RVANews’s official, ongoing, always updating Best Movies of 2013 list
Director David O. Russell is on a mission to convince us that Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence are today’s geniuses of comic timing. Last year’s Silver Linings Playbook was excellent, but his 2013 offering is just frigging riveting–think The Departed with the funny parts (you remember them, they starred Alec Baldwin) extended and intensified. Plus incredibly good performances, which Russell seems to inspire perfectly.
2. Frances Ha
It’s hard to be in your twenties. No, for real! This Noah Baumbach flick perfectly captures the life of a woman teetering on the brink of Actual Adulthood. And it’s in gritty black-and-white, so you know it’s gotta be important.
At some point in the recent past, Matthew McConaughey grew tired of shirtlessly sailing boats around with Jennifer Aniston. Starting with Magic Mike (in which he was still shirtless), continuing through Mud (OK, OK shirtless in that one too), and now in Dallas Buyer’s Club, McConaughey has eschewed his alright alright alright-ness and become an incredible actor.
Just when you thought James Franco was irredeemable, here comes Spring Breakers blowin’ minds and reiterating why no one needs to move to Florida.
It’s a gross summer comedy about teens getting nasty, but hear me out, this one is different.
So what’s Upstream Color about? It’s hard to say. It’s definitely about identity. And probably about relationships. And maybe about community. Oh, and psychotropic worms that when eaten put you in a state of deep hypnotic suggestion. There are also pigs involved. It’s weird, definitely. Weird but also awesome, so very awesome.
7. Don Jon
Joseph Gordon-Levitt writes, acts, and directs this film about a pleasant Jersey fellow and his nightly solo flights to Pleasureville.
Mud is one of those “slice of Southern life starring Matthew McConaughey alright alright alright” flicks. Luckily for ol’ director Jeff Nichols, that specific genre is getting better and better, allowing we viewers to take it more seriously. Could it be? Could McConaughey have some depth?
A movie about hanging out in Actual James Franco’s house while the world burns to the ground featuring cameos from everyone that exists! It’s way better than it sounds, guys!
10. The Heat
A buddy-cop film starring two hilarious women! It’s a concept so rare that I’m gonna guess you’ve seen more buddy-cop films featuring dogs than you’ve seen that feature two women.
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- Warm Bodies — And you thought we’d plumbed the depths of the paranormal teen romance (which, no joke, is an entire section at Barnes and Noble)! We’ve got the Vampires, the werewolves, then came the trolls, and now, zombies. Is there even anything left to be romantically attracted to?
- Side Effects — Side Effects is Steven Soderbergh’s final feature film and his penultimate directorial work. With it, and the help of his dutiful sidekick Channing Tatum, he tackles the subject of…mental illness? Kind of?
- Stoker — The director of Oldboy brings you…Stoker! A disturbing tale about how some people are just really into killing other people and, weirdly enough, about how that’s OK.
- Iron Man 3 — This film takes Tony Stark (and more importantly Robert Downey, Jr.) out of the Iron Man suit for the majority of the film–which is great, because that’s what you’re there to see anyway.
- Star Trek Into Darkness — Into Darkness’s action scenes are incredible: the explosions, the hand-to-hand combat, the humans sucked out into the vacuum of space, all of it is excellent watching, but don’t come in expecting a bold, new take on the Star Trek universe.
- The Great Gatsby — Baz Luhrmann is up to his old tricks, and that’s almost a really good thing.
- The Spectacular Now — Somewhere between Rebel Without a Cause and Can’t Hardly Wait, this film will hit you in all your soft spots.
- Gravity is an intimate story of personal survival set on the coldest and largest stage imaginable. It’s both beautiful and terrifying.