James Mudge’s Best Films of 2013

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2013 was a pretty solid year for cinema around the world, with lots of good offerings from the independent scene and with documentaries continuing to find more of a place on mainstream screens. Asian cinema also impressed, Korea marinating its usual level of quality, Japan mixing popcorn cinema with offbeat craziness, and other countries like Thailand increasingly finding their footing. The Chinese film industry continued to fascinate through its rapid development, both in terms of local, unrepentantly non-globally friendly blockbusters and a thriving, though much put-upon indie movement.

Although superhero films, remakes and rip-offs dominated Hollywood’s output, there were a respectable number of blockbusters which either managed to match spectacle with half-decent writing, or at least to turn things up so far beyond 11 that it didn’t really matter, especially in IMAX – “Desolation of Smaug”, “Pacific Rim” and “Elysium” spring to mind as entertaining event cinema of varying levels of intelligence and originality. It’s been an incredibly busy year with other commitments, and so I didn’t manage to catch quite as many films on the big screen as I’d have liked. The list below reflects perhaps not so much the best films on a technical level, but the ones which have stuck in my mind for whatever reason.

In no particular order…

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