2013: The Best Films Of The Year...So Far

Features
by The Playlist Staff
June 4, 2013 2:56 PM
69 Comments
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Wow, wait, okay, what? It’s June? Right! So here we are again, rapidly approaching the midpoint of another year, and as is our custom, we’re taking a moment to pause and look back at 2013 so far, and to discuss, debate, and throw hissy fits over what we collectively consider the best films we’ve seen so far. As regards bigger releases, the year up to now has been, if we’re honest, a little so-so, with the blockbuster hopefuls ranging from the slightly disappointing to the outright dire (“Star Trek Into Darkness,” “The Great Gatsby,” “Pain & Gain,” “After Earth,” “Oblivion,” with “Iron Man 3” probably proving the best of the bunch to date.) That said, in the smaller screens of your multiplex and at the arthouse, a few gems have managed to find their way through and there is a whole bevy of films we’ve been lucky enough to catch early that are coming down the pike soon, and many of those are so good that they should drag up the base standard of the year by a good margin.

So we’re dividing this piece into two this year -- the first part detailing those films that have already hit theaters and made an impression on us, and the second talking about those that are just around the corner and which we urge you to keep an eye out for. So let's get to it....

Stories We Tell
There’s family, there’s history and then there’s the truth, but as Sarah Polley explores in her beautiful and uniquely moving documentary “Stories We Tell,” all of those terms carry different weight depending on the eye of the beholder. Begun as a project to investigate her own family background, “Stories We Tell” blossoms into a riveting portrait of a family still carrying secrets, heartache and accepted truths that sometimes fly in the face of reality. But Polley’s entire point is that one person’s “reality” is someone else’s “fiction” and her brilliant film almost deconstructs itself as it goes along, calling into question its own presentation of the “facts” yet never feeling academic, and always wholly emotional. It’s the rare documentary that we’d argue contains “spoilers” which aren’t just part of the narrative (though it's more enjoyable if you’re in the dark a bit,) but the presentation itself. One of the most intelligent documentaries we've seen in quite some time, at times enlightening and profound, the film proves the simple truth that the “Stories We Tell” about our own lives can’t always be trusted. [Read our Venice 2012 review]

No
From its buzzy, fuzzy, authentically VHS aesthetic, to its loose, almost docu-feeling evocation of the events around the pivotal 1998 election in Chile, Pablo Larrain’s “No” is a jolt of infectious, innovative filmmaking. The concluding chapter of his unofficial thematic trilogy dealing with different aspects of life under Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet (the previous entries being “Tony Manero” and “Post Mortem” which, appropriately was on last year’s corresponding list), “No” distinguishes itself from its predecessors in more ways than just its off-the-cuff look and satirical, sarcastic humor. In fact, where Larrain's previous films dealt in darkly accented stories of violence and death, “No” is altogether breezier in tone, if never disposable, pitting Gael Garcia Bernal’s advertising executive, well versed in cheery, cheesy Coca-Cola-style ads, as the David against the State "Yes" lobby’s Goliath. In many ways the film is, and should be, almost anti-dramatic -- the occasional riot or threat scene aside, most of the action takes place in meeting rooms, living rooms or small TV studios as Bernal pitches his ideas to the willfully uncomprehending “suits.” And while he finds an unexpected idealism buried under layers of marketing pragmatism, the challenge is often to make the decision-makers see that while the topics they’re dealing in are of epic, life-or-death, historic importance, sometimes the only way to gain majority attention is with a catchy jingle. Never exaggerating or overdramatizing the story, but bringing it to vibrant, authentic life, Larrain pulls off a truly impressive feat in not just making an engaging film about an advertising campaign for an election, but in making an ordinary, everyday hero of a marketing guy who made the word “No” into a positive and, almost inadvertently, helped change the world. [Read our Cannes 2012 review]

