Here is the list of movies I saw that were released in 2013, in handy alphabetical order:
Despicable Me 2
Fast & Furious 6
G.I. Joe: Retaliation
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
Insidious: Chapter 2
Iron Man 3
John Dies At the End
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
Oz the Great and Powerful
Star Trek Into Darkness
Thor: The Dark World
The World’s End
World War Z
Technically I saw Frozen this year, but it was released last year, so I’m counting it.
Room 237 and After Earth were the two worst movies I saw. Room 237 had one fascinating idea (the woman trying to plot out the geography of the Overlook) surrounded by a bunch of nonsense, but there didn’t seem to be any oversight in the documentary at all. It just cut between idea and idea – if you have never seen Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, don’t even bother seeing this because it won’t make any sense at all. After Earth had Will Smith at his most uncharismatic (that I’ve seen) and his son Jaden, who just seems lost. Also, who makes a spaceship out of paper and shower curtains? It was a real drag to sit through.
I have three movies that I’m counting as my favorites this year, three movies that I will watch over and over and over depending on the mood I’m in. First is John Dies At the End, which is adapted from the brilliant and hilarious novel of the same name. I was worried that the adaptation would lose a lot in what it would have to cut from the very very convoluted story, but was so satisfied in the faithfulness to the spirit and insanity of the book. The sequence during the end credits is just perfect. Second is The World’s End, final movie in the Cornetto Trilogy. I thought it was a fun sci-fi movie that had a theme of friendship, identity, and aging that meant a lot to me. I also thought the ending of this one was perfect – I do not understand the people who have criticized the ending as being too over-the-top. Huh? Third is The Conjuring. I am a sucker for a good scary ghost story, and have read about the Warrens several times over the years, so I was very excited to see a horror movie based on one of their cases. The scares don’t feel cheap, and there are a lot of genuinely creepy scenes (Hide and clap? Who would ever do that game?), and I thought the chemistry between Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson was excellent – they really seemed like a couple who loved each other and worked well together.