The only ‘top 10 films of 2013′ list ever written.

10. Room 237

This is a good movie to fall asleep to if you want your dreams invaded by raving lunatics who’ve gotten their brains on esoteric bordering on conspiracy film theory. The Shining is my all time favorite horror film, and this documentary featuring multiple bizarre and supernatural interpretations from real live humans is scarier than the original. I liked this netflix documentary more than Gravity, that’s what kind of an asshole I am. 



9. This is the End 

At one point, a man’s head comes off his body and the camera switches to the severed head’s point of view as the boys in the film who are playing themselves kick the head around on the floor. And then they go to Heaven and everybody sings “Backstreet’s back!” which is a pretty good song but not great. This film’s major influences likely include but are not limited to: Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey, The Seventh Seal, The Craft, George Washington and the TV series Quantum Leap.

I want to fuck all these guys.

I want to fuck all these guys.

8. Upstream Color 

This movie makes no sense. It acts foreign but it was made by the guy who made Primer, a film I plan on getting around to watching sometime soon. People are very affectionate with pigs in this film and thats a thing I like to see. Every night we as humans are afraid of worms crawling in our ears that make us do terrible things, and yet nobody talks about it. This is an important film visually as well as socially and politically, as it raises awareness about worms crawling into our skull and taking over our minds. Now streaming on netflix; somebody pay me for these hyperlinks.


my vision board.

7. Before Midnight 

I don’t like it when Jesse and Celine fight. If you can’t be happy in Europe with your beautiful children and novelist husband than there is no such thing as happy. Any future joy ahead of us will come in a series of fleeting moments, like the way it is now, like we’ve always suspected, and I still cannot believe that bitch said she didn’t love him anymore.

Life sucks.

Life is awful!

6. Blue Jasmine

Here’s some things about this movie nobody ever talks about. 1. Alec Baldwin’s character struck me as nice and easy to get along with. He really is in love with the French au pair and probably believes it’s okay to steal money from people because life is a game and having a lot of money is how you know you’ve played the game well. What does this say about you? Are you nice? 2. All the scenes taking place in the dentist office are poorly written and unfunny. 3. What happens to Jasmine at the end? I think prescription drugs turns into heroin and she’s dead in six months but look at me with my head in the clouds.

Her clothes cost more than my face.

If you have a problem with me putting a Woody Allen film on this list I’d be more than happy to not talk about it!

5. Dallas Buyer’s Club

People become unraveled by death and I don’t like to see that happen. It reminds me that I’ll die someday, and if it’s not something unexpected like an anvil from the sky or a sudden elevator shaft, then I might have an inkling it’s coming for me. I might get very anxious and start juicing vegetables for some reason other than trying to make my skin glow so my ex boyfriend will like me, and I don’t like thinking about that feeling. This movie would have been a lot more earth shattering if it had come out in 2002 or something. I remember in 1999 when I was a junior in high school a woman came to our school and gave a lecture on HIV. Afterward I went up to her and shook her hand and asked her if I could get AIDS from my tongue piercing. I knew that was a stupid question but really I just wanted to touch someone who had AIDS. I had this thought that it might be my only chance, and so far (as far as I know) I was right. Is that fucked up? I don’t know.

Jared Leto's steller performance = proof that acting must not be that hard.

Jared Leto’s stellar performance = proof that acting must not be that hard.

4. 12 Years a Slave 

Forget about the social and historical relevance or whatever. Now that it’s been a few months since I’ve seen it, I think about the way the cotton looked against the sky, the weird soundtrack and that fucking snow globe hurling through the air at the pretty slave’s head, holy fuck slavery was awful. Also, did you see the fun movie game I made up for Unstuck magazine, GOD or NO GOD?

cheer up everyone.

Just nine more years buddy.

