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December 12, 2013


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Good list. Interesting that you've got Her so far down. Love the World's End in the top 10. Glad you found room for Rush on there, as I love the Supporting Actor attention Daniel Bruhl has gotten in the last few days. And needless to say, I don't know that I could possibly be more excited for The Wolf of Wall Street than I am right now.


Awesome list Glenn. Hope to see ILD before Christmas, and will definitely be seeing Wolf before the end of the year. I'm also glad to see that so many on your top 30 are available to catch up with on DVD or streaming.

Plus, I'm very interested to hear what you think of American Hustle. I have to admit I got psyched to see this the moment I saw the first trailer, which scored completely to "Good Times, Bad Times" by Zeppelin. But as I've read some of the gushing (and not-so gushing) reviews, I wonder if this is another one of those wildly hyped movies a certain class of critics love for being "fun!" and "jazzy!" regardless of whether they actually make any sense.


Cheers for including THE WORLD'S END so highly. It seems like critics always praise Edgar Wright's films, then forget them when it comes to year end lists.

I notice you have the US cut of THE GRANDMASTER listed. Have you seen the Chinese one. I've read it's a major improvement.

And I'm so sure about THE PURGE, which is neck and neck with MAN OF STEEL as the worst film I saw this year, but a critic who never challenges my assumptions is a critic I wouldn't bother reading. In other words, Mr. Kenny, I admire your "sand."


Great eclectic mix of films on this list, Glenn. Disappointed not to see Computer Chess on here though, which ties Post Tenebras Lux and Upstream Color for my favorites this year.


Only seen 2 on this list so far. Upstream Color struck me the same way Primer did in that it felt like a puzzle that, if assembled correctly, would make more sense or deliver a reward. I'm not sure that's really the case any more. I tend to think that Carruth carefully constructs his films so that you're largely helpless while viewing and forced to really consider what you've seen after the fact. He's leaving things so wide open to interpretation that there seems to be a danger that the point of the film - if there even is a clearly-defined one - might never be apprehended. It's the sort of risk that committed artists take all the time, and for that, Carruth deserves credit.

To my great surprise, Pain and Gain had friends and I laughing all the way through it. A particularly big laugh came at Ed Harris's entry into the film, which reminded me of Glenn's belief that the Bay could be parodying himself without even knowing it. Or maybe he did know it. Certainly, the tone of the acting couldn't have been more spot on, though it's hard to say whether the actors thought they were making a straight action/comedy film or not. Whatever the case, I enjoyed it.

Jeff McMahon

Quickly, re: Upstream Color and Post Tenebras Lux: just because it's personal/visionary/radical doesn't mean it's good. I think UC works where PTL doesn't. Any chance for more of your thoughts on the Reygadas film?


Interesting list. I prefer #15 to the four above it I've seen. It's nice to know someone else liked "Bastards." BLUE JASMINE and THE ACT OF KILLING are the most obvious omissions given the relatively few movies from this year I've seen. I don't know if Blanchett will actually win best actress this year, but if she wins she'll be the best winner since Sarandon back in 1995.

Chris L.

Ulysses Power! (And, what the hell, Quincy M.E. Power!)

Seen approx. half of these so far, and my only real demurral would be for Bling Ring, though Gravity's thematic force did not quite equal its craft for me. (And I don't mean to burden you, but as of this moment the Gravity link goes to Before Midnight.)

Thrilled to see Beyond the Hills remembered - the most enveloping 150 minutes I spent with a film this year. Long live Romanian cinema. Now the catching up begins, with quite a bounty left to explore. Thanks for your continuing irreplaceableness, Mr. K, and may all your "doctors" be well-paid in 2014!


Good list from what I have seen. One of my favorites [that didn't make your list] was Short Term 12, which excelled as indie films rarely do.

Glad also to see Assayas' film, which sort of came and went. He is always reliable for a smart movie.

What's up with the embargo though? Doesn't putting The Wolf of Wall Street in a top ten break the embargo? And why would they care? Don't they want press?


Sounds like that 'Quincy' episode was to punk what CSI's 'Fur and Loathing', two decades later, was to furries.


MDL: Glenn has SHORT TERM 12 at #21.

At this time of year in the hinterlands, one is lucky to have seen two of these titles, which is where I currently stand. Luckily, Netflix is streaming APRES MAI, POST TENEBRAS LUX, UPSTREAM COLOR, TO THE WONDER, PRINCE AVALANCHE, FRANCES HA and ROOM 237.


Every year, come December, I would enthusiastically await Roger Ebert's Best of the Year list.
Since he passed away earlier this year, I stopped reading movie reviews, as he had been my only source for it since I was young.
I kept watching movies however, and the urge to read other people's thoughts on it was still there, so I began searching Rotten Tomatoes for a movie critic I could trust.
Reading this list, I have finally found a writer I can trust.
I'll be looking forward to your reviews from now on.

rob humanick

I missed your review when The Purge came out. Dammit, now it's on my to-see list. (That'll be way down the road; I'm still exhausted from the genre after watching 60+ blind spots before submitting my ballot of the Slant horror list.)


Nebraska? Really? I'm heartbroken.


I guess Ron and I aren't destined to be friends. Just took in "Nebraska" and found it quite moving and (dare I say it) authentic. Dern practically mimicked my wife's late father in spirit, word and (sometimes) deed. In terms of mood, "Nebraska" echoes "The Last Picture" show, but at the other end of the line. Payne deserves credit for tackling such a subject so directly and yet so poetically.

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