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

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10 ALAN PARTRIDGE: ALPHA PAPA

Director: Declan Lowney
Cast: Steve Coogan, Colm Meaney, Felicity Montagu, Monica Dolan, Sean Pertwee
Best for... giving us a definitive answer on the worst sort of 'monger'.

Adapting a beloved TV character for the big screen is a task fraught with peril, but it's one that Alan Partridge managed with aplomb (not a word usually associated with the fictional Norfolk resident). This is a character who works best in a small, damp and mediocre world, and happily for us the filmmakers scotched all suggestions of taking Alan to America or thrusting him onto a bigger and perhaps actually significant stage, and kept the laughs coming by letting Alan get to his day job. So the action sticks to Norwich, the script sticks to local concerns and the polyester sticks to everything.

9 THE GREAT BEAUTY

Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Cast: Toni Servillo, Carlo Verdone, Sabrina Ferilli, Carlo Buccirosso
Best for... re-imagining Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita as a 21st century Roman odyssey.

Tony Servillo and Paolo Sorrentino reunited for the fourth time in an Italian language gem that burst out of the festival circuit in an explosion of energy and ideas. Like their last two collaborations, Il Divo and The Consequences Of Love, it had the wonderfully wry Servillo at his best. It introduced his novelist/writer/bon vivant Jep Gambardella – think Marcello Mastroianni's Dolce Vita hack seasoned by the years and the odd brandy – as a man observing his own disco-fuelled party like a mischievous imp witnessing over the end of days, it takes us on a trip through a city by turns decadent and devout, but never less than mesmerising.

8 BEFORE MIDNIGHT

Director: Richard Linklater
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy
Best for... showing us what happens after the happily ever after.

This ongoing collaboration by writer-director Richard Linklater and his co-writers and stars Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke is one of cinema's most successful experiments. Over 20 years now, we've had the chance to peek into three key moments in the lives of Jesse and Celine as they debate life, love, sex and their own shared future. Their discussions feel so natural (albeit hyper-articulate and well-expressed) that viewers are left secretly hoping that "Julie Delpy" and "Ethan Hawke" are the characters, and Celine and Jesse are still out there somewhere, walk-and-talking in a way that puts even Aaron Sorkin to shame.

7 IRON MAN 3

Director: Shane Black
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley, Don Cheadle
Best for... delivering blockbuster scale while wittily undercutting clichés as it goes.

Newspaper critics love to talk about superhero fatigue, but as long as the films stay as inventive and surprising as this summer's Iron three-quel, it isn't going to hit any time soon. The first post-Avengers outing for Marvel's finest saw Tony Stark with his back against the wall and deprived of his usual home comforts, but all the better for it. Incoming director Shane Black inevitably set the story at Christmas, but delivered surprises both small (a cute kid who isn't annoying!) and huge (you know the one we mean). More fun than a barrel of monkeys.

6 STOKER

Director: Park Chan-wook
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, Jacki Weaver
Best for... creepy atmosphere and novel uses for pencils.

A slow-burning coming-of-age story that defies easy categorisation, this gets under your skin and stays there. Matthew Goode plays the mysterious Uncle Charlie who turns up at his brother's funeral to comfort grieving widow Evie (Kidman) and her daughter India (Wasikowska) – but while it's immediately clear that he is hiding something and that all is not quite right in the state of India, it still comes as a shock when you realise what you've been watching all along.

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Your Comments

1 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

2
Whoever did this has NO cinematographic knowledge. More

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

3
Whoever did this has NO cinematographic knowledge. More

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

4 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

5 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

6
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

7 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

8 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

9 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

10 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

11 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

12 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

13 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

14 :+/
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

15
PRISONERS WAS ONLY 46 ARE YOU SHITTING ME More

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

16 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

17
Rubbish list. Les Miserables should definitely be NO1. Greatest movie of all time. More

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

18
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

19 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

20 No Pacific Rim?
Considering some of the entries how is Pacific Rim not in this list at least in terms of sheer entertainment. More

Posted by spirals on Saturday December 7, 2013, 19:04

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