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My Top 10 Films of 2013

I have compiled my list! Here are my top 10 favorite films from 2013. What are yours?


10. Frances Ha

Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig’s Frances Ha is a delightfully entertaining film about an aspiring professional modern dancer living in NYC. Frances is a real girl. She is unsure, curious, clumsy, funny, and self-deprecating. She knows exactly what she wants and won’t give up, but stumbles along the way. She’s genuine, and genuinely written. She’s flawed, but terribly awesome. I’d recommend this film in particular for women who are still navigating their way through their twenties.

9. Anchorman 2

If you’re wondering how such a goofy film made it into my top ten list, then you must not know me very well. Anchorman 2 is my number nine film of the year for many reasons, but mainly because it made me laugh almost the whole way through. This movie isn’t for everyone – but for those who loved the first Anchorman, I don’t think you’ll be let down. Just be prepared for even crazier, more ridiculous and random humor, and you’ll enjoy the ride.

8. Enough Said

James Gandolfini and Julia Louis-Dreyfus have amazing chemistry in Nicole Holofcener’s latest romantic comedy, Enough Said. These two make a wonderful on screen pair with a romance (and complications) that nearly any audience member could enjoy watching unfold. Every awkward moment they share is perfect.

7. This is The End

I don’t know if any movie tops the cameos in This is The End. I can’t really tell you more than that. You just need to see it.

6. Fruitvale Station

Fruitvale Station is based on the true story of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old man who was shot and killed by police at the Oakland, California, Fruitvale Bay Area Rapid Transit Station. The film details Grant’s final hours as he perseveres through the struggles and triumphs of an ordinary day. Directed by Ryan Coogler and starring Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer and Melonie Diaz, Fruitvale Station is a beautiful tribute to a man who lost his life far too soon.

5. Drinking Buddies

Best friends, long term relationships, and break ups. Drinking Buddies, written and directed by Joe Swanberg, is a romantic comedy starring Olivia Wilde, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick and Ron Livingston. It’s a spectacularly simple movie about a not-so-simple topic: Love, lust, romance and relationships. And what’s wonderful about Swanberg’s film is that it doesn’t fall victim to cliches or evolve as a stereo-typical rom-com. The viewer is left dangling, as unsure where the next moment will go as the characters themselves are.

PS – The film didn’t have a script, just defined plot points. Every scene was improvised. EVERY. SCENE. You should see Drinking Buddies for that reason alone.

4. Short Term 12

Short Term 12 is a devastatingly beautiful examination of vulnerability and hardship. Written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, the film is based on his short of the same title, also starring Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr., and Kaitlyn Dever. Amazingly written and wonderfully acted, Short Term 12 exemplifies how a stellar cast and intriguing story can create something that’s truly one of a kind.

3. The Wolf of Wall Street

If you can’t handle a lot of cocaine and sex, then Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street is not the film for you. But if you’re looking to watch something wildly hilarious and completely disturbing with an all star cast (Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margo Robbie and Matthew McConaughey) then go buy your ticket ASAP. 

Warning: Be prepared for profanity. The Wolf of Wall Street actually broke the world record for most ‘f-words’ in a film. FUDGE!

2. The Place Beyond the Pines

Director Derek Cianfrance (of Blue Valentine) has become my current idol – so to speak – in the directing world. His tactics and theories on filmmaking are compelling and inspiring. He seems to be a director whose sincerest goal is to create a real world with real people. The actors in his films aren’t performing – they are being. His stories are genuine and satisfying, and not a single moment seems forced. Aside from story, casting, and performance, the cinematography and editing of his work lends itself to a true sense of grit and authenticity.

Cianfrance’s film starring Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes and Bradley Cooper is a rare and touching piece about fathers, sons, mistakes, and fleeting moments.

1. 12 Years a Slave

Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave is not only one of the best movies of this year, it’s one of the best movies of ever. Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor as Solomon Northup, a free man who is kidnapped into slavery and forced to navigate the horrific world he is thrown into, McQueen’s film is both artful and terrifying. It’s difficult for me to describe how profound and important I think this movie is. If you haven’t seen it yet, catch it in theaters. If you don’t make it to the theaters, buy it and screen it for your friends and family. It’s something every American should see. 







Captain Phillips

Saving Mr. Banks

Blue is the Warmest Colour

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty


  1. Great list Julia. I plan on seeing Wolf of Wall Street this weekend, and 12 Years a Slave a week later. I wanna see Short Term 12 because of Brie Larson, and the fact you said that Drinking Buddies was improvised. Makes me wanna see that.


  2. Pingback: My Oscar Favs | J V V

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