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The Most Memorable Movie Moments Of 2013

by The Playlist Staff
December 24, 2013 12:40 PM
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Can you feel it? The end of 2013 is hurtling toward us like a stampeding rhino. And as our year-end wind down is winding down, we're letting ourselves off the leash a little and assembling this unwieldy monster—an unashamedly scrappy and random list of The Most Memorable Movie Moments of the Year aka Every Damn Thing That We Couldn't Find Anywhere Else to Talk About. Those of you who like a little more formal rigor in your year-in-review programming may wish to check out Best Shots, or Best Music Moments, or Best Documentaries, or Best Soundtracks, or Best Scores or Action Sequences, Child Performances, TV Episodes, Worst Films… or really any of our other 2013 wrap-up features (just hit our "Best of 2013" tag) all of which were put together with about 83% more discipline than this one.

Because here we find ourselves nearly washed up on the far shore of 2013 and there are still a bevy of niggling details (from hairpieces to spectacular deaths to eyeroll-inducing plot turns to questionable nudity) that, good or bad, haven't slotted neatly into one of our other features, but deserve at least a pithy line or two before we lay the year to rest. Here then, in no discernible order, with a glorious, liberating lack of logic and fair warning of SPOILERS liberally dotted throughout, is our grab-bag assortment of the 2013 Movie Moments that are still rattling around our brains.

Sex/Nudity (AKA let's cut to the chase; we know what's most interesting)
Best Mentally Scarring Sex Scene With A Car
Everyone might have been talking about the "Blue Is The Warmest Color" sex scene this year, but the one that we can't stop thinking about—not necessarily in a good way—is that moment in Ridley Scott's "The Counselor," when Cameron Diaz has sex with a car. It's mostly off-screen, but the uncomfortably-turned-on shock on the face of Javier Bardem's Brian Grazer-haired drug dealer, as he describes the, uh, 'catfish' on his windshield pretty much gets the whole thing across. Some have thrown claims of misogyny at the film, but Bardem makes it clear that these are men who are terrified of female sexuality. And to be honest, many of the females on staff find this scene terrifying too. You can catch a glimpse of the scene at the 30s mark here and trust us, a glimpse is all you need.

Best Phone Sex
In a brave move for any filmmaker Spike Jonze chose to communicate the transcendence of the first sex (via voices only) scene between the romantic leads “Her”-- Samantha (a seemingly omnipotent but bodiless operating system AKA OS) and Theodore Twombly (the OS’s owner)—as a fade to black, with just the ecstatic pants and moans of the two leads echoing around the theater. If anything was going to pull the audience any deeper into the romance between a bodiless artificially intelligent OS (but breathy voiced via Scarlett Johansson) and the emotionally damaged Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) it was this dark screen, which put us right in their shoes.

Most Unabashed Nudity
The top prize, purely because a few more people will have seen it (if only a very few) probably goes to Gaby Hoffmann for "Crystal Fairy" and the pubic hair which we've been summarily informed is, in fact not a merkin. But on a more serious note, Ulrich Seidl's grim but compelling "Paradise Love" may not have gained a wide audience outside cinephile circles, but the astonishing, frequently unclothed performance of Margarete Tiesel deserves broader recognition. Playing the pretty loathsome character of an overweight, overprivileged white woman on a sex tourism holiday to Kenya, Tiesel's absolutely fearless performance is remarkable for how she allows herself to be photographed in unflattering, and often downright degrading situations, especially since she is a first-time actress. In fact the nudity is only one facet of one of the most overlooked performances of the year (though it did get a shout it out last year from our writer in Berlin).

Most Gratuitous Female Nudity or Partial Nudity
Oh My LORD, okay we get it, we get it, Jennifer Aniston's super hot and has a rockin bod that a chick half her age would envy (bro-talk chestbump headbutt, everybody!). But seriously, the "We're the Millers" script requires her to prove to the assembled gentlemen that she's a stripper? By stripping? Because it's such an arcane and delicate profession that only someone with years of training and diploma in Thong Studies could ever hope to carry it off? Look at how she kinda takes off her underwear—btw is that 2 pairs?—she's clearly a fully qualified stripper like she said! The next time (and there will be one) we need to be reminded that Jen Aniston is super hot, rockin' etc., please spend, like 90 seconds more thinking about the scenario. You know, the same amount of time the writers spent working out how to have a handy shower of sparks rain down on her in slo-mo this time out (also, just let it be said this movie is terribly unfunny). Our runner-up shout-outs go to Alice Eve's unnecessary strip down in "Star Trek: Into Darkness" and Rosario Dawson in "Trance." You'll all catch your death.

(Over)Longest Lesbian Sex Scene
Well, it had to be here somewhere—one of the biggest controversies of the movie year was over the Palme-d'Or-winning Abdellatif Kechiche film "Blue Is The Warmest Color" and specifically its long, long graphic scene of lesbian sex. As we noted in our review, the scene's overlength is really the only fly in the ointment of what is otherwise a tremendous film, and we can't help but think that a lot of subsequent debates about the position of the 'gaze' and heteronormativity and whatnot, would have been headed off at the pass had the scene simply run, as graphically as it does now, but shorter, not giving anyone time to leave the film's spell. Because that's really what it does—the suddenly awkward pacing breaks the spell of what is otherwise a spellbinding movie. And that's just a shame.

