TheFocusedFilmographer’s Choice Awards: Best & Worst Movie Picks of 2013

Today is the second day of 2014! Wow! Seems like just yesterday I was posting 2011’s and 2012’s!

It is time to present my CHOICE AWARDS for Best & Worst picks of 2013!2013

*(As a reminder, any words in gold serve as clickable links to the referenced article.)

Hey, just in case you didn’t know…2013 is over! and if you are reading this, then that means you survived it and the destruction we saw onscreen from San Francisco to Hong Kong to Metropolis and back! Congratulations. 🙂manof steel

Leo from this year’s The Great Gatsby

Happy New Year!

With the new year comes tons of posts around the web about the best and worst of 2013 and the expectations for 2014. Before deciding to list mine, I went back and looked at my two-part lists Anticipating the Top 12 Most Disappointing Movies of 2013 (part 1 and part 2) and found that I was right on 9 out of 12! haha. Interesting to look back and see what I expected to disappoint! My guesses weren’t TOO far off, however, looking back sure does show the stark differences between expectations and reality.


2013 in movies came with a lot of surprises and disappointments! Some films were great, while some were great letdowns (I’m pointing at you, The Counselor).the-counselor-javier-bardem-cameron-diaz

Some actors had an amazing breakthrough year (Nice work, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Matthew McConaughey!)

McConaughey's 2013 included: MUD, WOLF ON WALL STREET and DALLAS BUYERS CLUB.
McConaughey’s 2013 included: MUD, WOLF ON WALL STREET and DALLAS BUYERS CLUB.

…while others didn’t even make their presence known (Anybody hear from Charlize Theron this year? I expected to see more of her after her dance moves at the Academy Awards and seeing her in Prometheus and Snow White & the Huntsman in 2012. She simply disappeared!)

2013 gave us the conclusion and/or continuation of some tales (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), while others were only beginning (Man of Steel)!movies

2013 also gave us some tales we can only WISH would end, like Scary Movie 5, Tyler Perry movies and The Smurfs 2 (at least The Hangover ended…we hope!).hangover

Plenty of box office gold was had this past year worldwide! Check out the results from 2013!

Top 10 WORLDWIDE Box Office Results of 2013:

  1. Iron Man 3 -$1.2 BILLION
  2. Despicable Me 2 -$918M
  3. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire -$797M
  4. Fast & Furious 6-$789M
  5. Monsters University -$744M
  6. Man of Steel -$663M
  7. Gravity-$653M
  8. Thor: The Dark World -$629M
  9. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug -$625M
  10. The Croods -$587M

Congrats to Iron Man 3!

How many new releases did you watch this past year? I watched over 80 new releases (which is good for only about 30% of all the new releases), and over 120 movies overall. Wow!

You can always visit my list of films/reviews (called “The Archive“) HERE!

Just for you, I have compiled a list of just 100 movies that released in 2013 split into 4 categories (25 each). My own personal lists of:

  • (1) Movies I’m Glad I Saw
  • (2) Movies I Missed…but wanted to see
  • (3) Movies I wish I could “Un-see”
  • (4) Movies I’m glad I missed

The movies are not listed in any order of preference, the fact that they are on the lists speaks to my desire or distaste for the film…if I’m GLAD I saw it, or not, etc. These are my choices, hence the title: The Focused Filmographer Choice Awards!

Here we go:

(1) Top 25 Movies I’m Glad I Saw in 2013About Time, Saving Mr. Banks, Pacific Rim, Frozen, Prisoners, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Gravity, Mud, Captain Phillips, Rush, Thor: The Dark World, Monsters University, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Jurassic Park 3D, Delivery Man, The Iceman, Star Trek Into Darkness, Fast & Furious 6, This is the End, Fruitvale Station, The Conjuring, The Butler, 12 Years a Slave, Enders Game and Last Vegas.

(2) Top 25 Movies I Missed…but wanted to see…in 2013: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Her, 47 Ronin, Nebraska, The Book Thief, Philomena, Jobs, Lone Survivor, Frances Ha, Arthur Newman, Inside Llewyn Davis, Emperor, The Kings of Summer, Much Ado About Nothing, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Blue Jasmine, The Spectacular Now, The Bling Ring, Closed Circuit, Disconnect, The Lifeguard, How I Live Now, Escape from Tomorrow, The Way Way Back and All is Lost.

(3) Top 25 Movies I wish I could “Un-see” in 2013: The Host, Movie 43, Identity Thief, Side Effects, Stoker, The World’s End, Jack the Giant Slayer, Passion, Grown Ups 2, Dead Man Down, Spring Breakers, The Call, White House Down, Byzantium, Sharknado, The Hangover Part III, Epic, Carrie, The Lone Ranger, Getaway, Riddick, The Family, Bad Grandpa, Erased and After Earth.

