Top 5 Movies and Performances of 2013 So Far

Photo Credit:

2013 is already half way done. The best films of 2012 (one of the best years in recent memory at the movies) are in the past and writers like myself are beginning to assess what we’e seen so far from 2013. It’s certainly been an interesting six months. Indies seem to be much farther in the forefront with such films as Spring Breakers and The Place Beyond the Pines seeing solid box office numbers. That being said, the summer blockbuster season has had quite a few ups and downs, but not one film people universally agree on (unlike last summer’s The Avengers). It’s difficult to narrow down what the best has been in such an erratic year. But here’s what we’ve come up with.

Top 5 Movies:

Photo Credit: This is the End

The funniest, most self-referential comedy of the year has James Franco, Seth Rogen, and many others playing themselves all while the world collapses around them. Featuring tons of sharp digs at several of Hollywood’s elite, This is the End proved to be far more intelligent than many suspected, while still completely idiotic.



Photo Credit: Side Effects

Steven Soderbergh’s last movie (at least on the big screen) was a great twisty thriller featuring phenomenal performances from Jude Law and Rooney Mara. The film delved into things like paranoia and questioning your own sanity, making it a psychological thriller hard to forget. Of course it is just added to the incredible resume of Soderbergh. Hopefully his career continues to be fruitful in other mediums.


Photo Credit: Much Ado About Nothing

Shakespeare is hard to translate to the modern world, especially when you keep the dialogue. Romeo + Juliet completely failed at this back in 1996. But Joss Whedon’s break from superheroes, space cowboys, and vampires proved that he has more up his sleeve than just geek appeasement. Much Ado is a funny, well crafted version of the play. It feels intimate, like Whedon and the actors are performing just for you in your backyard.


Photo Credit: The Place Beyond the Pines

It’s incredibly rare to see a film as ambitious as this one. Derek Cianfrance’s second film is far superior to his overly melancholy Blue Valentine. There are a ton of surprises all throughout as we see the way our actions can have an impact long after we’re gone. Beautifully acted by Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper, among others, this is the most unforgettable film of the year, even if it makes a few mistakes along the way.


Photo Credit: Star Trek Into Darkness

Fans are having a hard time agreeing on this one, but I loved the hell out of J.J. Abrams’s second Trek movie. Spock took the lead in this one over Kirk to battle a haunting new villain, courtesy of a delightfully devious turn from Benedict Cumberbatch. The action never stops and its heart is always in the right place, making this sequel the year’s most fun and emotionally rewarding film of 2013 yet.



Top 5 Performances: 

side-effects-jude-law5. Jude Law (Side Effects)

The lead opposite Rooney Mara’s sleep troubled victim is the true star of this psychological thriller. Law does a beautiful job mixing charisma, likability, and that extra step of making you question his sanity to create one of the most fascinating characters 2013 has delivered yet.



Photo Credit: James Franco (Spring Breakers)

Franco proved his ability to transform as an actor this past spring in one of the year’s most controversial films yet. Here he played a gangster who takes four girls just trying to have a good time under his wing. Franco inserts both humor and a dash villainy into what is likely his best performance aside from 127 Hours.



Photo Credit: Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man 3)

Summer blockbusters aren’t known for their acting, but Downey Jr.’s portrayal of Tony Stark has always been an exception. While Iron Man 3 wasn’t as good as the original, or The Avengers for that matter, it did give Tony some of his meatiest material yet. Essentially, Downey Jr. had the task of completing this hero’s arc while keeping his personality intact. He completely nailed it.


Photo Credit: Bradley Cooper (The Place Beyond the Pines)

Ryan Gosling may have been the poster boy of this small-town epic, but Cooper is obviously the real star. In the process he lends the movie his heart, making this fascinating film easily accessible. Without Cooper, there’s no way this film would have worked.



Photo Credit: Emma Watson (The Bling Ring)

The former Hermione Granger is the best part of this celebrity culture parody. Watson makes the character a brilliant parody of that b*tch you hated in high school (or maybe swooned after…). It’s a performance that says more than the movie itself, while showing a young actress’ range and the potential for her fruitful career to come.



What do you think of our picks? What are your favorite movies and performances of the past six months? Sound off below!

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