3. The Wolf of Wall Street

This movie’s only controversial if you believe the film glorifies and celebrates the lead characters, which it doesn’t, so calm the fuck down. It’s not 12 Years A Slave for chrissake, it’s not going to beat you over the head with its thesis. Look at the face of the woman who’s having her hair cut off at that Charles Foster Kane like party. That’s where you’ll find the morality. Contrast Wolf with something like the Goodfellas rip-off Blow from 2002. Now, that’s a movie that celebrates a guy who profited off of millions of people’s drug addictions and misery and never ever once felt bad about it, and never once did the movie invite us to feel bad about it either. The fact that people have misunderstood Wolf isn’t the movies fault. Who didn’t know before today that people aren’t smart? Leonardo DiCaprio is a crush gone rogue, I want to lick him.

I didn't realize men could be so into their wives but look at this.

I didn’t realize men could be so into their wives but look at this.

2. Her

I knew I was dating my computer before I saw Her, but now I really know. I’m in a relationship with all 786 of my twitter followers, so long as we’re including parody accounts, literary journals and local chiropractors, which we are. I feel as though movies are unpacking the truth of existence at a quicker pace than the average man on the street, which could lead to breakdowns later but there’s no point in dreading a future we can’t know about, is there? Did you know that no one ever really loved anyone else? That we’re nothing but slaves to our piddly sensations and even these are fleeting and without a master? I don’t act like I know it, but I know it. Parades are in order for this, the best mainstream film of the year, with its pink sadness and creepy wisdom on the nature of relationships and what they do to us.


In the future writers live in nice apartments.

1. The Act of Killing

I can’t pretend I didn’t see this documentary just because my brain doesn’t know what to do with Indonesian women dancing outside the gaping mouth of a wooden, house-sized bass. Werner Herzog said that after watching 8 minutes of Josh Oppenheimer’s footage, he knew he’d seen something extraordinary, and he and Errol Morris signed on as executive producers, a fancy term for $ $ $ and getting shit done. The film stars men who are making their own movie about their personal role in killing more than a million communists 40 years earlier under a tyrannical government regime. They’re proud and gleeful about what they’ve done and it makes you think, “Wait, I thought I knew what it meant to be a human, this is confusing.” In vipassana meditation, you sit still for days at a time waiting around for unpleasant sensations to come bubbling up to the surface. They’re called sankaras, and it’s weird! That time you lied to your friend in high school and didn’t feel bad about it shows up 15 years later in the shape of a scratch on your nose.  Think of the sankaras coursing through your veins after killing thousands of people with blunt tools and wire. In The Act of Killing I liked when the kids wouldn’t stop crying after they said ‘cut’ and the way the lead character couldn’t stop dry heaving when the cameras followed him back to the death pit. I mean, not “like.” You know what I mean.


Hilarious! Wait no, a different feeling.

Honorable mentions: Gravity, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Frances Ha, August: Osage County, Out of the Furnace 

Special Jury Prize for a movie that technically came out in 2012 but otherwise probably would have been 4 or 5 on my list: The Place Beyond the Pines 

Terrible films that I moderately enjoyed anyway: The Counselor, After Earth, Elysium 

Top 5 worst films of 2013 I happened to see: Movie 43, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, The Secret Life of Walter MittyKerouacThe Company You Keep   

Don’t think I didn’t see these films, I just didn’t like them: Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska, Blue is the Warmest Color 


18 thoughts on “The only ‘top 10 films of 2013′ list ever written.

  1. I’m not any kind of super Gosling fan or anything but I thought Place Beyond the Pines was really boring after he died in the movie.

  2. What do you read? I’ve seen some references to Bukowski et al. contemporary fiction-writers, but do you read anything, well, more cerebral? Philosophy, cultural crit, lit crit? What do you think about that? Because I don’t give a fuck about the latest pap from Hollywood.

    That’s certainly the most trollish-sounding comment I’ve ever written, but I’m no troll. I’m well-meaning. Just trying to spur you to the exertions I sense you’re equal to.

