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Ten Best Lists: Film Comment Top 50 Crowns 'Inside Llewyn Davis,' Lists from Variety, Slant and More UPDATED

by TOH!
December 16, 2013 5:14 PM
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EARLIER: A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis of The New York Times have revealed their top films of 2013. In the case of Dargis, it's a top 16. Meanwhile, "I'm So Excited!" director Pedro Almodovar announced his ten favorite films of 2013, with "The Act of Killing" topping his list.

A.O. Scott:

1. "Inside Llewyn Davis"

2. "12 Years a Slave"

"Blue Is the Warmest Color"

3. "Blue Is the Warmest Color"

4. "Enough Said"

5. "A Touch of Sin"

6. "All Is Lost"

7. "Frances Ha"

8. "Hannah Arendt"

9. "Lee Daniels' The Butler"

10. TIE: "The Great Gatsby"/"The Wolf of Wall Street"/"The Bling Ring"/"Spring Breakers"/"Pain and Gain"/"American Hustle"

Scott's Top Docs:

1. "The Act of Killing"

2. "Stories We Tell"

3. "The Square"

4. "Let the Fire Burn"

5. "Cutie and the Boxer"

Pedro Almodovar:

Drafthouse Films A musical sequence from "The Act of Killing."

1. The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn & Anónimo)

2. The Great Beauty (Paolo Sorrentino)

3. Paradise: Faith (Ulrich Seidl)

4. Paradise: Love (Ulrich Seidl)

5. Blue Is The Warmest Color (Abdellatif Kechiche)

6. Todas las mujeres (Mariano Barroso)

7. Mud (Jeff Nichols)

8. Sister (Ursula Meier)

9. Todos queremos lo mejor para ella (Mar Coll)

10. Stockholm (Rodrigo Sorogoyen)

11. Metro Manila (Sean Ellis)

12. La herida (Fernando Franco)

Manohla Dargis:

16 favorites, in alphabetical order: "American Hustle" (David O. Russell), "Before Midnight" (Richard Linklater), "Behind the Candelabra" (Steven Soderbergh), "Captain Phillips" (Paul Greengrass), "The Counselor" (Ridley Scott), "The Grandmaster" (Wong Kar-wai), "The Great Beauty" (Paolo Sorrentino), "Her" (Spike Jonze), "Inside Llewyn Davis" (Joel and Ethan Coen), "Manakamana" (Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez), "Redemption" (Miguel Gomes), "Rush" (Ron Howard), "Spring Breakers" (Harmony Korine), "The Square" (Jehane Noujaim), "A Touch of Sin" (Jia Zhang-ke), "12 Years a Slave" (Steve McQueen).

EARLIER: 'Tis the season to list one's Top Ten Films. Critics David Edelstein (for Vulture) and Richard Brody (for the New Yorker) have released their respective lists. Check them out, below.

Richard Brody:

1–2 (tie). “The Wolf of Wall Street” (due to embargo until December 17th, silence reigns for now) and “To the Wonder.”

Ben Affleck and Olga Kurylenko in "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.”

(The rest of Brody's 29 (!) picks is here.)

David Edelstein:

Joaquin Phoenix in Spike Jonze's 'Her'

1. Her

2. American Hustle

3. The Act of Killing

4. Much Ado About Nothing

5. Short Term 12

6. 20 Feet Stardom

7. All Is Lost

8. Caesar Must Die

9. Blue Is the Warmest Color

10. The Wind Rises

EARLIER: Indiewire's chief film critic Eric Kohn has released his Top Ten of 2013 list. Check out his selections below; he elaborates at length on each film here.

Eric Kohn's Top Ten List for Indiewire:

Paulina Garcia as "Gloria"

1. "12 Years a Slave"

2. "Leviathan"

3. "Before Midnight"

4. "The Act of Killing"

5. "Blue Is the Warmest Color"

6. "Museum Hours"

7. "Inside Llewyn Davis"

8. "Computer Chess"

9. "Upstream Color"

10. "Gloria"

Fassbender, Nyong'o, Ejiofor in '12 Years a Slave'

EARLIER: Entertainment Weekly is teasing their critics' Top Ten Films of 2013 lists, with Owen Gleiberman and Chris Nashawaty previewing their top four picks (we'll update when the full Top Tens become available.) Check out their selections below. They've got pretty similar tastes.

