How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Film

I would like to preface this article by saying that I have been contemplating whether or not to share parts of this story in fear of this coming off as too self-serving or as a cry for attention. However, my experience, in regards to my viewing of Gravity in particular, is a true display of how much a film can mean. The following will not be a review of any film, but rather a retrospective into why exactly I have come to gain adoration for all films, good or bad; and how this year reminded me of that adoration. So now, let’s get started…

Gravity - Sandra Bullock & George Clooney

It’s the beginning of the year. Folks around the world have carefully constructed their own top 10 lists for their favorite films of 2013 and have thought about ways to legitimize why ‘this’ film is better than ‘that’ film and so on and so forth. While it’s truly fantastic to see everyone’s different tastes while also being reminded of how many great films were released throughout the year, it feels as though something gets lost in all the translation and well-developed arguments. Everyone, myself included, tends to put their critical hats on tightly at this time of year in an attempt to rank films from best to worst in lists that, in the end, are quite arbitrary.

I thought I’d take a different approach to look back at what was an intriguing year in film, and a benchmark (most would say life-altering as well) year for me personally. I hope to raise discussion about the issues that are inherent with the creation of top 10 lists; not only by sharing a personal experience to describe where I’m coming from in regards to certain attitudes towards movies, but by creating a different type of top 10 list.

From the outstanding smaller films like Mud and Drinking Buddies, to the big blockbuster annoyances like The Lone Ranger; From the goofy end of the world comedies like This is the End and The World’s End to the more romantic and serious comedies like Before Midnight; From the absurd White House takeovers in White House Down and Olympus Has Fallen to the equally absurd but more pretentious outing for Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel; All of these provided a joy that would not exist without film. All of these films had an impact on someone out there, whether the story portrayed carried some sort of deep and meaningful message or the movie simply allowed an escape from whatever difficult reality had been dealt.

On October 3rd, 2013 I was a fortunate enough person to be given that escape. That Thursday would of course start like any other weekday, with me waking up and going to work. The one caveat was that I was expecting a call from the doctor about a blood test that had been taken the previous day. The phone call came at about 10:00 AM, confirming what I had expected… that I would now be living with Type I Diabetes. This was not necessarily a shock to me. I had come down with the typical symptoms and my cousin has been living with the same since she was in the 6th grade. At 25 years of age at my diagnosis (now 26), the most shocking thing was actually that this hadn’t come a little sooner.

There's my insulin pump!
There’s my insulin pump!

Now, for the past few months I’ve been slowly adjusting to a very new, more organized lifestyle and schedule. Since my body will eventually stop producing insulin, I’ll have to provide my body with the substance through my very own insulin pump (it’s pretty cool really). Needless to say, things really have changed more than probably even I realize.

While this was a big life-changing event for me, the whole diabetes thing wasn’t actually the thing I remember the most from that October day. Many who are reading this may recognize the aforementioned date of October 3rd. This was the first day of the wide release of a little film called Gravity. Every year there’s at least one film that, the first time you see it, it reminds you of why you love going to the movies. For me, Gravity was that film. The film allowed me to get away from what had been the first of many trying days that laid ahead (and will still lie ahead). It allowed me to stare at a screen in amazement as I watched Sandra Bullock (an actress whom I have generally despised in the past) put together a performance that is quite astounding.

Of course it’s debatable whether or not Gravity should be considered among the “best” films of the year, but the whole concept of determining what the “best” film is tends to really be a discretionary goal in the first place due to the many different ways a person may define “best.” Is the best film the film that made the most money? Most likely not in the particular audience which reads this website, but there could certainly be an argument that the most popular movie should be considered the best one (for those of you who just got angry at that statement please calm down). Does the best mean the most artistic film? And what would you even consider to be the most artistic? Or is the best simply the film that was the most enjoyable? I think most readers get the point; determining the “best” film of the year is a near impossible feat in terms of coming to a consensus.

To this writer, there’s not really a need to determine what film is better than another film. It’s all comparing apples to oranges to kiwi to bananas to any other fruit one can imagine. Watching a movie should be a visceral experience; an event that draws you in and gives something to the viewer, whether it be entertainment or bringing philosophical questions to light. How much of an impact the film has on a person’s life is very much in the eye of the beholder. Just for example, to many (myself included), Before Midnight was one of the best films of the year, however in the screening of which I attended, there were plenty of people walking out in the middle of the film. While some may be shocked by that realization, I understand that Before Midnight, and its predecessors, are very particular types of films that not everyone will enjoy.

