Again, a reminder that there are a few criteria for our lists: the films included have to be films we’ve actually seen and reviewed, and they had to be films that were released in theatres for public consumption in the United States during the 2013 calendar year. If you don't see a movie on this list, you can check it against our Reviews page and it's possible we just didn't see it, so it didn't qualify for our list.
So without further ado here, in descending order, are my Top Five Films of 2013 (So Far)!
5.) Now You See Me
Kicking things off with a bit of a surprise, I know! But hear me out: when Sarah and I go to the movie theatre, it's to be entertained, plain and simple. Obviously most movie-goers are the same, but with us it's even more so because of this blog. We don't get paid to do this, we don't make any money off of it, we do it for fun. So when we see a film in theatres, we generally want to make sure we'll enjoy it somewhat (hence why we haven't reviewed films like Alex Cross or anything else Tyler Perry's fingerprints are on).
But back to my point: I had a blast with Now You See Me. I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery behind who The Four Horsemen were and what they're motivation was. I enjoyed pretty much the entire cast, particularly Mark Ruffalo and Jesse Eisenberg. And more than anything I liked that it was a heist movie on par with the Ocean's films, one that kept me guessing right up until the very end, and ultimately left me with a smile on my face as we left the theatre. That's really all I can ask out of a movie, and Now You See Me delivered. (This is also a bit of an indictment on the quality of the movies that came out in the first half of 2013.) (Read our review of Now You See Me HERE!)
4.) Evil Dead
It's not secret that horror movies are my favorite kind, so I'm sure I'll be one of the few to include Fede Alvarez's gore-fest on a Best Of list for this year, but I think it's more than worthy. Evil Dead, Alvarez's remake/sequel to Sam Raimi's 1981 classic, was everything I could have hoped it would be. It's a violent and atmospheric horror film that wears it's R rating with pride. It took its own spin on the series while keeping relatively faithful to Raimi's original trilogy, with little nods to those that came before it in crowd-pleasing ways.
Best of all, I thought it was actually a well-acted horror movie, which helped keep me invested in what was happening on-screen. I wasn't just rooting for characters to meet their grisly demise but was instead curious to see who would live and who wouldn't. That doesn't happen often with these kinds of films (looking at you, Texas Chainsaw 3D). Needless to say, this is one that I need to go buy sometime soon, which is the highest compliment I can give a movie. (Read Andrew's review of Evil Dead HERE!)
3.) This Is The End
Hands down the funniest movie of the year so far. The decision to have James Franco, Seth Rogan, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride and everybody else who showed up in this raucous apocalypse movie play exaggerated versions of themselves was brilliant. The fact that the actors were all in on the joke and embraced it only enhanced the hilarity. It wasn't just funny though, it actually had some heart in the relationship between real-life best friends Rogen and Baruchel. The connection the audience made with those two is what bridged every ridiculous, raunchy, violent and scary thing that happened in the rest of the film. Like we said before, we'd absolutely love to spend the apocalypse with these guys. (Read our review of This Is The End HERE!)
2.) Man of Steel
A film that has received mixed reviews - actually, it's more like people either love it or hate it - which blows me away. I freaking loved this movie. It's one of the most fun times I've had at the theatre this year, as well as one of the more emotionally impactful films we've seen yet. Count me in the camp that thought the flashbacks were a great way to tell Clark Kent's backstory. Count me in the camp that didn't think the action was mind-numbing. Count me in the camp that thought Clark's actions in the climactic battle with General Zod wasn't heresy, but instead a desperate act that I hope has a profound effect on where Snyder and Goyer take the character. I thought the casting was spot on, the acting in general was very good, and I LOVED Hans Zimmer's score. I'm very much looking forward Superman vs. Batman or whatever they'll call the sequel. (Read our review of Man of Steel HERE!)
1.) The Conjuring
This entry might be a little bit of a cheat because it technically did not come out in the first half of 2013, but dammit I just don't care. James Wan's superb film about a rural Rhode Island family being terrorized by a paranormal entity is the exact kind of movie that made me fall in love with the horror genre as a kid. Wan, who made a name for himself with Saw, directs the hell out of this one using old-school methods; Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga, Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor all turn in pitch-perfect performances; and an underrated aspect that I just now realized I love is the time-appropriate and moody score by Joseph Bishara. I can guarantee you right now that The Conjuring will remain near the top of my final list at the end of the year, as I view it as a modern horror masterpiece. (Read Andrew's review of The Conjuring HERE!)
I know Sarah didn't include a list of honorable mentions, but I wanted to because a couple of movies juuuuuuuuust missed out on being in my top five. If this was a Top 10 list they would've made it. There's also a couple of films on here that I couldn't include on my list because we've seen them but haven't reviewed them yet.
Pacific Rim - Another film I had a blast with in the theatre. We saw this in IMAX 3D and it looked AMAZING. Loved the creature designs, loved the way Guillermo del Toro shot the action (plenty of wide shots), and I enjoyed the history he created for this world.
The Heat - Along with This Is The End this is right up there as the funniest movie of the first half of the year. The plot is relatively thin but it's the chemistry between Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy that makes it absolutely worthwhile.
The Place Beyond The Pines - Full disclosure time: we saw this movie back when it was in theatres and for some reason we just never got around to reviewing it. Which is a real bummer because it's probably one of my favorite films of the year so far and is definitely one of the best we've seen yet. But because we didn't review it, I couldn't include it on my list. Womp womp.
The Way Way Back - Another film that I would've included on my list, except we haven't reviewed it yet. In short, it's one of the best movies of the year with a wide range of emotions felt while when we saw it. Great performances by Sam Rockwell and Steve Carell headline it for me, but because we haven't reviewed it yet and it didn't come out until July, I gotta leave it out.
Without comment, these are the five worst movies I think we've seen so far this year:
Jack the Giant Slayer
White House Down
So those are my lists! Any that you agree with? Disagree with? Let us know down in the comments! And as always, thank you for reading!
Photo Courtesies: filmofilia.com, Collider, JoBlo,indiewire.com, hollyweb.org