The 10 best movies of 2013


Films have to be entertaining, but the best ones do more than that. They also enlighten; they make us think and stay with us long after the credits have rolled.


With that exalted criteria in mind, I pored over several acclaimed film review websites in search of last year’s best crop. Without further ado, here are the results of my search: the top 10 movies of 2013 (in no particular order):




Two hours of Sandra Bullock floating through space, only for about a quarter of that time accompanied by George Clooney… yet, this film manages to be a gripping saga about one person’s fight for life (and for the will to live).


12 Years a Slave

This film is based on the life of Solomon Northup, a black man from New York State who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841.


Inside Llewyn Davis

Another exquisite offering by brothers Joel and Ethan Coen, this film chronicles one week in the life of a struggling folk singer in New York in the 1960s.


Before Midnight

The two lead characters (played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy) meet in Greece nine years since their last encounter and offer powerful insights on love, marriage and commitment.


This coming-of-age story, the first English language film directed by Park Chan-wook, is a mix of thriller, ‭ ‬horror and drama. ‬Don’t let anyone tell you more about it before you see it!


The Act of Killing

In 1965, more than one million ethnic Chinese – men, women, children, toddlers and babies – were tortured and killed in Indonesia as communists. Today, the perpetrators run the country and boast about their atrocities before the camera for this documentary. “It’s like watching Adolph Hitler who, having won World War II, regales his grandkids with tales of his wonderful ovens”, says one reviewer.


Iron Man 3

One of the several 2013 movies based on a comic book, Iron Man 3 offers an irresistible mixture of a blockbuster and witty ripostes.



South Africa’s own Neill Blomkamp (of District 9 fame) depicts a future in which the gulf between the rich and the poor is wider than ever. The rich bask in luxury in a space station up above, while 98% of the population scrape a living on Earth down below. Sounds familiar?



The character played by Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with the character played by Scarlett Johansson … which would come as no surprise if it were not for one small glitch: the Johansson character (Samantha, not Siri) is just a computer-generated voice.



This computer-animated musical fantasy from the Walt Disney studios is loosely based on fairy tale The Snow Queen. The result is simply cool. To be enjoyed by the whole family.




If you’d rather watch what others have voted for with their wallets, note this list (Wikipedia’s) of the 2013 highest grossing films worldwide:


  1. Iron Man 3
  2. Despicable Me 2
  3. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  4. Fast & Furious 6
  5. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  6. Monsters University
  7. Man of Steel
  8. Gravity
  9. Frozen
  10. Thor: The Dark World

And the 10 most pirated movies in 2013 were, it seems: Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey; Django Unchained; Fast And Furious 6; Iron Man 3; Silver Linings Playbook; Star Trek Into Darkness; Gangster Squad; Now You See Me; The Hangover Part 3; and World War Z.


Before you start thinking: “if they can do it, why not…” remember that your internet downloading (and uploading) habits are being watched (no surprises here), and that an internet pirate has been arrested in South Africa (a first for the country). So, I strongly recommend doing the right thing: saying “no” to piracy.


Instead, head for the nearest movie theatre, or wait until the titles mentioned in this post come out on discs. Then buy them in the bidorbuy movie section.


We’d love to hear about your favourite 2013 movies! Let us know what you think on the bidorbuy Twitter page, with the hashtag #Top102013.