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Even while many are saying that this as one of the great years for movies, I personally didn’t feel like it was such a good year with that many great flicks. With having said that this is first time where I’ve seen many foreign language films than usual and many were surprisingly great and much better than Hollywood. So any way, without much further ado her are top 10 picks for 2013.

Honorable Mentions : Rush, Side Effects, The Place Beyond the Pines, Captain Phillips, Gravity

10. Mud

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Mud is a story of two friends, Ellis and Neckbone, who find a fugitive in hiding named Mud (Matthew McConaughey) and decide to help him after being inspired by his plan to rescue the love of his life Juniper (Reese Witherspoon) and run away together, ultimately evading the police and bounty hunters on their tale. This is beautifully written and directed film by Jeff Nichols and was the continuation of Mathew McConaughey’s incredible performances from the previous years.

9. All Is Lost

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One man in a boat – no back story, no people, no dialogue and no unnecessary exposition – just one man against the elements and what a gripping story it is. Robert Redford plays an unnamed yachtsman deep in a solo voyage in the Indian Ocean when he is hit by catastrophe. Why he is there is not explained but that is not important. What follows is an epic struggle for survival between man and the elements. Fans of Robert Redford will be shocked by his aging good looks and this is accentuated by the sheer physicality of the role, which makes you wonder whether he is too old for the part, but Redford carries it off with aplomb. You’ll be blowing hard with him as he lifts, climbs, carries, pushes and pulls his way around the boat. For a man three years shy of his 80th birthday, Redford shows that he is still supremely fit. Now if only the Oscar Voters had some sense in them, they wouldn’t have snubbed Mr.Redford of a rightfully deserved nomination!

8. The Wolf of Wall Street

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The Wolf of Wall Street is infectiously entertaining. It is probably the funniest movie I have seen all year with witty dialogue, over the top characters, and filled with energy that bleeds off the screen. Between all the fun however, there is also a story about addiction and how it can cause a downward spiral in your life whether it be drugs, money, or power. Scorsese does a wonderful job keeping this movie at a high at all times. Never once does this movie lose it’s energy or sense of humor much like the drug induced characters. There are a lot of quick cuts and edits to keep the movie feeling as If you are on drugs as well as playing high energy music in some of the more serious situations. The cast brings their “A” game. This film really showcases his diverse range. Overall the film is a full on adrenaline ride that never loses momentum. It’s directed with a lot of flair and energy and has an incredibly well written script that gives it depth and a ton of laughs.

7. The Kings of Summer

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I really enjoyed this movie. It seemed to have the right mix of comedy and drama to keep you engaged the whole movie. Watching the boys try and survive in the woods was a lot of fun, and Nick Offerman as Joe’s dad was a lot of fun as well. The biggest thing to note here is that this the kind of story which we when as kids hoped to do but could only dream of well, now we can see it unfold visually as a great movie. The emotional aspect of this movie was everything you come to expect from a movie that has to sell itself with a great story.

6. Frances Ha

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The director’s examination of culture, early adulthood, and obsessive friendships not only makes for a good, topical debate but a very worthy motion picture, as Frances Ha is one of the strongest films this year. Heavy on dialog, characterization, and the strong, stable topics to examine, this is a thoughtful mediation on what it means to grow up, stay true to your friends, and be self-reliant. The film stars the zealous Greta Gerwig as the title character, a plucky dancer at the age of twenty-seven, living with her best friend Sophie and her best guy-friend Benji. Frances and her friend Sophie are like “straight lesbians,” so Benji says, as they do everything together, and both of them would seemingly be lost without each other. The thought is put to the test when Sophie decides to move out of the cramped studio apartment in favor of moving in with another friend, leaving Frances sort of lost and unfulfilled with her current position in life.

5. Dallas Buyers Club

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A raw, gritty, and incredible true story about a HIV diagnosed man who went to extraordinary lengths to survive at a time when the AIDS epidemic was at it’s worst. Matthew McConaughey who lost a significant amount of weight to play the role gives the performance of his career along with Jared Leto who’s equally as good here. The two give quite possibly the best performances I’ve seen in a film all year. There’s no doubt they will both win Oscars for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.This movie is wonderful. It contains all the elements of a great movie. It has a strong script, excellent acting, compelling themes and terrific cinematography. The movie deals with several themes – AIDS, terminal illness, government regulations, response to crisis, change of life issues, homosexuality, promiscuity, personal responsibility, and capitalism. All these themes are treated forthrightly. After watching this movie, one should come away with a better understanding and appreciation of the issues raised. But although the movie touches on themes that have political implications, it is first and foremost a drama.

4. Her

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Spike Jonze’s latest feature ‘Her’, set in the not-too-distant future, tells the story of Theodore Twombly who finds himself falling in love with ‘Samantha’, an advanced operating system voiced by the sultry Scarlett Johansson. It is a complex film with a much deeper meaning that lies beneath the surface. A beautifully crafted motion picture, this quirky love story is sure to resonate with you once you’ve seen it. It is an extremely interesting (and realistic) look at the future.The visual style and extensive use of pastel colours is a triumph in itself, and the acting, editing, costumes and screenplay are all worthy of recognition.

3. The Past

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A true masterpiece this movie. A pure drama, which glues you to your seat, with so intense performances, powerful characters so brilliantly played. Berenice Bejo is here at her best. So realistic, it seems the actual daily life of common people. I’m yet to see this director’s previous feature ” A Seperation ” but I will now. The structure of the story is that of two parallel stories of two families. Several twists and surprises convince you to stick to your seat to the end. There’s no excessive dialog. You have to listen carefully and memorize all the details. And It has a very interesting ending.

2. 12 Years a Slave

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If you’ve seen McQueen’s other works then you more or less know what kind of movie to expect (if you haven’t then please stop reading and watch Hunger and Shame). 12 Years a Slave is dark and raw, it exposes everything, without sugarcoating it. It is definitely hard to watch; it is not only worth watching but necessary. Films exploring themes of slavery are few and far in between and never has one been quite as exhaustive and effective as this one. Beautifully shot and edited, the film features moments of tension, heartbreak and a few laughs here and there. Steve McQueen has created another masterpiece. Micheal Fassbender gives the best performance of his already extremely impressive career, even besting his previous high marks from the films Shame and Hunger (both directed by Steve McQueen, who also directed 12 Years a Slave). He plays Edwynn Epps, a vicious and demonic slaver and perhaps the most loathsome and disgusting character ever put on screen. Lupita Nyong’o’s first appearance in a feature film is stunning, as she plays a heart breaking young slave. I hope she has a long career ahead of her, she certainly has the talent for it. The true star is definitely Chiwetel Ejiofor. His performance as Solomon is stunning and unforgettable.

1. The Hunt

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This is my favorite film of 2013! So to delve into the plot here would reveal too much. So I’ll just say that the film is quite dark and deals with some very difficult subject matter that can be very hard to watch at times. I’ll leave it to you to decide if you want to be more aware of the details by looking up a basic synopsis. This is essentially a one-man show. While supporting cast members are all up to the challenge, Lucas is on on screen virtually every moment of the movie and its overall success rises or falls on his believability. Mikkelsen’s(Oscar deserving Performance) delicately underplayed characterization of a man under fire likely won’t be appreciated or understood by all viewers. His restrained performance is remarkable and does much to make The Hunt a haunting, memorable experience. Among the children, Annika Wedderkopp’s portrayal of Klara is frighteningly brilliant. She steals every scene she’s in.

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