Upstream Color”
If you haven’t slipped under the shimmery, hypnotic spell of Shane Carruth’s “Upstream Color” yet, we can only urge you to do so without delay. Without doubt one of the best value films we’ve seen all year -- purely in terms of how long after it ends you still can feel the lasting sustain of its melancholic, wondering, questioning chords -- it’s as unique an experience as we hope to have at the movies all year, any year. But what’s perhaps most remarkable about it is the precision with which it creates such a lyrical story -- Carruth’s frightening braininess and preoccupation with the cleanliness of mathematical logic are here in spades, and yet that’s all set in service of an agenda that’s far more about the indefinable mysteries of love and connection. Boasting a labyrinthine, impressionistic plot that you can either get hung up on the details of or allow wash over you in a haze of fragmentary images and evocative soundtrack details (we’re more for the latter course, but both work out just fine), it’s a prime example of a film that many will find frustrating in its opacity, but that brings a tenfold return on investment for those willing to let themselves be borne along by its currents. Stunningly shot, evocatively scored and perfectly performed by Carruth himself and actress/director Amy Seimetz, “Upstream Color” is a remarkable, enigmatic love story that can’t be faulted for giving us no easy answers when the questions it’s brave and ambitious enough to ask are this massive. It’s a film set at the edge of everything, where reason becomes awe and where the inexplicable somehow makes a resonant kind of sense, and it’s as beautiful and infinitely detailed as a fractal image. It’s a work of wonder, and it’s wonderful. [Read our Sundance 2013 review]

Before Midnight
Ethan Hawke has been fond of saying that "Before Midnight" is the conclusion to the lowest-grossing trilogy in the history of motion pictures, which makes us wonder just how much the "Police Academy" movies made. Hawke's statement also both heightens and diminishes the colossal accomplishment of these three amazing films. Richard Linklater's "Before Sunrise" seemed like something of a lark, a charmingly experimental love story co-conceived by its two leads (Hawke and Julie Delpy) that was so miniaturized in size that it could have been the final word on whatever it was the three of them were trying to say (something about emotionally messy connections and the kind of impromptu way that two people can fall in love). The sequel, "Before Sunset," was more technically ambitious and emotionally raw – it unfolded almost in real time, like the most achingly beautiful episode of "24" you could ever imagine (it also has one of the great final lines in the history of movies). But somehow "Before Midnight" manages to blow them all away – this is the love-struck couple in middle age, when things have become thorny and complicated and sometimes unbearable. That Linklater, Delpy and Hawke are able to pull this off at all is kind of incredible, but the real magic lies in the way that the movie never feels like a grind; you may squirm but you never want to leave your seat. The air of romanticism that's braided through these movies still remains, but it's been dulled and worn down by time. After watching "Before Midnight" it's hard to get into something like "Iron Man 3" that's all dazzle, no soul -- so it may be the conclusion (for now) to the lowest-grossing movie trilogy of all time, but "Before Midnight" is undoubtedly one of the most creatively successful. [Read our Sundance 2013 review]

The Act of Killing"
We left the screening of Joshua Oppenheimer’s “The Act of Killing” trembling and dazed, and trying hard to cast around for the right superlatives to attach to what we had just experienced. The fact is the film is an extraordinarily disturbing and provocative watch, occasionally almost psychologically unbearable to invest in, and yet at the same time completely impossible to tear your attention from, and we’re very glad it’s starting to get the kind of attention and distribution it deserves. We should warn you, it’s not for the fainthearted in its depiction of a side of human nature so dark it's normally impossible to detect, and of a genocide rendered all the more horrifying for being so casually acknowledged, it isn’t in any way at all an easy experience. It is however, profoundly intelligent, narratively inventive, challenging and thought-provoking and almost impossibly revealing as to how depraved and corrupted a person can become within a depraved and corrupted society. But it’s not simply bleak, it does chart an incredible, if incremental change in its lead character that a lesser film would paint in simpler, brighter colors to end on a note of hope. “The Act of Killing” is not that film, it’s gone too far down the rabbit hole for any such pat conclusions -- there may be catharsis here, but there is no redemption because some sins are simply too soul-staining -- but it’s a voyage deep into the heart of darkness that we will never be able to forget. [Read our Berlin 2013 review]

