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Griff’s Top Ten of 2013

I want to start off by saying that there may be a couple of films that I missed because as much as I try I simply haven’t been able to see them all yet. So I haven’t seen 12 Years a Slave, Philomena, Nebraska, or Philomena. There is a chance that one or all of these could have made the list but that will have to wait until I am able to see them all. That said, here is my list of my favorites of the year.


10. The Place Beyond the Pines 

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The year started off on a high note when I saw this one way back in April. I remember at the time thinking this should have been released in the fall and I still question the release date of it. Strong performances from Gosling and Cooper and some excellent cinematography put this one on the list. A weak 3rd act kept it from moving higher up the list however.


9. Blue Jasmine

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If there is one thing Woody Allen loves doing it’s exposing the underbelly of the upper class. While this one is certainly better than his last offering it makes my list for one reason. Cate Blanchett. She will win a much deserved Oscar for her performance in this.


8. Captain Phillips

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I was lucky enough to catch an early screening of this one and I was glad I did. Greengrass does an excellent job of ratcheting up the tension and Hanks gives one his best performances in years.


7. Prisoners

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The best thriller of the year by far. Gyllenhaal and Jackman are excellent and Villeneuve channels his inner Fincher to create an creepy atmospheric powerhouse of a movie.


6. American Hustle 

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While I thought the story was a little bit predictable and some of this could have ended up on the cutting room floor, the performances from Bale and Adams are top notch. Also some of it was filmed in my home city of beautiful Worcester, MA.


5. The Wolf of Wall Street

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This one may have slid up the list a little higher than I intended but it has the advantage of being the last movie on the list that I saw so it is still pretty fresh in my head. Scorsese’s take on 90′s debauchery is both hysterical and appalling at the same time. DiCaprio is excellent as the drug crazed Belfort and Jonah Hill turns in a nice performance as well.


4. Gravity

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Visually this was easily the most impressive film of the year. It is a rare time when I tell people that should go see a movie in imax but this film warrants being seen on the largest screen possible. I know a lot of people got caught up in the science of this one and they lost sight of the fact that it just a movie. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.


3. The Hunt 

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Mads Mikkelsen continues to impress as kindergarten teacher who is wrongly accused of molesting a child. If you haven’t seen this film I recommend checking it out.


 2. Mud 

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This is another film that I saw early on in the year and it remained my favorite throughout all of the Oscar buzz films released in the fall. That is until I saw my number one film of the year. McConaughey is great and there are some terrific performances from newcomers Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland.


1. Her

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No movie I saw this year impressed me more than Jonze’s ambitious Her. Jonze takes a somewhat ridiculous premise and turns it into a truly believable and emotional love story on the back of the most impressive performance of Phoenix’s career.


Well that’s it. I am sure I missed some great ones that I hope to catch in the near future but based on what I was able to see these were highlights for me.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Sean January 10, 2014, 4:48 pm

    Great job, Griff! I only saw three of these. As of now, American Hustle and Mud would be 1-2 for me. I saw a Costa Rican bootleg copy of Captain Phillips and liked it but didn’t love it, though Barkhad Abdi certainly stole the movie with a performance that will get him a nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

    • Griff January 10, 2014, 5:53 pm

      Thanks Sean. Mud was my clear #1 all year and I debated right up until the end.

  • Chris January 10, 2014, 5:46 pm

    Some nice picks here, Griff. Still haven’t seen Her yet (fixing that this weekend, however), but I’m glad to see movies like Prisoners and Mud make the cut. Also, sounds like I’m not the only one who was possibly influenced to place Wolf of Wall Street partially based on how fresh it was. :P

    • Griff January 10, 2014, 5:56 pm

      Thanks Chris, Wolf is one of those ones in retrospect I will probably wish I had placed a bit lower but it was a entertaining watch and it got damn lucky in that I saw it last night! lol
      Let me know what you think of Her

  • Keith January 10, 2014, 8:42 pm

    Some really good movies here. LOVE seeing “Mud” hold such a prominent spot. It was my #2 as well. Good stuff Griff!