So when it comes down to tearing down a film like Gravity, like many did after it received plenty of hype (it’s funny to me how people react to hype), I have to shrug my shoulders and say “whatever”, because in reality Gravity is a spectacular film. How can something that has this much impact on a life NOT be spectacular?

This, of course it not just a defense of Gravity, but a celebration of the year in film and what film can do for us i.e. society, families, politics etc. And the Sandra Bullock space thriller was not the only film with which I had a love affair this year. Let’s take a look at some of the films that had an impact this year with the aforementioned “different type” of Top 10 list. As far as the upcoming list goes, the numbers will not signify anything other than the number of films being discussed. There is no “ranking” and I won’t be arguing for one film over the other. This “Top 10” list is simply a demonstration of how many different ways there are to enjoy the cinema. I’m certainly going to try to hit as many different types of films as I can.

(It may go without saying, but I will not be including films that I have not yet seen, Inside Llewyn Davis & Her are two examples of films that I’m sure I will absolutely adore. In addition, since I already talked about it, Gravity is excluded).

10. The Conjuring – Oh the Horror!

The Conjuring - Vera Farmiga

While this writer is typically not one to indulge in the horror genre, The Conjuring is the rare occurrence of brilliance in its respective field. Teeming with elements from just about every famous horror film one could think of, this film terrifies in a relentlessly efficient manner, and it does so with good actors performing like they actually care about their roles (a rarity in the typical horror film).

Everything from the exquisite camera work to the exceptional use of sound in The Conjuring aided to the effectiveness of not only the scares, but the story as a whole. And while this may spawn mind-numbingly ridiculous amounts of lackluster sequels and become annoyingly repetitive a la Paranormal Activity, this initial entry was certainly a memorable one.

9. This is the End – Oh the Funny!

This is the End

Who would have thought a film about celebrities acting like morons during the apocalypse would be so interesting? Many will write This is the End off as ridiculous, filthy fun, however there was a little more to this film than simply making jokes. Yes, the jokes are persistently graphic and gruesome and they come at a tremendous pace, however the performers are providing an intriguing commentary on society with the comedy that ensues.

Differentiating the actual importance and the perceived importance of celebrity is something that is rarely done in films, especially from films like this. Watching actors like James Franco and Seth Rogen become this self-aware is extremely refreshing.

This film is also a perfect entry to illustrate just how different a top 10 list can be. There is probably no way I would add this movie to my list if I were trying to develop a list determining what the 10 best films of the year were, however, the fact that such a subversively crude film was as big a hit as this was says something about the importance of this movie. What we have is a film about celebrities making fun of celebrities… and it probably made a lot of money because of the importance society puts on celebrities.

8. Drinking Buddies – Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Drinking Buddies

I first saw Drinking Buddies when it was initially released on iTunes (I believe it was in the Summer but I can’t be positive). I was amazed at how refreshing of a film this was and how much I enjoyed the performances, especially from Olivia Wilde. This is a film that directs the audience at believing it’s going to be a typical romantic comedy, yet ends up going in a direction that left me pleasantly surprised.

Drinking Buddies is a story about friendship, and it doesn’t turn into something it shouldn’t be. It’s a film that doesn’t force anything upon the audience and has a very natural feel to it.

7. Fast & Furious 6 – The Little Franchise that Could!

Crazy Stunts - Fast & Furious

Star Wars. Lord of the Rings. Fast & Furious? Yes, it’s true. The Fast & Furious franchise has accomplished something that it probably should never have as it has developed staying power with the big boys, establishing a clear cut strategy of filmmaking (don’t give a crap about plot and focus on amazing set pieces).

While the death of Paul Walker is tragic (R.I.P. Mr. Walker), the fact is that the recent passing of the franchise’s default lead man will only make the success of the blockbuster adrenaline filled series more relevant and the series will, in all likelihood, not miss a beat.

6. Side Effects – What the Hell is Steven Soderbergh Doing?

Side Effects - Therapy

This is it. The alleged final film (although Behind the Candelabra was released after it) from the director that gave us the likes of Out of Sight and Traffic was an interesting, 2-faced film in which the plot twisted and turned without caution. Steven Soderbergh definitely had an interesting final (allegedly) few years of his career.

Soderbergh seemed to have a very experimental period to close out (allegedly) his career beginning in 2009 with The Girlfriend Experience in which he cast adult film star Sasha Grey to play a high-class call girl. He went on to create a bizarre action film with Haywire, and he found an odd sort of muse for himself by using Channing Tatum effectively.

