LISTS ARE STUPID: The Top 10 Movies of 2013 That I Haven’t Watched

Only_God_Forgives_posterPeople like end of the year lists: favorite movies, best movies, worst movies, disappointing movies. I generally don’t like lists, but even if I did, I haven’t seen everything that was released this year, so compiling a “best of” or “worst of” would be hopelessly incomplete. So instead of telling you the best/worst movies I did see (and having to admit I saw World War Z and not 12 Years a Slave), here are the top ten movies I didn’t see this year that I am most looking forward to seeing in the coming months.

1. THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG – I’ll make a point to see this movie in the theater, even though it’s a pain going to the movies without a car. I would love to see a more faithful adaptation of Tolkien’s classic done at some point (and my guess is I’ll live long enough to see it), but I’m a total sucker for Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth, even if it’s not Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Slavish devotion to source material has never been a concern of mine – I have Tolkien’s books and an imagination so I’m willing to see someone else’s interpretation of the stories.

2. THE WOLF OF WALL STREET – I hate when people complain about long movies. I also hate having to go the bathroom halfway through a movie because I don’t have enough impulse control to not buy a 44 oz. bucket of Coke Zero. I’ll almost certainly wait for the Blu-ray, but it might be the rare movie I buy the day it’s released. I love Scorsese. I love that he’s still challenging himself by making movies that are not instantly recognizable as a new version of an old film. I love that he and DiCaprio continue to work together.

3. G.I. JOE: RETALIATION – I mean, I saw the film that was released under this tile, but I want to see the version where they don’t off half of the movie’s charisma after 10 minutes, where we don’t have to deal with Bruce Willis’ “I’m here for the paycheck” smarm, and where we get way more of the excellent Storm Shadow / Snake Eyes half of the film.

4. 12 YEARS A SLAVE – Chiwetel Ejiofor is a brilliant actor, but it’s what I’ve heard about the depiction of white people in the movie that has me most interested in Steve McQueen’s film. At this point, I think we all get that slavery was a horrible system, but I don’t know if I’ve ever been properly convinced about the deeper evil of of the people who created and maintain the system, and that’s what I hear McQueen’s film does.

5. FROZEN – I don’t have kids, so animated films are almost always “wait for the Blu-ray.”

6. MAN OF STEEL – This one is a half-cheat since I’ve had the Blu-ray from Netflix sitting here for two weeks. I do want to see it, yet I always find something else to do instead of playing it. I like watching Zack Snyder movies, though, and I’ve never been a huge Superman fan, so it’s less a matter of me being worried (as so many of my friends have argued) that Snyder ruins or doesn’t get Superman, and more a case of, “It’s Superman.”

7. THE GREAT GATSBY – More than any other director I like, I have to be in the right mood to watch a Baz Luhrmann film. Most of the time, I’m not in the mood to appreciate his love of spectacle, so I’ve learned to not watch his movies until I’m ready for the Luhrmann experience. In the month that I’ve owned GATSBY, I have yet to be in the mood.

8. 47 RONIN – People keep telling me it’s awful and that makes me want to see it even more.

9. ONLY GOD FORGIVES – The most polarizing film of the year – I think the trailer looks phenomenal, but plenty of people who’s opinions I respect have bagged on the movie.

10. THE SMURFS 2 – Eat me, SMURFS 1 was awesome.

That’s my list. What did you watch this year that you loved that’s either not on my list or not reviewed around the Anxiety?

7 thoughts on “LISTS ARE STUPID: The Top 10 Movies of 2013 That I Haven’t Watched

  1. So, to answer your final question there, I’ll give my list of 2013 films that didn’t make your list here or otherwise pop up on the Anxiety, with just a short reason why I’m bringing it up. There is one distinctly non-sci-fi/fantasy film on the list, it was just too good to not mention.

    I’m welcome to deeper conversation on any of them.

    1) American Hustle – Just a great movie, start to finish. Wonderful acting performances, fun, funny… Watching fat Batman (Bale) palling around with schlubby Hawkeye (Renner) was pure joy. Amy Adam’s presence, acting, wardrobe, and apparent bra allergy were also a huge bonus. :)

    2) The Hobbit 2: Dragon Boogaloo – It wasn’t a bad movie, but I wouldn’t say it was a particularly good one either. Some of the set pieces dragged to the point of boredom, and the changes made to the Smaug storyline actually made the dragon seem less imposing even while giving us more angry dragon breathing fire all over the damn place.

    3) Europa Report – Felt like a huge missed opportunity. A really great chance to do high concept sci-fi that just degenerated into another monster movie.

    4) John Dies at the End – Probably the best way that you could have adapted that book into a watchable film, and thanks to some nice performances and not overreaching, it turned into a pretty good movie in its own right. Admittedly, I’m a sucker for surrealist sci-fi comedy horror, so this was always going to be right in my wheelhouse.

    5) Thor 2 The 9th Doctor is an Angry Elf – Just a rip-snortingly good time on just about every level. Honestly, any film where you can count Natalie Portman’s performance as the low point your movie is doing something right.

    There are my five. Make of them what you will.


    • Good suggestions, Eric. #2 is on my list, #1 should have been, #3 is up soon in my Netflix queue, #4 I’ll add, and I did see #5 and enjoyed it. Just haven’t had the time to write about it, yet.


      • Yeah, I got distracted walking the dog when I started my post, then added The Hobbit to it just based on really looking forward to your take on it, not what was on your list… That’s my bad. :)

        I’ll go ahead and replace that with what would have been my next entry had I gone past 5, and throw in Despicable Me 2. It wasn’t maybe as cute or quite as clever as the first film, but for me it was more fun than the first one, and it delivered more minion madness, which I’m all for any time.


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