In the lead-up to the unveiling of our definitive Top 50 Films of 2013 list, we’ve asked some friends of Paste to tell us their favorites of the year. Tune in for a different list each day. Today’s contributor is author Anna Goldfarb, who wrote this year’s Clearly, I Didn’t Think This Through: The Story of One Tall Girl’s Impulsive, Ill-Conceived, and Borderline Irresponsible Life Decisions. Follow her blog here and her Twitter here>
The Top Ten Movies That Blew My Hair Back in 2013
1. The Movie That Would’ve Been Perfect Except for George Clooney’s Annoying Smarmy Character:
This movie is a masterpiece, a bold cinematic feat in story, style, and pacing. But did George Clooney have to play such a smarmy dick? His country music sucked, his “funny” stories were lame, and his half-hearted come-ons made me roll my eyes, which is doubly annoying because I was wearing 3-D glasses. No one wants to roll their eyes wearing extraneous eyewear. I will say that Gravity boasted the best use of 3D technology all year and I liked it so much that I saw it in the theater twice, which for a cheapskate like me, is pretty much unheard of. Take all my money, Gravity. Just take it.
2. The Movie That I Loved in the Theater But Bored Me When I Watched It At Home:
I guess kaiju fight scenes belong on the big screen because I loved this movie when I saw it over the summer, but I tried to watch it over the weekend and I fell asleep. Bummer.
3. The Perfect Movie To Watch When You’re Hungover:
This Is The End.
At this point, I think I’d watch anything Jonah Hill, Seth Rogan, Danny McBride and James Franco barfed up—cough Your Highness cough—but this movie was a gem. It was funny, brainless, and entertaining. The only thing missing was a wacky Will Ferrell cameo.
4. The Movie I Went Into With Low Expectations But Ended Up Enjoying Immensely:
Pain & Gain.
This movie is basically Fargo set in ‘90s Miami. It had humor, thrills, and a compelling (true!) story. One of my favorite things to watch is Mark Wahlberg being exasperated, and he’s exasperated in like, 80% of the film, which was a total treat. I also liked how it seamlessly switched narration between both major and minor characters. It was a fresh take on fun genre. This ended up being one of my favorite movies of the year.
5. The Movie I Enjoyed The Most While I Was Watching But Don’t Ever Feel the Need To Watch Again:
Behind the Candelabra.
If I never hear Michael Douglas’s nasally Liberace voice again, I’ll die a happy woman. Rob Lowe’s pinched face was a highlight. So was seeing Matt Damon in a speedo. Thanks for that, Hollywood, but I can’t imagine sitting through this crazy movie again.
6. The Movie I Saw With My Mom And We Both Loved It:
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
My mom and I ate this shit up. I’ve never read the books but this second installment in the franchise was flawless. The other things we both love this much are “The Voice” and playing Candy Crush. Now The Hunger Games films are right up there too.
7. The Movie I’d Happily Watch With My Dad:
Racecars the 1970s more race cars = happy dad! This was a zippy little film that didn’t make much of a splash but is perfectly suitable to watch with any male in my life. It was like Blades of Glory only more serious and with less Aerosmith songs.
8. The Movie That Was Essentially One Giant Fart Noise:
Oz the Great and Powerful.
I swear to God Zach Braff ruins everything he touches. The man is a human period stain.
9. The Best Movie To Live Tweet:
Or rather, #sharknado.
10. The Best Movie That I Thought Would Be A Generic Sci-Fi Bore But It Ending Up Being Great:
The Europa Report.
At first the found-footage sci-fi space spin seemed like a well-worn gimmick, but this movie had some soul to it. It even had a poignant message about how mankind’s quest for knowledge is worth sacrificing one’s life for. Recommended.
Movies That I’d See For Free If The Opportunity Presented Itself:
Elysium, Oblivion, Thor: The Dark World, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, The Internship, and White House Down.
Movies that I Heard Were Great But I Didn’t Get Around to Seeing Because I Was Too Busy Watching Bullshit Bravo Reality Shows:
Fruitvale Station, Mud, Side Effects, Blackfish, Inside Llewlyn Davis, Dallas Buyers Club, Her.
Lists from other friends of Paste:
Director Lynn Shelton
Director Megan Griffiths
Producer Natasha Giliberti
Author Kayli Stollak
Actor Josh Radnor
Director Dan Mirvish
Director Paul Rachman
Director Karin Hayes
Producer Anne Hubbell
Director Stacie Passon
Actor Sophia Takal
Actor Beth Grant
Actor Tallie Medel
Director Adam Leon