(4) Top 25 Movies I’m glad I missed in 2013: A Haunted House, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Evil Dead, To the Wonder, Safe Haven, The Heat, Phantom, The Fifth Estate, Machete Kills, Scary Movie 5, The Smurfs 2, Europa Report, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Beautiful Creatures, Paranoia, Insidious Chapter 2, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Only God Forgives, Welcome to the Punch, The Place Beyond the Pines, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, The Purge, Planes, R.I.P.D. and Runner Runner.

The Focused Filmographer Choice Awards

The Focused Filmographer Choice Award for WORST movie of 2013:

-This is decided by a mix of a few variables: Limited to what I have watched, Considering Expectation vs. Disappointment, Soundtrack, Box Office Results, and my own opinion!

  • After Earth– With a budget of $130 million and the star power of Will Smith and a possibility for the name of M. Night Shyamalan to actually have a chance at meaning greatness again, this scifi story had so much more potential and it utterly failed. Domestic earnings just barely passed $60 million. I wanted to like this movie, I even defended it to a small degree in my review HERE, but in review of the year and the movie’s overall performance, I have no choice but to crown it as the WORST of 2013 for its disappointment and dire delivery. BAD!

after earth

The Focused Filmographer Choice Award for BEST movie of 2013:

-This is decided by a mix of a few variables: Limited to what I have watched, Considering Expectation vs. Deliverance, Soundtrack, Box Office Results, and MY review score!

The decision was super tough for me this year as several movies kept my interest and impacted me for different reasons. My top 4 choices all were super good (Gravity, About Time, Mud, Pacific Rim), so I had to narrow it down even further by asking myself, “Which one could you sit and watch numerous times and not get bored and which could you watch/recommend and enjoy the most with friends?” After asking myself those questions, my decision was made:

  • Pacific Rim– Still the recipient of criticism for its so-so plot and acting, I defend this action blockbuster and loved every minute of it. Seeing it in theaters 4 times (One of which was in glorious IMAX 3D), Pacific Rim gave me what I wanted and more. Giant robots beating up giant monsters who threatened all of humanity! What’s not to like? Plus, it had the greatest speech in cinematic history since Bill Pulham’s speech in Independence Day or Aragorn’s speech in LOTR: Return of the King!
  • This film didn’t get nearly as much love as it deserved in theaters (granted, much like After Earth, Pacific Rim domestically earned only half of its production budget (worldwide it did twice as much as its budget), but it continues to be sold out in stores! I LOVED this movie and the soundtrack was also great! A film that was far from being a disappointment. Nice work Guillermo del Toro in blending comedy, action, childhood cartoon memories and fantasy into one! Be sure to read my Review


HOWEVER! Just like last year, I just can’t pass up the opportunity for a TIE for this award. I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t pass up giving an award to Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity which will share the 2-way tie for Best Movie of 2013 from me as my back hurt after watching it because I was leaned forward the entire time glued to the screen anxious to see what would happen next in the bad sequence of events! Gravity was gripping and deserving of mention here!


Well, tell me, which movies made your lists?

  1. Did you actually enjoy Planes?
  2. What about Delivery Man?
  3. Did you think Wolf on Wall Street was the best of 2013?
  4. Did you get to see Ender’s Game?
  5. Was Frozen the best animated film of the year?
  6. Which “Destroy the White House” movie was better? White House Down or Olympus Has Fallen?
  7. Were you a fan of Oz the Great & Powerful?
  8. Did The Great Gatsby make it on one of these lists for you?
  9. What was the Biggest disappointment for you in 2013 movies?
  10. Which did you like more out of 42, The Butler, 12 Years a Slave?
  11. What was the worst sequel of the year? (There were many)
  12. Which ones in 2014 are you looking forward to? (My list of 2014 movies I am looking forward to will post tomorrow!)…Plenty more to keep an eye out for! 🙂

Share your thoughts/answers in the comment section!

Congratulations to all the winners. Thanks for a great year! And for your continued reading! Happy Watching!


T, The Focused Filmographer

***IMPORTANT: BE ON THE LOOKOUT: Very soon, the 4th Annual Red Web Awards will be presented here. The “Academy Awards” if you will of TheFocusedFilmographer. I have assembled a panel of judges who are currently submitting their nominations to me that shall be announced shortly. You all will have the chance to vote and decide. Get Ready. The fun has only begun.


