From megaplexes to museums, from revival houses to college cinemas, from The Belcourt to Third Man Records and Logue’s Black Raven Emporium, the year 2013 offered more screening and viewing options than even the most pinwheel-eyed cinephile could reasonably attend. To help survey this avalanche, the Scene enlisted some hardcore movie lovers: regular film-section contributors Craig D. Lindsey, Jim Ridley, Jason Shawhan and Ron Wynn; Belcourt outreach coordinator Allison Inman; The Light and Sound Machine programmer James Cathcart; printmaker, musician and Criterion Collection graphic designer Sam Smith; and the iron man of Nashville cinephilia, Scott Manzler. Check the Scene‘s Country Life blog for lists of the year’s best movies.
What was your favorite movie of 2013? Not necessarily the best, but your favorite.
Stoker. —Allison Inman
The Lords of Salem. —Jason Shawhan
The Great Beauty, an endlessly satisfying trip of a movie with a top-notch lead performance by Toni Servillo as, basically, Elvis Mitchell. —Craig D. Lindsey
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, despite its avoidance of some key elements and aspects in his life, due to superb acting by its two principal stars, Idris Elba and Naomie Harris. —Ron Wynn
My favorite movie experience may have been the screening of Carlos Reygadas’ Post Tenebras Lux I attended with a small cabal of the city’s most diehard cineastes at the Nashville Film Festival. It was late in the week, after several days of banal schmoozing and half-hearted movie chatter, when this mysterious object delivered a jolt to our senses. Afterwards, the atmosphere in the lobby was a dizzying mixture of disbelief and jubilation, as if we had collectively witnessed some paranormal manifestation. Was it a film or a transdimensional journey? Is Reygadas a filmmaker or a shaman? I still don’t know.— James Cathcart
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Movies about the arc of a relationship struck a chord with me this year, none more so than Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue is the Warmest Color, an intimate drama with an epic emotional heft and sweep that’s haunted me ever since I saw it two months ago. But I loved just as dearly Enough Said, another of Nicole Holofcener’s precise, affectionately nuanced studies of midlife friendships, capped by a bear hug of a valedictory performance by the much-missed James Gandolfini. And while James Ponsoldt’s The Spectacular Now makes a regrettable plunge into problem drama, its wonderful leads Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller pull off something just about impossible: They convinced me they fell in love within the space of a single unbroken take. —Jim Ridley
Tabu. After two viewings, still not sure I have the language to explain my attraction and affection for this black-and-white whatsits, but I love it. Tales within tales, twisted fable, deathbed mystery, magical realism, doomed romance, colonial unrest, silent footage and hypnotic voiceover, sumptuous cinematography, an enigmatic crocodile, and the eternal "Be My Baby." The film casts an intoxicating spell — something of a fever dream and catnip for a certain species of cinephile. —Scott Manzler
Spring Breakers. Only once or twice every year or two do I get truly hypnotized by a new film to this deep a level. It’s both rewarding and entertaining on further viewings, but I’ll never forget seeing it on 35mm at its SXSW premiere. —Sam Smith
What was the best reason to stay home and watch TV this year?
The glib answer would be Iron Man 3, Catching Fire, Despicable Me 2 et al., but 1) the year’s top grossers weren’t any worse than the prior year’s, and 2) I still managed to see 200+ films, all in theaters. So in keeping with the spirit of the question, I’ll go with Justified and Game of Thrones. Sure, I’m a fan of several more respectable critical picks (e.g. Breaking Bad, Mad Men), but these genre workouts offer the kind of pleasure and thrills too often lacking in their Hollywood counterparts — action driven by character rather than "character" driven by plot machinations and/or CGI-laden set pieces. —Scott Manzler
Turner Classic Movies during my brief stint with a fat cable package. I avoided the big cable shows in a smug attempt at nonconformity. —Allison Inman
Duh: Turner Classic Movies, which this year combined the programming of a revival house, the mission of an arthouse, and (after hours on weekends, when Mom and Dad have retired to the parlor) some of the tawdry late-night rowdiness of a grindhouse. Consider it the cathode-ray Belcourt — and the only thing keeping me from switching to Roku. —Jim Ridley
Black Mirror. —Jason Shawhan
I’m woefully behind on shows, so I’ll say the best reason would be that going to the multiplex has become an all but totally miserable experience. Going to see a new release at a chain theater now comes with so many aggravations — from sloppy digital projection and sound issues to management’s increasing carelessness to theaters becoming all-ages daycare sessions — that it’s far more desirable just to stay home. You’d think, in this day and age, they’d care a little more about competing with home entertainment. —Sam Smith
The overabundance of superheroes/vampires/zombies and all other matter of non-human subjects and topics being featured in films. —Ron Wynn
As a part-time TV critic, I can list off all the great shows that filled the airwaves this year. But really, if you have a decent flat-screen TV and a Roku box that picks up Netflix and other streaming, video-on-demand services, why the hell would you even want to go to the movies, you fancy bastard? —Craig D. Lindsey
Which was your favorite poster of the year?
