So with the decade coming to a close, it is the perfect time to do an annual retrospective on each year in the decade, continuing with 2013.
(Throughout this series, I’ll be using the Letterboxd release dates to determine which year’s list to put each film on.)
10. Now You See Me – This is just a fun movie featuring some charismatic and famous actors. Any time I get to see Woody Harrelson just do his thing, I’m happy. In this film, the way he interacts with the other actors makes for a fun movie with an interesting twist.
9. The Spectacular Now – Miles Teller plays a similar character in this movie to his character in Whiplash, which is just him playing to his strengths. Pairing him with Shailene Woodley in this movie makes for an emotional and sweet ride about love and reconciliation.
8. Man of Steel – This is the perfect start to the DCEU, back when there was still lots of hope. While it portrays Superman as a superhero, it doesn’t make him out to be quite larger than life. It turns him into a relatable person who has to deal with very human problems in an unexpected way. But beyond this, it has great action and Henry Cavill is a superb Superman.
7. The Wolf of Wall Street – While it isn’t nearly my favorite Scorsese movie, it might be one of the most watchable and entertaining. It shows the ridiculous and over the top nature of the way of life that these people are living, and trusts that the viewer is smart enough to know that what they are doing is wrong.
6. Prisoners – This is one of the toughest movies I’ve ever watched, and I don’t really intend to ever watch it again. But that’s because of how effective it is in its mission. Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal show why they are at the top of their field. In particular, Jackman plays a desperate father going to unthinkable lengths for his child. It’s a great entry into Denis Villeneuve’s filmography.
5. Her – Her is the kind of movie that seems like it could be accurately predicting the future. It’s a believable near-future film with Joaquin Phoenix giving one of the most subdued performances of his career. This is an excellent movie about love, technology, and the nature of humanity.
4. Inside Llewyn Davis – This is one of the most heart wrenching movies I have ever seen, simply because of the sheer number of missed opportunities in life that there are for Llewyn. It’s a movie that shows the importance and enormity of the choices we make in our life with an amazing lead performance from Oscar Isaac.
3. Locke – A simple movie when presented at face value, but it’s so much more when you think about it deeply. It’s a movie that shows the power that we all have over our own lives – life is all about the choices that we make having deep effects on everything else we do. Tom Hardy sells the premise of a man alone in his car better than anyone else could have, and he’s the reason the movie works as well as it does.
2. What If – Harry Potter and Kylo Ren are best friends in this charming romantic comedy. Daniel Radcliffe has carved out quite a career since the Potter franchise ended, and this is one genre he hadn’t mastered yet. It explores the ways relationships can evolve as time goes on. Plus, it has not-quite-famous-yet Adam Driver giving a hilarious and scene-stealing performance.
1. About Time – This is a movie that I could watch just about every day. It dives so deeply into the human experience and feels completely real every step of the way, even though it’s a time travel movie. No matter what stage of life you’re in, you can find something relatable within this deep and emotional ride.
All images retrieved from IMDb