#TBT- Watson’s Top Movies….of 2013!


The trash talk that cost me hundreds of dollars and many hours.  Instead of seeing 100, I saw 145!  But before that, I saw 52.  Here’s the post I wrote a year ago, before we launched the Gabbing Geek website.  Has it held up?

From December 2013:

I saw a LOT of movies this year.  Probably more than any year since college.  Decent year to see a lot of movies.  Below the movies are ranked in order from best to worst.  One rule: of you knock the choice, you have to give at least your top five!


  1. The Way, Way Back- The best movie of the year but a lot of people probably never heard of it.  It’s my favorite kind of film: an indy dramedy.  Sometimes those are a little less mainstream, but this one was an exception in that I think anyone could enjoy it.  The movie is about a kid who goes to spend the summer at a beach house with his mother and her jerk boyfriend, who is played VERY well by Steve Carrell.  I tested my crossover theory by having my Mom and brother’s family watch over Thanksgiving, and I got the thumbs up confirming that it wasn’t another of my snooty movie choices.  Everyone enjoyed it.  Though it is not getting much award love, it is a shame that Sam Rockwell is not the front runner for Best Supporting Actor.  He was brilliant.  Best movie of the year!
  2. Gravity- I don’t like 3D, but this is a movie I recommended everyone see in 3D.  Seeing it in 2D is like seeing Goodfellas where they edited out the scenes with Joe Pesci (sorry Sara’s migraines!).
  3. Philomena-  Both funny and tragic; often in the same scene.  Great performances by Dench and Coogan.  Really loved this movie.
  4. Man of Steel- Best popcorn movie of the year.  I liked this one much better than the critics did. Best thing about it was the two dads (who both played Robin Hood previously).  Each brought a different feel as evidenced by the first two trailers.
  5. Somm- I love wine.  Like….a lot.  This brilliant documentary following a few candidates taking their Master Sommelier’s exam not only teaches so many things about wine, but it also creates a great feeling of anxiety as these guys go through the training for the rigorous exam!
  6. Wolf of Wall Street- The most riske movie I’ve ever seen at the theater in my life; and I saw Showgirls.  Of course, I saw Showgirls with my college friends.  This one, I saw with my Mom on Christmas Day.  Still, a great movie and proving that Scorsese’s still got it.
  7. American Hustle- Excellent.  Fantastic acting.  I had to think hard about whether this was ahead of Wolf.  The difference was the directing.  A critic wrote that O’Russell out-Scorsesed Scorsese.  That’s not the case.  If Scorsese had directed this film, it would have been even better.
  8. Captain Phillips- A well-paced thriller anchored by Hanks’ brilliant acting.  The scene at the end with the medic was Hanks at his best.
  9. Inside Llewyn Davis-  A real mood movie.  Definitely not for everyone.  There is not real plot to speak of but great acting, mood, and music.
  10. 12 Years a Slave – I’m not as enamored by this one as others, but definitely powerful.  Great acting, but I thought the pacing was off and the scene with Pitt as the noble wiseman was dreadful enough to know this down at least 3-4 spots.

The Next Tier- Coulda been in the Top Ten in a weaker year

  1. Star Trek Into Darkness- Benedict Cumberbatch personally made this the best Trek movie ever.
  2. Frozen- Classic Disney cartoon with Pixar graphics.  Awesome music.
  3. Warm Bodies- Sweetest romantic zombie comedy ever.
  4. Thor2- Better than the first one, which was pretty darn good.  Fun stuff.
  5. Blackfish- It had moments of what appeared to be serious intellectual dishonesty (eh…it’s a documentary), but directionally true.  As much as I love the shows, people should not be in the waters with those Orcas.
  6. Ender’s Game- Not going to win an Oscar (or a Pride Award for that matter), but a really nice version of my favorite SciFi book.  It was Ender’s Game on the screen and Harrison Ford was awesome.  Not in Ryan Garcia’s top ten…
  7. Hunger Games 2-  Not as good as the first one, but very enjoyable.
  8. Dallas Buyers Club-  Not so much a great movie, but McConaughey and Leto were brilliant.
  9. The Butler- Good but had a few weak spots (all the Presidential casting was awful).  I loved the scenes between Whittaker’s character and his son.

The Passable Movies for a Saturday Matinee:

  1. This Is the End- Hilarious movie about comedy actors playing fictitious versions of themselves during Armageddon.
  2. We’re the Millers-  A dumb but funny comedy.
  3. Now You See Me-  This was a good movie that could have been great.
  4. Mud-  Good acting (again) by Mcconaughey, but a little slow and not terribly entertaining.
  5. The Wolverine-  Good action, but terribly unmemorable.
  6. Don Jon               – Not great, but I give it credit for trying to do something a little different.
  7. Saving Mr. Banks-  Thompson and Hanks were great.
  8. Spectacular Now- Missing the mark that Way Way Back bullseyed.
  9. Kings of Summer-  Missing the mark that Spectacular Now DID hit.

I’m Not Ticked I saw Them

  1. Iron Man 3-  Better than IM2, but so far off IM1.  Could have done without the kid.
  2. Oblivion-  Decent Discount flick.
  3. Olympus Has Fallen-  I only watched it because it was on Netflix, but despite the requirement to check your brain at the door, I actually thought it was goofy fun.
  4. Prisoners-  Average thriller with a brilliant, underutilized cast.
  5. Monsters University-  In the bottom tier of Pixar films with Cars 1&2 and A Bug’s Life.
  6. Nebraska-  The kind of movie I usually like.  So boring, but wonderful acting.
  7. The Heat-  I saw it because I was on a date.
  8. Identity Thief-  I also saw it because I was on a date.
  9. 42-  Average movie but I enjoyed Harrison Ford chewing the scenery.
  10. The World’s End-  The best moment was when Pegg convinced his buddies of his identity!
  11. Two Guns- Good action but a very forgettable movie.  I’m sure in less than a year, I’ll confuse it with other Denzel action flicks.

Could have taken them or left them

  1. Elysium- Not memorable, but I remember thinking it was ok at the time…
  2. No-  A Chilean documdrama.  Not well made, but exposed me to Chilean films.
  3. Lovelace- I only saw this because it was on Netflix.
  4. Admission-  I also saw it because I was on a date.
  5. The Internship-  Discount cinema but funny enough.
  6. White House Down-  Fun if you check your brain at the door.
  7. Despicable Me 2-  Funny scenes of the Minions surrounded by a tacked on plot.
  8. Oz The Great and Powerful- Would have been great with Downey Jr.
  9. Jack the Giant Slayer- A concept that should have worked…
  10. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters-  I read the books to the boys so I probably liked it a spot or two more than it deserved.
  11. The Croods- I couldn’t get into it.

The Worst Movies of the Year

  1. Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2- Visually cool but so dumb!
  2. Planes-  I love Collin.  That is the only reason I saw this.
  3. World War Z- So disappointing.  Probably not worse than Planes, but I’m grading on the curve.
  4. Pacific Rim-  ½ was enjoyable.  ½ was unwatchable.  Since I walked out midway, it was only ¼ enjoyable.  That’s math.
  5. Lone Ranger-  I saw it on a plane and considered walking out.  Did not finish it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s