Visionary illustrator Kilian Eng’s poster for Jodorowsky’s Dune. Just behind that, Akiko Stehrenberger’s colorful and hand-painted one-sheets for The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology and Kiss of the Damned. (I wrote a whole list of them at thedissolve.com.) —Sam Smith
There’s no better distillation of Escape From Tomorrow‘s why-aren’t-these-people-in-Disney’s-dungeon defiance than its poster: an iconic white-gloved hand, its four fingers dripping blood. Also works for Saving Mr. Banks! —Jim Ridley
Escape From Tomorrow. —Craig D. Lindsey
Tabu: That enigmatic crocodile again. Triggers a flood of buried associations and half-remembered images. Not necessarily an argument for seeing the film, but definitely one for seeing the film again. —Scott Manzler
Believe it or not, Koch. And Sam Smith’s Umbrellas of Cherbourg. —Allison Inman
12 Years a Slave. —Ron Wynn
The Canyons; the Ms. 45 reissue; the German poster for Sightseers; the French film You and the Night. —Jason Shawhan
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Lee Daniels. Discuss.
I will say I found The Butler — sorry, LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER — to be his most focused film to date. It irks me how people (especially people I know and respect) mistake his unruly style of filmmaking for subversive and fearless. At least The Butler showed he can have control as a director and still make some bold choices here and there. —Craig D. Lindsey
I think he’s great. He’s a passionate filmmaker, a grand stylist, and capable of getting phenomenal performances out of actors. I don’t think he’s capable of making a boring film, and in Lee Daniels’ The Butler he made what could have been a typical inspirational history lesson into something weird and alive and vitally strange. Also, he made Shadowboxer and The Paperboy, which gives him maximum cred with me forever. —Jason Shawhan
A good, not great director. I personally enjoy the films of Steve McQueen and Ava DuVernay much more than anything he’s done to date. —Ron Wynn
Team Daniels. I typically prefer small, subtle films, but I love being inspired to make an exception. The Paperboy was my "caused the most fights" prizewinner for 2012. —Allison Inman
Having somehow managed to skip The Butler, I gather I’m exempt from this discussion, though it’s hard to square what I’ve read about this bid for middlebrow respectability with 2012’s white hot mess The Paperboy. Also enjoy what I’ve seen of Daniels’ Precious discovery Gabourey Sidibe’s performance in the latest installment of American Horror Story. Shame-sex with a minotaur — now that’s a topic worthy of discussion (and 2012’s white hot mess The Paperboy). —Scott Manzler
Where everybody else sees Sirk or Almodovar in Daniels’ brain-fever melodramas, I see Sam Fuller: screaming all-caps tabloid hyperbole in the service of righteous anger and social indignation, cautious good taste be damned. There’s not an angrier American movie this year than Lee Daniels’ The Butler, and unlike Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave — which tempers its cold fury with a distant time and meticulous craft — its sputtering rage and wildly uneven tone evokes something of the unhinging effect of America’s ugly racial history. The shock of the movie year was The Butler‘s re-creation of the Nashville lunch-counter sit-ins, their mad-dog bigotry softened not a whit. Take a bow, It City. I can even forgive the Irwin Allen parade of special guest presidents for the way Daniels nukes to ashes what should be the big tear-jerking tradition-of-quality climax: stooped servant Forest Whitaker’s big night at the Reagan White House — in which Daniels suggests Chiwetel Ejiofor got off light with 12 years. —Jim Ridley
What was your biggest surprise at the movies this year?
