John Hanlon Reviews


The 10 Best Movies of 2013

Posted in: Best of the Year  |  By: John Hanlon  |  January 2nd, 2014

With 2013 now in the record books, this it’s now time to choose the best movies that the cinematic world had to offer last year. Yesterday, viagra dosage I compiled a list of the must-miss movies from the year , which included two films starring two-time Oscar winner Robert De Niro and one film that starred several Oscar winners and at least a half-dozen Oscar nominees.

It wasn’t all bad for De Niro and other Oscar winners though. De Niro had a cameo in one of the year’s best films and two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks starred in two of them. Find out what those movies were below in my list of the best movies of 2013.

10.) Captain Phillips : Two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks delivers the best male performance of the year in this captivating drama about a captain whose ship is overtaken by Somali pirates. Based on a true story, this feature keeps viewers enthralled even though many of them will know how it all turns out. Director Paul Greengrass crafted a story here that shows the intensity of such a hijacking and how one man tried everything he could to survive this incredibly frightening ordeal.

9.) Frozen: Featuring one of the year’s best soundtracks, Disney’s Frozen is a new animated classic that should be remembered as such in the years to come. Funny, heartwarming and featuring an unlikely story about two sisters coming together (rather than a man and a woman), this feature shows that animated films can provide great entertainment for both children and adults. Check out my full review here.


8.) Prisoners: A taut and unforgettable thriller, Prisoners delivers a gut punch that will leave viewers surprised when they leave the theaters. Methodical and powerful, the story focuses on the kidnapping of two young girls and one intense father’s (Hugh Jackman) attempt to get them back. It’s an old-fashioned thriller that understands the genre and thoroughly explores the deep and dark places of the human spirit. Check out my full review here.


7.) American Hustle: Director David O. Russell has the ability to get the most out of his amazing casts. Here, a cast featuring Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence and Christian Bale work together to bring this ’70s story– about con men forced to work with the FBI– to light. Compelling and original, this feature succeeds in presenting an awesome look at that decade and an enthralling peek into the world of con men.

6.) The Way Way Back: Written and directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, this summer feature focused on a young teen (Liam James), who is forced to spend his summer with his naive mother (Toni Collette) and her controlling boyfriend (wonderfully-portrayed by the otherwise likeable Steve Carell). A hilarious script and a wonderful coming-of-age story combine together and produce a feature that will remind viewers of the possibilities that a youthful summer can offer young people on the verge of deciding who they eventually want to become.


5.) The Kings of Summer: In his full-length directorial debut, Jordan Vogt-Roberts offered up this innocent and relatable feature about two teens who– along with their strange friend– leave their controlling parents and build a house together. The comedy here is heartfelt and smart and the conflicts realistic as these friends bond and share a wonderful adventure together.


4.) Saving Mr. Banks: A delightful motion picture, Saving Mr. Banks is based on the true story of how Walt Disney convinced the author of Mary Poppins to sell him the rights to her children’s book. Sure, some of the details are exaggerated but it’s hard not to leave this motion picture feeling a sublime sense of satisfaction at this uplifting and charming film starring the wondrous Emma Thompson and Mr. Tom Hanks as Mr. Disney. Check out my full review here.


3.) Her: Director Spike Jonze has crafted an unforgettable romantic drama about a man (Joaquin Phoenix) who slowly falls in love with his computer operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). Painting a portrait of a realistic future, this drama consistently and thoroughly examines the strengths and weaknesses of our obsession with technology and shows what a relationship would look like in this environment. Stunning in its meticulousness, this “love story” is easily the best romantic film of the year. Check out my full review here.


2.) Gravity: A visual masterpiece, director Alfonso Cuarón crafted a breathtaking thriller in space with this feature. It stars two A-list actors– Sandra Bullock and George Clooney– but its plot and set-up is more akin to an indie production than a major blockbuster. For much of the film, one of the astronauts is simply alone in space seeking a way to survive against violent debris that destroys much of the equipment and the limitations of body movement that space puts on a person. It’s hard to forget watching a previously underestimated actress–Bullock– and a director who are both at the top of their game in this production. Check out my full review here.


1.) 12 Years a Slave: Powerful does not begin to describe this Steve McQueen production about a free black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the 1800’s. This film is hard-to-watch, devastating and thought-provoking, pushing audiences to see the raw, inhumane and disgusting treatment that slaves received. Featuring a powerful performance by Chiwetel Ejiofor and what I consider the best performance of the year (by Lupita Nyong’o), this epic is a must-see and will surely be judged a classic American film in the years to come.  Check out my full review here.