The 10 ACTUAL Best Pictures of the Year
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
The fact that Anchorman 2 was voted into the top 10 of this list probably speaks less to the quality of the film and more to how intensely, thoroughly, and (I guess?) effectively Anchorman 2's marketing campaign burrowed into your mind. From weird, co-branded car commercials, to Ron Burgundy hosting real local news, this movie was a work of (ad) creative genius. And, while it's less funny than the first one, it's also less annoying to watch because the douchebags of the world haven't had a chance to memorize all the lines yet.
12 Years A Slave
12 Years A Slave will go down in history as one of the most important, thoughtful, and well-made artistic reflections on slavery ever made, as well as the final installment in Steve McQueen's "Michael Fassbender Does Something Crazy" film trilogy. Expect Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong'o to win Oscars this year, if Jack Nicholson feels like even trying to pronounce their names.
The Great Gatsby
People were pretty worried when Baz Luhrmann was announced as the director of The Great Gatsby. It seemed weird that one of the most respected and well-written books of all-time was going to be brought to life by the guy who made Australia, a movie that cost $100 million to make, made pretty much no sense, looked like a perfume commercial, and lasted three hours. The Great Gatsby turned out to be all those things anyway, but it wasn't about Australia.
You might remember Gravity from that panic attack you had watching it, or the fact that the entirety of October was spent listening to your friends tell you about this article they read about why it was ireedeemebly ruined by, like, a flip flop that was spinning the wrong way or something. It's without question one of the most technically impressive films ever. So what if it's not as good in 2D? Which one of you was dumb enough not to see it in 3D?
Iron Man 3
Fans were divided at first over Iron Man 3's big twist, but what else can you expect from Marvel at this point? They had better things to do than sit around in a room all day wondering how to force in a silly, silly, kiiiiiiiinda racist character from the comics. Instead, all the crew's energy went into making one of the weirdest, funniest action movies of the year/pretending to be interested in Gwyneth Paltrow's parenting stories on set.
This movie was pretty much designed for the entire human race to lose its shit from day one: Silly hair, silly accents, silly clothes, David O' Russell, Louis C.K., 2013 QUEEN OF THE UNIVERSE JENNIFER LAWRENCE. American Hustle won everyone over with its blend of comedy, thriller, and whatever the hell they were going for in that scene where Bradley Cooper hooks up with Amy Adams in the bathroom, and then she like screams into the sky or whatever? Man, this movie made no sense AT ALL and it rocked.
This Is The End
This Is The End was a blatant, shameless excuse for a bunch of millionaires to hang out together, smoke weed, get drunk, make dick jokes for two months, and then charge us to watch it as if they weren't doing that anyway. Awesome.
Christ, look at that poster. This thing should have been a complete trainwreck. Instead, it's made over a billion dollars worldwide, and was nominated for a Best Animated Feature Oscar, two things Pixar's Monsters University didn't manage. Frozen is proof you can make a great film out of pretty much any idea, as long as there's a wise-cracking snowman in the script somewhere.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Was there some kind of big secret Hollywood meeting a few years ago where they decided to make archery cool for no reason? Between The Hunger Games, The Avengers, and that Arrow show on the CW that no-one has ever actually watched, bows and arrows are inexplicably a huge money maker. Add Jennifer Lawrence? Boom. Instant best movie ever. $860 million worldwide. Not too shabby for a film that presumably had the phrase "CGI killer monkeys" in its script at least a dozen times.
The Wolf of Wall Street
Because if you'd told me last year that the best movie of 2013 would feature a confident, powerful narrative which entertains with ridiculous, endless scenes of debauchery, while subtly weaving a much darker meditation on the morality of power and money beneath the surface AS WELL AS a semi-hard prosthetic Jonah Hill penis, I'd have been like "yeah, sounds about right."