Since early childhood I’ve been able to hold back a crippling case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for the most part (despite some setbacks in 2013), but still maintain a few rituals, admitting that some things still, and may always, have an actual grip on me. Despite knowing it’s self important and slightly gross, for 19 years in a row I’ve made a Top Movies of the Year list and unless you want to see me go crazy or tie my shoes for three hours straight, you should just let me write this and use clip art to illustrate it.
I’m not gonna go all Pitchfork here and pick movies you don’t know or make you feel like you’re an idiot if you don’t agree with me. I mean, I saw Best Man’s Holiday in the theater. My opinions are based on my own experiences in the theater or in my house, so like many of your subtweets, it’s about me and I know it. Just calm down, you know? Remember when we were all kids and just loved that Fivel movie cause it had a singing mouse in it? Let’s go back to those days. When you just liked shit and didn’t care what others thought. And there was more fingerbanging. No one fingerbangs anymore. Anyway, for some past reference, here are the last two years’ lists:
2012 - http://jensenkarp.tumblr.com/post/40233646447/top-10-movies-of-2012-for-the-past-18-years-of-my
2011 - http://jensenkarp.tumblr.com/post/15202668206/my-top-10-movies-of-the-year
And now, 2013:
10. Dallas Buyers Club
I’ll always remember this movie as 2 hours that I forget about how big of a garbage can douchebag human Jared Leto is. And Matt McConaughey got down to 34 pounds for this movie, and is now saying he’s having major issues gaining it back. That’s a real bummer for a guy who doesn’t own a t-shirt. This isn’t a date movie, unless your date has AIDS, and then I have a bigger question for you, which is “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”
Nope, didn’t love it as much as you did it. But I really liked it. I’m just not going out and getting one of those Sandra Bullock Peter Pan haircuts or anything. It was visually stunning, but some of the dialogue was crazy cheesy. Cuaron is obviously awesome and I can’t wait to see what he does next, which will basically be whatever he wants. So I’m really hoping he’s getting Tom Hanks back into comedies.
8. Monsters University
Every year there’s a cartoon on my list because I’m immature and I was molested at Disneyland. I’m kidding. I AM immature, but I wasn’t molested at Disneyland. It was Knott’s. I don’t even remember liking Monsters Inc. at all, but I laughed more at this sequel than anything else in 2013. And yea, I liked it more than Gravity. That must make you so mad. So mad.
7. Evil Dead
When I first heard they were remaking Evil Dead, I wanted to find the executive who greenlit it and throw them into a tire fire. I then heard Sam Raimi would be involved and I held some hope. But I would’ve never guessed how great 1st time director Fede Alvarez would make this reboot. He kept all the best things (I basically just mean tree rape) and also put his own spin on it. Maybe it was my low expectations, maybe it was the lack of good horror in 2013, but this one really held a spot in my heart and was a lot of fun.
Will Forte and Bruce Dern are like the grumpy drama Lethal Weapon. Alexander Payne is yet to miss a list in a year he releases a movie, and he does some amazing work with MacGruber and the old neighbor from The Burbs here. Go see this as soon as you can. It’s like Rush Hour for depression.
5. Inside Llewyn Davis
Fargo and Big Lebowski are former #1’s, and I even own Ladykillers and Intolerable Cruelty on DVD, so there’s very little possibility for a Coen Brothers movie to tank in my eyes. Does anyone know if they like Folk music though? This metaphor for art, commerce and privilege is poignant and another great journey from the Jewish brothers from Minnesota. Also, cats.
4. Francis Ha
Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha stars his girlfriend Greta Gerwig as a 20 something in NY, who actually would’ve made a good girlfriend for Llewyn Davis come to think of it. Do you hate-follow a girl on Instagram who just moved to NY last year? Well, here’s a movie they made about her. Funny, sad, aggravating. If you like Girls on HBO, I feel like this is your second course. Never has friendship or dating seemed so unsatisfying. #whitegirlproblems
Why is no one talking about this movie? In the vein of Se7ven, Zodiac and Silence of the Lambs, Dateline’s Keith Morrison could’ve easily narrated Prisoners and it would’ve made sense. Starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal (who is brilliant), Terrence Howard and Melissa Leo, it’s 3 hours long and I could’ve sat through 3 more. It’s a procedural in essence and has Paul Dano in it playing a creepface. If you’re writing a movie in 2014 and you don’t at least TRY to include Paul Dano as a creepface in it, then you’re Final Draft should just corrupt itself.
2. Wolf of Wall Street
Please let the idiots continue to say this movie is bad for us, because then we can distinguish who we shouldn’t be friends with quicker. It’ll be like what Von Dutch hats were in the 2000s. The most fun I had in a theater this year is also a reminder of what I love most about movies. It doesn’t glorify anything. It’s a satire and doubles as commentary about our society and greed. Don’t make me spell shit out, you morons. Also, Jonah Hill’s teeth.
1. 12 Years A Slave
The last movie I saw of the year was also the best. Hard to really crack jokes about it, but when a movie can survive a scene eating drive-by from Brad Pitt and still be breathtaking, you know it’s real good. Steve McQueen had Kubrickesque moments. I can’t help but hope this movie ends up being shown in high schools for historical reasons, but also because Paul Dano again plays a creepface in it and we need more of that from future screenwriters.
Honorable Mention (no particular order) – Warm Bodies, Stoker, Spring Breakers, This Is The End, The Conjuring, Blue Jasmine, Don Jon, Stories We Tell, American Hustle, Her, Fruitvale Station, The Spectacular Now
Movies I Didn’t See – August: Osage Country, Before Midnight, Rush, The Place Beyond The Pines, Short Term 12, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Movie You Loved That I Didn’t – Saving Mr. Banks (and sort of Gravity)