    • Griff January 11, 2014, 10:49 am

      Thanks Keith! I loved Mud. I am still surprised it didn’t get a fall release.

  • Mark Walker January 11, 2014, 3:56 am

    Nice list here Griff. Great to see The Hunt so high up. That’s definitely one of my favourites.
    Intrigued to see Spike Jonze’s Her. I hear nothing but good things and I’m a big fan of Phoenix.

    • Griff January 11, 2014, 10:51 am

      Thanks Mark! I see that Her was getting a bit a wider release this week in the states. Hopefully that means it’s heading your way soon. Mads Mikkelsen is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors.

  • The Vern January 11, 2014, 9:15 am

    Great list of movies you have there I really want to see The Hunt, but probably wont til it hits home video. Wolf of Wall Street was fumier then I expected. Looking forward to seeing Her

    • Griff January 11, 2014, 10:53 am

      Thanks Vern! I watched the Hunt on iTunes. I think it is available to rent on Amazon as well. Let me know what you think of it if you check it out.

  • Tom January 11, 2014, 12:21 pm

    A truly fantastic list Griff, I have to admire and agree with all of em (okay. . . .maybe Blue Jasmine notwithstanding. . . I really didn’t like that one actually, but I 100% support Blanchett’s forthcoming Oscar win, she has never been better. I actually think few actresses ever have.) Glad to see Her ringing in at the top of the list. Had I made my own list in this month instead of putting it at the end of December, I think it would have cracked my top 3 for sure.

    • Griff January 11, 2014, 12:44 pm

      Thanks Tom, I can understand your reservations about Blue Jasmine. I don’t rank it as one of Woody’s best but it’s tough to see that performance from Blanchett and not add it to the list. Glad to hear you also enjoyed Her. I am heading on over to check out your list now.

  • Nostra January 13, 2014, 2:18 am

    Excellent list and not a movie in there I can disagree with. Have not seen Wolf yet, but looking forward to checking it out. Her did not come out here last year, so I’m sure it will end up high on my top 10 for this year.

  • mummbles January 14, 2014, 9:12 am

    Good list here. Me and you have 6 movies the same on both our lists. I would have Her on my list had I seen it during 2013, sadly it wasnt showing near me until recently. If you want to check out my list its here:


  • Maurice Mitchell January 15, 2014, 12:01 pm

    Fascinating list Griff. I missed a lot of movies last year, but the one that stands out is Gravity and Her. Both really different and brilliant films from what I’ve heard.

  • brikhaus January 18, 2014, 6:59 am

    This is a solid list. I haven’t seen everything on it. Of the ones I have seen, Mud was probably the best.

  • Evan Crean January 22, 2014, 2:57 pm

    Nice list Griff. There are a bunch of films on your top 10 that I still need to see: Her, Mud, Blue Jasmine, Captain Philips, Prisoners, and The Hunt. Of the ones that I’ve watched, I’ll agree that the third act of Place Beyond the Pines suffered. It told an ambitious story and went some unexpected places, but it was too loose of a narrative and rushed itself toward the end. Didn’t make my top 10, although I can appreciate its cinematography. Gravity made my top 10 too. It kept my attention rapt and I also thought it was visually stunning. The only movie that eclipsed it in the visual department for me was Spring Breakers. The only movie I truly take issue with on here is American Hustle, which I think was the most overrated flick of last year. I don’t get why people are so highly praising it. Yes there are good performances, yet not all of them are. I thought it was missing a satisfying climax and resolution. Plus the narration just came off as lazy to me.

  • Adam February 4, 2014, 10:16 am

    I am shocked Spring Breakers and Upstream Color didn’t make your list. Then again I have not seen 4 of your top ten as of yet.

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