Owen Gleiberman:


1. 12 Years a Slave, Rated R –12 Years a Slave is a suspensefully unsparing vision, with a violence that scalds, yet the film balances despair and perseverance, pain and transcendence. Steve McQueen’s agonizing masterpiece is the first movie to dramatize the experience of slavery in all its fear, madness, and horror—that is, in the terrifying intimacy of its brutality. (In theaters)

2. American Hustle, Rated R –It’s set in a late-’70s world of comb-overs, polyester lapels, and anything-goes amorality. Yet David O. Russell’s swirling, bravura tale of a con artist, Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale), who gets lured into the equally slovenly FBI sting operation known as Abscam has a resonance that’s thrillingly contemporary. It’s a drama of people drugged by their own desperation. (In theaters Dec. 13)

3. Before Midnight, Rated R –Love stories in the movies usually end before the most interesting part of a relationship even begins. But the third chapter of Richard Linklater’s beguiling romantic talkfest is a striking exception. (On DVD and VOD)

4. Fruitvale Station, Rated R –In the wee hours of Jan. 1, 2009, a 22-year-old African-American named Oscar Grant III was detained on an Oakland train platform, and before anyone knew what was happening, he’d been shot and killed by a transit officer. His death was a moral calamity—but it was also, as Ryan Coogler’s powerful film knows all too well, another blink-and-you’ll-miss-it news story out of the file marked “senseless racial tragedy.” (On DVD and VOD Jan. 14)


Chris Nashawaty:


1. Before Midnight, Rated R –Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy is the rare romance that feels like real life—heady, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful. Eighteen years after their first encounter on a train bound for Vienna in Before Sunrise, Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) are stuck in the sort of uneasy domestic routine familiar to anyone who’s ever been in a long-term relationship. (On DVD and VOD)

2. Gravity, Rated PG-13 –Not since Stanley Kubrick’s mind-blowing head trip 2001: A Space Odyssey has there been a film so alive to the awe-inspiring possibilities of cinema. The wonder of Alfonso Cuarón’s deep-space slice of 3-D eye candy is that it manages to feel both weightless and weighty at the same time. (In theaters)

3. 12 Years A Slave, Rated R – In 12 Years a Slave, director Steve McQueen tells the sickening true story of one exceptional man, Solomon Northup. Played with haunting grace by Chiwetel Ejiofor, Solomon wasn’t born in chains like so many others he meets on his nightmare odyssey. He’s a free man whose liberty is literally stripped from him, which somehow makes the excruciating absurdity of his fate even harder for us to wrap our heads around. (In theaters)

4. Fruitvale Station, Rated R –An unarmed 22-year-old African-American is shot and killed by a white transit officer. That this tragic incident actually happened in real life is horrifying enough. But what makes the moment reach deep into your chest and rip out your heart is how first-time director Ryan Coogler chooses to begin his film with this tragic coda. He gives Fruitvale Station a dreadful inevitability as he flashes back and bears witness to the final 24 hours of Oscar Grant III’s life, showing us the ordinary events that would end up being his last (On DVD and VOD Jan. 14)

TIME Magazine, Empire, Cahiers du Cinema, Sight & Sound and John Waters' Top Ten lists, after the jump...

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More: Critics, Awards, Awards, Awards Season Roundup


  • JAB | December 16, 2013 8:17 PMReply

    "Rush" is a perfect movie because it is a movie that has everything I love about movies. It has a great story to tell that it brought to vibrant pulsating life by a fine cast. The production gives you an experience every bit as immersive as "Gravity"'s. The action is great & the movie never slows down when it is off the track. It is exquisitely edited because it knows when enough is enough. I don't care for racing, but this movie is so much more than that.
    The almost too intense at times "Captain Phillips" & the gut wrenching doc, "Blackfish", rate a close 2nd & 3rd. Thank you, Dargis & Empire for giving "Rush" the love it deserves.
    (I haven't seen"American Hustle" yet.)

  • Teri | December 5, 2013 4:45 PMReply

    Spring Breakers was a waste of time, how it made anyone's 'best of' list is beyond crazy. On the other hand, I'm glad to see appreciation for Kechiche's masterpiece Blue is the warmest colour and Frances Ha.

  • frank | December 1, 2013 8:37 AMReply

    spring breakers is one of those movies you strongly love or hate.

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