Here are my Honourable Mentions of 2013, movies that just missed the Top 10. They are not numbers 11 – 15; in fact they are not numbered at all. I’ve listed them alphabetically.
Surprisingly, 2013 has sprouted a considerable amount of quality movies. I wouldn’t have guessed it going into June or July, but by the end of the year, my ability to place one title above another proved to be more difficult than sitting through Kick-Ass 2. I deliberated including 7 titles in this year’s Honourable Mentions list, but due to my insufferable OCD I have rounded the number off nicely to 5 (which means 2 unfortunate movies just missed the cut that just missed the cut — I’ll leave their names up to your imagination).
Again, I want to point out that the following titles were released in Australia in 2013. And movies I haven’t seen will not be found here. Obviously.
I’m inclined to blame Reading Cinema’s poor video quality for the inclusion of American Hustle on this list. But to do that would be unfair. Or would it? The video jam marred the viewing experience, and by the time the movie resumed play I could only think about the parts I had missed. Had the picture run smoothly I might have been able to absorb its goodness. Yet I feel unjust for not giving Hustle a second chance. I just never had the time. I suspect that when the inevitable second viewing does come around, I will see this movie inch its way closer to that Top 10.
Here’s a tough one. Django deserves to be in my Top 10, but considering the sheer quality of movies that have been released since, I’ve had no choice but to push it back and back and back. It’s still solid, that’s for sure. I suspect one of the reasons why Django finds itself here, and not nestled among the exalted, is Jamie Foxx. I just don’t like him — not in Collateral, not here. I’ve grown accustomed to his performance, yes, but would I have preferred Will Smith? 100%.
If Catching Fire had delivered a tighter third act, with less contrivances and more ingenuity, it would have found itself in my Top 10. Hands down. The first two acts of this movie are so well written, so enveloped with hearty performances that when the Games finally came around, I felt less enthused and desired the performances to shine through the visual effects. The terror of the Quarter Quell quickly diluted into complicated narrative developments. Nevertheless, it’s an outstanding movie.
Man Of Steel has grown on me tremendously over multiple viewings. I’ve seen it three times, and after the third I’ve realised that there is more to this movie than meets the eye. The destruction seems less somehow — shorter and less… destructive — and it isn’t as senseless as I observed in my review of Pacific Rim. Henry Cavill is still a beefily well-cast Superman, and his emotional strain between Earth and Krypton shines through brighter on multiple viewings. The villains, too, seem to grow and mature into deeper beings. Zod, in particular, is given gravitas as a tortured soldier seeking only to protect the future of his broken planet. Are there missed opportunities? Plenty. But if any movie has improved over time, Man Of Steel does it with grace.
How can you not love World War Z? It’s the only zombie movie with a functioning brain, and it has zombies who have never been more ferocious or relentless. Performances are good all round, and the story is built on characters who aren’t stupid. They are thinking beings surrounded by unthinking beings, and the difference is the only thing that stands between them and infection. Many zombie scenes are clearly CGI, and even though I’m aware that this movie wouldn’t have been made without computer technology, I just wish the real, physical zombies made broader appearances. In the wide world of zombie flicks, World War Z shares the top with the Romero classics.