There's placing a film atop your Top 10 list, and there's the kind of praise New York's David Edelstein lavishes on Spike Jonze's Her, which he calls "the best film in years." It leads his best-of list, which in addition to his 10 favorites includes three more documentaries, four features, and a long list of noteworthy performances. There are a few names that haven't figured much in the year-end conversation so far: The Taviani brothers' Caesar Must Die, Alex Gibney's We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks, and most surprisingly, a mention for Alicia Witt in Cold Turkey, a movie that few critics have even heard of, let alone seen. But perhaps most noteworthy is Edelstein's praise for Joss Whedon's adaptation of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, which he shot on the fly at his house during a break in The Avengers. Not only does he suggest is "might be the best Shakespeare comedy on film," but he singles out actors Amy Acker and Nathan Fillion. Here's Edelstein's complete list, with a few of his comments.
David Edelstein's Top 10 Films of 2013
1. Her. "The satire yields to a sort of transcendental romanticism that leaves you both heartbroken and full of wonder."
2. American Hustle
3. The Act of Killing. "It's a bad trip -- a documentary that documents a higher and more frightening reality."
4. Much Ado About Nothing
5. Short Term 12
6. 20 Feet From Stardom
7. All Is Lost. "Chandor gets the best work in decades from Redford -- an actor who has trouble connecting onscreen pushed to the limit of his own self-containment."
8. Caesar Must Die
9. Blue Is the Warmest Color
10. The Wind Rises. "[A]s grown-up as animation gets: a romantic, tragic, exquisitely strange portrait of a Japanese boy (then a young man) who dreams of creating wondrous flying machines -- which are then used to rain death and destruction in World War II."