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2013 Movies in Review

Thursday, January 9, 2014

If you know me at all, you know I love movies (and TV, but movies are easier to do an annual retrospective of). So here is my look back at the movies of 2013 that struck my radar in some manner.

2013 Movies I Saw at the Cinema
The date that follows the title is the movie’s published release date, not necessarily the date on which I saw it. I think I’ve listed everything, but my friends can (and will) correct me in the comments if I missed any movies.


  • Warm Bodies (2/1/14) – best ZomRomCom I’ve ever seen! 😉 4/5 stars
  • Jack the Giant Slayer (3/1/13) – a cute fairy tale in a live-action movie. 3/5 stars
  • Admission (3/22/13) – one of the best RomComs I’ve seen in a long time. 4/5 stars
  • Iron Man 3 (5/3/13) – the only one of the trilogy I saw in the theater, and my favorite by far. 4.5/5 stars
  • Star Trek Into Darkness (5/17/13) – Not quite as good as ST2009—not as many scenes with Karl. 4/5 stars
  • Man of Steel (6/14/13) – And thus ended my infatuation with Henry Cavill. The movie was redeemed, for me, from being an absolute bomb by Kevin Costner as Clark Kent’s father. 2/5 stars
  • The Lone Ranger (7/5/13) – Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer make good cheese together. 3.75/5 stars
  • Red 2 (Advanced screening prior to 7/19/13 release) – FABULOUS. The only thing keeping me from saying it was better than the first movie was the absence of Karl Urban. 4.5/5 stars
  • R.I.P.D. (7/19/13) – I think this one will fare better on DVD/TV/Netflix. It was cute, but not necessarily worth the price of admission. 3/5 stars
  • Lee Daniels’ The Butler (8/16/13) – Excellent movie. Forest Whittaker should be up for an Oscar for this. 4/5 stars
  • Austenland (8/16/13) – I read the book a few months after it came out, but while cute, it didn’t stick with me too much. The movie was wonderful—so much funnier than I expected. My favorite comedy of the year (because the romance aspect of it didn’t do much for me). 4/5 stars
  • thor-dark-world-poster

  • Thor: The Dark World (11/8/13) – What can I say? It’s my Boyfriend #1 (Chris Hemsworth) as a demigod. Still . . . too much Natalie Portman and not enough Jamie Alexander for me to give it a higher rating. 4/5 stars
  • Catching Fire (11/22/13) – I couldn’t believe it, but the second movie was better than the first (which is exactly opposite how I felt about the books). My favorite movie-seen-in-the-theater of the year. 5/5 stars
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (12/13/13) – The pacing in this second installment was much better than in the first, so it didn’t seem to drag on and on and on like that one did. 4/5 stars


Released in 2013, but watched on disc at home:

  • Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton) — Fun in the way the TV show Supernatural is fun—but nothing new or groundbreaking beyond that. And JRenn was cute (which was really the main draw for this title). 3/5 stars
  • much-ado-poster

  • Much Ado About Nothing (Joss Whedon and the Whedonites) — This is my FAVORITE Shakespeare play, and I have two other versions of it on DVD at home already (a very old early ’80s BBC version—you know, the kind that looks staged even though it was a movie—and what was, until now, the penultimate Kenneth Branagh/Emma Thompson version). I loved Joss & Co.’s take on the Bard’s best dark romantic comedy even better than the Branagh/Thompson version. It’s amazing not only how well the story/Shakespearean dialogue translates to the modern setting, but how natural it sounded coming from these actors, all favorites of Joss Whedon for this very reason—they are as at home slaying vampires, being space cowboys, and being super spies for SHIELD as they are delivering lines in Elizabethan English. While Catching Fire is my favorite 2013 movie I saw at the cinema, Much Ado About Nothing is going down as my favorite 2013 movie of all.


Released in 2013, haven’t seen yet, but want to:

  • Emperor (Matthew Fox, Tommy Lee Jones – WWII era story)
  • Olympus Has Fallen (Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman)
  • Into the White (Rupert Grint, Florian Lukas – another WWII story)
  • The Heat (Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock)
  • Despicable Me 2 (but I need to rewatch #1 first)
  • Pacific Rim (Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam)
  • The Hot Flashes (Brook Shields, Wanda Sykes, Daryl Hannah, Camryn Manheim)
  • In a World… (Lake Bell, Jeff Garlin)
  • The World’s End (Simon Pegg, Martin Freeman, Rosamund Pike)
  • Riddick (only because Karl Urban reprised his role as Vaako, which is the only reason I’ve seen the first one)
  • Chopar_Diana_affich_film_ok

  • Diana (Naomi Watts, Naveen Andrews)
  • Gravity (Sandra Bullock, George Clooney)
  • Last Vegas (Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline)
  • About Time (Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy)
  • The Book Thief (Sophie Nelisse, Geoffrey Rush, Emma Watson)
  • Philomena (Judi Dench, Steve Coogan)
  • Frozen
  • Saving Mr. Banks (Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks)
  • The Invisible Woman (Ralph Fiennes, Felicity Jones, Kristin Scott Thomas, Tom Hollander – a biopic about Charles Dickens)


Was 2013 a good movie year for you? What was your favorite 2013 movie that you watched?

  1. Dora permalink
    Thursday, January 9, 2014 11:03 am

    I saw The Butler–great pic, Last Vegas–so funny, The Book Thief–great movie (Hope the book is as well.), Minions 2–otherwise known as Despicable Me 2 (Love the Minions). I am sure there are others that I saw in the theater, but can’t remember any, at this moment. Mostly animated films.

    I wish to see Saving Mr. Banks, Diana and Austenland.


  2. Lady DragonKeeper permalink
    Friday, January 10, 2014 5:48 pm

    Iron Man 3 was a good end to the trilogy … I wasn’t thrilled with how Extremis and the Mandarin was dealt with, but it was a twist I wasn’t expecting. Still better than the 2nd movie.

    Star Trek: Into Darkness – I thought it built off of the 2009 movie fairly well. Even though I’m not thrilled with the new/alternate timeline, I thought the actors are convincing as the “younger” versions of the TOS cast and I do like the little nods and references to the original movies.

    Man of Steel – I just got into the “Young Justice” animated tv series (I have no idea why cartoon network cancelled it, the writing was spades above their typical fare), so I was dying for more DC … I was disappointed as well. Something was missing …

    I just finished watching Thor, so now I can finally get to Thor 2, which all of my friends were raving about (only half of them on Chris and Tom, the rest on the actual plot and visuals, haha).

    The Hobbit, pt. 2 –Definitely agree with you on the pacing. I saw this in the theater and was especially impressed with the fight choreography!

    Despicable Me 2 –funny as usual, but I still think the original had a better storyline … It was still good though! =)

    Frozen was tied with Star Trek and the Hobbit for my best movie of 2013. I’ve come to love the soundtrack … the animation (especially the snow) was great, and the story was good too.

    Jack the Giant Slayer, The Butler & Saving Mr. Banks are on my “to watch” list … especially the last one.


  3. Sunday, January 12, 2014 9:20 pm

    Thanks for the recommendations! I’m always looking out for something good to watch!
    I saw, The Hobbit, Austenland, and Frozen recently. Also Despicable Me 2 on dvd…


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