  3. I really, really like your observation on Blue Jasmine. Baldwin seemed like the only person in that film that I’d like to spend time with.

  4. “Just nine more years buddy” lol.

    I like your list Molly and I strongly agree about 12 Years and Wolf of Wall Street. Did you really not like Llewyn Davis? I am surprised by that. I really loved it but it was hard to watch at times. I hated Blue Jasmine but maybe I was supposed to? Didn’t it seem like the dentist scene was like, “ha ha this bitch thinks she is too good to get raped by her dentist, but she totally isn’t, what an idiot”? Why were all the poor people actually dumb, and how many decades has it been since Woody Allen has spoken to a poor person? This David Grove character above seems like he’d fit in perfectly in that movie.

  5. Good to see “Frances Ha” receive an honorable mention. I’d have put it nearer the top. For one, because Greta Gerwig reminds one of Molly.

  6. Totally with you on The Shining, very jazzed to learn about Room 237, never heard of it. I’m going to watch it tonight. Also need to watch the Act of Killing. Wolf on Wall Street was just bloated, it is no Goodfellas, all been done better (Smartest Guy in the Room). Almost tempted by Her, but not enough.

  7. @Aaron
    Mostly I think you are a fool, however after having watched it a couple more times I think it’s true that The Place Beyond the Pines doesn’t know how to end. I never know how to end anything either.

    @David Grove
    Holy lord, there aren’t enough “fuck yous” in the world to address your comment. But to answer your questions.
    I’ve read the cerebral shit you’re referring to, more when I was younger and in college than now. I studied film criticism, literary criticism, philosophy, psychology, religious studies, blah blah blah. My liberal arts education is complete. This top 10 post isn’t informed by Entertainment Weekly, cockhead. Literary criticism is fine, writing about books is fine, I do it sometimes, but I prefer writing about films. (I write movie reviews for a newspaper for money, they’re hyperlinked throughout the post. Maybe you don’t think that’s legit but I can’t stop bragging.) To me, film is more fun to write about because it’s a culturally shared experience. I have weird tastes and movies are one of the rare gifts that capitalism has given us to share and talk about. They’re just stories—the same way Hamlet is a story. You might really dig the first film on my list, Room 237. It’s cerebral as fuck, you can jack off all over it.
    Yeah, I like to read contemporary fiction in the style of Bukowski, John Fante, Denis Johnson, Raymond Carver, Joy Williams, J. Robert Lennon, etc. along with online journals and the work of my friends from school and the web. Whenever I get around to writing my novel it will be contemporary fiction. I’d have to be some kind of out of touch and pompous asshole to read nothing but dead authors and then expect everybody to make an exception for my book, wouldn’t I? That would be super disgusting and shitty of me. Right now I’m reading a novel that came out about a week ago called Why Are You So Sad? by Jason Porter (It’s great, buy it today!) and a non fiction book on Scientology.
    I don’t know who decided that being a writer is synonymous with being an academic. For me, academia is intellectual entertainment, it’s a means to an end. I’m trying to figure out why I’m here, who we are and how to best live this life, and as far as I’m concerned, Seth Rogen’s guess is as good as anybody’s. At this point in my life I’d rather meditate than read philosophy.
    What pisses me off most about your comment is the way it ends with such an aggressively patronizing tone. You suggest that in not writing about the subjects you’d prefer I write about I’m somehow selling myself short or not living up to my potential, as if I could use bigger words if I just believed in myself more. By mentioning that you’re well-meaning you set yourself up as a kind of grandfatherly figure who wants to put me on the right course as only you can show me.
    Fuck you, I wish your poetry blog were about model trains. I think if you weren’t brainwashed by the glitz and glamor of free verse, and if you just believe in yourself more, you’d know that your blog should actually be about model trains, the only truly worthwhile use of your energies.

