My annual Top 10 list is always one of the most difficult things to sort through, especially in a year like 2013. It actually turned out to be a solid year for movies. While 2012 was "top-heavy" with a very strong collection of films in my Top 10, 2013 has been flooded with hordes of "good" movies. And in my opinion, none of this year's offerings have felt head and shoulders above the rest. I've finally made my picks are here are the Top 10 films of 2013.
Honorable Mention: Mud, The Conjuring, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, All Is Lost and Nebraska.
This epic sci-fi adventure couples groundbreaking special effects with a captivating story of human survival. Superbly directed and well-acted on all accounts, Gravity has all the makings of a satisfying movie experience.
Matthew McConaughey used 2013 to officially transform from rom-com heartthrob to serious actor with salient turns in both Mud and top-ten selection, Dallas Buyers Club. He and Jared Leto give towering performances in this true story of Texas renegade Ron Woodroof's battle with the pharmaceutical industry.
#8. Short Term 12
An eye-opening look at a foster care facility for at-risk youth serves as one of the year's most compelling and moving independent dramas. A debut effort from director Destin Cretton, Short Term 12 feels remarkably authentic.
Danny Boyle's unique style is a regular staple and it's in tip-top form with his 2013 mind-bending thriller, Trance. Deciding who's playing who and differentiating between reality and subconscious has never been so much fun.
Martin Scorcese's satirical and over-the-top examination of a stockbroker's greed and ambition is wildly engaging and laugh-out-loud hilarious. It's also worth mentioning that The Wolf of Wall Street includes a career best performance from supporting star Jonah Hill.
#5. 12 Years a Slave
This freight train of an Oscar contender is visceral and unsettling to watch, but even harder to forget. 12 Years a Slave is the real-life story of one man's quest for freedom in the midst of a slavery-fueled 1860s Georgia.
#4. About Time
Love Actually director, Richard Curtis, elevates his game with this delightful and charming tale of falling in love and discovering a new zest for life. With a mildly flawed, but still effective, sci-fi backdrop revolving around time travel, About Time is the year's most satisfying sentimental feature
Rush is a surprisingly entertaining and adrenaline pumping real-life story about 1970s Formula 1 racers James Hunt and Niki Lauda. Director Ron Howard returns to form with this memorable competitive sports drama.
#2. American Hustle
David O. Russell continues his dominance with this smartly written and witty con-man drama. American Hustle delivers the best acting ensemble of the year thanks to amazing performances from Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and the rest of its brilliant cast.
#1. Lone Survivor
I had to wait until its theatrical release in January to find my favorite film of 2013, but boy am I glad that I found it. No, it doesn't show some great character arc and it probably won't find its way to the Oscars, but Peter Berg's Lone Survivor is a breathtaking film about courage, dignity and brotherhood. The remarkable true story of heroism and honor is one that deserves to witnessed by everyone ... and I do mean everyone.