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The New Yorker's Worst Of 2013 List Includes 'Before Midnight' & 'All Is Lost' "With 'Gravity' Close Behind"

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by Kevin Jagernauth
December 10, 2013 11:33 AM
38 Comments
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So, everyone loved "Gravity," right? A big slice of sci-fi with a space adventure and groundbreaking visual effects all wrapped up into one of the best cinematic experiences of the year, right? Well, not so much for the New Yorker's Richard Brody.

The film columnist dropped his Best and Worst of 2013 today and before we get in the latter category, it must be acknowledged that his top ten is pretty tight. He's one of the few standing up for Terrence Malick's "To the Wonder," which he ties in the top spot with Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street." It's also nice to see the love spread to Shane Carruth's affecting mindbender "Upstream Color" and David Lowery's "Ain't Them Bodies Saints." But when it comes to the survival movies and travelogues of 2013, Brody passed.

Trilogy capper "Before Midnight," Paolo Sorrentino's mostly well-received "The Great Beauty," and Robert Redford-on-a-boat-movie "All Is Lost" are all called out for "the greatest disproportion between the emblazoned ambition and the mediocrity of the result" with "Gravity" coming in "close behind (or ahead)." Ouch.

We'll sure you'll want to sound off, so hit the comments section. Top ten below and hit the link above to see Brody's full top 29.

New Yorker Best Movies Of 2013
1–2 (tie). “The Wolf of Wall Street” (due to embargo until December 17th, silence reigns for now) and “To the Wonder.”
3. “Like Someone in Love.”
4–5 (tie). “Computer Chess” and “Upstream Color.”
6. “Night Across the Street.”
7. “A Touch of Sin.”
8. “Blue Is the Warmest Color.”
9. “An Oversimplification of Her Beauty.”
10–12 (tie). “Inside Llewyn Davis,” “Sun Don’t Shine,” and “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.”

New Yorker Worst Movies Of 2013
Worst movies (those with the greatest disproportion between the emblazoned ambition and the mediocrity of the result): “Before Midnight,” “The Great Beauty,” and “All Is Lost,” with “Gravity” close behind (or ahead).

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38 Comments

  • Paul Russo | May 2, 2014 9:48 PMReply

    Never mind 2013, Gravity was one of the worst movies EVER. Honestly horrible acting, slower than snail sex pace, less exciting than watching beards grow, absolute zero chemistry, no plot to speak of (other than "ok lets get to the next space station!"), an unoriginal message (if there even was one), pandering to 3D CGI, and horrendous, horrendous dialogue. The ONLY thing that was even REMOTELY interesting was trying to guess how they did the zero/low gravity scenes. Every single person listed in the credits for this movie should publicly apologize profusely, refund all ticket money in triplicate (to also compensate for time lost), and then immediately dine on cyanide pills.

    But hey, that's just my 2 pennies.

  • Jennifer | June 3, 2014 5:12 PM

    You Sir, is what made watching this movie fun. Otherwise I would have never found your comment. I can totally relate to what you are saying. Thanks for this beautiful quote :)

  • bonney | December 13, 2013 7:20 PMReply

    good

  • jim | December 13, 2013 3:29 AMReply

    Gravity was awful and Bullock should retire. Shes a media invention.

  • prem | December 11, 2013 4:13 PMReply

    I'm glad he's breaking the common consensus that To The Wonder was somehow a failure. I loved it and think it exists fully within the realm of Malick's modern work. As for Gravity and Before Midnight, those films dont even interest me to see, so someone not liking them doesn't come as a complete surprise. I've found critical darlings like Gravity of late have often been massively overrated.

  • marchello | December 11, 2013 12:53 PMReply

    If Richard Brody preferred Bad Grandpa to All is Lost, Before Midnight or Gravity then he needs to either retire or the New Yorker needs to replace him. Or just omit the Worst list entirely...

  • MDL | December 10, 2013 10:35 PMReply

    I've defended Brody for his top ten but his 'worst list' is purely backlash reactionary.

  • jim | December 13, 2013 3:31 AM

    Suck my right nut fool. You wrongers muffin man. Yed I can. Damn. Stfu fool. I ruleeeeeeeeeeeee

  • ngchikiu | December 10, 2013 10:29 PMReply

    This is a clear sign of film critics that didn't see enough movies this year and are clearly picking the ones they want to see.

  • jim | December 13, 2013 3:32 AM

    Vat?? stfu fool

  • Eric | December 10, 2013 3:31 PMReply

    From now on, all movie critics who are going to do a worst of list, and not include the actual worst movies like Movie 43 or Scary Movie 5, need to change title fr worst to most disappointing. I'm all for seeing what the critics felt were the most disappointing, but to call them worst is just unreasonable. So critics, give us your best, worst, and mos disappointing, otherwise you're gonna look like jackasses.

    I think I would punch a critic in the face if they truthfully told me they enjoyed Movie 43 over Before Midnight.

  • Dylan | May 15, 2014 3:46 PM

    Before Midnight is easily one of the worst movies of all time. I want those two hours of my life back. It was terrible, absolutely awful. I would much rather watch Movie 43 over Before Midnight.

  • prem | December 11, 2013 4:16 PM

    The thing is, that people don't actually SEE the actual worst movies like Movie 43 and Scary Movie 5. They almost don't really count. It is PERFECTLY acceptable to rate a movie as WORST out of the ones that you actually see. I hate this modern consensus that people are bound to see very movie that is released. Yeah right.

  • Budd | December 11, 2013 8:15 AM

    Spot on.