Mud
There have been countless attempts recently to depict a hardscrabble, low-income life in an attempt to replicate the "Southern Gothic" aesthetic beautifully depicted by authors like Mark Twain and Tennessee Williams. The problem is that most of these endeavors (everything from TV's "True Blood" to February's "Twilight" riff "Beautiful Creatures") come across as campy, soulless approximations, all snarled cartoony accents and loopy, moss-draped sets. Jeff Nichols' "Mud," his third and most assured feature film, never feels like a put-on. Everything is slightly heightened – from the titular character (played with a kind of rattlesnake slipperiness by Matthew McConaughey), a man encased by self-styled mythologizing and a code of ethics that doesn't extend to killing gangsters, to the way Nichols' camera glides glacially along the river – but that's because life in the south is heightened too, everything is sweaty and sticky and slightly rusty. At its heart, though, "Mud" is a coming-of-age story, one profoundly interested in the things that fascinate in youth – young romance, shoot-outs, and the seemingly Herculean task of freeing a boat from a tree. "Mud" is a movie that, like the river it's centered around, washes over you, a beguiling, charming, genuine Southern-fried treat (without all the calories). [Read our review]

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69 Comments

  • jw | October 12, 2013 1:24 PMReply

    great list. a lot i haven't seen but my top 5 is currently: The Act of Killing, Upstream Color, Blue Jasmine, To the Wonder, Frances Ha (and Sightseers if that gets counted as this year)

  • jimmy | October 1, 2013 8:58 AMReply

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  • Corey | September 4, 2013 7:23 PMReply

    Do us all a favor and maybe in your movies reviews, tell us what the movie is about you turd! No one reading this is going to have any idea what these movies are about. Over laden with your slick wording and cheesy descriptions of what the directors were "trying to do" we dont care. tell us about the movie....thats all thats it.

  • Paxton | June 30, 2013 1:06 PMReply

    Only God Forgives is one of the most bold and daring films this year (I'm surprised it at least didn't make the honorable mentions list). No one even fought over it?

  • tyrannosaurus max | July 8, 2013 5:10 AM

    Let's hope God forgives the playlist for such an exclusion, because we sure as hell aren't going to...

  • Jake | June 21, 2013 1:39 AMReply

    Maybe I missed it (only skimmed this article) but what about The Sapphires?

  • Aasif Faiz | June 20, 2013 11:57 AMReply

    what about Stoker, i thought it was a stunning film

  • Miles Valentine | June 18, 2013 12:18 PMReply

    GIMME THE LOOT

  • maribeth hendrickson | June 14, 2013 2:33 PMReply

    No one has mentioned WHAT MAISIE KNEW. It's an extraordinary and sensitive depiction of a young girl's responses to the petty, immature, vitriolic relationships she sees between her divorced parents and then between each of them and their new lovers. Those subtle and perceptive reactions are almost always played out on her incredibly expressive face. Her words are spare and unnecessary given her magnificent acting talent. What comes through clearly is the emotional devastation caused by careless, narcissistic adults whose painful impact on their children is not even noted.

  • maribeth hendrickson | June 14, 2013 2:23 PMReply

    No one has mentioned WHAT MAISIE KNEW. It's an extraordinary and sensitive depiction of a young girl's responses to the petty, immature, vitriolic relationships she sees between her divorced parents and then between each of them and their new lovers. Those subtle and perceptive reactions are almost always played out on her incredibly expressive face. Her words are spare and unnecessary given her magnificent acting talent. What comes through clearly is the emotional devastation caused by careless, narcissistic adults whose painful impact on their children is not even noted.

