Flickering Myth’s Top Ten Movies of 2013

With 2013 coming to an end in just a few short hours, it’s that time of year where the the team here at Flickering Myth to reveal our picks for the very best cinematic offerings of the past twelve months.

As usual, the writing team here have put together individual lists of their personal favourites, which we’ve used to compile our overall selection for the Top Ten Movies of 2013. However, unlike previous years, we’ve made a slight change this time around; with most of our writers being UK based, we’ve always used UK release dates as the basis for our list, meaning that films from the previous calendar year have often made the cut.

This is something we’ve debated at length, and this time around our we’ve decided to go with UK release dates once again, but omitting 2012 movies from the final top ten (although you can see how that list would have shaped up further down the article). So, seeing that the majority of our UK writers are yet to see the likes of 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street, there will be certain omissions.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s our choices for the Top Ten Movies of 2013….

10. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Directed by Peter Jackson.
Starring Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom and Evangeline Lilly.

It may not have been a firm favourite of all of our writing team (see Anghus Houvouras’ feature on why it’s one of the most disappointing films of all time, for example), but the second instalment of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy – and his fifth foray to Middle-earth – managed to grab enough votes overall to just sneak into our list in tenth place. For comparison, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey placed 9th last year.

Read our review of the Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug here.

9. Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa

Directed by Declain Lowney.
Starring Steve Coogan and Colm Meaney.

The first of three British films to feature in this year’s list, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa saw Steve Coogan’s DJ making the jump to the big screen for an action comedy centred around a siege at the local radio station North Norfolk Digital. Joining Coogan in the cast were returning I’m Alan Partridge stars Felicity Montagu, Phil Cornwell and Simon Greenall, along with Mid Morning Matters’ Tim Key.

Read our reviews of Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa here and here.

8. Stoker
Stoker movie poster
Directed by Park Chan-wook.
Starring Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode and Nicole Kidman.

Written by Prison Break star Wentworth Miller, Stoker marks the English language debut of South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook, the acclaimed director of the likes of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy and Lady Vengeance. Inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt, the film sees Mia Wasikowska looking to get over the death of her father with the aid of Uncle Charlie (Goode), a mysterious individual with ulterior motives.

Read our review of Stoker here.

7. Star Trek Into Darkness (dir. J.J. Abrams)

Directed by J.J. Abrams.
Starring Chris Pine, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin and Alice Eve.

J.J. Abrams’ second – and final – outing with the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise before departing for a galaxy far, far away with Star Wars: Episode VII, Star Trek Into Darkness may have left fans divided, but it had enough support amongst our writing team to make it the only summer blockbuster to feature in our top ten this year.

Read our reviews of Star Trek Into Darkness here, here and here.

6. A Field in England (dir. Ben Wheatley)

Directed by Ben Wheatley.
Starring Reece Shearsmith, Michael Smiley, Peter Ferdinando, Ryan Pope, and Richard Glover.

A unique blend of historical drama and psychedelic thriller, British filmmaker Ben Wheatley delivered a visceral piece of cinema with his English Civil War-set tale A Field in England, becoming the second British film to feature in our top ten, and only narrowly falling short of a place in the top five.

Read our reviews of A Field in England here and here.

5. The World’s End (dir. Edgar Wright)

Directed by Edgar Wright.
Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, Rosamund Pike, David Bradley, and Paddy Considine.

Narrowly edging out A Field in England for a place in our top five is our third and final British entry on the list – The World’s End, which saw director Edgar Wright reuniting with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost for the final instalment of the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy.

Read our reviews of The World’s End here, here and here.

4. Only God Forgives (dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)

Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. 
Starring Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, Vithaya Pansringam and Yayaying Rhatha Phongam.

Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn and leading man Ryan Gosling topped our pick for the best movies of the year in 2011 with Drive, but their second collaboration – the Bangkok-set thriller Only God Forgives – has to settle for fourth place in this year’s countdown.

Read our reviews of Only God Forgives here, here and here.

