Adventures In Celluloid

Film critic Dominic Corry celebrates, clarifies and justifies his love for all things film.

Dominic Corry: My top 10 movies for 2013

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Movie blogger Dominic Corry unveils his favourite films from 2013.
'Gravity', 'Iron Man 3', 'Blue Jasmine' and 'Elysium' have made Dominic Corry's 2013 top ten list.
'Gravity', 'Iron Man 3', 'Blue Jasmine' and 'Elysium' have made Dominic Corry's 2013 top ten list.

It's been a pretty chur year for movies, and choosing my favourites has been harder than usual. My top 10 leans slightly towards the popcorn side of things, not consciously. These are just the films I loved the most.

1. Gravity

A virtuoso exercise in precise plot mechanics and vertiginous thrills from director Alfonso Cauron, Gravity brought singular artistic flair back to the popcorn movie. This degree of filmmaking guile hasn't been seen in a genre movie since Peter Jackson let loose on The Professor.

Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in 'Gravity'.
Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in 'Gravity'.

2. Blue Jasmine

Some people like to say that Woody Allen is out of touch and his films have nothing to do with reality. I agree with the assertion, but I don't think it impedes his abilities to turn out great movies.

Blue Jasmine was simultaneously hilarious and devastating, and stands amongst his best work in my eyes.

Woody Allen's film 'Blue Jasmine' starring Cate Blanchett and Peter Sarsgaard.
Woody Allen's film 'Blue Jasmine' starring Cate Blanchett and Peter Sarsgaard.

3. This Is The End

I recently watched this ultra-indulgent gut-buster again and it affirmed what I suspected the first time around - that it's one of those movies that gets even better on repeat viewing. This gets the No. 3 spot on sheer volume of laughs alone - they outweigh any critical rationale. In many ways the ultimate culmination of the Apatow-verse, even though he has no credits on the movie.

James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and Danny McBride in 'This Is The End'. Photo / AP
James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and Danny McBride in 'This Is The End'. Photo / AP

4. Now You See Me

This magic-centric action adventure didn't prove popular with many critics, but it sustained a long-life in theatres here so some people must've liked it. I thought it was one of the most fun blockbusters of the year - a hoot from start to finish all the more refreshing for not being a retread of something else. Bring on the planned sequel.

Isla Fisher, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson and Dave Franco in 'Now You See Me'.
Isla Fisher, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson and Dave Franco in 'Now You See Me'.

5. Iron Man 3

Action movie legend Shane Black came back in a major way with this exhilarating treatment that put traumatic memories of Iron Man 2 to rest and easily stood up the scrutiny of being the first post-Avengers Marvel movie. Heck, I enjoyed this more than The Avengers. Easily bested Man of Steel and Thor: The Dark World as the superhero movie of the year.

Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark/Iron Man and Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts in 'Iron Man 3'.
Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark/Iron Man and Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts in 'Iron Man 3'.

6. The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Despite a late-arrving foray into Serious Town, this remains a winning and well-observed take on familiar high school social dynamics. The spirit of John Hughes hangs over the whole thing, in a good way, and the three leads (Logan Lerman; Emma Watson; Ezra Miller) are all amazing.

 Ezra Miller, Emma Watson and Logan Lerman in 'The Perks Of Being A Wallflower'.
Ezra Miller, Emma Watson and Logan Lerman in 'The Perks Of Being A Wallflower'.

7. Upstream Color

Shane Carruth's long-awaited follow-up to 2004's legendary head-scratcher Primer proved to be no less inscrutible than his debut work, but again, offered pleasures far beyond those bound by such petty notions as an identifiable plot. Upstream Color overflows with ambition and ideas - I wish there were more low-budget genre films like this.

'Upstream Color'.
'Upstream Color'.

8. The Master

Paul Thomas Anderson's hypnotic saga managed to provide an ample feast of a movie while also leaving the viewer wanting. All the Scientology-centric anticipation put undo pressure on the film, and distracted from its status as a quietly devastating character study.

Joaquin Phoenix in 'The Master'.
Joaquin Phoenix in 'The Master'.

9. Elysium

District 9 writer/director Neill Blomkamp still has my complete attention. He didn't deliver the follow-up of my wildest dreams with Elysium, but he did make one of the best action sci-fi movies of the last 10 years. Still, all the art-work released since hints at a film that was was tinkered with extensively throughout its prolonged development. I have complete faith that his next one, robot caper Chappie, will rule.

Matt Damon in 'Elysium'.
Matt Damon in 'Elysium'.

10. The Counselor

This perplexing neo-noir made it into my top ten on sheer audacity alone. While it was often difficult to discern what the film's intentions were amid all the platitudinal monologues, I was rarely less than utterly enthralled. Containing at least three instantly iconic set-pieces (two involving decapitation) and one already famously terrible lead performance, The Counselor is a cult classic straight out of the gate.

Michael Fassbender and Javier Bardem 'The Counselor'. Photo / AP
Michael Fassbender and Javier Bardem 'The Counselor'. Photo / AP

And just for good measure, here are my next 10:

11. Pacific Rim
12. Frances Ha
13. Only God Forgives
14. Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
15. Man Of Steel
16. Silver Linings Playbook
17. Django Unchained
18. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
19. The Wolf of Wall Street
20. Trance

* Agree? Disagree? What were your favourites of the year? Comment below!

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