BEST OF 2013 : 15 MOVIES THAT BLEW ME AWAY THIS YEAR

As I promised myself in January 2013 (in one of my smarter resolutions of this past year), I saw 52 good movies.

I am going to recommend 10 from those 52 that are absolutely worth your time so add these to your 2014 Netflix or torrent list. I also saw 14 thoughtful documentaries and I am going to recommend 5 from those that are worth a watch. These 10 + 5 shortlisted titles below are in no particular order. I am now old enough to know ‘ranking’ the worthy arts in a mostly facile and futile exercise. Even this list below is tainted. If you see 100 movies in a year and your friends ask you to parse them into plain ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ you probably can as that won’t be too hard of an ask. But if you were asked to stack the ‘Good’ ones you chose  IN ORDER of ‘Goodness’ (and this applies to books, movies, games and paintings too) you are being asked an impossible task. A stack ranking if still attempted is nothings but a reflection of a deeply personal taste of the stacker and nothing more. It can never be a reflection of objective reality because there is none. Here is my opinionated subjective ‘best of’ list from last year.

Here is the ground reality of these 66 titles seen this year, that took me 120.6 hours to watch :

  • Not a single one of them was ‘bad’; as in something I thought was a ‘waste of my time’. This is both astounding and unexpected and a credit to the vast wealth of review information on the internet, which if you usewisely will reward you by making sure you don’t get blindsided by idiot flicks
  • There is only 1 Bollywood title in these 66, a testament to just how much of good cinema is out there once you start looking right and broadly
  • Some people and entities that guided me to these 66 titles : The late great movie critic Ebert, the website Metacritic.com and Mihir Fadnavis, a opinionated untainted honest film critic at MiD Day (based in Bombay)

OK. Now that the foreplay is over, here are the best 10 movies I saw in 2013 :

Movie 1 is [Gravity], directed by Alfonso Cuaron. A knuckle biting epic 3D sci-fi thriller worth seeing only on an iMAX. Released on Oct 2013
Movie 2 is [Before Midnight], directed by Richard Linklater. A beautiful drama romance for couples. Released on Jan 2013
Movie 3 is [Happiness], directed by Todd Solondz. A wicked comedy drama. Released on May 1998
Movie 4 is [Gangs of Wasseypur], directed by Anurag Kashyap. A brill drama thriller. Released on May 2012
Movie 5 is [The Pianist], directed by Roman Polanski. A rewatch of the moving ugly biography of what war unleashes on us and from within us. Released on September 2002
Movie 6 is [Flight], directed by Robert Zemeckis. A drama thriller that should rightly get Denzel an oscar nomination this year or there is no justice in this world. Released on Oct 2012
Movie 7 is [Blue Valentine], directed by Derek Cianfrance. A searing drama romance all couples, married or not, should watch. Released on Jan 2010
Movie 8 is [Zero Dark Thirty], directed by Kathryn Bigelow. The best thriller I saw this year. Released on Dec 2012
Movie 9 is [The Cabin in the Woods], directed by Drew Goddard. A wicked funny horror  mystery thriller. Released on March 2012
Movie 10 is [Dredd], directed by Pete Travis. Not the Stallone one. This is a real class A action sci-fi. Released on July 2012

And the 5 best documentaries worth your while are :

  1. Last Train Home, directed by Lixin Fan, released in 2009. THIS IS CHINA. The factory of our world. And it’s ugly.
  2. Afghan Star, directed by Havana Marking, released in 2009. If anyone wants to know what Afghanistan is beyond the CNN headlines, see this movie. I guarantee you will be moved.
  3. 56 Up, directed by Michael Apted and Paul Almond, released in 2012. What an epic UK project. Executed beautifully.
  4. Searching for Sugar Man, directed by Malik Bendjelloul, released in 2012. Did not see the twist till it sprung up on me.
  5. The Queen of Versailles, directed by Lauren Greenfield, released in 2012. This is what the downfall means for rich people.

Collage of best 10 movies :

click to enlarge

best 10

Best 5 documentaries I saw :

Best 5 Documentaries

And here is the full list of the 52 movies and 14 documentaries. Remember, I personally feel not one of them is ‘bad’ or ‘a waste of time’. Au contraire, you could randomly choose any one of these 66 and the odds are solid you will really like it. So have a brilliant 2014 and add some of these to the year to make it so.

Feature Films :

1st Movie 13 Assassins
2nd Movie 50/50
3rd Movie Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
4th Movie Arbitrage
5th Movie Argo
6th Movie Atonement
7th Movie Before Midnight
8th Movie Before Sunrise
9th Movie Before Sunset
10th Movie Blue Valentine
11th Movie Chop Shop
12th Movie Chronicle
13th Movie Collateral
14th Movie Compliance
15th Movie Django Unchained
16th Movie Dredd
17th Movie Excision
18th Movie Flight
19th Movie Gangs of Wasseypur
20th Movie Gravity
21st Movie Happiness
22nd Movie Hidden (Cache)
23rd Movie Hot Fuzz
24th Movie Hugo
25th Movie Infernal Affairs
26th Movie Jurassic Park
27th Movie Love & Other Drugs
28th Movie Love Actually
29th Movie Magic Mike
30th Movie Mary and Max
31st Movie Moonrise Kingdom
32nd Movie Pacific Rim
33rd Movie Pandorum
34th Movie Predators
35th Movie Punch-Drunk Love
36th Movie Rocket Science
37th Movie Safety Not Guaranteed
38th Movie Seven Psychopaths
39th Movie Shaun of the Dead
40th Movie Silver Linings Playbook
41st Movie Sleepwalk with Me
42nd Movie Star Trek Into Darkness
43rd Movie Ted
44th Movie The Cabin in the Woods
45th Movie The Loved Ones
46th Movie The Pianist
47th Movie The Way Way Back
48th Movie The World’s End
49th Movie Thor: The Dark World
50th Movie Timecrimes
51st Movie Zero Dark Thirty
52nd Movie Zoolander

Documentaries :

1st Documentary Indie Game: The Movie
2nd Documentary The Imposter
3rd Documentary The Queen of Versailles
4th Documentary Searching for Sugar Man
5th Documentary 56 Up
6th Documentary Afghan Star
7th Documentary Last Train Home
8th Documentary Riding Giants
9th Documentary Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
10th Documentary TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away from Keyboard
11th Documentary Bobby Fischer Against the World
12th Documentary Baraka
13th Documentary Collapse
14th Documentary Chasing Ice
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