  • Josh | December 10, 2013 3:26 PMReply

    Translation: "Please give me attention so I feel significant"

  • Dylan | December 10, 2013 3:25 PMReply

    Took the words right out of my mouth.

  • Rob | December 10, 2013 3:06 PMReply

    Douche.

  • jim | December 13, 2013 3:33 AM

    U momma dumby. Stfu b4 I makes u

  • BEF | December 10, 2013 2:40 PMReply

    While, I don't agree with them being the worst, I get why he'd include them if it didn't do much for him ... Honestly, if something that you hear is fantastic comes up short I'm sure you're gonna look at it more critically or harshly than something like "Grown Ups 2" which is something that would make you surprised if you didn't think it was just terrible ....

    I personally think "Gravity" has a lot of splendor, but also major shortcomings. It wouldn't be on my top 20 movies of the year, but I still think it's good. The "worst" is a little overstated, perhaps by the New Yorker, since he clarifies that it's films that fall short of their ambition. In that regard, I'd agree.

    PLUS it's someone's opinion ... there's no facts anywhere in top 10 lists, people shouldn't just seek validation of their own opinion via these. It's nice when some are different -- this one provided me two titles I've not heard of that I'll seek out: "Night Across the Street" and "Oversimplification of Her Beauty." That is something that top 10s are good for is raking through films and uncovering some for people. There's nothing to get excited about in a Peter Travers' list of "these films are most likely to be nominated for Awards."

    AND - in the same way that folks might accuse Rich of trying to get more clicks and views -- well so is Playlist by running headline about his worst films, not the hugely different list of best... Well, I take that back ... if they went with New Yorker puts To the Wonder at the top of the list for films of the year ... there'd probably still be 16+ comments since some people hate Malick so much.

  • Todd | December 10, 2013 1:56 PMReply

    The strongest list I've seen so far, and the article mentions a bunch more films that he liked. His definition of "worst" is much closer to "most disappointing".

  • gert | December 10, 2013 1:28 PMReply

    lol what a douchebag

  • Patrick | December 10, 2013 12:27 PMReply

    He's dead on about Gravity. An extremely impressive and dazzling film, to be sure, but I didn't care at all for Sandra Bullock's character, and I'm not sure if it was her performance or the lack of material. It was incredibly trite and lacking in depth.

    He is so far off base with regards to Before Midnight. I'd really like to hear what he has to say about that. I can't even really conceive of any criticism so detrimental to the film's merit.

  • Sean | December 10, 2013 7:06 PM

    I think it's dumb to comment on the look of the actress, complaining that it's almost a flaw to the film. The real problem is that Bullock's depressed mother character oh doesn't know some procedures shouldn't have gone to space at all, being a liability to others.

  • cineman | December 10, 2013 1:18 PM

    Problem with Bullock was she looked so botoxed she was more CGI-ish than the actual CGI which looked stunningly real

  • Marko | December 10, 2013 12:23 PMReply

    Huh. So I guess they really do own top hats and monocles over there.

  • A-man | December 10, 2013 12:02 PMReply

    "greatest disproportion between the emblazoned ambition and the mediocrity of the result"

    so on the money for Gravity. over-hyped and under-written.
    most of it felt like a video-game, only without the control, obviously.

    (Potential Spoilers, so be careful now.)
    any imagery was far too in-your-face with its message (Sandra Bullock floating around like a foetus in the womb is just too obvious) - the story wasn't gripping, so I couldn't care about her peril. and you knew she was going to make it to Earth anyway. Clooney coming back was obviously a ruse. and her reason to go back to Earth and "start living again" was all just too bloated and see-through. far too unsubtle.

    I think it might have been better if they didn't show whether she survived the landing - they NEVER should have showed the surface of Earth.


    Effects were great, yes.
    As a film though? Disappointment personified.

  • Glass | December 11, 2013 10:01 AM

    "I think it might have been better if they didn't show whether she survived the landing - they NEVER should have showed the surface of Earth."

    Thank goodness you just talk about movies and don't make them - this pussified, statementless approach is so lazy and boring. It's incredible that a filmmaker makes a studio film with a cool b-movie plot structure, and it drives people crazy that it isn't abstract enough.

  • a-man | December 10, 2013 10:10 PM

    Lou - Didn't even think I needed to mention that it was so obvious... That's one of the problems with this film.

  • Lou | December 10, 2013 3:18 PM

    The "Sandra Bullock floating around like a foetus in the womb" shot was a nod to 2001.

  • jonnybon | December 10, 2013 12:02 PMReply

    You have to be f*cking crazy to call this films the worst of the year. He may personally find them to be overrated, but there is no way he actually believes they are bad films. He just wants attention. Prick.

  • Tomincmh | December 10, 2013 12:02 PMReply

    I wonder if he's been hanging out with Armond White a lot recently.

  • Imy | December 10, 2013 12:01 PMReply

    It's no wonder people have disregarded critics in favour of user reviews.

  • Xander | December 10, 2013 11:59 AMReply

    Wow, so Richard Brody apparently has no taste. Before Midnight was one of the best films, not just of this year, but all time.

  • caro | December 10, 2013 11:38 AMReply

    even a Malick fan like me, i know that TO THE WONDER is not good

  • JD | December 10, 2013 12:07 PM

    Please, don't call yourself that.

  • jonnybon | December 10, 2013 12:00 PM

    @Christian - It was only festivals in 2012. All theatrical releases were this year.

  • Christian | December 10, 2013 11:57 AM

    And people who don't care like me know that movie came out last year.

  • d | December 10, 2013 11:47 AM

    and Malick fans like me loved it...

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