(cues Radiohead’s "No Surprises") —Craig D. Lindsey
The commercial success of The Best Man Holiday. —Ron Wynn
Stoker. Not my kind of film, I thought. But it was delicious. It filled me with joy like a United Way thermometer fills with red. I still think about it and go back to watch the trailer. —Allison Inman
All Is Lost, and the fact that a movie with no dialogue can legitimately entertain a contemporary audience. And Maidentrip, a documentary about a girl who became the youngest to sail around the world by herself; It’s the closest thing I’ve seen to what a live-action Hayao Miyazaki movie would be like. —Sam Smith
I went into World War Z and Oldboy expecting disasters. And instead I got a fascinating example of corporate procedure working for the artistic process (the former) and a studio quilt that nonetheless revealed the incredible work still raw and breathing behind its jagged edges (the latter). Also, I just don’t get why people hated on The Lone Ranger so hard. —Jason Shawhan
Wong Kar-Wai’s The Grandmaster — not the routine prestige-picture biopic I dreaded but another of Wong’s gorgeous laments for the passage of time and blown opportunities, alert to the beauty in every slash and swirl of motion. Second: Bastards, a pulverizing slice of Gallic noir that resembles nothing so much as the thuggish Get Carter 1.0, while digital severity fits director Claire Denis as snugly as brass knuckles. —Jim Ridley
Film Rule 137: All biopics suck (OK, disappoint, underwhelm). Film Rule 159: Films about ideas are a bore. Hannah Arendt proved a welcome exception to both: a biopic that breathed life and passion into a heated academic (and public) moment; a film-of-ideas likely more gut-wrenching and intense than any of the year’s many cinematic thrill rides. Made for a strong if inadvertent double-bill with Claude Lanzmann’s The Last of the Unjust. Note: My also-rans are littered with similar if slightly lesser surprises: Crystal Fairy, The Flat, Gimme the Loot and Starlet (thanks to Toby Leonard at The Belcourt for 2 and 4). Also, should mention somewhere my favorite cinematic moment of the year: the lovely final scene of Le Week-End (aka Before Retirement), an apt and heartfelt homage to Band of Outsiders. —Scott Manzler
What 2013 movie do you never want to hear about again, good or bad?
Katniss, I love ya, but the obscenity of Hunger Games Christmas ornaments and Catching Fire Burger King tie-ins is beyond all reckoning. Unless you think 12 Years a Slave missed a swell opportunity for a cotton-swabs promotion. —Jim Ridley
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. (Is nothing sacred?) —Allison Inman
Stories We Tell, my most overrated movie of the year. —Sam Smith
Lee Daniels’ The Butler, mainly because what could have been a great film was turned only into a decent one due to strange artistic decisions by all involved. —Ron Wynn
Blue Jasmine. Perhaps even the illusion of an idea comes as a relief during the generally brain-dead summer blockbuster season, but then there it was again topping many critics’ year-end best lists. So blame it on the cult of the Wood-man. Invoking A Streetcar Named Desire for narrative ballast and heft, Allen’s "best film since Match Point" (for me, a telling association) feels more like an exercise, a sketch of a movie, and tonally it’s all over the place. The flashback episodes are so flat they register as little more than third-tier sitcom. Sure, Cate Blanchett is great (or at least very good), but she’s great in everything. Oddity: The first Allen film in memory to display a better feel for its middle-class supporting cast than the director’s 1-percenter peers. —Scott Manzler
I know it hasn’t been made yet, but if I hear about the 50 Shades of Grey adaptation one more damn time … —Craig D. Lindsey
Who was the action hero of 2013?
Zhang Ziyi in The Grandmaster. —Allison Inman
Tony Leung in The Grandmaster, always. —Sam Smith
Gina Carano or Tim Jenison of Tim’s Vermeer. —Jason Shawhan
Simon Pegg in The World’s End. Dude had serious fight moves going on in that. —Craig D. Lindsey
Adèle Exarchopoulos. Not much of a dick-flick aficionado, so a bit of a side-step, though less so than you might think. There wasn’t a more physically or emotionally immersive performance all year — daring and fully inhabited. And based on reports of a tortuous on-set shoot, hard to believe Vin Diesel or any of his ilk suffered more for his/her digitally abetted craft. —Scott Manzler
Not sure whom to pick: Sandra Bullock in Gravity, for making the impossible look plausible in the moment; or Robert Redford in All Is Lost, making the plausible look heart-sinkingly impossible. In the end, I’ll concur with my 8-year-old son, who brandished imaginary assault weapons after seeing the trailer for RED 2 and shouted, "I’m Helen Mirren!" —Jim Ridley
What’s the best old movie, revival or retrospective you saw in 2013?