Best Cocaine & Stripper Permutation
What’s to say here other than Scorsese’s “The Wolf Of Wall Street” has a scene where Leonardo DiCaprio blows (sucks?) cocaine into (out of?) a stripper's ass and a call girl shoves a candle into one of the character’s butts. Oh, right and there’s tons of snorting cocaine off desks, tits, butts, orifices, etc. Tony Montana would be proud. Your parents will be scandalized, so don’t see this one with your family at Xmas. There's also the best ever quaalude scene of all time, but you can't really discuss it other than to spoil it so, we'll just say we're envious of your first time experience (and the image here above is a little teaser taste for you).

Wrongest Sexual Reveal Of The Year
SPOILER A young girl in "Bastards" gets debased and deflowered by sexual deviant sleezebags using raw cobs of corn. Claire Denis, you are sick.

Most Unintentionally Funny Masturbation Scene
Oh, “Stoker,” you divisive mistress, you. Half The Playlist hates you (the good half), half The Playlist loves you (the bad half). Say what you will about its style-over-substance approach, however—that it's ghoulishly delightful a la Hitchcock or DePalma—what excuse is there for the masturbation scene/montage where Mia Wasikowska rubs one out in the shower while her creepy uncle kills her boyfriend and she climaxes just as he’s beheaded? It was an effort to contain our laughter in the theater.

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  • Me34 | January 6, 2014 11:06 AMReply

    If Redford, Blanchett, Lawrence, Hanks for "Saving Mr. Banks", Bullock, Whitaker, Isaac and/or Franco get nominated (or any of the possible combinations of that), Streep is way too far from being the worst.

  • FP | January 2, 2014 4:15 PMReply

    Wow, so many excellent takedowns of the risible films like MUD, SECRET LIFE OF WALTER, OUT OF THE FURNACE, COUNSELOR, WAY WAY BACK, while properly underlining Redford's cathartic expletive, Edge-of-Your-Seat PRISONERS, eyes aplenty in CANDELABRA, and GREAT BEAUTY's far more impressive party scenes. Hadn't even made that 'Great' connection, but as always, so right on target. Surprisingly worth the 8 pages of FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION ads. Well done and thank you.

  • Soren | December 30, 2013 7:11 PMReply

    When a person complains the sex scenes in Blue Is The Warmest Color are too long, I ask myself why are they not bothered that several of the scenes from that same movie are very lengthy. The café scene is almost 15 minutes long yet there are no complainst. Then I realize how prudish and how scared of sex on the big screen so many people are. Maybe a bit less watching movies and a bit more experiencing life would help?

  • kindred spirit | December 30, 2013 10:37 AMReply

    Not sure how this missed the list but one of the best scenes of the year for me comes early in AMERICAN HUSTLE - when Bale and Adams form their partnership, London Associates, and the montage played against "I've got your number" as they fall madly in love, is in short: PERFECT. They have some of the best on screen chemistry I've seen all year, and it's just a great compilation of scenes.

  • Erik | December 28, 2013 5:04 PMReply

    Best final shot? James Gray's THE IMMIGRANT. Breathtaking, gorgeous, stunning... And by a mile !

  • Liam | December 27, 2013 8:02 PMReply

    My gosh, I disagree SO MUCH.

  • boda | December 23, 2013 12:06 PMReply

    it is a good article

  • Candra Aditya | December 21, 2013 12:26 PMReply

    You guys didn't get a chance to watch Snowpiercer yet. Evans deliver some amazing, creepy monologue towards the end of the movie. And the movie is better than over-the-top Gravity.

  • LOlZ | December 20, 2013 6:59 PMReply

    See ya on your drive by tmw, pal.

  • Alissa (Ha, give me a break) | December 20, 2013 1:18 PMReply

    Lol, hilarious Alan. If The Playlist is a house that puts up new decorations each day, Alan is the guy who claims to hate each one of them and yet everyday after work drives by to see what new decorations went up.

  • Jeff G. | December 20, 2013 12:01 PMReply

    Drake's Cameo is probablt due to in some of his early songs Using and praising Will Ferrell films and movie characters. Particularly Ricky Bobby,Or maybe they were filming in Canada and helps with crossover appeal?

  • Oliver Lyttelton | December 20, 2013 7:07 AMReply

    More complex minds, of course, are amused by reading every word of a movie website that they profess to hate, and then endlessly posting comments on it.

