Top 10 Best Movies of 2013

Now that we counted down the worst movies of this mostly disappointing movie year 2013, it's time to look at the fairly rare good movies that we got to see.

Just as previously told in last week's Top 10 Worst Movies of 2013 list, 2013 made it quite tough to spot really good movies.
That being said, there was a whole lot of movies that indeed had some potential but ended up being utter disappointments, of which some even ended up on our worst list.

However, looking at the bright spots, it's funny that most of the better movies in 2013 got released towards the end of the year. Picking up the pace with movies like The Hunger Games to mega blockbusters like The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, they actually did do a pretty good job washing away the bad memories from disasters like After Earth and others.

As mentioned before, this year we got to see, review and rate a total of 69 movies.
And while this is quite an astounding number, there of course are still many great movies that we couldn't manage to watch til now. Some of those great movies that couldn't be counted into this list are nevertheless honorably mentioned at the end of this Top 10 and you should definitely give them a watch.

Without any further to do, here are Invisible Kid's Top 10 Movies of 2013!

Simply judging by its extremely talented cast of actors, it's easy to see that American Hustle is destined for Oscar nominations.
With that said, it's a no-brainer that all of the performances in this crime drama are all top notch.
This goes even so far that there are basically no weaker or show-stealing performances to be found here, but just well cooperating highly talented (and Oscar nominated) actors doing their best.
Why then is it so low on this list?
Because American Hustle's strength comes from its superb acting rather than its story.
Despite being based on real-life events, American Hustle's story is nothing too special in its grand scheme. Sure, there are plenty of love- and crime dramas out there, but American Hustle too often just misses the chance to truely amaze and distinguish itself among other great movies in this genre.
Therefore, its narrative predictability prevents American Hustle to be the highmark that it clearly wants to be.
Nevertheless, the acting and sheer quality of directing alone grants American Hustle a spot on this list. 

Probably not really a "necessary" sequel, Despicable Me 2 nevertheless doesn't let up in terms of quality.
While some may argue that the lovable and funny Minions easily steal any characters spotlight in any of the two movies, there's no denying that Despicable Me 2 is a very strong contender for probably the most heartwarming and flatout just most entertaining animated movie of 2013.
Other animated movies like Disney's Frozen might fare way better in terms of driving forward animation technology or even songwriting, but it's Despicable Me 2, which beats all of them with its old-school cartoon comedy, quirky characters and simple yet entertaining story.
It's a perfect example of a movie that can be equally enjoyed by kids and adults.
The fact that Despicable Me got made by neither Pixar nor Dreamworks but fairly low-key studio Illumination Entertainment (which only released 4 feature film animations up till now) makes the success of Despicable Me even more noteworthy. 
It's a no-brainer that more sequels are already in the making.

Probably the most controversial pick on this list.
Despite bringing in a total of 1,2 billion dollars at the international box office, making it the fifth-highest grossing movie of all time, many audiences and critics had mixed feelings about Tony Stark's latest adventure. 
While not necessarily "hated", many people had issues with the reduced Iron-Man-action-screentime, the way the movie tied loose ends and most notably the big freedoms the movie took in displaying the villain Mandarin.
However, looking at Iron Man 3 from a action-blockbuster standpoint, all those issues can be brushed off as minor nitpicks.
In our opinion, Iron Man 3 might not be a perfect superhero flick that reinvents the genre, but it executed a well chosen theme to complete its great superhero trilogy by focussing on the man inside the suit rather than the Iron Man suit itself.
Although Tony Stark's possible return as Iron Man in The Avengers 2 indeed would drag down the impact of Iron Man 3's well round up "trilogy-ending" quite a bit, it's still the best superhero movie of 2013 (next to The Wolverine). 

For the full review click here.

The second part in the Hunger Games trilogy (or regarding the movies - quadrilogy), The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a movie that lives and breathes through improvements.
Taking a step forward from the foundation laid by its predecessor, Catching Fire successfully manages to explore potentials and interesting aspects of the first movie, that got previously only hinted at.
Not only did the love triangle between Katniss, Peeta and Gale get more fleshed out, but also the dystopian circumstances and intentions of other characters, and most notably the other Hunger-Games-contestants, got shed way more necessary light onto.
It all incorporates very well in Catching Fire's new theme of cooperative survival instead of competive battles.
And although the setup of the story putting Katniss in yet another Hunger Games tournament might sound tedious at first, the movie offers a good bunch of new dangers and exciting action to distinguish it enough from its predecessor.
Here's hoping, that this isn't the peak of Katniss' story, and that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay will up the ante even more.

For the full review click here.

Thrilling and emotionally unnerving. Prisoners pretty much snuck itself into theaters and gained only a fairly little amount of attention - and unrightfully so.
Focussing on the kidnapping of two young girls and their father crossing the boundaries of law to get them back, Prisoners often manages to make the audience think for themselves, when and why they themselves would cross the boundaries of law to help their loved ones, forcing them to switch perspectives on what's right and wrong in specific situations.
Even more intriguing than its maze-like, realistically told story of finding the kidnapper, is Hugh Jackman's performance as Keller Dover, the kidnapped childrens' father.
It's a mystery to me how his incredible performance could get left out so easily by any of the major award nominations in Hollywood, but anyway, that's another story.
Overall, with only the movie's length making the story occasionally run a bit dry at certain spots, this is only small potatoes considering what a well made and exciting thriller we are given.

