These are the films I liked the most this year. I'm hesitant to call this a Top Ten list because I haven't seen everything yet.
10. American Hustle (David O. Russell)
I actually thought this film was a bit of a mess, narratively, but it was so entertaining. It really proved that cinema's best special effect is still an actor or actress, delivering movie star chops.
9. Drinking Buddies (Joe Swanberg)
8. 56 Up (Michael Apted)
Michael Apted's documentary series is in its 49th year, chronicling the lives of ordinary citizens. It's a remarkable piece of filmmaking.
7. Her (Spike Jonze)
6. Frozen (Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee)
5. Gravity (Alfonso Cuaron)
4. The World's End (Edgar Wright)
The third of the Cornetto trilogy is Edgar Wright's and Simon Pegg's deepest film yet. And Pegg, as a wrecked man trying to relive his glory days is one of my favorite performances of the year.
3. 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen)
2. Before Midnight (Richard Linklater)
1. Inside Llewyn Davis (The Coens)
And a special prize goes to Scapegoat (Charles Sturridge).
This was a TV movie in the UK in 2012, but it is just now available here on Netflix, and I enjoyed this film as much as I enjoyed anything in the theaters last year. Based on a Daphne Du Maurier novel of the same name, Matthew Rhys plays a mild-mannered classics teacher who meets his doppelganger, an aristocratic thug. They switch places, and the film alternates between comedy, romance, suspense and tragedy.