Side Effects is one of those films that forced me to think for quite awhile afterwards to figure out what I really thought of it. And I still haven’t really decided. It’s a film that calls for multiple viewings and could be viewed as many different things. It’s certainly a film that has split personalities.

5. Spring Breakers – Just What the Hell?

Spring Breakers

I have to admit something. I HATED this movie. Absolutely, positively despised just about everything about this movie. However, I’ll also admit it was a hate in the way people hate car wrecks but can’t look away.

So why is a film that I hated appearing in a top 10 list. Well, this is another illustration of how much everyone can get wrapped up in arguing about films that they don’t realize that most opinions about film come down to a subjective core, not objective analysis.

The truth of the matter is that Spring Breakers wasn’t technically a bad film. There were a lot of things in the film that were extremely interested (James Franco’s ridiculous character included). However, if I were to make a true top 10 list, there’s absolutely no possibly way this movie would have made it because of how much dread I felt as the story moved along.

4. Mud – So Matthew McConaughey Had a Good Year

Mud - A Conversation Amongst Friends

Alright alright alright. Matthew McConaughey is going to end up appearing on this list more than once because of my number 1 film on this list, but I could not leave out the latest from director Jeff Nichols in which a boy finds a suspected murderer (McConaughey) hiding on an island.

The film has a very familiar and local feel. Set in Arkansas near a river, the movie mixes a sort of folk tale style with mystery and, to this writer, ended up feeling very similar to another favorite, A History of Violence.

A strength in this film was absolutely the performances from the young actors Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland, Ellis and Neckbone respectively. The two characters played very well off of each other and there was an authenticity to this film and story that wasn’t as apparent in most other films of this ilk.

3. Frances Ha – The Most Woody Allen Movie Not from Woody Allen

Frances in Bed

On the surface this film is like most Woody Allen films. It’s about a person aimlessly wandering around and trying to be smart. Frances is a character that should be unlikable. She’s a character that has a hard time grasping reality and doesn’t really put a whole lot of effort into anything except for maybe trying to make it seem like she achieves everything effortlessly.

Yet there is something inevitably charming about this little film from Noah Baumbach and it held my interest. It was funny, and had interesting neuroticism, something that is very akin to every Woody Allen film.

2. Pacific Rim – I Mean… It’s Giant Robots vs. Monsters

Pacific Rim - Australia

I feel like the subtitle pretty much explains everything, but I guess I can still say a little something about this spectacle.

Besides Gravity, Pacific Rim was the visual spectacle of the film year. With the attention to detail on every nook and cranny of every giant robot, one could tell how important this project was to director Guillermo Del Toro.

This is certainly a film created to be seen on a big screen, and it was absolutely beautiful, ugly monsters included. It was a film that truly captured the shear magnitude of the story being told. There isn’t a movie out there that better displayed the size and scope of its given situation.

1. The Wolf of Wall Street – You Can’t Go Wrong with Scorsese

The Wolf of Wall Stree

If I were to create a list of the top 10 films of this year, this movie would be at the top. So that’s where it’s going now. And this is not because it’s the latest Scorsese movie or because it’s the best Leonardo DiCaprio performance of his amazing career or because of all the obscenely wild events that take place throughout the film; including a Quaaludes scene that will surely go down as the most famous scene of the film.

This film is in this top spot because I found this to be the most fascinating and enjoyable experience I had in the theater all year. The film is told through the perspective of Jordan Belfort, and that perspective is a very important part of the film and will be a determinant in how each particular audience member will receive this film.

On one hand, there are many who will look at this film as celebrating the debauchery at play. There are others who will see the film in the light of Jordan Belfort’s eyes, as a questionable narrator who very much sees things in his own way.

The Wolf of Wall Street is the perfect example of a film that could be loathed and hated or could be absolutely adored depending on a person’s perception of what a great film should be. I will admit at times that the film has some scenes that maybe went on for too long, however I saw this as necessary because there was an element to the film that displayed more and more discomfort the longer things lasted.

From the perspective of this writer, however, The Wolf of Wall Street is the film of the year. But, I reserve the right to change my mind and rearrange films in an arbitrary order as I see fit.

While I’m sure there will be many who disagree with the choices in the preceding list, I certainly feel this list is a more representative of the year in film than it would be for me to discuss what movies I thought were the “best” of the year. We all love to create our lists and argue about the films we loved the most, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, sometimes the lists are taken too seriously and the year as a whole can get muddled. I would love to see everyone stop worrying about lists and what movie goes where and start learning to love movies in general.