I saw Car Wash on the big screen recently. I forgot how awesome that movie is at being about nothing. —Craig D. Lindsey
I meant to leave just after the opening credits of The Young Girls of Rochefort at The Belcourt’s Jacques Demy retrospective a few weeks ago, and instead walked out two hours later feeling like I’d whiled away a summer afternoon in a pastel Brigadoon. Most revelatory, though, was The Belcourt’s screening of the digital restoration of Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate — which proved the flawed but magnificent behemoth Western is not a study in folly but a study of it. —Jim Ridley
Pierre Etaix’s Yoyo. The Jacques Demy retrospective (especially Model Shop). Crimes and Misdemeanors. He Who Gets Slapped (with Alloy Orchestra). The Light and Sound Machine’s presentation of Seventeen. —Allison Inman
As always, a deep vein of candidates: Hitchcock in January, Welles (at Chicago’s Music Box) in May, Demy in November — with the attendant conflict-of-interest disclaimer that I partially underwrote the first and last. But the true revelation was an old favorite which I foolishly considered a known quantity, Before Sunrise. Turns out Richard Linklater’s modest 105-minute "rom com" packs enough cerebral heft to fuel a meaty dissertation. Effortlessly folding the random-walk intellectual play of his non-narrative touchstones Slacker and Waking Life into a compelling portrait of a once-in-a-lifetime evening, the director introduces us to two fully formed individuals, people we’d be thrilled to reacquaint ourselves with every decade or so. Heady and light, quite a feat. Also, a fantastic and unassuming city symphony. —Scott Manzler
Antonioni’s L’Avventura and The Belcourt’s Hitchcock series. —Sam Smith
A Humphrey Bogart retrospective on TCM. —Ron Wynn
Black Lizard, The Book of Mary, The Boxer’s Omen, Knightriders, Like a Bird on a Wire, Model Shop, The Osterman Weekend, Pootie Tang in ‘Sine Yo Pitty on the Runny Kine,’ Portrait of Jason, Providence, A Room in Town, Seventeen, The Telephone Book, White of the Eye. —Jason Shawhan
What film(s), if any, did you walk out of this year? Or wish you had?
None. I never walk out of a film, no matter how horrible, but I also now largely avoid certain types of movies as well, thereby lessening the possibility of that happening (Madeas, Hangovers part whatever, etc.).—Ron Wynn
I wish I had stopped the stream of A Haunted House. I stayed through the ends of G.I. Joe: Retaliation and A Good Day to Die Hard, and I have no logical reason why.—Jason Shawhan
I wish I’d walked out of Grown Ups 2, R.I.P.D. and We’re the Millers. I know for a fact I could’ve been doing better things (seeing a concert or another free screening playing down the hall) than seeing those movies.—Craig D. Lindsey
To the Wonder, aka Frolicking Ethereal Womanchild. —Allison Inman
Given my allergy to any title including Roman or Arabic numerals, I tend to steer clear of known duds, so can’t remember the last time I walked out on a film. Still, the arthouse machine turns out its share of insufferable (and inexplicable) causes célèbres. Nothing this year quite matched 2012’s loathed and loathsome (and self-loathing) Killer Joe, but a handful of contenders nonetheless had me grousing about precious time lost. To the Wonder is the likely favorite in this category, but I mentally filed it under vacuous/pleasant enough and moved on. Not so, The Place Beyond the Pines: three linked tales over-stuffed with significance, characters motivated more by the director’s endgame than anything depicted on screen. My inability to conjure any further detail regarding plot specifics is an obvious testament to a kind and selective memory. —Scott Manzler
I wish I had walked out of Upstream Color. When I finally did leave the theater, I was expecting everyone else to be laughing along with me at what a total trainwreck this movie was, and it never happened. —Sam Smith
I leave midnight movies if the response is tepid (which it wasn’t at this year’s uproarious Belcourt screenings of Samurai Cop, An American Hippie in Israel and Miami Connection). Only masochism kept me watching The Call. —Jim Ridley
What movie do you wish more people had seen?
