As the year comes to a close, you’re about to be inundated with more ‘Best of 2013′ lists than you can shake a stick at. I’m sorry in advance, but there’s very little I can do about it…
…except to go through the lists and make them not so dumb and stuff. Make sure that they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing. Like this list from Rotten Tomatoes of the Best Movies of 2013? There are 100 of them, and because of their ranking system, there are a lot of unknown films right at the top of the list.
Their system assumes that all movies are going to be reviewed by the same number of critics, and puts them in order accordingly. So a film that came out and got around thirty reviews (like that all happened to be 100% positive would be ranked above a film that got almost three hundred reviews and were 97% positive (like Gravity). Even though the critics who are going to review a more unknown movie are members of a self-selecting group who seek out smaller movies that they think they’ll like, and tend to review them as ‘Fresh’ instead of ‘Rotten’. Movies are rewarded for being less well-known.
Anyway, it’s all very complicated, and I have no patience for it. No patience, I say! So I went through and pulled out the movies for this list that you’ve actually heard of and put them in order so you know which ones to get for your loved ones’ stockings this year. These are all films that either received over 100 reviews…or just ones that I really loved myself and highly recommend. And they’re all ranked 89% or higher, so how can you lose?
(In cases where the name of the film is a hyperlink, you can follow it to read Crushable’s full reviews of the movies from when they first came out.)
Here we go.
Rotten Tomatoes’ Ranking: #10, with 170 reviews, 98% of them positive
A fan favorite starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, living in Greece and eight years into the relationship that we first saw blossoming in Before Sunset and Before Sunrise.
Rotten Tomatoes’ Ranking: #11, with 160 reviews, 98% of them positive
A surprisingly great film starring Matthew McConaughey as a fugitive hiding from bounty hunters who befriends two young boys in his quest to win back the love of his childhood love, played by Reese Witherspoon.
3. Short Term 12
Rotten Tomatoes’ Ranking: #12, with 122 reviews, 98% of them positive
An naturalistic indie film that features Brie Larson as a twenty-something who works at a foster care facility alongside her coworker and long-term boyfriend, played by John Gallagher, Jr.
Rotten Tomatoes’ Ranking: #13, with 105 reviews, 98% of them positive
An amazing documentary that goes behind-the-scenes at Sea World to show the patterns of abuse dealt to killer whales like Tilikum, an orca who has caused the death of three trainers to date and is still used in marine shows.
Rotten Tomatoes’ Ranking: #14, with 279 reviews, 97% of them positive
An intense thriller starring Sandra Bullock as a medical engineer trying to survive in space after she is stranded outside her craft.
Rotten Tomatoes’ Ranking: #21, with 192 reviews, 96% of them positive
The appropriately hard-to-watch true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man from New York who was sold into slavery for twelve years, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor.