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Top 10: Movies of 2013

2013 may seem like forever ago already, but we aren’t done talking about it yet! To bring back some fond (and maybe also some painful) memories, here’s Stanford Daily columnist Caleb Smith’s top 10 list of movies from 2013:

1.  Oblivion:

After a nuclear war against an alien invasion, humanity’s outpost on the ruined remains of Earth runs into trouble — and faces big questions over whom it can trust. An imposing epic that combines action, a brilliant plot and top actors, this film takes the cake. Starring Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman. Directed by Joseph Kosinski.

 2.  Now You See Me:

When a group of stage magicians robs a bank, the resulting twists and turns in this caper leave audiences at the edge of their seats. Combining humor and trickery, this film is the best caper film we’ve seen in a long time. Starring Jesse Eisenberg. Directed by Louis Leterrier.

3. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire:

Here’s an unusual occurrence: a movie that combines brilliantly choreographed action with interesting thoughts about resisting tyranny. This “Hunger Games” sequel follows Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) as she returns to the gladiatorial conflicts amid political turmoil. Directed by Francis Lawrence.

4. White House Down:

This movie is short plot, depth and cinematography<\p><\_><\p>but that doesn’t matter because it delivers the type of mindless fun that only summer blockbusters can. When terrorists attack the White House, the President (Jaime Foxx) and a cop (Channing Tatum) must team up to save America. Directed by Roland Emmerich.

5. Star Trek: Into Darkness:

The second movie in this “Star Trek” reboot, this film features impressive special effects, a giddy plot and a few twists on one of Star Trek’s favorite villains, Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch). Not very deep, but awfully fun. Starring Chris Pine. Directed by J. J. Abrams.

6. Despicable Me 2:

This animated film features Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) working for the good guys. A fun film about family, growing up and saving the world, this movie brings back the incredibly funny minions, who are up to their usual antics. Directed by Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud.

 7. Iron Man 3: 

Robert Downey Jr. returns as the man in the iron suit. Although a bit melodramatic, this sequel delivers action, excitement and copious amounts of snarky behavior. It’s probably the best superhero movie of the year. Directed by Shane Black.

8. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues:

Returning to legitimate films, “Anchorman 2” is a predictable but still funny continuation of the Ron Burgundy character. Starring the inexhaustibly funny Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy, this film derides cable news for its lack of depth, fixation on ratings and generally insanity. Directed by Adam McKay.

9. Sharknado:

Some movies are so bad that they arrive at entertainment from the opposite direction. In this mind-blowingly dumb and cheesy disaster film, several denizens of Los Angeles have to survive sharks, storms and, yes, sharknados (sharks flying around in the middle of tornados). Starring Ian Ziering, Tara Reid and John Heard. Directed by Anthony Ferrante.

 10. The Host:

In a future world where an alien invasion has taken over most people’s minds, a small group of free humans seeks to resist. Sleek, almost bleak settings and cinematography give this film a moody atmosphere and help focus the audience’s attention on thought-provoking questions about the relationships humans have with other organisms. Starring Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons and Jake Able. Directed by Andrew Niccol and based on a book by Stephanie Meyer (who also wrote the “Twilight” books).

About Caleb Smith

Caleb Smith '17 is a staff writer from Oakland, California and is planning on majoring in public policy. He specializes in public safety and university issues but does not discriminate against other articles. Outside the Daily, Caleb is Co-director of news at KZSU Stanford, the campus radio station. Have a tip or suggestion? Please contact him at caleb17 ‘at’ stanford.edu.
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