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The 50 Best Films Of 2013
Have you seen the best movies released this year?

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It’s December, and as is traditional, we’ve asked Empire’s writers to vote for their favourite films of the year. The assembled results have since been turned into this, a list of the very best 2013 had to offer. All films released from January 1 to December 31 in the UK were eligible, and we’ve included (but not ranked) three movies that several of our number have seen, but not enough to vote on fairly. So read on and at the end, check how many you’ve seen yourself...

WORDS HELEN O'HARA, PHIL DE SEMLYEN, IAN FREER, CHRIS HEWITT
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Late Entry THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY

Director: Ben Stiller
Cast: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Sean Penn, Adam Scott, Patton Oswalt, Shirley MacLaine, Kathryn Hahn
Best for... daydream believers and, heck, homecoming queens too.

It’s been five years since Ben Stiller directed Tropic Thunder, and the film that lured him back to the director’s chair is a sweet tale of a mild-mannered man who dreams of being much, much more. Quietly fascinated by colleague Cheryl (Kristen Wiig, who’s in for quite a December between this and Anchorman), he finally gets the chance to live some of those daydreams when he sets off in search of a missing negative by a star photographer. Expect glorious dreams and perhaps, in the end, a glorious reality as well.

Late Entry ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES

Director: Adam McKay
Cast: Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Christina Applegate, David Koechner, Harrison Ford, James Marsden, Meagan Good
Best for... the Channel 4 News Team. Yes, we’re talking to you, Jon Snow.

If you were asked to name some film characters who would cope well with change, the chances that you’d name anyone in the Channel 4 News Team are small indeed. And yet that’s exactly what Will Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy and his crew have to wrestle with as the arrival of cable news and the 24-hour news cycle fundamentally changes their business. Early word suggests that the gag rate is just as relentless as the first film, so we can’t wait to see what Brick declares love for this time, or Brian Fantana’s latest pick-up technique.

Late Entry THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG

Director: Peter Jackson
Cast: Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lily, Luke Evans
Best for... hobbitses.

The second part of Peter Jackson’s sprawling adaptation promises us a dude who turns into a bear, a bunch of elves who fight giant spiders in the forest, a town on a lake and, most importantly, a dragon under a mountain. For Smaug alone, we’d be lining up to see it, but in fact what we’ve seen so far promises us much more in the way of intrigue and adventure. Gandalf will be off battling the Necromancer while the dwarves and their hobbit “burglar” fight their way through Mirkwood to that fateful confrontation with their big, scaly nemesis. Frankly, we can’t wait.

47 NOW YOU SEE ME

Director: Louis Leterrier
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo, Dave Franco, Isla Fisher, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine
Best for... capes and robbers.

Films about magic often flounder on the fact that cinema itself is magic and can cancel out the impact of their tricks. But the spectacular illusions here and the clever addition of some hapless, helpless FBI and Interpol agents to try to fathom the tricks make for a gleeful caper. The plodding coppers can’t compare with the magicians’ prestidigitation – at first, at least – and Eisenberg, Fisher, Harrelson and Franco have a ball with their sleight of hand, particularly in an inspired chase scene that fully utilises the cops and magical robbers conceit. In an early summer that was full of tortured heroes and apocalyptic visions, this frothier romp was a deserved hit.

46 PRISONERS

Director: Denis Villeneuve
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Terrence Howard, Maria Bello, Viola Davis, Melissa Leo
Best for... making us wonder how we’d cope.

As much an endurance test as a viewing experience, Villeneuve’s follow-up to the fiery Incendies throws the viewer into a parent’s hell – what if your child was abducted? – and then tightens the screws: what if you identified the person responsible? Where would you stop? The moral dilemma is compelling, but this is carried by the committed performances of Jackman’s increasingly desperate father, Jake Gyllenhaal’s professionally furious cop and Paul Dano’s all-too-punchable suspect. The tone’s as wintry as the perpetually snowy weather of its setting, but this one will hang around in the back of your mind long after spring.

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Your Comments

1 what the tactical fuck
why the fuck would you put the top 50 movies of 2013 over 14 pages what a pain. Like fuck me you could have put ten a page and made it five pages of even better had it all on one page you guys make me sick. More

Posted by chachacha on Saturday November 29, 2014, 02:03

2 see
ies of 2013 More

Posted by mccdean on Sunday July 13, 2014, 00:52

3 oh dear
Some good films on that list but this is the main reason I don't buy the magazine. Hunger games is one of the worst abominations and should not be on any list but a"worst of all time" list More

