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The Most Memorable Movie Moments Of 2013

Features
by The Playlist Staff
December 24, 2013 12:40 PM
23 Comments
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Acting & Performances
Best Animal Actor
In other years (remember the banner year 2011, which featured Uggie from "The Artist" vs. Cosmo from "Beginners" in a 'canine actor' face-off showdown dogfight to the death?) there has been some competition for this coveted spot. But already back in Cannes, the gold-plated kibble tray for 2013 was only ever going one way, well actually three ways: to the three tabbies who portrayed plot driver Ulysses in the Coen Brothers' gorgeous "Inside Llewyn Davis." The Coens may have alleged that getting the cat performance was an "unbelievably boring, frustrating and painstaking" process, but Wilder said the same thing about Marilyn, and that Ulysses managed to rustle up serious chemistry with noted cat hater Oscar Isaac just shows his/their professionalism. Here’s Isaac talking about his hatred for cats.

Most Underrated Actor Who Deserves All The Awards One Day
Ben Foster has been doing absolutely stellar work for many, many years, often stealing movies right out from under his co-stars, as he did in this year’s “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.” Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck give fine performances as the doomed young criminal couple. And while their romance seems to be the heart of the story, it’s really Foster’s restrained but emotional work as the sheriff who harbors a deep love for Ruth (Mara), unaware that she was actually the one who shot him during a bungled robbery that landed her husband Bob (Affleck) in jail. Foster slowly woos the skittish and untrusting Ruth, his gentleness belying a steely interior. Foster is one of those actors who is content to disappear into characters in smaller indie flicks, quietly working away without much showboating, but he’s almost always the standout performance, and never gets enough laurels thrown his way. Soon, Mr. Foster, soon.

Hammiest Performance
We're not quite sure what happened to the Sharlto Copley who was so compelling in "District 9," but every single performance he's given since has been pretty dire, and he reached something of a nadir with the double-header of scenery-chewing Sith Afrikaan mercenary Kruger in "Elysium," who seemed to have escaped from being a third-tier henchman in "Lethal Weapon 2," and his villain in "Oldboy," which featured an unctuous English accent so ludicrous that it felt like he might have been having a stroke while he delivered it. [ed. note, Copley’s “Oldboy” perf definitely falls under horrible/amazing performance. It is just admittedly terrible, but probably the only joy ironic, or otherwise, you’ll find from this awful picture]

Runners Up: Never knowingly understated, Sean Penn gave the worst performance of his career in "Gangster Squad," a prosthetics-aided take on Mickey Cohen that owed more to "Dick Tracy" than... well, any form of reality. Also, it wasn't hammy so much as unbelievably, maddeningly mannered, but a special dishonorable mention goes to Caleb Landry Jones, whose tic-driven hemophiliac love interest in "Byzantium" was the single worst performance of the year.

Best Cameo
Excluding the great ones in "Anchorman 2" we don't want to spoil, we went for a three-way tie here. For one, there's a great little one-scener from Geena Davis at the end of Lake Bell's brilliant "In A World...," as a studio executive, delivering a scintillating monologue about the role of women in the industry. Then there's Michael Cera in "This Is The End," an uproarious upending of expectations that, along with "Crystal Fairy," has hopefully given the actor a second act to his career. Finally, the arguable highlight of "Thor: The Dark World" was the added-in-reshoots cameo from Chris Evans as Captain America, as the shape-shifting Loki turns into him. Hiddleston first shot his imitation of Evans, and then Evans shot his imitation of Hiddleston imitating Evans, and it's a great little surprise.

Most Wasted Cameo
Paul Greengrass' tense, thrilling and well-made "Captain Phillips" has lots to recommend it, but unfortunately not its opening, which features Tom Hanks (who'll at least be given screen time in which to redeem himself, and then some) and his screen wife, the usually terrific Catherine Keener drive to the airport and have the Single Least Convincing Married Couple Conversation we've maybe ever heard in a movie. And that's it for Keener! Why, why in the name of all things holy would you cast Keener, give her one awful scene and never use her again?

Best Self-Deprecating Cameo That Wasn’t Spoiled Pre-Release
In a quickly devolving world where the only currency left is how low you’re willing to go, it’s pretty amusing to see Channing Tatum as Danny McBride’s butt-bitch in “This Is The End.” (Especially as we'd already been surprised by how early Soderbergh had offed broseph Chan in “Side Effects." Far more entertaining than the Backstreet Boys showing up, sorry Playlisters-of-a-different-stripe. (Also Jonah Hill as a possessed demon on fire is hilarious). That they hid that cameo all year long is insane.

Best Hilarious Cameo In An Otherwise Mostly Shitty Movie
Vince Vaughn why hast thou forsaken us? We love “Wedding Crashers” and had hopes but… “The Internship” doesn't get anywhere close. That said, like in ‘Crashers,’ Will Ferrell’s uncredited cameo as Owen Wilson’s James Hetfield-looking boss at a mattress store is hilarious. Hit YouTube already.

Most Pointless Cameo We Don't Care About Spoiling
There are a lot of cameos in “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” and they are almost all uniformly excellent. We won’t tell about those, but we will tell you about Toronto rapper and former “Degrassi” star Drake pops up for no reason right at the beginning of the movie to check out Veronica Corningstone’s ass. No, we don’t get it either.

Best Emotional Breakdown
There is more brilliant acting done in the last 5 minutes of "Captain Phillips" than most other films showcase in their whole run time, and it comes from the least likely source: little-known, under-the-radar two-time Best Actor Oscar Winner Tom Hanks. It's a moment of naked humanity and utterly relatable confusion and frailty that gives everything you've suffered with him for the preceding hours actual emotional meaning.

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23 Comments

  • 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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