12 Years a Slave. —Ron Wynn
Gimme the Loot, Computer Chess, and Jamel Shabazz: Street Photographer. —Allison Inman
Tabu, of course, but even I realize that my pet fave isn’t likely to appeal to all (most? any?). So instead, a film too many cinematic fellow travelers just didn’t see, Before Midnight. With the joys of first love and love rediscovered now subsumed in the realities of shared life and child-rearing, Celine and Jesse III is altogether more caustic, sour and sobering than Sunrise or Sunset, but no less honest or revealing. With a narrative that narrows from a good-spirited, often touching roundtable on love’s stages to an evening of buried recriminations, we nonetheless sense that the relationship isn’t doomed. They’re still talking, and they care enough to care. Runner-up: Frances Ha, which achieves something of an opposite feat, a lighter-than-air Noah Baumbach New York fairy tale. —Scott Manzler
Mud, a great mainstream movie that should have been bigger. Before Midnight. And 12 Years a Slave, which most people tell me they wanna see but only when it’s emotionally convenient for them. —Sam Smith
All Is Lost. Both a lost-at-sea yarn and an allegory on human existence. And I don’t care what anybody says — the ending happened! —Craig D. Lindsey
Apart from The World’s End, the cleverest of the recent mixed bag of apocalypse-anxiety comedies — although This Is the End certainly has its moments — is a little-seen indie called It’s a Disaster with David Cross and Julia Stiles that never played Nashville theaters. I’m also sorry more people didn’t see the artful documentaries Leviathan, The Act of Killing and Let the Fire Burn, which proved there’s more to the form than hectoring polemics and election-year attack-ad aesthetics. —Jim Ridley
Bastards, Fill the Void, It’s a Disaster, Resolution. —Jason Shawhan
I wish there were more midnight movie fans that actually like midnight movies. Sure, it’s always great to see droves of people turn out to catch childhood blockbusters on the big screen, but most of these so-called midnight movie enthusiasts have seen The Big Lebowski more times than was the total attendance of true weirdo late-night flicks like An American Hippie in Israel or The Visitor. So to those courageous viewers who take a chance on The Belcourt’s more esoteric midnight offerings -—not just the tired ol’ mainstream standbys collecting dust in your VHS collection — I salute you. —James Cathcart
Complete this sentence: "If I could go back in time, I would _____."
… walk up to myself in line for G.I. Joe: Retaliation and give myself a pre-emptive kick in the nuts. —Jim Ridley
… go back and pay more attention to some of the ’70s "blaxploitation" films. I enjoyed them, but didn’t really know enough to understand what was good and bad about the genre at the time. —Ron Wynn
… pay attention to movie schedules so I wouldn’t miss I’m So Excited! and The Bling Ring, which I’m less excited to watch on a TV screen. Also: … suck it up and watch the rest of Post Tenebras Lux rather than walking out during the dog scene. —Allison Inman
… have made sure I’d caught Leviathan on the big screen. —Sam Smith
Far too open-ended (maybe the best answer would be "n’t"), so I’ll restrict myself to the cinema-specific: "… do whatever I could to salvage and preserve the footage senselessly excised and destroyed by the studio from Welles’ initial cut of The Magnificent Ambersons." And while I’m busy tripping the space-time continuum, might as well do what I can to locate the many missing reels of Greed. —Scott Manzler
What film caused the most fights for you in 2013?
To the Wonder. People who don’t like that film really don’t like that film. —Jason Shawhan
Lee Daniels’ The Butler, because so many people praised it without having read the book. Otherwise, they would have realized just how good a film could have been made had its makers chosen to focus on the real person, rather than create a fictional figure and exaggerate events within that person’s life. —Ron Wynn
Don’t get in a lot of movie-related throwdowns. I will say it’s getting kind of difficult to talk to white people about 12 Years a Slave. The sensitivity levels are too high for everyone involved. —Craig D. Lindsey
Room 237, a movie that isn’t trying to advocate the opinions of any individual as gospel, like many people I know felt, but merely to show the kinds of things a really great movie like The Shining can do to our imaginations. —Sam Smith
I wasn’t the one fighting — my feelings about the masterfully directed, enjoyably preposterous movie weren’t strong enough — which made me all the more mystified when co-workers nearly came to blows over Gravity. I may need gloves, though, once I get a second look at the frequently electrifying The Wolf of Wall Street and figure out whether its ruthless excision of a moral compass is a daring show of faith in the audience or a hedged bet in a douchebag jamboree. —Jim Ridley