Here’s to a happy new year and looking forward to another excellent year at the movies.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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I'm Kevin Licht, a graduate from the University of Missouri with a bachelor's degree in English and a minor emphasis in Film Studies. When I'm not working I watch and write

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  1. Jake Wheeler

    I just watched Wolf in the theater a few hours ago with friends: easily one of the worst movies we’d seen in a long time. I lost count of the number of times I yawned or checked my watch to find out when this bore of a film would be over.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love naked boobies as much as the next heterosexual male. But when every other scene is naked boobies and guys taking drugs, the any sense of excitement or entertainment these scenes might have carried is lost.

    Worst of all, the story on hand here is genuinely interesting, but the delivery is nothing short of insulting. Several times in the film, DiCaprio breaks the fourth wall and summarizes the events of the story so far. “Don’t worry about the details of what we did and how we got this money and why it was illegal,” He said in essence, “Just understand that what we were doing was illegal and we made lots of money doing it. Now here’s two straight hours of naked boobies and drugs.”

    I really wanted to enjoy this movie. DiCaprio shows some fantastic acting, and the whole idea of the film is interesting. But the makers spent so much time trying to shock us with drugs and nudity that the end result is just a loud and childish mess… like Miley Cyrus.

    • Dominic Parsons

      This movie, in my opinion, was FANTASTIC. Yes, there was excessive debauchery and use of the f bomb, but to me that is what made it hilarious. Scorsese did an outstanding job directing it and the acting, dialogue, and the story itself were also incredibly well done. DiCaprio was exceptional as usual. I’m really hoping for him to get that Oscar he’s been cheated out of too many times. I’ve seen some reviews that criticize the movie for its style of humor, but the movie is clearly a love or hate type of movie after watching it.

      • wildflower

        I’m torn between these two opinions. Yes I loved the movie, but I think that it could have maybe been cut down about 30 minutes and my attention would have kept. My brain was a bit tired after watching all of the insanity.

    • Kevin Licht

      While The Wolf of Wall Street is certainly a love/hate film, I must disagree with you about the narration from DiCaprio’s character. This was a film that had effective narration much more attune to the likes of Scorsese’s Goodfellas where the narrator actually adds to the scenes instead of presenting a description of exactly what was happening, a problem that does occur in Scorsese’s Casino.

      • Jon Lisi

        Also to the point about narration: It works for this film especially because in a way Belfort is speaking to us as if he’s selling us yet one more thing: his lifestyle, his existence, and his impact on the world. Is he as important as he thinks he is? Should we really be concerned? Judging from the heated response to the film, Scorsese and his team succeed, and we buy every second of it.

        • While I thought the film dragged, the importance of the narration in the film is that Belfort is an UNRELIABLE narrator, so we as viewers are supposed to think twice about every little thing he tells us. He’s unreliable because his retelling of certain events (ie, driving home under the influence) is at times plain wrong, and so we are meant to reconsider each and every thing he tells us.

    • This movie is so over the top insane in every way, I was exhausted an hour into the movie from the sheer madness of it. It needed to be trimmed easily about 30 minutes and it would told the exact same story. That being said Jonah Hill knocked it out of the park and still worth your time. Apparently quaalude’s are one fucking hell of a drug.

    • DiCaprio as you’ve never…I mean NEVER seen him before. He plays the snake/scumbag role so well in this movie and he relishes every second of it. This turn of pace is excellent for him, and if he doesn’t win an Oscar this time around, I don’t really know what else the guy can do to get one.

  2. Lorraine

    Thank you Kevin , my 22 year old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1, in April this year. I live in Illinois and she was at University in UK , she was in the middle of her finals when diagnosed , so she has not had much time to come to terms with her condition.

    Now that everything has calmed down and she is back at home with her Dad in UK , reality has hit her like a freight train , and she is feeling lost and hopeless. She has gained weight , which she hates.

    I know she will work this out (kind of like you have), but for now today, was not a good day for her , so I was pleased to read this. Thank you and keep well.

  3. may-tan

    Just saw the movie Mud. I was born in Memphis, Tenn., on the Mississippi River across from Arkansas, and I know people there still, and most of the accents are authentic. Matthew McConaughey’s authentic accent is more Deep South (hence, more slack) but overall there isn’t the usual fake Southern accents we normally see in Hollywood films (including “Gone With The Wind” and especially Tom Hanks in “Forrest Gump.”) The scenes of small town Southern life, while hardly endearing, at least are not gratuitously insulting. The people have dignity, if not much else sometimes. This comes across.

