Top 20 Films of 2013 – Part Two: The Top Ten!


The Iris is proud to bring you our top ten films of 2013, as voted by our contributors. We kick things off with an American comedy that met our writer’s expectations…

10. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues

How could we reserve passing judgement on a sequel to one of the most quintessential comedies of the decade. Before we even stepped into the cinema, there was a slightly ominous feeling that we were going to leave disappointed and the to-good-to-be-true sequel would fall flat on it’s face. It surpassed the original. By the time the credits came I was wiping away LOL-tears and felt the need to join in the over-enthusiastic applause, as you do when a film fills you with giddy joy.

I was instantly filled with the need to see it again (and maybe at least 5 more times after that). It was hilarious from beginning to end, and even if not every joke was a hit, Will, Paul, David, and Steve sold everything extremely well. Carrel shines the brightest here with his new romance; making for at least two of the movies’ best scenes.

Oh yeah, and special mention needs to go to all those amazing cameos at the end. Even if some of it made for the least funniest moments in the film.

I’m biased because it made me want to jump for joy; but Anchorman 2 really deserves the praise.


9. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Another sequel which surprisingly surpassed it’s excellent predecessor, the second outing for miss Katniss Everdeen took its time to artfully centre around a predictable, but well done, political arc before pounding us into a picturesque heart-stopper, with the games kicking off and ending beautifully. Seeing this at IMAX may have slightly biased me, but it was every bit as great as compelling as the first. Bravo!

8. Silver Linings Playbook

Who knew a movie about mental illness could be so much fun! David O. Russell is really on a roll at the moment, and Silver Linings Playbook is his best movie. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence both give career-best performances. And for the first time in years, Robert De Niro actually gives a performance worthy of his former glories.

7. Prisoners

A tense thriller and an intense character in Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) make this film stand out from the others in 2013. The cinematography is also outstanding from Roger Deakins – one of the best in the business. Two daughters are abducted and one father, Keller, will go to any length to find them. – Reuben Young

6. Behind the Candelabra

A testament to how powerful acting is, and even though the script was far from weak, Matt Damon and Michael Douglas both carried every single line with exceptional performances. The nuanced acting from Michael Douglas was inspiring to see, and the story was every bit as superb. Humour is used to great effect here as is the overt sexual tones, only uncomfortable because of our preconception of these two magnificent actors.

5. Django Unchained

For all its faults (Quentin with an Australian accent? Really?), this was still the rollicking adventure film of the year. Fun, exciting, typically bloody and over the top, Django Unchained continues Tarantino’s reign of history revisionist pictures started with Basterds. While that film was slightly better, this still has all the trademarks we associate with the man’s brilliance.

4. Iron Man 3

Absolutely delightful script, well casted, lots of money = lots of explosions. Very entertaining. A fitting end to Marvel’s finest set of films to date…

3. American Hustle

A movie more about characters than plot or narrative. An ensemble film that manages to evenly apportion screentime for each of our characters enough without overdoing it. The fashion, style, soundtrack all bang on the money. Jennifer Lawrence steals every scene she’s in, overweight balding with a comb-over Christian Bale is mesmerising.

2. Star Trek: Into Darkness

JJ Abrams manages to deliver a sequel of epic proportions and cement himself (for good or bad) into the Trek universe. Quite possibly the most ridiculously guarded “secret” about Khan fuelled a lot of speculation but casting that aside this movie builds on the first the way good sequels should. It’s bold and enormous but also wears its heart on its sleeve and brings the bromance of Kirk & Spock to the fore. Best of all though, it’s bringing Star Trek to a new audience.

1. Gravity

As lonely and beautiful as a film as can, Gravity is a stunning culmination of a less is more approach. A decidedly minimalist blockbuster, the movie was the most tense and gripping film of 2013, showing that ‘absence’ can be much more powerful and anxious then the presence of anything scary.

If any movie released in 2013 is going to change the way movies are made, it is Gravity. Expertly directed by Alfosno Cuaron, the film shows us things we’ve never see on the big screen before. From the stunning 18 minute opening shot to the rousing and thrilling finale, Gravity never gives up its hold on you. Anchored by an amazing performance by Sandra Bullock and a perfect score by Steven Price, Gravity is a real game changer.


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