  1. Nice write up T., can’t say that I enjoyed Pacific Rim as much as you did, I thought it’s okay but I wouldn’t want to see it again. I definitely prefer White House Down over Olympus Has Fallen, the latter took itself way too seriously and it wasn’t fun at all.

    As for my favorite movies of 2013, I’ll go with Gravity and The Wolf of Wall Street.


    • Hey Ted, Thanks for chiming in. Glad we agree on Gravity. haha.

      I was a bit surprised by your love of WHD over OHF. I didn’t enjoy WHD nearly as much but, surprisingly, it wasn’t because of Tatum. It was because of Jamie Foxx! ha.

      Happy New year


  2. What a fantastic write up! Very full. You made me laugh with your list of movies you could “un-see” :).

    I hired the DVD “Jobs” last night, & really found it inspiring. It was great. Cheers!


  3. Wow…good list T! Really? No Planes?!? I loved planes! Was so much fun! I was sad to see that you didn’t have Her on your films watched list. I really enjoyed it…it was definitely an interesting movie. Also what about Prisoners? Dark, darker, darkest…the movie totally blew my mind and made me wonder if I could become the monster or shirk back from that precipice. I thought the Hobbit was a SNOOZER! I fell asleep watching it 3 times…all 3 times I tried to watch it. Guess I’m a purist of the books…and really despise what has been done to the story. Frozen…right on with that one. Best animated film of the year! I liked 42, the Butler, and 12 years a slave but loved none of them. 42 though was the best of the list. Good job T…I love your site and your reviews…


  4. You really loved Pacific Rim, didn’t you T? I liked it. It’s a fun film. Caught it a second time on my flight home over the holidays. Fun, flawed but entertaining.

    Got a lot of films from last year, and the year before, to catch up on.

    I think Thor was ultimately my biggest disappointment of the year. The first outing for Thor is by far my favourite Marvel film release. Everything that film got right, the second one (I feel) got wrong. All the ingredients were there but it just went wrong. And I was so looking forward to it!


    • Pacific Rim is the best! haha 🙂

      Don’t worry. I’m right there with you when it comes to playing catch up! 🙂

      I liked Thor but it still heavily relied on Loki which kept the franchise from being able to move forward, I think. We’ll see what they do next.


  5. I’m afraid the only one of your questions I can answer is #4, with “No”, because I haven’t seen any of those films! 😀

    Ah well. Glad to read your takes on them anyway. Happy New Year, Terrence!


  6. That is such a big post, not sure where to start. PACIFIC RIM!!! Glad its finally on a top of the year list 😀

    Did you actually enjoy Planes?
    Never say it

    What about Delivery Man?
    Haven’t seen it yet

    Did you think Wolf on Wall Street was the best of 2013?

    Did you get to see Ender’s Game?
    No, looking forward to it on DVD though

    Was Frozen the best animated film of the year?
    I think it was yeah, just saw it yesterday

    Which “Destroy the White House” movie was better? White House Down or Olympus Has Fallen?
    Olympus Has Fallen

    Were you a fan of Oz the Great & Powerful?
    Not really

    Did The Great Gatsby make it on one of these lists for you?
    Never saw it

    What was the Biggest disappointment for you in 2013 movies?
    Iron Man 3

    Which did you like more out of 42, The Butler, 12 Years a Slave?
    12 Years a Slave

    What was the worst sequel of the year? (There were many)
    A Good Day to Die Hard

    Which ones in 2014 are you looking forward to? (My list of 2014 movies I am looking forward to will post tomorrow!)…Plenty more to keep an eye out for! 🙂
    Probably Spider-man 2 is the biggest anticipation, so weird and unpredictable


  7. I enjoy reading your reviews and like to hear others opinions. I have to say that I didn’t enjoy Pacific Rim. Infact, it made my worst list for 2013. I enjoyed his other films very much but this was one that I just wasn’t buying. I thought it was just bad all the way. However it doesn’t take the cake for worst. My best movie for 2013 has yet to be clear as I am still taking my time in deciding.
    In answer to your questions:
    1. Didn’t see it.
    2. Haven’t and more than likely, won’t see it.
    3. It will be on my list for sure, but I don’t know about best movie of 2013.
    4. Didn’t see it. Not a huge Harrison Ford fan.
    5. LOVED FROZEN!!!! Four people from Broadway, need I say more…
    6. Olympus Has Fallen
    7. It was okay. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad either. Not a Sam Rammi fan either.
    8. Gatsby will be on my best list for sure.
    9. It’s A Good Day To Die Hard
    10. I only saw The Butler
    11. Hangover 3, hands down.
    12. X-Men: Days of Future Past, Into The Woods, Captain America 2, How To Train Your Dragon 2, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Prt. 1, Noah.


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