  • Gerard Kennelly | December 20, 2013 2:04 AMReply

    i have been posting comments about At Any Price on sites like this all year

    it is my favourite movie of 2013

    i was afraid nobody else saw it

    but a lot of people love this site
    and this article will inspire them to search for /and watch it

    dennis quaid has never been better /more fearless on screen

    mcconaughey /hanks will more than likely win best actor
    but Quaid deserves it

  • Lucille | December 19, 2013 10:34 PMReply

    I agree with all of these, although I think for "Best Final Shot" The Bling Ring should have been in there, Emma Watson turning to the camera and talking about her website was truly chilling and captivated the entire essence of the film I thought.

  • James | December 19, 2013 8:43 PMReply

    The final portion of The Counselor is actually set in London, so it's logical that it was shot there. The first two thirds, set in Texas, were all shot in Spain, but I think they did an amazing job of selling it as the US.

  • James | December 20, 2013 12:30 PM

    Interesting, I didn't know so many interiors and other scenes were shot in the UK. Still, the recognizably London bits that I noticed were all for scenes actually set in London, as far as I remember. I'm an American who's usually bothered by one location obviously subbing for another, like all the movies that used to film in Vancouver, with mountains visible in the background, and try to pass it off as cities nowhere near mountains. However nothing stood out to me in The Counselor. I'll have to see it again though to be sure. And I think the Ciudad Juarez exteriors and the exterior airport stuff with Penelope Cruz was also Spain.

  • Ade | December 20, 2013 8:03 AM

    The first two thirds were mostly shot in the UK too, except the Reiner party exterior,the cheetahs, the septic tank and the wireman. All Brad Pitt's scenes were shot in London.

  • Travis Bickle | December 20, 2013 1:58 AM

    the sex scene was too silly
    but the brad pitt bolito scene was easily one of the best of the year

  • Leigh Richert | December 19, 2013 3:46 PMReply

    In "Gravity", in regards to the dead guy you talk about, he's brains were not "sucked out". That's one of the stupid myths about space that "Gravity" so beautifully shows is NOT TRUE. What happened to the dead guy was that he got hit in the head with satellite shrapnel that was going REALLY fast, then he froze. No "sucking". If there was sucking, his head would not have stayed so intact...nor would have the rest of his body, or anybody else in the space shuttle who were shown frozen but still intact.

  • El Hanso | December 19, 2013 3:43 PMReply

    Come on. If you write as a collective, Playlist Staff, try not to manipulate the collective's divisive opinion on a film by suggesting there's a right(er) opinion to be had. Re: The good half/bad half stuff regarding "Stoker."

    But thanks for singling out "Ginger & Rosa." Seriously underrated and underseen that movie.

  • NewYorker | December 19, 2013 3:39 PMReply

    my 20 favorite movie moments of 2013 are defently
    1-james franco sucking the gun like it was a dick lol in Spring Breakers
    2-Kane Hodder ripping Derek Mear's skull out of his body in Hatchet 3
    3-Hugh Jackman with balls on his chin in Movie 43
    4-Dwayne Johnson beating the shit out of the convicts in Pain and Gain
    5-Loki turning into Captain America in Thor: The Dark World
    6-Michelle Rodriguez and Gina Carano's cat fight in Fast and Furious 6
    7-the Bus Scene in Man Of Steel
    8-the whole fight scenes in Grown Ups 2
    9-the News Team Anchor brawl in Anchorman 2
    10-Johnny Knoxville getting his dick stuck in a vending machine in Bad Grandpa
    11-Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger fighting in Escape Plan
    12-Matt Dillion torturing poor frodo aka Elijah Wood in Pawn Shop Chronicles
    13-the end credit scene in The Wolverine
    14-Michael Shannon scene with James Franco
    15-Chloe Mortez making those girls throw up in Kick-Ass 2
    16-Chloe Moretz using her powers to destroy Portia Doubleday & Alex Russell in Carrie
    17-Josh Brolin cutting up Sam Jackson's throat in Oldboy
    18-James Franco and Danny McBride arguing about who gets to cum in This Is The End
    19-Nathan Fillion calling himself an ass in Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing
    20-the axe fight scene between Sylvester Stallone and Jason Momoa in Bullet To The Head

  • Gerard Kennelly | December 20, 2013 1:56 AM

    my 10 favorite movie moments of 2013
    01-customer appreciation day -- At Any Price
    02- Julian saves the girl --Only God Forgives
    03-bilbo meets smaug --Hobbot Desolation of Smaug
    04- gosling calls from the strangers house --Place Beyond The Pines
    05-Hugh Jackman paul dano hammer --Prisoners
    06-Michelle Rodriguez Gina Carano's cat fight --Fast Furious 6
    07-tell him come down and stop me --The Iceman
    08-the med exam --Captain Phillips
    09-Chloe Moretz using her powers to save judy greer --Carrie
    10-axe fight Stallone Jason Momoa --Bullet To The Head

  • Dan | December 19, 2013 3:37 PMReply

    I'm a bit disappointed, I was looking forward for this year's best movie moments by ThePlaylist for some weeks now. I liked better the way you did it on previous years (enlisting the movie moments themselves, or like you did the Music Moments and Action Sequences this year). This was harder to read, and a much less interesting format for me.

    Still, congratulations on all your other lists, they are great.

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