  • maribeth hendrickson | June 14, 2013 2:22 PMReply

    No one has mentioned WHAT MAISIE KNEW. It's an extraordinary and sensitive depiction of a young girl's responses to the petty, immature, vitriolic relationships she sees between her divorced parents and then between each of them and their new lovers. Those subtle and perceptive reactions are almost always played out on her incredibly expressive face. Her words are spare and unnecessary given her magnificent acting talent. What comes through clearly is the emotional devastation caused by careless, narcissistic adults whose painful impact on their children is not even noted.

  • Anonymous | June 10, 2013 8:25 PMReply

    Most Anticipated Movies:
    This Is The End
    Man of Steel
    World War Z
    The Heat
    Despicable Me 2
    Much Ado About Nothing
    Pacific Rim
    Red 2
    The Wolverine
    Elysium
    Kick-Ass 2
    Monsters University
    Thor: The Dark World
    Inside Lleywn Davis
    Ender's Game
    Gravity
    Runner, Runner
    The World's End
    The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
    Riddick
    Captain Phillips
    Delivery Man
    The Bling Ring
    The Way, Way Back
    Turbo
    Planes
    Last Vegas

  • Anonymous | June 10, 2013 8:05 PMReply

    Best:
    Mud
    Iron Man 3
    Star Trek Into Darkness
    Oz: The Great and Powerful
    Stories We Tell
    The Croods
    The Place Beyond The Pines
    Stoker
    Pain & Gain

    So-So:
    42
    Spring Breakers
    Oblivion
    Jack the Giant Slayer

    Worst:
    After Earth
    The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

  • Simon Opitz | June 10, 2013 4:26 PMReply

    Place Beyond The Penis, which is my most hated film of the year, and no Spring Breakers? come on.

  • Ben Kingsley | July 20, 2013 10:13 PM

    You sound like you have awful taste :(

  • Kenny Orvinets | June 11, 2013 2:03 PM

    It's Place Beyond The ''Pines'' not ''Penis''

  • Nick Ondras | June 9, 2013 8:50 PMReply

    "Side Effects" is a great movie -- twisty, creepy, and all sorts of uncomfortable. Career bests from Mara and Jude Law. Not since "Looper" have I seen a script so air-tight and bulletproof, and -- paired with Soderbergh's usual flair for muddy, vacuum-sealed directing -- not even the haywire nature of the third act is enough to derail "Side Effects". Hell, it might ultimately even make it what it is. Ditto "Spring Breakers". A truly exciting, DIFFERENT party film.

  • Anton | July 4, 2013 3:46 PM

    What. Looper has a fuckin terrible script. In terms of logic, at least. I knot that 'suspension of disbelief' stuff, but ohmygod, you have to completely turn your brains off to ignore the stupidity.

  • Nick Ondras | June 9, 2013 8:51 PM

    "To the Wonder" and "Pines" are my favorites of the year so far. Great list regardless.

  • Ssssppprrriiiiinnnnng Bbbbbbrrrrreaaaakkkkkk | June 8, 2013 3:10 PMReply

    Spring Breakers
    This is the End
    Oz the Great and Powerful
    Mud
    The Iceman

