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Cinema screen

In 2013 I saw 106 movies at the cinema, from Gangster Squad to Frozen. On the whole I think it’s been a good year, just above average in fact, and a definite improvement on 2012 (you could say I was far more choosy back then).

There have been some turkeys – I Give It a Year and The Hangover Part III spring to mind – and some nice surprises: Danny Boyle’s Trance (as gleefully misleading a movie as you’re ever likely to see); Warm Bodies (a rom-zom that makes a virtue out of its sweet nature); and Kill Your Darlings (the treacherous early days of the Beat Generation featuring Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg).

There were movies I wanted to see but missed through bad timing and/or lack of opportunity: CarrieThe Way Way BackOnly God Forgives, and a couple I actively avoided: the Coen Brothers-scripted Gambit, and R.I.P.D.

The actual cinema-going experience improved during 2013, at least for me personally. Here in the UK there’s a cinema chain called Cineworld (see image above). They operate a monthly subscription service.  For a fixed fee each month (currently £18.90) you get a membership card that guarantees you a free ticket to as many movies as you can manage each month, and a healthy discount on food and drink purchases. It’s a great idea, and without it I definitely wouldn’t have seen 106 movies (probably nearer 60-70). For me, a trip to the cinema can mean seeing 4-5 movies in one day (and all the hot dogs I can eat).

I also travelled quite regularly to the British Film Institute’s IMAX screen in London. The IMAX screen is approximately 20 metres high by 26 metres wide and is easily the best way to see a movie, particularly a blockbuster like The Wolverine or Pacific Rim. It’s also a great way to treat someone for their birthday: I took one of my friends five times during 2013 (to see Iron Man 3Star Trek: Into DarknessMan of SteelThor: The Dark World, and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug), and enjoyed a couple of visits with my daughter as well (The Lone Ranger and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire).

Working out which were the best and the worst of 2013 hasn’t been too difficult, although I will admit that one movie could have fallen into either camp; I don’t know if it’s just me but each year there’s always one movie that I can’t decide whether I love or hate. This year it was Frances Ha. Thankfully, other movies have come along to ensure it doesn’t end up in either list, and ultimately I’m glad because my final feeling on the movie is that it’s neither very good nor very bad, just okay (which is almost a condemnation in and of itself, I know).

Anyway, here they are then, the Best and Worst of 2013. If I’ve trashed a movie you thought was wonderful, then please accept my apologies here and now. If I’ve praised a movie you thought was a total pile of what Americans call “horse puckey”, then that’s easier to deal with: get over it, it’s just my opinion. Now, where’s that 20th Century fanfare…?


10  You’re Next

9   Planes

8   Elysium

7   Walking With Dinosaurs The 3D Movie

6   A Good Day to Die Hard

5   The Hangover Part III

4   Grown Ups 2

3   I Give It a Year

2   After Earth

1   Nothing Left to Fear

Nothing Left to Fear - scene


10  Side Effects

9   The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

8   Blue Jasmine

7   Monsters University

6   The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

5   Classe tous risques (1960)

4   Nebraska

3   Before Midnight

2   All Is Lost

1   Captain Phillips

Captain Phillips - scene2

So, there you have it, two seafaring tales at the top of the 10 Best, and three sequels in the 10 Worst (that’s as much analysing as I’m prepared to do). I like preparing end of year lists, but this is the first time I’ve shared them with a wider audience. I hope they stimulate some discussion, even an argument or two (that’s healthy, right?), and if you feel the need to comment, please do.

Thanks for reading!