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Paper Magazine Critic Goes Contrarian, Names ‘12 Years A Slave’ Worst Film Of 2013

The Playlist By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist December 18, 2013 at 10:21AM

While we’re mostly celebratory around these parts, a considerable aspect of our year-end cinematic reflections has been dredging up those unspeakable films long since forgotten for one final verdict—think “Violet and Daisy,” “I Give It A Year," or “The Big Wedding." We compiled our 20 favorite abominations here, but elsewhere head film critic of Paper Magazine Dennis Dermody has aimed for more awards-centric fare with his list, and ended up with director Steve McQueen’s work in his sights.
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12 Years A Slave

While we’re mostly celebratory around these parts, a considerable aspect of our year-end cinematic reflections has been dredging up those unspeakable films long since forgotten for one final verdict—think “Violet and Daisy,” “I Give It A Year," or “The Big Wedding." We compiled our 20 favorite abominations here, but elsewhere head film critic of Paper Magazine Dennis Dermody has aimed for more awards-centric fare with his list, and ended up with director Steve McQueen’s work in his sights.

Following a list of 2013’s best offerings that included “Inside Llewyn Davis," “Blue Jasmine," and “Spring Breakers," Dermody then shared up his rundown of the ten worst. And right at the top? “12 Years A Slave," with the critic calling the film “well-acted, well-made, and virtually critic-proof. It's also torture to sit through. Slavery was horrendous. You think?“ Now, a negative opinion on McQueen’s film is nothing new, and even welcomed if the argument is there (our own Drew Taylor gives it a try in our Overrated/Underrated of 2013 feature). But we’d also say perhaps a three-sentence review and a conclusion of sarcasm is thin support for what could be a unique opinion on the film.

The other duds on the list don’t fare any better, from “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” ("the equivalent of ‘Rapunzel: Ghostbuster’ or ‘Cinderella: Kung Fu Dentist’ ”) to the Ryan Reynolds/Jeff Bridges actioner “R.I.P.D.” (“Rest in peace indeed.”). But they are also more predictable candidates, and because a full “12 Years A Slave” review by Dermody fails to exist (unlike that other famous contrarian, Armond White), we’ll have to take his brief thoughts as a mishandled chance.

You can read the full list here with comments for each, but do you agree with Dermody in placing “12 Years A Slave” near the top of the scrap heap? Or has the end of year frenzy driven him to knee-jerk fits of hyperbole?

Paper Magazine's Dennis Dermody's Top 10 Films Of 2013
1. Inside Llewyn Davis
2. Laurence Anyways
3. You're Next!
4. Blue Jasmine
5. Stoker
6. Paradise Earth
7. Sightseers
8. Frances Ha
9. Spring Breakers
10. 20 Feet From Stardom

Paper Magazine's Dennis Dermody's Worst 10 Films Of 2013
1. 12 Years A Slave
2. Oz The Great And Powerful
3. A Good Day To Die Hard
4. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
5. [NOT LISTED]
6. Oblivion
7. Mama
8. Man Of Steel
9. R.I.P.D.
10. After Earth

This article is related to: Best of 2013, Best Movies of 2013, Inside Llewyn Davis, Laurence Anyways, You're Next , Blue Jasmine, Stoker, Sightseers, Frances Ha, Spring Breakers, 12 Years a Slave, Oz The Great And Powerful, A Good Day To Die Hard, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Oblivion, Mama, Man Of Steel, R.I.P.D., After Earth


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