Top 10 Favorite Movies of 2013

You know that feeling? As the year has officially come to an end, a few fond memories of some wonderful films will always stay with you. Some films stood out with their serene performances while others were blessed with an intriguing story. The following list is a collection of my favorite, if not best, films from 2013. They make up the ultimate package any person will have a good time with.

Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3 (banner)I like to very much believe that Iron Man 3 is up until now the best movie from Marvel Studios (without considering Thor 2 that I haven’t seen). According to Box Office Mojo, it gets the number one spot for being the highest grossing movie of 2013. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean it deserves a place on this list, but it most certainly does. With surprising twists and a slightly gloomier atmosphere, Iron Man 3 may not be any comic reader’s favorite, but it definitely is mine — and for the record, I’m more than glad I haven’t read the comics.

Fast and Furious 6

Fast and Furious 6 (banner)While Fast and Furious 6 is nothing more than a brainless action flick, it’s good to see the series maturing with every movie. The plot is nothing new to many of us, but nonetheless it has a likable story. I mean, who doesn’t love to scope babes and cars at the same time? Also, with Paul Walker passing away (may he rest in peace) and a new villain being introduced at the end of the movie, I’m looking forward to what the franchise has to offer in the near future. This movie absolutely promises a lot of exciting stuff yet to come.

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby (banner)

This is probably one of my most controversial picks, but it’s the truth: I really enjoyed watching Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby and I think it’s a sweet spot in the classic remakes category. I have read the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald and even though this film won’t be appreciated by all literary purists, it’s an entertaining ride that speaks to a wider and younger audience (including myself). If you can’t stand it (and you’re about to puke) that I gave this film the number eight spot, please do read my in-depth review of it by clicking the image, count to ten, and then decide what to do — don’t forget to breathe.


Gravity (banner)

Gravity is just perfection. The story is simple, but effective: a thrilling ride into getting lost in space. Alfonso Cuarón’s breathtaking 3D drama is something to be savored in IMAX only. I’m sure that many have praised this a lot better than me and it will without any doubt win something this upcoming award season. However, no words are enough to describe Gravity as it’s much more of a personal experience.

Man of Steel

Man of Steel (banner)

This is not a totally original nor outstanding movie. In fact, Man of Steel felt like a rather odd experience thanks to Zack Snyder’s take on our hero from Kansas. However, it’s by far my most favorite movie starring a hero. The fights are more local and the destruction feels more present. That’s basically what counts for a good Superman remake and Snyder made it all come true to a satisfying degree.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Catching Fire (banner)

As I pointed out already in my review, what sets Catching Fire apart is not the story. Anyone could have read the books and left it there. It’s the acting that motivates why this movie turned out rather a huge enjoyable success by many. Not only Jennifer Lawrence’s tremendous portrayal of Katniss, the girl on fire, was one of the movie’s highlights, but the overall performances from the cast contributed greatly in a better understanding of the Dystopian context for those who weren’t familiar with the plot. For those who did know the story, it just got better and better.

12 Years A Slave

12 Years A Slave

Without any doubt, this is the best picture of the year and deserves to be in anyone’s top 10 list. It’s not my number one favorite movie though, because it focuses on issues from the history of the United States which have been explored a lot of times already by films such as Lincoln and Django Unchained. Surely this film tells the same story from a different perspective and is injected with monstrous acts and dramatic archs. Don’t even get me started on the wonderful performances. 12 Years A Slave will earn that award / those awards — no big surprise there.

American Hustle

American Hustle (banner)

I was really lucky to watch this three months earlier than the international premiere date and I absolutely loved it. It has been nominated for 7 Golden Globes already — American Hustle is an interesting mix of cinematic arts and Hollywood entertainment and the cast did such a brilliant job altogether. This is a must see for any fan of David O. Russel’s earlier works.

About Time

About Time (banner)

Watching About Time from director Richard Curtis made me feel engaged with the lives of the characters and I totally enjoyed that. This is by no means the perfect movie, but it worked very well for me as my second favorite of the year. The comedy and drama with a bit of sci-fi created the ideal setting for a sentimental film that delivers an even more important message to its audience. Rachel McAdams, Domhnall Gleeson and Bill Nighy were as real as any other person — About Time defines a lot of us today.

Le Passé

Le Passe (banner)

Above anything else, Le Passé is my best and most favorite film of the year. Director Asghar Farhadi’s envisioned drama is not soapy and may look like his previous film A Separation a lot, but nevertheless it stays an interesting film to watch without the use of any visual effects nor action scenes. Moreover, Farhadi did not even use a soundtrack throughout the scenes because he wanted it to be as real as possible. All I can say is that it worked all too well. The performances were great, but what set this film apart was definitely the outstanding story: Le Passé is a masterpiece on its own and it deserves the number one spot for the best film of 2013.

Other honorable mentions: Mud, Dallas Buyers Club, Frozen, Rush, Nebraska.


50 thoughts on “Top 10 Favorite Movies of 2013

    • Thanks, I was lucky enough to watch 12 Years A Slave and American Hustle before they would open (which is somewhere in March in the Netherlands). You should definitely watch 12 Years A Slave though.

