1.)The Great Gatsby: When is Leonardo DiCaprio going to get an Oscar, I mean really? This modernized depiction of the popular F. Scott Fitzgerald American novel grasps all the elements of what made the novel an American cult classic. This tragic spiraling out of control love story breaks the barriers of social status, infatuation vs love, and the double-edged sword of wealth.
2.)Iron Man 3: Who would have thought that the third installment of the Iron Man series would turn out to be arguably the best? Robert Downey Jr is one of the best actors around, but his portrayal and brilliant performances as Tony Stark is what has made the Iron Man series as successful as it is. Iron Man 3 has a classic hero battling past demons, road to redemption, Gwyneth Paltrow has amazing abs type of feel of to it.
3.)Like Someone in Love: The only foreign film of the bunch, also one of the most beautifully complex. This Japanese international film by acclaimed Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami follows of a young and beautiful college student who works a second job as an escort. She develops a eerily genuine friendship with a widower she meets, one that shapes the story to its wonderful presentation.
4.)Rush: Chris Hemsworth CAN play another role other than “Thor”. This highly underrated flick about two rival indie car racers based in Europe is one of 2013′s best. Between cinematography, excellent screenwriting and a powerfully raw story, all describes thus encapsulates a movie that is pure artistry. If you are into the drama genre, this is the best of the best.
1.) Gravity: An emotionally harrowing and redemptive story, amazing performances, out-of-this-world cinematography (dat opening tracking shot), Steven Price’s cascading musical score…. all elements of this film merge together to create a groundbreaking and satisfying whole. A continued tip of the hat to director Alfonso Cuaròn (Children of Men).
2.) Side Effects – One of director Steven Soderbergh’s last films before his retirement, this well-made thriller features a cream-of-the-crop cast (Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Channing Tatum), stinging commentary on the current medical industry, and enough crazy plot twists to make you think this was an old-school M. Night Shyamalan joint. Thomas Newman’s well-orchestrated score is just one highlight.
3.) Star Trek Into Darkness – Forget the Trekkies. J.J. Abrams sprinkles more of his movie magic on the legendary sci-fi series, and the cast from the first film returns to deliver a stunningly heartfelt tale of betrayal and brotherhood. Also, who can forget Benedict Cumberbatch?
4.) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Improves on the original in nearly every way. Jennifer Lawrence commands the screen as always, along with a great cast of supporting characters (Philip Seymour Hoffman and Jena Malone among them). The social commentary and exploration of the series’ themes are amped up, and the film is all the better for it. Ends with one of the best cliffhangers in recent memory.
Ryan’s Honorable Mentions:
Stoker – Another twisty thriller about one family’s secrets and the daughter who tries to unravel them all. At turns eerie, absurd and quirky.
Warm Bodies – One of the funniest and heartwarming romantic comedies of the year. Shows that there is still life in the narrow sub-genre of “rom-zom-com”.
Thor: The Dark World – Better than the first movie? Maybe, maybe not, but visual inventiveness and typical Marvel movie splendor save this from being just another sequel. Of course, Tom Hiddleston continues to thrill as the devilish but enthralling Loki.