Another exceptionally intense experience, which even got some Oscar nominations to boot.
Focussing strongly on the realistic showcase of merchant mariner Captain Philips' struggle against a pirate assault in the Indian Ocean, Captain Phillips biggest strength turns out to be its great sense of delivered claustrophobia.
Pretty much playing out like some sort of larger scale "bottle episode story" (if that makes sense), Tom Hanks depiction of Captain Phillips actively trying to cope with the Somalian pirate attack and later even finding himself in a dramatic hostage situation for many hours is very credibly acted.
It instantly becomes very clear, that not only is Captain Phillips a very intense and exciting story to follow, but it's most probably the way just how realistically acted and put together all the pieces of this movie fall into place (aka Kathryn-Bigelow-style).
Captain Phillips is a movie completely based on real-life events, and it definitely feels that way too.

Hands down, THE most underrated movie of this year.
Though it got quite a healthy amount of attention through its colorful and gorgeously created visuals, Oz: The Great and Powerful is more than just a graphical update to the old Oz story.
Different from misguided follow-ups to famous fantasy stories like Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, director Sam Raimi hit all the right notes with this prequel to Dorothy's adventure in the land of Oz.
Raimi's Oz movie is a suprisingly very heartfelt and creative tale that focusses not necessarily on "true" magic but rather what each individual's fantasy makes out of it and sees as magic.
Following this theme, the movie finds various very creative ways to show that the circus magician Oscar "Oz" Diggs (James Franco) uses simple everyday tricks in order to give people in Oz the impression that he really is the great magician "Oz, the Great and Powerful".
Though occasionally Raimi incorporates some unfittingly horror-esque elements that are simply a bit too harsh for a family movie, Oz: The Great and Powerful nevertheless remains a very moving and heartwarming movie about the wonders of magic tricks and what our innocent and unknowing minds make of it.
By any means, it does far more justice to the original Wizard of Oz movie from 1939, than the disturbingly horrible, actual "sequel", Return to Oz, from 1985.

Fittingly, the second part of Peter Jackson's movie adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit amps up the action and keeps a very dynamic pace, now that the journey to slay the Dragon Smaug has been properly set up last year.
Being full of visual marvels and great action set-pieces like the "barrel escape scene" and the battle against Smaug himself, it's fairly easy to overlook the fact, that The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug furthermore puts more effort into character development and giving each of them (even the side characters) far more personality. Therefore, narratively necessary tension between characters gets established to succesfully thicken the plot.
With only some shoved-in reminders that your are watching a "LOTR-prequel" and a pretty harsh cliffhanger ending, regarding large scale big blockbuster entertainment, there's barely anything in 2013 that could keep up with the sheer spectacle of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

For the recap review click here.

For some reason it's astoundingly hard nowadays for Hollywood to come up with really good horror movies. Most horror movie's of today's age rely far more on an overly big amount of cheap jump scares and gore than to establish a constantly unnerving atmosphere throughout the entirety of the movie.
Then, James Wan comes along and gives us The Conjuring.
Though it obviously took quite some inspiration from movies like The Exorcist and The Sixth Sense, these borrowed ideas don't end up as rip-offs but creatively placed, and well explained plot parts that fit surprisingly well into the entirety of Conjuring's story.
But even more important is just how James Wan makes the movie scary.
Most of the time, it's simply the way the movie establishes the atmosphere of a supernatural evil being constantly lurking around somewhere only to shock you in unexpected ways. This delivered suspense results in the movie having extremely well placed and creative single scares and unnerving moments that really get to you.
Focussing far more on disturbing atmosphere and logical explanations of the supernatural, The Conjuring is one of those rare horror movies that is able to use classic horror movie elements in impressive new ways to create a genuinely scary experience. 

Martin Scorsese's new Oscar nominated work is last year's best example of big entertainment value combined with high quality production and acting.
Often described as this generation's new Goodfellas, The Wolf of Wall Street boasts the same narrative style and other elements as the 1990's crime film without trying to copy it.
Without overwhelming its audience with an overload of stock information and business language, Scorsese's movie rather focusses on the personal tale about the rise and fall of infamous fraud criminal stockbroker Jordan Belfort and his excessive lifestyle full of drug incidents and partying.
With that said, while most of the movie boasts a great focus on comedy and fun, making the movie's stock market theme far more approachable for audiences than most people might think, the movie furthermore features great, serious scenes about implied good intentions covered and fueled by the greed of people. 
Additionally, from Leonardo Dicaprio, over Jonah Hill to any of the various side characters, the entire cast of the movie oozes energy throughout their superb performances, resulting in the movie having absolutely no real downsides in the acting department and maintaining its dynamic pace til the end.

With The Wolf of Wall Street, Martin Scorsese created a movie that successfully mixes the genres of comedy, biography and crime drama and doesn't forget its insightful and serious messages among its plenty scenes of dark comedy.

The Wolf of Wall Street is Invisible Kid's pick for the Best Movie of 2013!

For the recap review click here.

We close our Top 10 with an honorable mention of "The Best Surprise of 2013".

As already mentioned, Sam Raimi did a tremendous job creating a worthily heartfelt and creative follow-up to Victor Fleming's 1939 original.
Paying homage to the classic while also incorporating new ideas and new charismatic side characters accompanying the wizard on his quest, it's fascinating how a movie understanding the spirit of the original and contuing it in great fashion can be created about 74 years after it got released.
Most movie-goers expected a visually impressive, okay family movie at best or another misguided Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (style-over-substance-) movie at worst.
But probably nobody, us included, expected this movie to have such a moving impact.
While many critics not necessarily agree with our opinion, for us, Oz: The Great and Powerful remains the best surprise and the most underrated movie of 2013!


Honorable Mentions:

12 Years a Slave
The Butler
Saving Mr. Banks
Dallas Buyers Club
The Wolverine
You're Next
Evil Dead

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