  1. I agree on 12 Years a Slave. And also, more or less, on Ameican Hustle. The rest? Probably not so much.

    But that’s what made this interesting reading. 😉

    Great list!

    • Thanks. Take all the time you need — looking forward to your picks. You should definitely see About Time if you enjoy a good simple and honest film with a message.

  2. A very interesting list! I agree with a lot of them (with one obvious exception! ;)) and it’s nice to see Gatsby in someone’s best of. I really enjoyed that one. I haven’t seen Le Passe but I’ll look forward to checking it out since it’s in your top spot!

    • Thanks V. LOL, poor Furious 6. I especially enjoyed the soundtrack in Gatsby — it formed such a nice juxtaposition to the setting. And Le Passe was just wonderful. It really deserves to win some awards.

  3. Wonderful list Niejan, one that I don’t have too many disagreements with. . .well, okay, maybe you got me there with Great Gatsby, but that’s really nice to see it made a much better impression on you. 🙂

    I must see The Past, I’ve read nothing but intensely glowing reviews for it.

  4. Thanks Tom. I deliberately named it ‘my favorite movies’ to prevent any discussions on what’s the best movie. While Luhrmann’s Gatsby worked very well for me, it’s of course not the best movie for anyone. 😉 You should absolutely watch The Past. This interview is really interesting to read as it shows why and how The Past came to be.

  5. You’ve got some really good picks! Some of these, I just haven’t seen yet, but I’m going to make sure to watch some more of those you listed.

    • Thanks buddy. I’m a hardcore Smallville fan — so I couldn’t resist putting Man of Steel in the top 10 even though it’s not the same thing. 😉

  6. Haven’t seen all of the films on your list but I agree with Gravity, Iron Man 3 and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. I really liked About Time too although it didn’t quite make my top ten list.

    • Glad you agree with some of my picks Lauren! I really, really enjoyed About Time, so I had to give it the second spot or I wouldn’t have done it any justice. LOL.

    • To be honest, I think that Gravity is only awesome when it’s seen in IMAX and other versions would totally suck (except if you have some kind of expensive home theatre system) while CF does a great job on all ‘platforms’ and Jennifer Lawrence is just too awesome! 😀

    • Thanks dude. Catching Fire is great and the best thing is that it promises even better things to come in the next two films. If you enjoyed watching 2012’s A Separation (also by Farhadi), you are totally in for a treat with Le Passé. Frankly I have never really cared about festival films, but I absolutely loved this one — partly because it’s got a Hitchcockian flavor to it.

  7. Great post! I’ll remember to watch “Le Passé” and “About Time” soon, since I haven’t yet. But it seems that we have the same taste in movies, so I’m sure to enjoy it. Thanks!

    • Thanks!! Since you haven’t seen Gravity in IMAX, I’m really looking forward to your thoughts and notes on the DVD version. Let me know if/when you’ve reviewed it.

  8. Great list! I am soooooooooo happy you included The Great Gatsby.. That was one of my favourite movies of last year :))))
    I’m glad u read my post and so I found your blog 🙂 I look forward to following u.

    • Thanks! I loved your ‘tiny’ review post. 😀 Glad to see another Gatsby fan. There aren’t a lot of people who enjoyed Gatsby like you and me. But frankly, I found it a wonderful picture until the very last seconds of it. Also, thank you for following – appreciate it.

      • 🙂 Thank you for liking my ‘tiny’ review.. Yes, I adored The Great Gatsby- maybe I didn’t have expectations from it when I watched it as I hadn’t read the book or seen previous versions. I knew almost nothing about the plot/story, hence it was all very unpredictable to me. I loved the soundtrack, the cast, the scenery. Funnily enough it is the only film in 3D that I have truly enjoyed. I can’t stand 3D! (abnormal I know!)

        You’re welcome for the follow! All the best.

        • I’m not very fond of 3D either, but Gatsby in 3D was definitely worth watching. Since you liked the movie, you should read the novel as well. 🙂 Keep up the good work over at your blog.

          • Hahaha glad you agree with the 3D! 😉
            Yesss, I know, I should read the novel. However, once I’ve seen the movie I am reluctant to read the book as then I have the actors faces in my head instead of my own imagination. (weird I know!).
            Many thanks for the best wishes- you too! 🙂

  9. Very interesting choices! I like that you included Le Passé (The Past). That was an excellent film. Great Gatsby was also another film that I feel didn’t get the recognition it deserved.

    • Imagine my surprise when I found out that The Past didn’t get any Oscar nominations (only 1x Golden Globe). But I guess it’s the Academy’s loss.

      The Great Gatsby was arguably one of the most controversial films of 2013 in terms of the wide gap between the people who loved it and the ones who really couldn’t stand it. I think much of the ‘hate’ also found its roots in articles by sites such as Indiewire and The Daily Beast that continuously misused their positions to fuel the debate whether it was a successful remake or not. Anyhow, I’m very glad you agree.

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