    Cool, thanks. Woody’s movies are usually peppered with morality lessons and I think one of the themes in Blue Jasmine is the contradiction between a person’s charm and demeanor and their actual moral and ethical integrity. Andrew Dice Clay rips the phone off the wall, sure, but he’s a loyal boyfriend. Louis C.K. seems sweet but he’s cheating on his wife, etc. And then there’s Jasmine and her sister who are still trying to find their moral center.

    @Emily Jones
    Full disclosure, I got too drunk before Inside Llewyn Davis; I just remember feeling underwhelmed. I am open to re-watching as I have nothing too intelligent to say in my defense other than that I thought Carey Mulligan was a major buzzkill which also does not qualify as “too intelligent.” Ha.
    I am flummoxed a little by what you say about Blue Jasmine, I mean, I don’t think any filmmaker wants you to think the film is bad. I think you might be responding to the kind of campy, almost stage-production quality of some of the scenes with Ginger (Andrew Dice Clay’s cartoonish breakdown in the grocery store comes to mind). For me, I responded most to what the film has to say about class and entitlement and how much it defines who we are and what happens when those roles start to clash and breakdown.
    As for the dentist scenes, mostly I meant that the scripts attempts at humor regarding schedule conflicts and ornery women was super lame and unfunny, I thought he should either try harder or cut it out, and as for the sexual harassment between he and the dentist; I just didn’t think it worked. I don’t think we’re supposed to interpret it as “Ha ha she deserves to get raped!” I *think* its the opposite and meant to show her as a more sympathetic character… but like I said I don’t think the scenes work, which in a way leaves us helpless to talk about their function and intention.

    @Daniel Nielson
    Frances Ha was good. It was on the top 10 of an earlier draft but the whole thing is completely arbitrary when you think about it. Thank you for your flattering remark, that bitch is fiiiiine.

    Go watch it, let me know what you think! You haven’t even seen HER? Don’t be a moron, it will add something to your life. I waited forever to see it because I thought I could infer everything that happens from the trailer, but it’s not true. Bloated Goodfellas! I never.

  8. Since you asked, I think your list is splendid. It has a title; it has ordinal numbers; the quantity of entries jibes with the title; it has words and pictures. What more could anyone ask of a list? Well done!

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  10. Ah, so you DO read the comments. I suspected that you’d traded blog badinage for twitter twaddle. Now I know that you just weren’t deigning to reply.

    Wow, that was quite a torrent of vitriol. I guess my comment rankled a bit.

  11. meh, I might have overreacted, I’m turning into a werewolf. Then again I meant every word. blog badinage, twitter twaddle, rankled, are you trying to make me throw up?
    The Velvet Underground didn’t rip off Sparklehorse. I know both songs well, it’s an homage. My ex boyfriend’s blood escaped his body after he got super drunk and punched the TV to show us that the physical world is an illusion and possessions don’t matter. He had glass embedded in his hands, it was a gnarly scene. God, I miss him.

  12. Badinage, twaddle, rankled: perfectly good words–used more by poets or prose writers with a lush vocabulary, I admit. If I’d thought about the comment I might not have placed them so close together–might have even larded them with the internet slang and youth-culture locutions you’re addicted to, to get permission to use them. But what the hell, I’m not sending it to The New Yorker.
    So you meant every word of that–cockhead, “brainwashed by the glitz and glamor of free verse” (how could you know that about me?) (“free verse” is glitzy and glamorous?), even imputing to me (I guess) the idea that I think writers should be academics, which I certainly don’t? That’s just silly.
    There’s no need to go back and respond to any other comments I left here. Obviously you don’t want to talk to me, though I’ve praised your writing both here and elsewhere without expecting you to reciprocate in any way. So I won’t be back. I’ll leave you to enjoy the company of guys who spit in your drink.

  13. Two things:
    I was surprised by the position of “Captain Phillips”. I mention it because I’m rarely surprised by anything involving, or relating to Molly. Call it experience from “a lot of molly back in college”.

