Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

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

Features
by The Playlist Staff
June 4, 2013 2:56 PM
69 Comments
  • |

Hide Your Smiling Faces
Apparently there’s no release date or distributor yet that we know of, but that would be a huge shame because the most arresting film of the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival was certainly “Hide Your Smiling Faces.” The feature-length debut of DP-turned-writer/director Daniel Patrick Carbone, ‘Smiling Faces’ definitely announces DPC as a bold new filmmaker to keep an eye on. A moody and atmospheric exploration of adolescents in rural America who unexpectedly have to deal with mortality when a mysterious death enters their lives. Plot takes a backseat to this beautiful, but anguished tale of teenagers struggling with emotions that are beyond their maturity. Unnerving and disquieting and yet sundappled and gorgeously shot, ‘Smiling Faces’ is something of a Terrence Malick, Michael Haneke and David Gordon Green bastard lovechild. It perhaps most resembles Green’s “George Washington” on the surface -- children exploring the nooks and crannies of nature while grappling with their own emotional issues -- but ultimately it is its own beast; a formidable piece of filmmaking and a stellar debut. [Read our review from Tribeca 2013]

Bluebird
Ranking movies can sometimes suck, but perhaps possibly just a slight hair behind "Hide Your Smiling Faces" as the “discovery of Tribeca 2013” is Lance Edmand’s striking and haunting debut, “Bluebird.” A former editor (he clipped together “Tiny Furniture” for Lena Dunham), Edmands opening bow is superb for several reasons but chief among them is that you would never guess in a million years that this mature and patient drama was a debut film. Centering on the interconnectedness of a tragedy that ripples out and touches two disparate families in a frigid logging town in Maine, the film not only boasts a carefully composed and preternaturally assured eye, it features some terrific performances by actors you may not know yet, but soon will. Sure Adam Driver from “Girls” and “Mad Men” star John Slattery are solid in their parts, but it’s the terrific trio of females in the film that are particularly remarkable including Amy Morton (Tony winner for “August: Osage County,” also George Clooney’s sister in “Up In The Air”), Louisa Krause (the bitchy, scene-stealing hotel clerk in "Young Adult"), and Emily Meade ("Fringe," "My Soul to Take"). Understated and subdued, the picture can remind one at times of David Gordon Green’s “Snow Angels” but as much as we love Green’s film, this simple and sometimes ambiguous film could arguably be seen as the less Hollywood version of a somewhat similar tale. No word on when this one hits in 2013, but it can’t be soon enough. [Read our Tribeca 2013 review]

Short Term 12
The highlight of this year’s otherwise unmemorable 2013 SXSW Film Festival, Destin Cretton’s sophomore effort snatched up the top prize at the fest. Chronicling the 20-something supervising staff of a foster care facility who have to navigate the troubled waters of a world filled with abused, neglected and discarded teenagers, this bruising drama is both authentic and heartrending. Centering on two staff members in a relationship who also have their own personal issues, the names Brie Larson ("21 Jump Street") and John Gallagher Jr. (HBO's "The Newsroom") probably don’t jump out at you when discussing some of the best young actors working today, but holy hell they are terrific, with Brie particularly impressing far beyond anything she’s done thus far. Opening later this summer, “Short Term 12” is worth your time and then some. [Read our review from SXSW 2013]

"Prince Avalanche
To many, David Gordon Green’s career is a head scratcher. He began as the heir apparent to Malick with his stunning debut “George Washington” and seemed poised to remain one of the most beloved indie filmmakers out there with movies like “All The Real Girls,” “Snow Angels” and to a lesser extent, the uneven experiment that was “Undertow” (which Malick himself handpicked him to direct). Then Green did what most assumed was go mainstream, with a string of comedies that included “Pineapple Express” and “Your Highness.” The reality seems to be that Green, like Steven Soderbergh, Danny Boyle and Gus Van Sant (three filmmakers he admires), has omnivorous taste and wants to try everything (and arguably his restless drives shows that he wants to try several things at once within the same movie). While many would call “Prince Avalanche” Green’s return to his indie roots, it’s much more than that, a melding of all his sensibilities thus far into something boldly idiosyncratic, humanistic and vital. The plot is a “Waiting For Godot”-like two-hander (starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch) about two at-odds-with-each other highway road workers spending their summer toiling away in the middle of nowhere while both nursing female troubles; ‘Avalanche’ is both hilarious, meditative and deeply full of life. Green’s best film so far? If not, damn fucking close. [Read our review from Sundance 2013]

Honorable Mention:

Obviously, there’ve been a few we've missed. Thomas Vinterberg’s “The Hunt,” starring an outstandingly good Mads Mikkelsen, is a film we love and it ended up on three of our Best Films Of The Year lists... last year, because we all saw it at film festivals. While we really admire it and encourage you to see it, we felt like we’ve given it enough love and decided to place some of these other picks first, but it just missed the cut (review here). The same can be said, to some degree, for “Ginger & Rosa,” “A Hijacking” and "The Attack," three additional films we saw last year at film festivals and were included on some of our year end lists (RP's, Oli's and Jess' lists, respectively.) The first features a stunning turn by Elle Fanning (her best to date, this kid is gonna be a Meryl Streep when she’s older); "A Hijacking" is a super tense drama about a cargo ship hijacked by Somali pirates; and "The Attack" is a gripping and fearless drama detailing a good man's unraveling after he discovers his wife was a suicide bomber. Also, something that arguably should have been near the top of our proper list is Jane Campion's breathtakingly good, haunting and moody crime thriller, "Top Of The Lake." Of course it was a seven part TV series, but don't be surprised if you see it on our individual lists at the end of the year anyhow.

Terrence Malick’s “To The Wonder” was too divisive for the whole group to include it in the main list. You can probably tell from our podcast earlier this year, some of us loved it, others hated it and some of just thought it was admirable, but not Malick’s most successful film. Other festival films we dug not making the cut included “The Rocket” and “What Richard Did” from Tribeca, and “Breathe In” from Sundance. Harmony Korine’s “Spring Breakers” is kind of an enthralling blast of music and visuals, but falls short story wise, so it ain’t on the main list. As uneven as it is, there remains plenty to love about it, including James Franco playing a white trashy Florida rapper and a defining Britney Spears cover/music moment. The provocative "We Steal Secrets: The Story Of WikiLeaks" is an essential doc as is “The Gatekeepers” which we saw at TIFF last year. And lest we break embargo, we won’t write any major details, but Zack Snyder’s “Man Of Steel,” (impressive and yet imperfect) is certainly is strong enough to merit inclusion here (note the sole blockbuster on this list).

As for the "coming soon" section, there are some films that we've seen at festivals and that will arrive at some point but don't have firmed-up release dates yet so we didn't add them, like James Gray's “The Immigrant," Jim Jarmusch's "Only Lovers Left Alive" and Jim Mickle's deliciously atmospheric, slow-build cannibal horror remake "We Are What We Are." From the festival circuit, coming later this year and also worth your time is “The Spectacular Now” starring strong performances from Shailene Woodley, Miles Teller and Brie Larson.

In Case You Are Wondering: Fought Over & Didn’t Make The Cut 
OK, what’s not on our list and why? Lots of us like “Room 237,” the documentary about Kubrick's “The Shining,” but some of us made the strong case that it’s like fan fiction gone wrong, or like being trapped at a dinner party with a nerd going on and on about something that’s interesting at first, but then makes you want to shoot yourself after a while. Plenty of us enjoyed the thrillers “Trance” and “Side Effects” but they are admittedly thin, inessential films with little long-term sustain. At best they are shiny baubles that you aren’t going to pack with you on a trip (or include on a Best of Year list). While some of us (OK, just Drew) think "The Croods" is the best DreamWorks Animation feature since "How to Train Your Dragon," the rest of us don’t necessarily think that’s much to write home about. While we love Cate Shortland, her sophomore feature, “Lore,” just felt somewhat unremarkable. The same can sadly be said for two auteurs, Olivier Assayas and Abbas Kiarostami. While there are supporters for both “Something In The Air” and “Like Someone In Love,” the naysayers on these films were much more vocal about the middlingness of both and beat into submission those who thought they were “a’ight.” Ramin Bahrani’s “At Any Price” features the best Dennis Quaid performance in forever and its last act is rather excellent, but the film is too uneven and unfocused for us to include here. “Shadow Dancer” is a decent espionage thriller, but again, not quite memorable enough to include in our main list. And while Joss Whedon's low-budget Shakespeare adaptation "Much Ado About Nothing" is hugely entertaining and outrageously funny (in the same way all things kissed-by-Whedon are), its cheap, DIY looseness just keeps it from achieving actual greatness.   


What has impressed you so far this year? What you are looking forward to and what do you think should also make the cut? Let us know below. -- Jessica Kiang, Rodrigo Perez, Kevin Jagernauth, Drew Taylor, Oliver Lyttelton, Cory Everett


Free Indie Movies and Documentaries    

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

    watch best Movies of Bollywood and Hollywood.
    so click on link Go to movies world.
    http://moviescoler.blogspot.com

  • 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.

Email Updates