Nathan’s Top 10 Films of 2013

By Nathan Gordon | ng312310@ohiou.edu | @GordonRises

The Wolf of Wall Street1

10.The Place Beyond the Pines

This film was unique in the fact that it used 3 different story segments, with different stars for each but they all tied together. I thought it was pretty cool. The first story segment with Ryan Gosling was the strongest with the next two each declining in quality. With that said, the stories were still good and created an interesting story-line as a whole. The unique storytelling method just made the story work even more.

9.  Pain and Gain

The story of bodybuilders using extortion and kidnapping to try to get some money in their pockets was a story that was meant to be seen on the silver screen. Michael Bay was able to take the story and make a very entertaining body of work. Although it wasn’t completely accurate (what movies based on true stories are anyways?) it did highlight some actual events from the true story that added to the film’s entertainment. What also stood out was, although the film has sort of a touchy subject matter, the movie was a comedy. The families of those affected in the real life situations might not like it, but I actually thought it worked really well. Dwayne Johnson also put the best performance of his career with his comedic role.

8.  Insidious: Chapter 2

James Wan is my favorite director, Leigh Whannell is my favorite screenwriter and I loved Insidious, so I had high expectations for this movie. Personally, I thought this sequel was on par with, and maybe even better than, its predecessor. But what might make Insidious better is the fact that its last act was more exciting than the sequel’s. I just can’t make up my mind but whatever. I’m a sucker for good plot twists and this movie didn’t let me down. I can’t wait for Chapter 3.

7.   Her

A movie about falling in love with an operating system seems weird, but I like weird. Maybe even love it, because I thought this was a really great movie. The conversations between Theodore and Samantha (a.k.a. operating system) were entertaining and felt more than a man just talking to a random voice. This might be because Scarlett Johansson did such a great job with using just her voice. It almost felt like she was actually on screen at some moments.

6.   Fruitvale Station

Michael B. Jordan, in my opinion, put on one of the top two performances of 2013.  His amazing performance (which was ROBBED by the Oscars, Golden Globes, etc.) was at the forefront of an already great and heartfelt movie. The movie does a great job showing the growth a young man is trying to make even when he’s being hit with day-to-day struggles up until the tragic ending. I saw this movie three times in theaters and each time I almost shed a tear. If a movie can get to a heartless person like myself each viewing, then it must be doing something right.

5.   The Way Way Back

This movie is clearly my biggest surprise of 2013. The movie looked good, but I was surprised at just how good it actually was. I found myself really into the story and the characters and walked away very impressed. The script was a major highlight, as was the performance by Sam Rockwell. He showed great comedic timing and I feel he should have definitely gotten more love for maybe a Best Supporting Actor nomination from some of these many award shows.

4.  This is the End

Clearly the funniest movie of the year. I saw the movie twice in theaters and laughed harder the second time, so that must be a good sign. The chemistry of the cast worked so well in the movie’s favor and created so many laughs. Even with all the great comedic performances from some very hilarious people, it’s crazy to say that Danny McBride stood out the most.

3.  Man of Steel

This film had probably the greatest action/fight scenes I have ever seen. Many people probably don’t agree because they were just so destructive and epic, but that’s what I like to see. I like to live in the now while I’m viewing them and hope later the problems all the destruction has caused are touched on. But anyways, this darker take on Superman had its flaws with pacing and transitioning through scenes, but when it takes off, IT TAKES OFF! I also must sa,y I liked the approach to not rehash what we already know about Clark Kent’s story. That might have played into the pacing issues, which plays into the statement “No one is ever happy.”

2.   Iron Man 3

I’m a sucker for Marvel movies.  The Marvel movies of late just have really clicked with me. Things didn’t change with me when it comes to this latest adventure with Tony Stark. I love for a movie to just entertain me, and that’s exactly what this movie did. The action was great, the humor was there, and, once again, Robert Downey Jr. was awesome. I even have to give the movie credit for its bold twist with a certain villain. I would have preferred that to play out differently, but it’s cool to see it boldly go in a different direction.

1.The Wolf of Wall Street

Leonardo DiCaprio (the man I believe to be the GREATEST actor of all-time) ceases to amaze me. He not only usually takes on interesting roles, but plays them so well. The same can be said for his character in this film. His character, Jordan Belfort, is so crazy and over the top that it’s so interesting to watch. The craziness doesn’t just stop at Belfort; the movie, which chronicles the real life Belfort, is full of wild entertainment throughout its three hours. This movie has no bad performances, keeps you laughing, and on the edge of your seat for what crazy thing is going to happen next.

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