    I’m delighted at some of your animosity. I hope it continues. If the curve continues, who knows what could happen in 2014. . .

  14. Hi, Cockhead again and for the last time. I’ll come clean: I didn’t mean “pap from Hollywood” etc. I wrote that to piss off Molly so she’d talk to me. (And it worked!) This is the truth. Actually I love movies and watch a lot of them. For a while in college I went to the movies alone about twice a week, usually a little drunk. I used to be a fan of Pauline Kael, and I’m fascinated by anything about Paul Schrader, who started as a film-critic protege of Kael’s.

    I knew Molly would have nothing pleasant to say and that she’d be attacking someone partly imaginary, but what she said really hurt my feelings anyway. That night I got about five minutes of sleep. She’d made me feel so bad–well, I made myself feel bad, didn’t I?–that I could only lie there composing, in my head, a lacerating and obscene and probably unfair critique of Molly’s work and person, which thank goodness I didn’t post.

    For the record–no one cares, but for the record–some people think I write well. For example, last year my poetry manuscript Radio Roulette was a finalist in the Midwest Chapbook Contest sponsored by The Laurel Review, and I won a Hopwood and some other writing awards at the U of Michigan.

    I don’t intend to come back here again, so I hope no one provokes me to defend myself further.

  15. You hurt my feelings, too! Don’t you see! You poke the bees nest, what do you think is going to happen? Your first comment had the tone of a helpful, cajoling friend… which common courtesy dictates I respond to in kind, but I didn’t want to do that this time, because in fact I found the content of what you were saying to be way more vicious than flippantly calling someone “cockhead.” you were saying that the actual subject matter I choose to write about is inferior. and it made me really, really mad.
    I was too hard on you. I’m sorry for hurting your feelings. I was afraid if I responded nicely you would come back and keep saying shit like that. I wanted to teach you a lesson. I wanted you to understand exactly why it’s not cool to tell somebody who really enjoys writing about film that they should not do that. I think politeness is a sickness that turns back on itself and festers inside of us and I’d rather be aggressive aggressive than passive aggressive any day of the week. Everybody wants it both ways. They want to poke at other people but still seem nice, because nice is what we are supposed to be. God forbid anybody let the truth slip out that none of us are nice. Not really.
    You’re not a troll and neither am I. You use your first and last name and I really dig that about you. I would totally say this to your face and wish I could have! If we were having this conversation in a coffee shop, I think it would have had the tone of a spirited discussion instead of a terrible spell that makes you sick at night.
    My hope is that we come out of this conflict with a new, genuine understanding. If I had towed the line and answered politely, I would have just secretly been thinking you were a cockhead and nothing would have ever changed. Now I’m beginning to like you! Don’t go.

  16. @Jesse
    I don’t understand, did you like Captain Phillips or no? I liked the movie because I was obsessed with the news story when it came out, and I thought it was pretty thrilling to watch overall.
    As for being way aggro lately… it would be unfair not to give you some of the credit. You used to do this thing where you’d become infuriated at my incompetence at something. You wanted me to do some thing for you online and if I couldn’t figure out how the website worked fast enough you’d stand over me screaming, “Why can’t you do this? Answer me. This is literally something my 3 year old niece could do. Answer the question. Why are you incapable of doing this?” And you really expected an answer! Like you wouldn’t stop yelling at me until you got an answer to an impossible question. I hated that.
    Those nights we spent in our house on Phillips St, me locked in our bedroom, cradling whatever dog we were sitting at the time while you paced outside the door like a lunatic… Nights like that you used to watch youtube videos of combat in Afghanistan while you cleaned your guns and talked to yourself, for christ’s sake! The truth is that I was barely scared. I felt like I was playing a scared person on TV. I found the whole thing fascinating and still do.
    You are aggressive, aggressive, Jesse. Everybody knows where you stand. You are firmly planted on the side of evil!

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