Brian’s Top Ten Movies of 2013

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  1. Gravity: When Alfonzo Cuaron’s epic space film hit theaters earlier this year, James Cameron himself lauded every aspect. And it makes a ton of sense: Gravity is the best 3D movie ever released with a thrilling edge-of-your-seat mentality that marked the best moments of Cameron’s earlier films. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney aren’t given much to work with, but it doesn’t matter. The infinite space is the true star in this wonderful piece of work.
  2. American Hustle: After reading the cast list, you get the feeling that this movie is an actor’s dream piece filled with a lot of scene-chewing. But director David O. Russell keeps everyone in check with his story of conning, back-stabbing and stings in a truly based tale of a failed FBI operation in the 70’s called Abscam. The entire cast is perfect, especially Bale, Cooper, Adams and Lawrence who give Oscar-worthy performances.
  3. The World’s End: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright team up for one more journey in the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy. This time Pegg and Frost are in a bunch of old buddies that reluctantly team up to retry a pub crawl to end all pub crawls. It isn’t long before robots and aliens are involved, but underneath it all is a tale of childhood nostalgia and the sinking feeling that you can’t go home again that’s bookended by lots of action and laughs.
  4. The Place Beyond the Pines: At 140 minutes, this film feels like three plots in one all tied together. But the main focus of family, mistakes and regret growing up in upstate New York isn’t lost. Not to mention that Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper and newcomer Dane DeHaan give some great performances.
  5. Star Trek into Darkness: JJ Abrams hits gold again with his second installment of the Star Trek reboot. He’s helped out a ton by Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance as the ruthless and elusive Khan. Sure, it may not of been the best kept secret in the world, but the reveal kicked “Darkness” up a notch with action and intrigue.
  6. Thor: The Dark World: Second time’s the charm for the Norse God and Marvel Avenger. The action scenes are crisper, the plot better and the tease of the upcoming “Guardians of the Galaxy” is enough to keep you interested.
  7. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues: After a riduculous amount of promotion and hype, it was hard not to see Ron Burgundy’s return to the big screen as anything less than disappointment. But I will say this: the first hour or so matches the first film in terms of sheer laughs and requoteability (“chicken of the cave”, anyone?) Unfortunately the second half sags, including an over-blown, over-the-top-in-a-not-so-good-way anchorman battle in the park. If you can forgive that mess like I can, then Anchorman 2 is what it was in the first place: a fine funny sequel that nearly rivals the original.
  8. Pacific Rim: I knew I was on board with this movie after seeing a Jaeger swat a Kaiju with an oil tanker in the trailer. But after seeing it in 3D, I can confirm that Pacific Rim is a great bad-ass action flick on a very grand scale.
  9. This is the End: Seth Rogan and James Franco have a penchant for the wacky, weird, gross laughs (see: Pineapple Express) and they embrace it again in this doomsday comedy. But the real star of the show, besides the numerous cameos, is Danny McBride who does Danny McBride things and gives the biggest laughs of all.
  10. World War Z: Brad Pitt’s zombie-pocalypse chase thriller may not be the sprawling epic as suggested in the book, but it works on a smaller scale in what I hope will be the first of many installments. And given the horror show during production, it’s amazing a satisfactory product resulted at all.

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