I don’t particularly remember 2013 in terms of my top ten list. I remember the year feeling like it was weak. Which I must say about almost every single year initially, which has to be because I’m forced to assess as year as a whole just as its coming to a close rather than having had the proper time to let stuff settle as it ought to.
This year in particular I know has a major change to it, which is that it’s the second time ever alongside the first list I ever posted on this site that a surefire top ten film didn’t get seen before the year was out. The first year, technically the list got posted after the year was over and I wasn’t as efficient in seeing things as I became over the course of the decade. Which is what makes it even more stunning to me. Even by 2013, I knew that if anything felt like it had a chance at the top ten, I made sure to see it. And yet, I posted 2013’s list and literally the next day I saw the movie. It’s the most significant top ten moment for me out of all the lists. It won’t seem so major on paper, since I quickly went in and made it my #11 for the year at the time, but that’s the biggest alteration in the history of the lists.
Aside from that, most of the list is basically the same as I had it. My “#11” and #12 moved up and other stuff moved down, which is par for the course. It feels like a generally pretty solid list of ten, and there’s some cool stuff down below. Overall this feels like one of the more average years for the decade. (more…)
This has become an annual thing for me now. Before I get going on my end of year recap articles, I revisit my last year’s top ten list to see what, if anything, has changed since then. Pretty much how I do it is, I start totally from scratch and go back to everything I watched, and pull them out as if reranking them anew. And then I compare what I actually put in last year’s article.
My ultimate goal with a Top Ten list for a year is to not have major changes. Minor rankings are fine, like if something drops from #7 to #10, that’s fine. But if something drops out of the top ten entirely, and barely holds on to a top 20 spot, that’s shocking. That shouldn’t happen. If something pulls up to the top ten from the top 12 or 13, I’m not that surprised. The real goal in all of this is to have a list that will hold up in two, five or ten years when I look back on it. That’s a real Top Ten.
And last year, I can already guess there will be two major changes on the top ten. I’ll keep them ranked, but the rankings don’t matter so much anymore. I always say, after a year passes, the ranks don’t matter and it just becomes a list of ten. Because by then, it’s just a matter of which ten I choose, and not where specifically I’d put them.
So here’s my (REMIXED) Top Ten list of 2013: (more…)
And now for my favorite movies of 2013.
I think 2013 has to be considered the year of disappointment. Never have I seen so many movies that were so promising fail to deliver at such a large rate. Not to mention so much stuff getting pushed at the last minute. Last year, I had an easy list of ten slam dunk entries for my list. Even 2011 had about seven or eight easy choices. This year — I was struggling. I was really struggling. You can tell by my statistics. I only gave three movies 5 stars this year. I just wasn’t as in love with movies this year as I was last year. This has felt like the weakest overall year for film in a while. But, by process of elimination, there have to have been ten movies I liked the best. And this is that list.
The way the list works is, every year, I pick my ten favorite films of the year. I do this very deliberately, not picking based on what the trendy choices are, or what films wowed me in the moment. I think about this in terms of the long game, in terms of which films I’m still going to love five or ten years from now. My goal is to have as few changes as possible when I revisit this list any time in the future. One, maybe two changes over time isn’t anything crazy. But if I make a top ten list, and within two years, half of it has turned over, then it means I messed up my list.
The other thing I do is list an 11-20, so we can give love to films I really loved but wouldn’t put at the very top of my list. And then, to really get into all the films I liked, I provide a second tier and third tier of movies after that, to give as many examples as possible of films I really enjoyed. The total ends up being a top ten, an 11-20, and forty other movies that I single out for kudos each year.
So here are my top ten films of 2013: (more…)