The 50 best movies of 2013

Unlucky for some...

Ah 2013; I remember you. It was the year of Iron Man 3, Gravity, Rush, The World's End, and... The Lone Ranger. Yeah, some great movies and some not so great movies. Don't worry though, the good definitely outweighed the bad as Jessica Chastain got an Oscar nom for her role in Zero Dark Thirty, Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx kicked ass in Tarantinos Django Unchained, and Henry Cavill donned the red cape for the first time with Man of Steel.

2013 might not seem so long ago, but you'd be surprised how many amazing films slipped through your viewing schedule. Check out the 50 best movies of 2013 and see how many you actually watched (be honest!). I got round to seeing 23 (I've been busy, ok!), see how well you do...

50. The Conjuring

The Movie: James Wan's spook story revisits the real-life paranormal investigators who inspired The Amityville Horror for some pleasingly old-school shocks. The Scariest Film Ever Made. This year. Maybe

Impact: With a $313 million take from a $20 million budget, this is one of the year's most profitable hits since, well, James Wan's Insidious. Given he also made the first Saw, if you want a return on your investment, here's your guy.

49. Blackfish

The Movie: How SeaWorld put the 'killer' into killer whale, as Gabriela Cowperthwaite's investigation into an aggressive animal becomes a tragic story of imprisonment.

Impact: Cowperthwaite wants to change opinion about animals in captivity and already has two influential advocates, as John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton have changed the ending of Finding Dory after seeing the film.

48. Anchorman: The Legend Continues

The Movie: Nine years after Anchorman, Adam McKay reunites Will Ferrrell's Ron Burgundy with his crew, now trying to stage a comeback in the 1980s as part of the 24-hour rolling news revolution.

Impact: 'Legend' isn't too strong a word, with the first film growing in stature from mild box-office hit to the last decade's best-loved comedy. Belated though the sequel is, this is Ron Burgundy's moment.

47. This Is The End

The Movie: Funny famouses saw out the apocalypse at James Francos house in Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's raucous comedy. Clever meta-satire or the most expensive home movie ever made? Fun, either way.

Impact: Star/writer/co-director Rogen's stock has never been higher, but since he is playing to type here, it's going to be more interesting to see the effect this has on the careers of James Franco, Michael Cera and--especially--Jay Baruchel.

46. You're Next

The Movie: A smart home invasion chiller punctuated by grisly kills, but also a self-aware satire of familial relations and a black comedy dressed in horror troupes.

Impact: Horror is having a heyday and at the forefront of the indie movement is director Adam Wingard, who along with House of the Devil's Ti West (who is in an acting role here) could be the guy most likely to scare a generation.

45. Upstream Color

The Movie: Shane Carruth disappeared after 2004's sci-fi classic Primer. Turns out he'd been to the future, from where he's brought back his equally distinctive second film. Love, identity, the cosmos, piglets Carruth certainly knows how to scramble heads.

Impact: Literally? Brows furrowed, heads scratched, minds discombobulated. But it also marks Carruth as the heir to Nolan and Aronofsky, unafraid to try to film big, abstract ideas into exciting new forms.

44. The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty

The Movie: The second film adaptation of James Thurber's short story about a daydreaming Everyman gets the big-budget treatment, with star/director Ben Stiller utilising CGI and awe-inspiring global locations to create Mitty's flights of fantasy.

Impact: Reviews have been mixed but this is 2013's Life Of Pi--a mix of inspirational themes and attention-grabbing imagery. It also marks a major effort by Stiller to up his game, especially considering he could easily have made Zoolander 2 instead.

43. Prisoners

The Movie: Hugh Jackmans daughter went missing in a gruelling drama that pitted Jackman against Jake Gyllenhaal in one of the year's most gripping , emotional head-to-heads.

Impact: Here's further proof that, when he's not up to his claws in adamantium, Jackman is becoming a Hollywood heavyweight in dramatic roles, while Incendies director Denis Villeneuve confirmed his class.

42. A Hijacking

The Movie: The years other Somali pirate drama was a quality slice of Danish, as Tobias Lindholm generated as much tension following the nervy negotiations in Copenhagen as he did on the boat.

Impact: The current British obsession with Scandinavian crime drama has obscured the range of Denmark's output, but writer/director Lindholm--who wrote The Hunt and many episodes of Borgen--could be the nation's next break-out auteur.

We recommend