Posted by Gram Woods on Sunday March 9, 2014, 19:37

4
Whoever did this has NO cinematographic knowledge. More

Posted by VVV on Monday February 3, 2014, 01:35

5
Whoever did this has NO cinematographic knowledge. More

Posted by VVV on Monday February 3, 2014, 00:58

6 RE: Some Missing Pictures
I know it's a UK magazine, I'm from the UK. However they placed films like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and The Hobbit before UK release, therefore I was just making some suggestions that could have equally have been 'Late Entries' More

Posted by CalRhys on Sunday January 5, 2014, 16:40

7 Gravity
Sorry, guys, Gravity is a good film in technical terms, otherwise nothing. Nothing new. Old wine in a “new” bottle. Old schemes are working here: alone in the wilderness ( the space ), nobody can help the man ( women), you have to get out by your own power and having a good luck. The maze is not a town, jungle or a remote part of the earth, but the frigid air(e). ( Sorry! ) The horses, the main „personae” of the western movies, which gave the model for this film, are exchanged for rockets, space stations. Coldblooded ones. Protagonists or enemies? No, there isn't one. In the new world order, no nation is treated this. In the good old days, the minorities, the aliens and, of course, preferably the Russians and Chinese were designated to this role. Not to forget the terrorists, but they do not have space weapons, do they? But now, now, the main enemies are not enemies to the lone (space ) cowboy anymore, but their technique complemented to the sMore

Posted by Mamakedvence on Wednesday January 1, 2014, 15:36

8
There's a lot of good films on the list but I feel there must be a way to include the early 2014 Oscar films even though they've not been released yet. More

Posted by billypunk on Tuesday December 31, 2013, 20:00

9 Catching Fire
Woah, 'Catching Fire' was WAY too low! That should have definitely been way above films like Les Mis! However, the top 5 is great. More

Posted by abirmohammad on Tuesday December 31, 2013, 19:05

10 Nebraska
Nebraska at number 40 and Iron Man 3 at 7? Is this a joke?! More

Posted by iamatractorboy on Friday December 27, 2013, 08:49

11 Re: No Pacific Rim?
I agree with Spirals. Empire can usually appreciate a well-made, hugely enjoyable blockbuster but seemed unable to look past the surface when it comes to this wonderful film, dismissing it as a big, brash explosion-fest a la Michael Bay when it's so much more. I also found it ridiculous that Iron Man 3 with all its plot holes and the joyless Man of Steel made it onto this list ahead of Pacific Rim. But kudos for at least adding the often overlooked Warm Bodies. More

Posted by Enzino on Tuesday December 24, 2013, 13:22

12 RE: Some Missing Pictures
Your timing is out for 2 - neither Fruitvale nor 12 Years a Slave have been out - this is a UK site/magazine was disappointed at the absence of Act of Killing in a list that can find room for the likes of Warm Bodies, and other entries in my personal bottom 50 of the year. More

Posted by elab49 on Monday December 23, 2013, 11:40

13 Some Missing Pictures
Great list, even if some of the selections are in a bit of an iffy order, however I do believe there are a few pictures missing that deserve to be placed on this list. Ryan Coogler's "Fruitvale Station", Joshua Oppenheimer's "The Act of Killing" and of course Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave", great list though. More

Posted by CalRhys on Monday December 23, 2013, 01:35

14 wonderfully varied and all but...
did you not watch the act of killing? It's the only film I've seen that's made me feel physically unwell, I'm very surprised it's not here. More

Posted by sean mac on Monday December 23, 2013, 00:44

15 what a mess
This is a total mess of a list. Iron Man 3 at number 7 and Prisoners at 46? You put these in the wring places? More

Posted by markymark34 on Sunday December 22, 2013, 19:26

16 :+/
I understand you're a UK publication but ranking American movies of 2012 and American movies of 2013 on the same list does defeat the purpose of an annual list. I love Empire but this mismatching has always bothered me in the year-enders. Just my two cents.. More

Posted by soggy bottom sam on Saturday December 21, 2013, 20:44

17
PRISONERS WAS ONLY 46 ARE YOU SHITTING ME More

Posted by BabsyBuck on Monday December 16, 2013, 18:13

18 Hmmmmm
Ok, I enjoyed man of steel & iron man 3, but thy weren't up there in my list. Personally I loved the place beyond the pines and think it deserves to be a lot higher up, and that only god forgives shouldn't even be on the list, it sucked! Don't get me wrong i loved drive but only god forgives is on my worst 2013 list! Django unchained should also of definitely been higher up on there.. More

Posted by pagster93 on Monday December 16, 2013, 13:11

19
Rubbish list. Les Miserables should definitely be NO1. Greatest movie of all time. More

Posted by Dalekbuster523 on Saturday December 14, 2013, 20:26

20
Good list, but is Iron Man 3 the 7TH BEST FILM OF 2013???? I don't think so. More

Posted by Darren47 on Friday December 13, 2013, 22:26

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