    • Gerardo Schwartz

      Best US film I saw end of last year.. took a year to get here..The young boy Tye Sheridan delivers a performance seasoned actors would be proud of..

    • Great performances and the river and landscape were like another character.

  4. Pacific Rim was one awesome movie. Sure, some of the dialogue was cheesy, and I was able to call out every plot point long before it happened, but so what? This was, in essence, a live action anime, and it nailed that perfectly. Turn off your brain and enjoy the giant robot fights!

    • I must say that after all the hype I found this movie to be a 2 hour bore-fest. It has cringe-worth dialogue, a story told entirely through exposition, and repetitive action sequences (tip for pilots in the sequel… stop fighting these things in water, they clearly have the advantage)

      Also every scene where halfway through the fight they would shoot a rocket or plasma shot that ripped the monster apart I thought to myself “Why in the F would you not open with that!”

      • Kevin Licht

        Wow! Bore-fest is a new one with Pacific Rim. I certainly understand what the issues would be with the film, but I felt the cheese was on purpose and it felt like a fun ode to Godzilla. For me it was mostly about the visuals though.

        • Sean Hodges

          I… have to admit, “bore-fest” has got me stumped too. I mean, it’s cliché, yes, but compared to other blockbuster films of it’s nature I felt it did what it set out to do, and did it well. But hey, there’s always room for debate; maybe there was something lacking that I missed.

          • I was under the impression that this film was inspired by and somewhat of a love letter to movies like Godzilla, but it turns out inspired by meant “insane amounts of the plot were borrowed from”. I was excited to go into a movie about these giant robots fighting giant lizards and see that it took itself seriously. To me, that would have been funnier than cheesy dialogue and characters like Herman.

  5. Jordan

    You’ve really improved on this article. It’s impressive. It must have taken ages to write up
    I like Leonardo di caprio but I wasn’t sure about the premise of Wall Street , it doesn’t sound like my thing but I liked Gatsby. Would you recommend it?

    • Kevin Licht

      If’s difficult to give a recommendation for Wolf of Wall Street. I would say if you read the different responses to the film it would surely be worth checking out simply to see what you think. It’s not really comparable to Gatsby other than DiCaprio being in it, and maybe the director flaunting his stuff (arguably a little too much).

      When I went to see it the usher at AMC was being forced to warn people about the graphic sexual content as well, so that could be a factor.

      Let’s put it this way… it’s an interesting film when it comes to forming an opinion.

  6. Wolf is utterly insane in the best possible way.

  7. I really enjoyed this article more for the way you spoke of film as an all-encompassing, feel-good experience, and I do agree that at this time of year we most definitely get lost in specifically criticising films in line with BAFTA and Academy Award nominations.

    Whilst I am still waiting to see some of the films on your list, there are some I do and don’t agree with that have made it into your top 10, nevertheless, it is great to see this positive attitude on all film culture being shared!

  8. Sean Hodges

    I’ve got to say, it’s absolutely great to see someone tackle a “top ten” list in such a way! It’s true what you say, of course, even bad films – if they are compelling in their badness, or technically not “bad” films but just ones the viewer in question didn’t like – deserve spots on these lists too. All in all this was a really great read, and I’ll have to give some of your recommendations a watch.

  9. Michelle Webb

    Great job! Enjoyed it very much.

  10. Michelle Webb

    ..and Spring Breakers looks like a mess, but I think I’ll try it anyway.. shame on me! Cheers for a great list.

  11. Catherine Zamora Quintana

    Theres a great number of movies on your list that I must watch and criticize (of course), starting with The Wolf of Wall Street which I see can causes a stir. However, I understand clearly what you are trying to say about Spring Breakers. I watch that movie ( I actually got dragged into the cinema by a dear friend), and I dislike the movie, but could not retain myself from watching. I believe that the overall story line of the movie; broke students who want to have a memorable experience make horrible decisions that gets them well in trouble. However, I do not believe the film carried out such a plot line in an attractive way. The film was different, but not worth the money we paid to watch it.

  12. Great article:) and thank you. I’ll be sure to check out some of these films as I haven’t had the opportunity yet. If I could offer you a piece of cinema to watch: The Place Beyond the Pines. Eloquently shot and acted with a unique story about how the consequences of our actions can affect us after we have long left them in our tracks. Definitely worth a watch.

