Best and Worst of 2013

I enjoyed a lot of movies this year. Studying film and programming screenings gives me the luxury and excuse to watch more than I perhaps should.

I have separated my picks into theatrical releases (my local Cineplex) and home viewing/smaller theaters. I do so for two reasons: 1) the production (cost) of Cineplex features puts these films into a very different category than those features that usually do not see a Cineplex release; 2) the scene of viewing is radically dissimilar, differing modes of spectatorship.

The following preliminary list of films I would consider to be superb cinema, given its respective space viewed. I certainly have not seen every film that critics have deemed worthwhile in 2013; I’m getting there.



  1. Gravity – Alfonso Cuarón
  2. Blue Jasmine – Woody Allen
  3. 12 Years a Slave – Steve McQueen
  4. American Hussle – David O. Russel
  5. The World’s End – Edgar Wright
  6. Pacific Rim – Guillermo del Toro
  7. Oblivion – Joseph Kosinski
  8. Elysium – Neil Blomkamp


Home Viewing or Alternative to Cineplex:

  1. Spring Breakers – Harmony Korine
  2. Paradise: Love – Ulrich Seidl
  3. Frances Ha – Noah Baumbach
  4. The Act of Killing – Anonymous, Christine Cynn, Joshua Oppenheimer
  5. Before Midnight – Richard Linklater
  6. Post Tenebras Lux – Carlos Reygadas
  7. Room 237 – Rodney Ascher

Worst of 2013, in no particular order


Side Effects, World War Z, Man of Steel, Thor: The Dark World, The Wolverine, After Earth


A Good Day to Die Hard, This is the End, 42


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