It can be vexing when you rate a filmmaker (or filmmakers) as a 6 or 7 while seemingly everyone around you is thinking 9 or 10. So while no fisticuffs were exchanged during The Belcourt’s recent Coen-palooza, I definitely found myself pressed into a reactionary corner. After sampling a half-dozen titles, I found Lebowski still delights, and the underrated A Serious Man seems stronger than it did back in 2009. But Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Miller’s Crossing and even Fargo left me cold. Maybe I’m enough of a confirmed cynic that I don’t need my worldview reinforced by a motley assortment of rubes, dupes, caricatures and straw men. —Scott Manzler
Blue Jasmine. What’s wrong with you people? —Allison Inman
What, if anything, made you cry at the movies in 2013?click to enlarge
The Great Beauty, Her, The Wind Rises, Before Midnight, Mud, and the To the Wonder trailer. I cried a lot this year. —Sam Smith
I’m not a crier, but I did feel sad while watching The Smurfs 2. —Craig D. Lindsey
I keep a lot of lists, but would never commit such private (and embarrassing) moments to paper (or hard drive), so this is hardly a scientific or comprehensive rundown: the halting, often wordless interaction between a damaged child and damaged long-haul trucker in agnes b.’s My Name Is Hmmm…; the devastating, prolonged denouement of Blue Is the Warmest Color; a former comrade’s cool public dismissal followed by ragtag funeral procession in Welles’ Chimes at Midnight. —Scott Manzler
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, for the entire rest of the day. Stories We Tell. The soundtrack to In the Mood for Love. I’ve never felt anything like what I felt during the closing credits. Unbelievable. —Allison Inman
The surprises in The Best Man Holiday. —Ron Wynn
Fill the Void, Her, Model Shop, Stories We Tell, To the Wonder. —Jason Shawhan
I cried for my hometown of Murfreesboro, first assaulted in a credits-sequence surveillance-cam attack in James DeMonaco’s rabid dystopian thriller The Purge, then characterized by John Goodman in the Coens’ Inside Llewyn Davis as "a flyspeck horseshit town." —Jim Ridley
Who was the most intriguing person in film this year?
Steve McQueen, a black Englishman unafraid to deal with Americans’ obsessions, quirks, fears and social mores. —Ron Wynn
Anwar Congo, the Indonesian gangster studied in Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary The Act of Killing, and Adèle Exarchopoulos, star of Blue Is the Warmest Color. —Sam Smith
Adèle Exarchopoulos. And Brie Larson owns every scene in everything she’s in. —Allison Inman
Adèle Exarchopoulos. Also, still Megan Ellison. —Jason Shawhan
Whoever designed Amy Adams’ sideboob-showing outfits in American Hustle. That muhfucka deserves a medal. —Craig D. Lindsey
Olivier Assayas: "Intriguing" may not be the right word, so perhaps another sidestep, but after a second viewing of Something in the Air and a repertory screening of 1998’s Late August, Early September, I’m definitely curious. What I first considered weaknesses — rambling, loose-limbed narratives, a reaching, grasping quest for meaning, characters drifting in and out of focus — now feel like positive strengths. Irma Vep and Summer Hours are long-cherished faves, but now I find myself wondering about such supposed misfires as Les Destinées Sentimentales, Demonlover and Clean. And I really need to carve out some time (well, a day) to revisit Carlos … —Scott Manzler
In the space of about a year, James Franco played the Wizard of Oz for Disney; fellated an Uzi for Harmony Korine (in the supporting performance of the year); depicted himself as a douchey Hollywood dilettante in This Is the End; made an explicit indie about the 40 minutes of SM footage supposedly excised from William Friedkin’s Cruising; played Hugh Hefner; enacted a Sylvester Stallone action script; and adapted features from dauntingly difficult novels by Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy. Spring break forever, bitchez. —Jim Ridley
What are you most looking forward to in 2014?
A job. —Craig D. Lindsey
James Clauer’s When the World’s on Fire. —Jim Ridley
Under the Skin, director Jonathan Glazer’s long-awaited follow-up to 2004’s Birth. —Sam Smith
Gloria, Lenny Cooke, Living Stars, Ping Pong Summer, Memphis. —Allison Inman
Guardians of the Galaxy, The Guest, Hard to Be a God, Hits, Incompresa, Inherent Vice, Noah, Nymph()maniac, The Sacrament, Snowpiercer (non-Weinstein version), The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears, Under The Skin, and White Bird in a Blizzard. —Jason Shawhan
Hopefully, more diverse and serious films about all non-white experiences, as Hollywood sees that blacks and Latinos are willing to attend these movies — and that whites aren’t afraid of seeing them either. And maybe they will discover other communities of color as well. —Ron Wynn
Only Lovers Left Alive: Jim Jarmusch will top this list almost any time he has a release pending. Throw in Tilda Swinton, and it’s a lock. But there are countless other festival standouts I missed and past-year highlights I haven’t gotten around to (e.g. Museum Hours) and Jane Campion’s miniseries Top of the Lake and … still, to be honest, what I’m most looking forward to are the great films, old and new, that aren’t yet on my radar, the ones I never knew I was looking forward to. —Scott Manzler