The New York Times' co-chief film critic A.O. Scott is the latest to offer up his best movies of the year, a Top 10 that's actually a Top 15 as it includes a theme-linked six-way tie for 10th place. In a year of what Scott calls "superabundant quality," he draws attention to the dearth of noteworthy animated features and the lack of recognition for new talents, who he suggests have trouble breaking through the noise of more heavily promoted releases. There are no debuts in Scott's Top 10, but his honorable mentions include Fill the Void, Fruitvale Station and An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, and three of the five documentaries on his separate list -- The Act of Killing, Let the Fire Burn and Cutie and the Boxer -- are by first-timers, and one more (Stories We Tell) by a director making her documentary debut.
A.O. Scott's Best Movies of 2013
1. Inside Llewyn Davis. "A ballad of bad luck and squandered talent that already seems, like the music it celebrates, to have been around forever."
2. 12 Years a Slave. "This story of bondage and the longing for freedom unfolds with startling clarity and immediacy."
3. Blue Is the Warmest Color. "Abdellatif Kechiche's Cannes prize winner is about sex, but it's also about everything else: food, work, art, social class, education and, perhaps above all, France."
4. Enough Said. "A rich and insightful examination of the peculiarities and contradictions of courtship and parenthood in 21st century America."
5. A Touch of Sin. "Paints a somber picture of modern China as a place of inequality, greed and indifference."
6. All Is Lost. "An old story -- man against the elements -- grandly and thrillingly told by J.C. Chandor."
7. Frances Ha. "A sweet bedtime story for anxious millennials."
8. Hannah Arendt. "Those who complain that movies can't think don't really know how to think about movies. "
9. The Butler. "Lee Daniels, never known for his restraint, turns America's most agonized and contentious subject (that would be race) into an opera of wild melodrama, canny naturalism and political camp."
10. The Great Gatsby.
(tie) The Wolf of Wall Street
(tie) The Bling Ring
(tie) Spring Breakers
(tie) Pain & Gain
(tie) American Hustle
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