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.
- Gravity – Alfonso Cuarón
- Blue Jasmine – Woody Allen
- 12 Years a Slave – Steve McQueen
- American Hussle – David O. Russel
- The World’s End – Edgar Wright
- Pacific Rim – Guillermo del Toro
- Oblivion – Joseph Kosinski
- Elysium – Neil Blomkamp
Home Viewing or Alternative to Cineplex:
- Spring Breakers – Harmony Korine
- Paradise: Love – Ulrich Seidl
- Frances Ha – Noah Baumbach
- The Act of Killing – Anonymous, Christine Cynn, Joshua Oppenheimer
- Before Midnight – Richard Linklater
- Post Tenebras Lux – Carlos Reygadas
- Room 237 – Rodney Ascher
Worst of 2013, in no particular order
A Good Day to Die Hard, This is the End, 42