3. Mud (dir. Jeff Nichols)

Written and Directed by Jeff Nichols.
Starring Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland and Reese Witherspoon.

Matthew McConaughey continued his career resurgence in style on again this this year, taking on the title role alongside young stars Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland in Jeff Nichols’ acclaimed coming-of-age drama Mud; a top pick for three of our writers, Mud just missed out on second place by the narrowest of margins.

Read our reviews of Mud here, here, here and here.

2. Rush (dir. Ron Howard)
Directed by Ron Howard.
Starring Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, Alexandra Maria Lara, Olivia Wilde, and Natalie Dormer.

Just edging out Only God Forgives as our second favourite movie of the year is Rush, director Ron Howard’s F1 biopic covering the rivalry between James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) during the 1976 Formula One season. Rush received a lot of support from our writing team, but it was still miles away from pole position when the final votes were counted…

Read our reviews of Rush here and here.

1. Gravity (dir. Alfonso Cuaron)

Directed by Alfonso Cuarón.
Starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney.

And so, our pick for the best movie of 2013 is Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, with the space-set thriller storming into first place by a landslide. Gravity topped four of our writers’ individual lists, and featured on another 16, which saw it comfortably taking the crown by the biggest margin since we began these lists back in 2010. Whether that’s a sign of how great Gravity is, or how average the competition has been this year, is open to debate.

Read our reviews of Gravity here, here and here.

Just missing out on a place in the top ten were…

11. Upstream Color
12. A Hijacking
13. Pacific Rim
14. Captain Phillips
15. Before Midnight
16. Behind the Candelabra
17. Thor: The Dark World
18. The Wolverine
19. Elysium
20. Oblivion

How the top ten would have looked if we’d stuck with UK release dates…

1. Gravity
2. Django Unchained
3. Rush
4. Mud
5. Zero Dark Thirty
6. Only God Forgives
7. The World’s End
8. Les Miserables
9. A Field in England
10. Star Trek Into Darkness

And our writing team’s individual favourites…

Gary Collinson – Gravity
Oliver Davis – Upstream Color
Trevor Hogg – Gravity
Luke Owen – Gravity
Ozzy Armstrong – The Spectacular Now
Kris Wall – Elysium
Thomas Harris – Short Term 12
Helen Murdoch – Rush
Scott Davis – Prince Avalance
Brogan Morris – Zero Dark Thirty
Stephen Glass – Why Don’t You Play in Hell?
Robert Spake – Cloud Atlas
Villordsutch – Cloud Atlas
Tom Jolliffe – Mud
J-P Wooding – The World’s End
Anthony Stokes – The World’s End
Anghus Houvouras – Gravity
Andy Naylor – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Martin Deer – Zero Dark Thirty
Luke Graham – Behind the Candelabra
Jackson Ball – Rush
Rohan Morbey – A Hijacking / Captain Phillips
Robert W Monk – The Great Beauty
Matthew Spencer-Skeen – Les Miserables
Piers McCarthy – Mud
Chris Cooper – Mud
Tori Brazier – Zero Dark Thirty
Paul Risker – Stoker

And our previous Top Tens…

2012 – The Dark Knight Rises
2011 – Drive
2010 – Inception

What are your picks for the best movies of 2013? We’d love to hear your thoughts.…

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  • sotton_k

    Stoker was a terrible film. World’s end was below par. Pacific rim was fantastic. Not sure exactly how your voting process works but I’m disappointed by this list from a site that I normally find quite reliable.

    • HolyFranchiseBatman!

      We all pick our top ten, films are awarded points based on placement. So it is a mixture of opinions. Stoker had quite a lot of support amongst our writers, and Pacific Rim just fell short of the top ten.

    • Villordsutch

      Pacific Rim made me so furious. I couldn’t believe that the man who gave us Pan’s Labyrinth and Cronos delivered us this dogs dinner. Del Toro clearly needed a new kitchen fitted.

    • Prongle

      pacific rim was absolute garbage with great CGI, what a waste