  • DomizianoA | June 7, 2013 7:03 PMReply

    Ok, i appreciate this great eye to all this new wave of cinema and in fact i have loved so many, but, i am very disappointed that anyone has even mentioned "The Company you Keep" a film from Robert Redford, i found touching and important despite its (few) flaws! Julie Christie's performance was exceptional and should be considered for Awards, she's always mesmerizing, whatever she does, and, we owe her a lot! For example, Sally Potter, who was able in 1983 to make her very first film an International (feminist) sensation just thanks to the presence and the work of Christie, in it! Or Sarah Polley whom became a terrific director thanks to Christie's work in "Away from Her" for whom she should have won the Oscar! I am sorry, but Cotilliard lip synching and made up to perfection by the best costume designer and make up artists was nothing next to Christie's understated, chilling, complex and ultimately surprising, Fiona in Polley's acclaimed film debut! And, "The Company you Keep" was touching, simple, and, far more important than many others you listed, especially Derek Cianfrance's new film "Beyond the Pines" really muddled, tedious , and, so wanna be Hollywood, without even getting close, a true disappointment(note that I loved and adored "Blue Valentine")! I loved then Sally Potter's "Ginger and Rosa", i loved Sarah Polley's new genius in "Story we Tell" a real study in depth, and, a never ending surprise of observation, i loved "To the Wonder", i liked very much "The Hunt" by Thomas Vinterberg, adored "Hide your smiling Faces" (let's hope this formidable director doesn't sell out to Hollywood any time too soon, like too many others!), and liked both "Blue Bird" and David Gordon Green's finally finding clearly his filmmaking best in "Prince Avalanche"! I liked Shane Carruth's "Upstream Color" truly brilliant, and Ozon's extraordinary "In the House". "Frances Ha" was stylish, but i would not include this in the list of best films of the year! However.. "The Gustibust not disputandum est" they used to say in ancient Rome! Now, not one, one single mention for "The East"? Uhm...
    Oh thank you for mentioning "Ain't them Bodies Saint", and, "No" 2 examples of brave Cinema also!
    But, please, again i am shocked this attention to "A place beyond the Pines" a truly bad film and not a mention for "The Company you Keep" and "The East"! That truly disappoints me!
    And, I'd rather not comment a few other choices..
    Oh, i must say, for all of those like me who love Ryan Gosling and great cinema.. Just wait for "Only God Forgives" a sensational film! Terrific, and Scott Thomas also shall be back to Awards with this turn! It would be great to have Scott Thomas, Julie Christie and Brit Marling all nominated!
    And Ryan Gosling, back on too, for "Only God Forgives"! I hope reason will finally come back!
    One mention for the worst film: "The Great Gatsby" followed by "Star Trek". Ewwww!!!!

  • Nick Ondras | June 9, 2013 8:53 PM

    Absolutely with you on "The East". Looking forward to it greatly. "OGF" and "The Bling Ring" are my most-anticipated this summer.

  • DomizianoA | June 7, 2013 7:13 PM

    Sorry... a few "typo's" I meant: I am very disappointed that nobody has even mentioned "The Company you Keep".. I forgot to mention that Sally Potter's exceptional first film (just finally out in Blue Ray), and, starring an everlasting Icon, such as Julie Christie, was called "The Gold Diggers" (1983 and it was shot in Iceland, believe it or not!).
    Also, i am sorry, i meant.. "Away from Her" for which Christie should have won the Oscar, of course!
    And finally, Sarah Polley, WHO has became such a terrific director.. of course! Again, I apologize for my mistakes! Thank you for reading through them!

  • Tyrannosaurus Max | June 6, 2013 9:14 PMReply

    I know it's not really 'out' yet but guyyyyysss c'mon, ONLY GOD FORGIVES!!!!
    and I'm not just blowing smoke out of my ass, I was in France last week and actually got to see it and I can't believe the reaction it's gotten so far. Damn good film.

  • Daniel Delago | June 6, 2013 6:32 AMReply

    Good list, Indiewire! 'The Place Beyond the Pines' was the most frustrating disappointment of the year. After Ryan Gosling exits the film, the story meanders into melodramatic garbage. The third act with the teens is horrible. I kept looking at my watch. The worst performance was the kid who played Bradley Cooper's son. It was a cheesy 'Brando' impression that didn't work.

    So glad you didn't list 'Spring Breakers.' That film is just sexploitation of Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens. Sure, they look good in a bikini but the film was paper thin. It was more like a music video.

    'Mud' is excellent by the way. Also, Shane Carruth's 'Upstream Color' is brilliant. Looking forward to seeing 'Frances Ha' this weekend and reviewing it. Cannes Film Festival showcased some amazing indies too. You gotta love the French, they have the best taste in art films.

