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Best Films of 2013: More Lists

02/28/2014 Comment

For the past few years, after publishing my own annual wrap-up and top films list for the previous year, I pull together a run-down of some of my friends’ and peers’ best-film lists.

Until this year, I’ve led with the ChristianityToday.com Critics Choice and Most Redeeming top 10 lists, in which I’ve voted each year. For 2013, though, ChristianityToday.com took a different approach, asking regular critics to come up with personal movie picks (and, as it happens, I didn’t review any movies for CT.com this past year, so I didn’t do a list). Unfortunately, the new site layout offers no good way to link to these pieces. Google to the rescue: all 2013 Movie Picks at ChristianityToday.com.

It also looks like not all my friends and peers who have done best film lists in the past have done so for 2013, at least not yet. But with the Oscars coming on Sunday, this is pretty much the deadline for revisiting the films of last year, at least for now. So here we go.

A few notes:

  • Jeff and I both have This Is Martin Bonner at #1, and Nick Olson has it at #2. Hooray! This is an amazing little film. Don’t miss it. (Now streaming on Netflix and Amazon Instant.)
  • Only one of my top 5 films, Fill the Void, is unique to my list; 12 Years a Slave, Gravity and The Past are all picked by two or more of my friends. (Jeff has Fill the Void at #23 on his extended list; Victor includes it in unranked runners-up.)
  • Of all my friends, Nick Olson’s picks are closest to mine. There are five matches in our top 10 films, including three matches in our top 4 films (though not in the same order).
  • Most of my friends love The Wolf of Wall Street. (I…don’t.) And Before Midnight. (More sympathy there.)

Jeff Overstreet has a top 20 list, but as always he gets much more in-depth than that, with multiple longer lists. Here’s his 2013 top 10; dig further at your leisure.

  1. This Is Martin Bonner
  2. Museum Hours
  3. Before Midnight
  4. Upstream Color
  5. Leviathan
  6. Like Someone in Love
  7. The Wolf of Wall Street
  8. Short Term 12
  9. Her
  10. The World’s End

Christian Hamaker’s top 10 (of 20):

  1. Beyond the Hills
  2. Museum Hours
  3. Stories We Tell
  4. Hannah Arendt
  5. The Great Gatsby
  6. Rush
  7. Prisoners
  8. 12 Years a Slave
  9. The Wolf of Wall Street
  10. Francis Ha

Ken Morefield’s top 10:

  1. 12 Years a Slave
  2. The Spectacular Now
  3. Running From Crazy
  4. Before Midnight
  5. The Past
  6. 1982
  7. Dallas Buyers Club
  8. Prisoners
  9. We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks
  10. Far Our Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story

Victor Morton’s (running) top 10 (and more):

  1. The Act of Killing
  2. The World’s End
  3. Before Midnight
  4. The Wolf of Wall Street
  5. You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet
  6. Gravity
  7. Let the Fire Burn
  8. The Past
  9. All is Lost
  10. Beyond the Hills

Nick Olson’s top 10 (and more):

  1. The Past
  2. This Is Martin Bonner
  3. 12 Years a Slave
  4. The Wolf of Wall Street
  5. Before Midnight
  6. Gravity
  7. From Up on Poppy Hill
  8. To the Wonder
  9. The World’s End
  10. Short Term 12

Filed under movies, top film lists

About Steven D. Greydanus

SDG
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Steven D. Greydanus is film critic for the National Catholic Register and Decent Films, the online home for his film writing. He writes regularly for Christianity Today, Catholic World Report and other venues, and is a regular guest on several radio shows. Steven has contributed several entries to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, including “The Church and Film” and a number of filmmaker biographies. He has also written about film for the Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy. He has a BFA in Media Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York, and an MA in Religious Studies from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook, PA. He is pursuing diaconal studies in the Archdiocese of Newark. Steven and Suzanne have seven children.