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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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25 A FIELD IN ENGLAND

Director: Ben Wheatley
Cast: Michael Smiley, Reece Shearsmith, Julian Barratt, Richard Glover, Peter Ferdinando, Sara Dee, Ryan Pope
Best for... things that make you go shroom.

Ben Wheatley's first foray into England's rich and largely deranged history surely won't be the last judging by how well this fun he clearly had with his Civil War mindfuck. Trippy isn't the half of it as alchemist's assistant Reece Shearsmith encounters army deserters Peter Ferdinando and Richard Glover, before mysterious Irishman Michael Smiley turns up, magic mushrooms get ingested, holes dug and minds lost in a sporesomely surreal (mis)adventure. Peter Watkins' docudrama 1964 Culloden was something of a reference point, and many were quick to cite Witchfinder General too, but in truth the results were like nothing we'd seen before. Never mind Jacob's Ladder, here was Jacob's shovel.

24 FILTH

Director: Jon S. Baird
Cast: James McAvoy, Eddie Marsan, Jamie Bell, Imogen Poots
Best for... men behaving badly.

On the page, the hero of Irvine Welsh's Filth is a pure sort of scumbag, a corrupt cop who's typically on more mind-altering substances than the criminals. On screen, he's still thoroughly appalling, with a rancid lack of morality you can touch, but James McAvoy gives him enough nuance and humanity that you almost feel sorry for the shitty, exploitative bastard. Meanwhile, the film transfers the book's outrageous humour and air of decaying sanity intact, so that Mary Whitehouse herself would have to give in and laugh at his desperate attempts to land a big promotion and show his rivals who's boss.

23 BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOUR

Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
Cast: Léa Seydoux, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Salim Kechiouche
Best for... anyone who has a heart.

Tunisian-French Abdellatif Kechiche's film became one of the stories of 2013, an unheralded 179 minute movie with Steven Spielberg's Cannes jury awarding the Palme d'Or not only to the director but, radically, to lead actresses Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux. There followed a bitter war of words between the cast and crew who claimed they were exploited throughout the shoot and the director, who threatened to withdraw the film from release. Happily Kechiche relented, because Blue Is The Warmest Colour French title: La Vie D'Adele: Chapitres 1 Et 2 is what the young people call "totes emosh", a stunning portrait of 15 year-old Adele (Exarchopoulos) as it tracks her life from leaving school to her early twenties, dominated by her passionate relationship with blue-haired artist Emma (Seydoux). But forget the much talked-about, ridiculously explicit sex scenes: this is a touching, beautifully observed, perfectly played coming-of-age story about finding your own space in the world, be it in the workplace, the living room orm indeed,  the double bed. Chapitres 3 et 4 can't come soon enough.

22 ALL IS LOST

Director: J.C. Chandor
Cast: Robert Redford
Best for... the Old Man And The Sea.

Almost wordless but never silent, this is another of this year's slate of stories of an individual alone against the elements and the odds. Redford is the sailor whose yacht suffers a hull breach shortly before he encounters a huge storm. Stoic and determined, he manages to stay afloat through torrential rain and huge waves – but the film never lets you forget that he's a tiny dot in a vast ocean, and help is far from close. Director J.C. Chandor, who delivered a great talky drama with Margin Call, proves that he doesn't need reams of dialogue to hold our attention – and Redford's performance may be a career best.

21 UPSTREAM COLOUR

Director: Shane Carruth
Cast: Amy Seimetz, Andrew Sensenig, Shane Carruth, Thiago Martins
Best for... mind-alteration both narrative and actual.

There's some sort of plot to Shane Carruth's dreamy follow-up to Primer. It involves the lifecycle of a drug that leaves people curiously malleable to outside control, and which has an almost biblical quality (it's expelled from people and into pigs? The drug is a demon?). Dialogue light and almost entirely exposition-free, this leaves you to do all the heavy lifting of figuring out what's going on while you're swept up in how beautiful it all looks. After Primer and this, we can't wait to see what Carruth does next.

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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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