  • Susan | June 5, 2013 5:57 PMReply

    I cannot believe that you thought Avalanche was good. It was terrible and terribly boring. I saw it at Tribeca and people couldn't wait to get out. You should be embarrassed for including it on this list. Really horrible.

    How about HARMONY LESSONS? By far, the best film I saw at Tribeca. Brilliantly filmed and quite surprising. Amazing! Try to see it.

  • Bob Aloo | June 5, 2013 3:58 PMReply

    Sally Potter's Ginger & Rosa; François Ozon's In The House; Pablo Berger's Blancanieves; and Cristian Mungiu's Beyond The Hills.
    I agree, keep it to what was actually released this year and make a separate article about the best from film festivals this year. Two separate beasts.

  • Bob Aloo | June 5, 2013 3:58 PMReply

    Sally Potter's Ginger & Rosa; François Ozon's In The House; Pablo Berger's Blancanieves; and Cristian Mungiu's Beyond The Hills.
    I agree, keep it to what was actually released this year and make a separate article about the best from film festivals this year. Two separate beasts.

  • Bob Aloo | June 5, 2013 3:58 PMReply

    Sally Potter's Ginger & Rosa; François Ozon's In The House; Pablo Berger's Blancanieves; and Cristian Mungiu's Beyond The Hills.
    I agree, keep it to what was actually released this year and make a separate article about the best from film festivals this year. Two separate beasts.

  • Bob Aloo | June 5, 2013 3:57 PMReply

    Sally Potter's Ginger & Rosa; François Ozon's In The House; Pablo Berger's Blancanieves; and Cristian Mungiu's Beyond The Hills.
    I agree, keep it to what was actually released this year and make a separate article about the best from film festivals this year. Two separate beasts.

  • Bob Aloo | June 5, 2013 3:57 PMReply

    Sally Potter's Ginger & Rosa; François Ozon's In The House; Pablo Berger's Blancanieves; and Cristian Mungiu's Beyond The Hills.
    I agree, keep it to what was actually released this year and make a separate article about the best from film festivals this year. Two separate beasts.

  • Bob Aloo | June 5, 2013 3:55 PMReply

    Sally Potter's Ginger & Rosa; François Ozon's In The House; Pablo Berger's Blancanieves; and Cristian Mungiu's Beyond The Hills.
    I agree, keep it to what was actually released this year and make a separate article about the best from film festivals this year. Two separate beasts.

  • Bob Aloo | June 5, 2013 3:55 PMReply

    Sally Potter's Ginger & Rosa; François Ozon's In The House; Pablo Berger's Blancanieves; and Cristian Mungiu's Beyond The Hills.
    I agree, keep it to what was actually released this year and make a separate article about the best from film festivals this year. Two separate beasts.

  • Bob Aloo | June 5, 2013 3:55 PMReply

    Sally Potter's Ginger & Rosa; François Ozon's In The House; Pablo Berger's Blancanieves; and Cristian Mungiu's Beyond The Hills.
    I agree, keep it to what was actually released this year and make a separate article about the best from film festivals this year. Two separate beasts.

  • Bob Aloo | June 5, 2013 3:51 PMReply

    Sally Potter's Ginger & Rosa; François Ozon's In The House; Pablo Berger's Blancanieves; and Cristian Mungiu's Beyond The Hills.
    I agree, keep it to what was actually released this year and make a separate article about the best from film festivals this year. Two separate beasts.

  • Bob Aloo | June 5, 2013 3:51 PMReply

    Sally Potter's Ginger & Rosa; François Ozon's In The House; Pablo Berger's Blancanieves; and Cristian Mungiu's Beyond The Hills.
    I agree, keep it to what was actually released this year and make a separate article about the best from film festivals this year. Two separate beasts.