  13. KatieFeehan

    I have to agree about Wolf of Wall Street. It will totally divide popular opinion but this is always the sign of a truly great controversial film that is pushing the boundaries. That Quaaludes scene is hilariously unbelievable and will be memorable whether you like it or not. Either way, it will take some beating to knock this from top spot film of the year!

  14. Try as I might, I find it very difficult to like most films. Even if I find the trailer compelling, it is very unlikely that I would go to a theater to watch a movie.
    The only movie I saw in 2013 was the 2011 film, Nordzee Texas, from Belgium. It was beautiful, quiet,and very subtle.

  15. Hahaha I love this. I haven’t seen all of the films on this list, but I am usually pretty carefree with my film watching choices–as with my television viewing ones. You never know what might surprise you.

  16. mistressofprose

    I have yet to see many of the films on your list, but you made me want to see them. I agree that The Wolf of Wall Street is one of the best films of the year. I loved and hated it. For my husband and I, it was the car wreck you couldn’t look away from. Not that it was a bad film. It was a great film. But it was the most chaotic of Scorsese’s films, while still managing to be utterly boring in parts. Even if they end up hating it, I suggest everyone see it.

  17. I loved reading your article and your new kind of list. I think that often times people disregard movies that they hated, like “Spring Breakers.” One of my favorite English professors taught me something very valuable: regardless of how you end up feeling about a piece (be it poetry, film, a novel, artwork, etc.), it is important that you feel -something-. If you don’t feel anything at all, then you have to examine why that is and if there is perhaps a problem with how you are engaging with the piece. If you detested a film, then be aware that you detested it, defend it, examine it, and be glad that it made you feel something.

  18. I must say that it is refreshing to see an “end-of-the-year”-type list that is not arranged in typical, hierarchical fashion. Thank you for taking the time to remind us that, while it is all too easy to just be critical of the films and texts that we do not like, it is much more generative to consider what “work” these films are doing (both in our own lives, and in the greater social arena, as well). Oftentimes, I find that the films, books, songs, works of art, etc. that I engage with the most passionately are NOT necessarily the ones that I liked the best; rather, they are the ones that, for better or for worse, touched me in a way that demanded further consideration and examination.

  19. I think that in general, it’s interesting to see what everyone thinks the top ten movies are of the year. Growing up, I felt as though I was always wanting to watch movies that no one had ever heard of. I enjoyed going to the movies to see the cinematography, where as my friends wanted to be entertained. Don’t get me wrong, I love going to the movies for a good laugh and or a chance to make me think outside of the box, but your choices in your top ten list was really well rounded. While, I didn’t see all of them, it’s good to hear what you thought of the ones I did see and made me just that more interested to see the ones I didn’t see.

  20. Dan Furmansky

    Yes to Wolf of Wall Street and not being able to go wrong with Scorsese. Though I do think the brilliant screenwriter Terrence Winter deserves to be mentioned as well. This is a man who has had his hand in The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire so he knows gangsters and compliments Scorsese’s genius when it comes to this genre. Though Wolf of Wall Street isn’t a gangster film, it almost feels like one. The smooth main character is the very essence of White Collar crime and the worst part is… He’s likeable. For the most part. I definitely have a soft spot for Leo and think everything he does is gold (except for The Great Gatsby) and his acting deserves particular praise. Among my other favorite films this year are American Hustle and Dallas Buyers Club with 12 Years a Slave coming in 4th place. Still trying to decide which film has been my favorite this year. It goes without saying, but this was a great year for film.

  21. Paula Esparza

    I have to say Gravity really opened my eyes to how incredible the film industry still is. I love film and television but often times I get discouraged when the only movies that are going to be released are nothing but sequels or reboots. So when I was watching Gravity for a second time I couldn’t stop thinking about how amazing of a movie it was. I never imagined I would cry for Sandra Bullock, but the story was amazing much like the delivery. Then I started thinking about all the work and time it took to create this masterpiece, and it just made me really happy. Knowing that there are still people in the industry that are dedicated to delivering a good quality film and not just making millions made me appreciate those works more. I have a friend who never likes anything because it doesn’t meet his standards and it gets to be really annoying when we are deciding on what to watch. I am pretty picky about what I watch, but that’s because when I see a certain trailer all I see is a desire to make a money and no real heart put into it. It’s disappointing when critics pick at a movie to try to find its faults. It seems as if people don’t enjoy these movies out of pure love for them but only for the reasons they believe make a “good film”

  22. Right now the only two movies that are prevalently remembered now are Wolf of Wall Street and Fast and Furious 6 (and the latter because of the franchise name. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the reason is because both have powerful film/franchise identities.

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