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Empire's Review Of The year 2013 CLICK FOR MORE REVIEW OF THE YEAR 2013 FEATURES ›
The 50 Best Films Of 2013
Have you seen the best movies released this year?

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35 SAVING MR. BANKS

Director: John Hancock
Cast: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, Bradley Whitford, Ruth Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, B.J. Novak, Paul Giamatti
Best for... showing that a spoonful of sugar makes even the worst medicine go down.

The trailers made it look like a battle of wills between Mary Poppins author PL Travers (Emma Thompson) and Tom Hanks' Walt Disney – but of course we already know the outcome of that battle. Instead, this functions best when its focus is on Travers herself, with Thompson on exceptional form under a fright perm as the stiff, schoolmarmish but somehow still likeable author. Her horror at American culture is both hilarious and – dare we say it – entirely understandable, and the clash with Disney's style is beautifully judged. Maybe he should have taken her out to fly a kite instead.

34 STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

Director: J. J. Abrams
Cast: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Benedict Cumberbatch, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, John Cho, Alice Eve
Best for... boldly going all over the place.

2009's Star Trek had the great advantages of low expectations and a relatively stealthy arrival. But its huge success means that its sequel began with all eyes upon it and hopes somewhere in the stratosphere. Kudos, then, to Abrams and team for keeping most of the plot under wraps and delivering some surprises involving rot in the heart of Starfleet and something closer to a '70s thriller than the series has ever attempted before. Cumberbatch's villain proved able to hold his own against the mighty pairing of Kirk and Spock, and every crew member got at least a moment of heroism. Roll on the five-year mission!

33 LES MISÉRABLES

Director: Tom Hooper
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen, Aaron Tveit
Best for... singing live on set.

Almost a year after it came out, the music of Les Misérables is still echoing in our ears. By dint of having his outrageously talented cast sing live on set, director Tom Hooper kept the emphasis on the emotion, and as a result the music – even where a note wobbled – had more of an impact than the most polished studio performance could have delivered. While Anne Hathaway took away the Oscar for her tragic turn as Fantine, the MVP for us is Jackman's compassionate, often-desperate Jean Valjean.

32 THE IMPOSSIBLE

Director: Juan Antonio Bayona
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts, Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin, Oaklee Pendergast
Best for... a raw, deeply emotional depiction of a family in harm's way.

When gifted Spaniard Juan Antonio Bayona followed up The Orphanage with a different kind of horror movie there were grumblings about recasting its true-life family with Caucasian actors. In truth it was soon forgotten, sidelined by the film's self-consciously universal themes and gut-punch impact. The Thai tsunami strike, prefaced by the eeriest flocking of birds since Hitchcock went to Bodega Bay, thundered down on the Bennet clan and left each with a brutal struggle to survive amid the convincingly rendered apocalypse. Naomi Watts and newcomer Tom Holland, an Empire Award winner, were both terrific but Ewan McGregor snuck the MVP prize for a bus station scene that might have been sponsored by Kleenex.

31 ABOUT TIME

Director: Richard Curtis
Cast: Domnhall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Lindsay Duncan, Tom Hollander, Margot Robbie, Lydia Wilson
Best for... fathers and sons.

Sometimes a director can use his own reputation as a bluff. From the trailers and synopsis of About Time, we all thought we knew what to expect: it was another gentle romantic comedy of the Curtis school, this time with a time travel twist. But what emerged is as much a story about fathers and sons as one about lovers, and it's in the scenes between Domnhall Gleeson's Tim and Bill Nighy's Dad (it's significant that he gets no other name) that the film's heart really beats, as it becomes a story about growing up and saying goodbye.

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1 see
ies of 2013 More

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

2 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

3
Whoever did this has NO cinematographic knowledge. More

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

4
Whoever did this has NO cinematographic knowledge. More

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

5 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

6 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

7
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

8 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

9 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

10 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

11 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

12 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

13 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

14 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

15 :+/
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

16
PRISONERS WAS ONLY 46 ARE YOU SHITTING ME More

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

17 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

18
Rubbish list. Les Miserables should definitely be NO1. Greatest movie of all time. More

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

19
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

20 Dear, dear, Empire.
Gravity No.1 film of 2013, hahahahaha. Looks like a script, a story , a plot and intelligent dialogue is no longer required for a good movie according to Empire. More

Posted by Azzurro06 on Wednesday December 11, 2013, 22:00

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