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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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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.


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!


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.


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.


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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Your Comments

21 RE: Vampire rasicm, Zombie favouritism
Also, to those complaining about release dates, I'm pretty sure they're going by the British schedule, to find more details, visit More

Posted by odddaze on Monday December 2, 2013, 00:43

22 RE: Vampire rasicm, Zombie favouritism
Sad to see no love for Spring Breakers or Kings of Summer. Sad to see love for Man of Steel, Warm Bodies, Now You See Me and The Bling Ring. More

Posted by odddaze on Monday December 2, 2013, 00:42

23 RE: The 50 Best Films Of 2013
Silver Linings Playbook was released in 2012. More

Posted by Tiggerspal on Sunday December 1, 2013, 20:05

24 RE: The 50 Best Films Of 2013
They seem to have forgotten Silver Linings Playbook. Best film of the year! More

Posted by Beetlejuice! on Sunday December 1, 2013, 19:30

25 RE: Seriously????
L: Hector26 Iron Man 3 at no.7 after the laughably pointless 'twist'? t's Empire's list, they can put it wherever they want. More

Posted by Whistler on Sunday December 1, 2013, 18:54

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