  • Bob Aloo | June 5, 2013 3:51 PMReply

    Sally Potter's Ginger & Rosa; François Ozon's In The House; Pablo Berger's Blancanieves; and Cristian Mungiu's Beyond The Hills.
    I agree, keep it to what was actually released this year and make a separate article about the best from film festivals this year. Two separate beasts.

  • Bob Aloo | June 5, 2013 3:50 PMReply

    Sally Potter's Ginger & Rosa; François Ozon's In The House; Pablo Berger's Blancanieves; and Cristian Mungiu's Beyond The Hills.
    I agree, keep it to what was actually released this year and make a separate article about the best from film festivals this year. Two separate beasts.

  • adf | June 5, 2013 2:40 PMReply

    STILL TRYING TO MAKE UPSTREAM COLOR HAPPEN. SORRY, GUYS. IT'S NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN.

  • Rick Horne | June 5, 2013 2:37 PMReply

    No mention of Fruitvale Station? Not even in honorable mention?????

  • Sakul | June 5, 2013 8:17 AMReply

    What Maisie Knew!

  • MDL | June 4, 2013 10:16 PMReply

    You should only include films that have gotten a theatrical release. Some of these films won't get a release until 2014. Most critics take into this into consideration. As should you guys.

  • Evan | June 4, 2013 10:08 PMReply

    Favorites that I have seen are Mud, Beyond the Hills, No, Side Effects, and Behind the Candelabra. Still haven't seen as much as I would like but I guess that is what happens when you go to school in a small North Carolina town.

  • Glass | June 4, 2013 9:21 PMReply

    This has been a pretty exceptional year so far, shaping up to be way better than 2011 & 2012

  • Matthew Starr | June 4, 2013 8:11 PMReply

    The Act of Killing was released?

  • THOR | June 4, 2013 6:52 PMReply

    1. Vampire (2011)
    2. Laurence Anyways
    3. Silver Bullets
    4. Everyday
    5. The End of Love
    6. To the Wonder
    7. Something in the Air

    I haven't seen any movies not available on video.

  • bertrand | June 4, 2013 5:41 PMReply

    What Maisie Knew was the best so far.

  • Adam Frazier | June 4, 2013 5:34 PMReply

    Drinking Buddies, Rewind This!, Much Ado About Nothing, The Spectacular Now, Maniac, You're Next, Zero Charisma are all worthy of consideration as well...

  • Richard Harris | June 4, 2013 5:10 PMReply

    My Top 10 So Far:

    1.Sping Breakers-A+
    2.Pain and Gain-A+
    3.Frances Ha-A+
    4.The Place Beyond the Pines-A+
    5.Mud-A
    6.Fast and Furious 6-A
    7.Iron Man 3-A
    8.The Kings of Summer-A-
    9.Behind the Candelabra-A-
    10.Stories We Tell-A-

  • Pat | June 4, 2013 4:38 PMReply

    Best so far (released): Frances Ha, Blancanieves, Lore, Mud, Molly Maxwell, The Ghosts in Our Machine, Hannah Arendt (counting Stories We Tell as 2012)
    Best from fests/coming soon: 15 Reasons to Live, Life and Crimes of Doris Payne, Muscle Shoals, Ernest et Celestine, 7 Boxes

  • wes | June 4, 2013 7:40 PM

    Oh man, I really want to watch Blancanieves!

  • Kiel | June 4, 2013 4:34 PMReply

    TO THE WONDER is the best film of 2013 thus far. Nothing else comes close.

  • Luke | June 4, 2013 4:05 PMReply

    What about Park Chan-wook gorgeously shot 'STOKER'? It features amazing performances from Wasikowska and Goode. It's a marvelous piece of character study.

  • Li | June 5, 2013 7:34 AM

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • Edward Davis | June 4, 2013 10:34 PM

    LOL

  • Laurence | June 4, 2013 3:53 PMReply

    LORE absolutely deserves to be in this list, and LAURENCE ANYWAYS absolutely deserves a mention, somehow only just now getting a US release. The latter is likely my favourite film of the year thus far.

