Top 10 Best Movies of 2013

Honorable mentions:
Before Midnight
Lone Survivor
Monsters University
The Conjuring
The World’s End
This is the End
Pacific Rim
Man of Steel

10. “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Martin Scorsese’s latest movie was not without its flaws. The film went on a tad too long, coming in at a full three hours, and it could have used some focus on other characters. Still, this was a really well made film by Scorsese and the performances by both Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill were fantastic.

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Inside Llewyn Davis review

Ethan Coen
Joel Coen
Oscar Isaac
Carey Mulligan
Justin Timberlake
John Goodman
Rated: R

I can’t say that I’m the biggest folk music fan out there, but I wouldn’t mind having the soundtrack to this flick.

“Inside Llewyn Davis” is a film that explores the title character during a week of his life. Davis is a young folk singer living in New York City in the early 1960s and survives by playing at gigs and staying at the homes of his friends. At the same time, he continues to try and get his solo album produced and on shelves to make a living.

Throughout the film, Davis’ life is on full display. On top of his work in the music industry, the movie also examines his relationships, friendships, people he relies on and the overall circular life that he lives.

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August: Osage County review

John Wells
Meryl Streep
Julia Roberts
Chris Cooper
Ewan McGregor
Juliette Lewis
Julianne Nicholson
Rated: R

This movie had more family drama than five Jerry Springer episodes.

“August: Osage County” follows a family living in rural Oklahoma that isn’t on the best terms with each other. After a tragedy occurs, the family gathers at the home of now widow Violet Weston (Streep). Violet’s three daughters, which includes Barbara (Roberts), Ivy (Nicholson) and Karen (Lewis) all arrive bringing their own problems, as do other family members.

Over the next few days that pass by in the film’s runtime, multiple fights and arguments break out and light is shed on various secrets that all of the family members hold. In simple terms, chaos ensues.

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Spike Jonze
Joaquin Phoenix
Rooney Mara
Amy Adams
Scarlett Johansson
Rated: R

Good science fiction is all about creating a world that is different or perhaps farther in the future than our own, yet still is able to make strong social statement about our society and keeping it centered around a well structured story. “Her” manages to capture all of this and is the reason it’s one of 2013’s best.

The film follows a the character Theodore (Phoenix), who is in the going through the final stages of a painful divorce and now finds himself all alone. On one of the days that he is on his way home from work, Theodore finds out that a new operating system with fully functioning A.I. has been put out on the market.

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Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom review

“Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” turns out to be a very long movie as it encompasses a huge portion of the political figure’s life.

The movie begins with Nelson Mandela, played by Idris Elba, as a young attorney and follows his path to becoming an idealist and eventually a revolutionary leader. The movie also chronicles his personal life, including his marriage to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who was played by Naomie Harris.

Eventually, the movie also goes into detail about the 27 years Mandela spent in prison which was followed by his election as president of South Africa.

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Top 10 Worst Movies of 2013

10. 47 Ronin
Well, before coming to an end, 2013 just had to shove in one last bad movie. “47 Ronin” was a poor excuse for a fantasy samurai adventure movie. The acting was bland, the characters weren’t worth rooting for and the movie played itself way to seriously for taking a more fantasy approach to a really interesting Japanese legend. It’s a shame because the story the movie is based on could make for a great picture.

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The Wolf of Wall Street review

Martin Scorsese
Leonardo DiCaprio
Jonah Hill
Kyle Chandler
Margot Robbie

Wall Street execs throw crazier parties than the guys from “Old School” and “Animal House” combined according to Scorsese’s latest flick.

“The Wolf of Wall Street” is based on the true story of stockbroker Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio). Belfort, with the assistance of his eventual friend and business partner Donnie (Hill), open a firm called Stratton Oakmont. The firm becomes a billion-dollar company quickly and with that Belfort has easy access to drugs, alcohol and everything in between.

As the movie progresses, Belfort, Donnie and the firm gets richer and richer and the lifestyles become grander and more outrageous. The only problem is that what Belfort is doing at the firm isn’t considered legal and it doesn’t take long for the FBI to start an investigation.

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American Hustle review

David O. Russell
Christian Bale
Bradley Cooper
Amy Adams
Jeremy Renner
Jennifer Lawrence
Rated: R

With this great of a cast, I was hoping for a really great movie. What I got was simply an OK one.

“American Hustle” follows the story of two con artists named Irving (Bale) and Sydney (Adams). The two seem to have a good thing going together as they are making money through their various schemes. This changes, though, when they are found out by FBI Agent Richie (Cooper).

Instead of putting the two behind bars, however, Richie allows them to assist him in a corruption scandal case which involves a mayor (played by Renner), congressmen and the mafia. As the case goes on, more drama is added to the situation when Irving’s wife Rosalyn (Lawrence) comes into the equation and threatens to mess with the whole operation.

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Lone Survivor review

Peter Berg
Mark Wahlberg
Taylor Kitsch
Ben Foster
Emile Hirsch
Eric Bana

“Lone Survivor” really puts the phrase “war is hell” in your face.

The film dramatizes the events of a true story, based on the accounts from Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell (played in the film by Wahlberg).

The movie introduces Luttrell and three other Navy SEALs, played by Kitsch, Foster and Hirsch, who go on a mission to possibly take out a Taliban leader in Afghanistan.

During that time, the mission goes wrong as they come across some herders who inform the Taliban of their whereabouts.

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47 Ronin review

Carl Rinsch
Keanu Reeves
Hiroyuki Sanada
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
Rated: PG-13

The movie “47 Ronin” says that it was inspired by a true story, although I doubt the real thing included dragons and witches.

Keanu Reeves stars in “47 Ronin,” portraying the character Kai. As a young man, Kai is found in a forest and brought in to live in a land filled with samurai. The samurai, however look down on Kai as they feel he is unworthy of any good treatment, in particular, the lead samurai Oishi (Sanada).

The situation changes, though, when the lord of the land is framed for a crime he didn’t commit and is forced to take his own life to reclaim honor for his family. This is followed by the samurai under his guide becoming masterless, making them “ronin.” In response, Oishi seeks out the help of Kai and the other samurai to avenge the death of his master.

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