Lisa Marie Picks The Best 26 Films of 2013


2o13 was an unusually good year in film.  While there was never any doubt what my number one film would be, it took me considerably longer to narrow down my other favorites to just 25 movies.

Also complicating matters is that a film that I’m very much looking forward to, Spike Jonze’s Her, is not going to be opening here until next weekend.  Because I haven’t seen it, I could not consider it for this list.  If, after I do see it, I feel that it belongs in the top 26, I will add it.

(Update: I have since seen Her and I have modified my original list. — LMB, 1/1o/14)

You may be asking, “Why 26 films?”  Lisa doesn’t do odd numbers, that’s why.

Without further ado, here’s the list!

  1. Upstream Color
  2. American Hustle
  3. Frances Ha
  4. Her
  5. Before Midnight
  6. Blue Is The Warmest Color
  7. Spring Breakers
  8. 12 Years A Slave
  9. Fruitvale Station
  10. Inside Llewyn Davis
  11. The Wolf of Wall Street
  12. Warm Bodies
  13. The Counselor 
  14. Gravity
  15. Blue Jasmine
  16. The Spectacular Now
  17. Much Ado About Nothing
  18. Dallas Buyers Club
  19. The Conjuring
  20. Drinking Buddies
  21. Iron Man 3
  22. Nebraska
  23. The Place Beyond The Pines
  24. At Any Price
  25. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  26. All Is Lost
  27. The Iceman
  28. Frozen

Upstream Color

(Now that you’ve seen my favorites of 2013, check out my picks for 2010, 2011, and 2012!)

Other Entries In TSL’s Look Back At 2013:

  1. Lisa Marie’s 12 Favorite Novels of 2013
  2. Lisa Marie’s 12 Favorite Non-Fiction Books of 2013
  3. Semtex Skittle’s 2013: The Year in Video Games
  4. 20 Good Things Lisa Marie Saw On Television in 2013
  5. 10 0f Lisa Marie’s Favorite Songs of 2013
  6. Lisa Marie’s 16 Worst Films of 2013
  7. Necromoonyeti’s Top 10 Metal Albums of 2013
  8. Things That Dork Geekus Dug In 2013
  9. Lisa Marie’s Best of 2o13 SyFy

Film Review: Drinking Buddies (dir by Joe Swanberg)

Drinking Buddies is one of the best films of 2013.

It’s important to state that from the beginning because it can be difficult to explain the appeal of Drinking Buddies.  In fact, it can be argued that nothing really happens in the film.  For 90 minutes, we follow four likable and familiar characters as they drink, talk, flirt, and occasionally fight.  In many ways, this is a very funny film but it’s definitely not a comedy.  It’s a serious movie that’s notable for lacking any real drama.  Instead, it’s a warm and sympathetic portrait of life as it’s lived.

Luke (Jake Johnson) and Kate (Olivia Wilde) both work at a Chicago brewery.  Luke is an almost stereotypical nice guy while Kate is good at her job but totally neurotic with almost every other aspect of her life.  When we first see them on-screen together, it’s easy to assume that Kate and Luke are in a relationship.  However, despite being perfect for each other, Luke and Kate are both involved with others.  Kate is involved with Chris (Ron Livingston) while Luke is trying to get over his nervousness over the prospect of getting married to Jill (Anna Kendrick).  After the four of them go on a camping trip with each other, Kate and Chris break up and Luke is forced to deal with his feelings for both Kate and Jill.

Now, I knew that sounds like the set-up for a romantic comedy, the type where Chris would turn out to be a complete cad and Jill would be so obviously wrong for Luke that the audience would be openly rooting for Luke to dump her so he could get together with Kate.  However, and this is what makes this film brilliant, Joe Swanberg isn’t interested in making a film full of romcom stereotypes.  If anything, Chris and Jill are both portrayed as being far more sympathetic than either Luke or Kate.  (Livingston and Kendrick have an extended picnic scene that should be remembered as one of the best cinematic moments of 2013.)

In the end, Drinking Buddies doesn’t do anything that you expect it to do.  Swanberg is less interested in romance and more interested in observing and celebrating the friendship of these four characters.  This is one of those unexpected films where every single detail rings true and you end up feeling as if you could hop a plane to Chicago and find any of these four characters living their own lives beyond what the audience has been lucky enough to observe.

How good is Drinking Buddies?

I don’t even drink and I still loved this movie.