  • Jamie | June 4, 2013 3:52 PMReply

    Mine Top 5 would be No, Mud, Beyond the Hills, Compliance and Behind the Candelabra. Reviews of all of these can be found on http://emptyscreens.com

  • DG | June 4, 2013 3:51 PMReply

    Best of the year so far- Upstream Color Most underrated- Stories we Tell Most overrated- Frances Ha

  • thislalife | June 4, 2013 3:48 PMReply

    Why don't you include some movies that civilians can see in theaters. Dayuum have these movies won't come out until the Fall

  • Nathan Duke | June 4, 2013 3:47 PMReply

    Overall, a decent list - but I'd certainly add "To the Wonder" and "Side Effects" to that list and remove "Upstream Color," which I believe is hands down the most overrated film of the year so far.

  • Ignacio | June 4, 2013 3:43 PMReply

    Side Effects is an underrated movie , there's something strange about that movie, that grabs your attention in a unsettling way. Rooney Mara gave quite a performance, and despite the seemingly cheesy turn towards erotic thriller territory, it's a movie that demands more that one viewing.

  • AndyB | June 5, 2013 11:51 AM

    So you can watch the lesbian makeout scenes? It's a thriller without thrills that looks like a TV movie and tries to portray it has something more deep and meaningful to say (in this case about overprescribing medications). I'm glad 'Candelabra' finally shook Soderbergh out of the warmed over TV movie phase he's been in since "Che".

  • AndyB | June 5, 2013 11:51 AM

    So you can watch the lesbian makeout scenes? It's a thriller without thrills that looks like a TV movie and tries to portray it has something more deep and meaningful to say (in this case about overprescribing medications). I'm glad 'Candelabra' finally shook Soderbergh out of the warmed over TV movie phase he's been in since "Che".

  • Wes | June 4, 2013 3:37 PMReply

    Upstream Color is my favorite so far. Trance is the worst movie I've seen in a long time.

  • ART | June 4, 2013 4:04 PM

    I agree about "Trance". I still makes me mad when I think about it. I liked very much "Klip" by Maja Milos, Matias Pineiro's "Viola", the Uruguayan "So Much Water" and the documentary "Leviathan" (probably most of them came out in 2012 in the US). Oh, and guys? Way to be a tease about "Man of Steel".

  • James | June 4, 2013 3:53 PM

    Completely agreed on both counts. UC knocked my socks off. I saw Trance with Danny Boyle in attendance to talk about it afterward, and I still wish I had skipped it (though he is a really cool guy and a very gracious interviewee). Terrible film. Enough with the big dumb Shyamalanian plot twists already.

  • liz | June 4, 2013 3:35 PMReply

    Two films featuring the talented Jim Sturgess, missed the cut. Unfortunately, both have gone straight to DVD. The first film, "The Best Offer," also features Geoffrey Rush and Donald Sutherland and was directed by the esteemed Giuseppe Tornatore. It also features a soundtrack scored by Ennio Morricone. Beautifully shot primarily in Trieste, Italy, it centers around the Art Auction elites. There are so many layers and twists in this film, and the acting is extremely impressive. And then there's "Ashes," also featuring the great Ray Winstone, about a son who breaks his father -- who's afflicted with Alzheimers, out of a hospital for nefarious reasons. Both films should be given the attention they truly deserve.

  • cirkusfolk | June 4, 2013 3:20 PMReply

    Glad u included Place Beyond the Pines. So far it's my favorite movie of the year.

  • eduardo | June 4, 2013 3:20 PMReply

    I'd say Side Effects deserves a mention, but otherwise it's a solid list. Some of those I haven't seen obviously (Llewyn Davis and Blue for example). The only one I didn't care for was the hackneyed The Place Beyond the Pines.

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