I haven’t watched any of them but someone or the other has watched each of them, and that means there’s nothing random or blindly wishful about this list.
From the man who made ‘Incendies’ comes a film with a weak trailer and exceptional buzz. Featuring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano.
2) 12 Years a slave
From the man who made ‘Shame’. Featuring Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Paul Dano (what an year it’s turning out to be for Paul Dano) and a black man who I wished was a different black man but who it turns out gives a sure fire Oscar nod guaranteed performance.
From the man who made the okay-ish ‘Children of Men’ comes a film which may be the greatest ever space film but is surely Sandra Bullock’s greatest ever film (and I love Crash). Featuring George Clooney, Sandra Bullock, and floating debris.
4) Blue Is The Warmest Color
From the man whose filmography I am utterly unfamiliar with comes a 3 hour lesbian drama. Starring Lea Seydoux and her lesbian conquest with a near unpronounceable name. Winner of the prestigious Palme D’Or.
5) Frances Ha
From the man who wrote the screenplay for ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ comes a film which has occupied space in my heart and mind ever since the release of its trailer. Featuring Greta Gerwig and Adam Driver.
6) Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
Rooney Mara. Casey Affleck. Well, of course.
7) The World’s End
From the man who made ‘Scott Pilgrim’ comes the closing chapter of his Cornetto trilogy. The delightful hashtag #roswatch came out of this film too. Featuring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Rosamund Pike.
8) This Is The End
From the men who wrote ‘Superbad’ comes a film about the biblical apocalypse. Funniest movie of the year? Perhaps. Featuring friends of James Franco, James Franco, and Aziz Ansari.
From the man who made a bunch of decent and over-rated Korean films comes a film which explores class relations within the confines of a train. Featuring Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton. That’s 3 films dealing with the end of the world. We have more films dealing with the end of the world in 2013, thanks to 2012.
10) Short Term 12
From a first time director comes a film which has been pleasing the American festival circuit observers. Features Brie Larson.
Other films with a positive buzz- Inside Llewyn Davis, Blue Jasmine, The Way Way Back.
Coming to films that I have seen, there’s only one which will most definitively make the cut: Kapringen, aka The Hijacking.
However, there are a bunch of others towards which I have a favorable disposition: Mud, Place Beyond the Pines, Prince Avalanche, Only God Forgives, 42, The Bling Ring, Oblivion(!).
(This post was written by a black Jew, and therefore isn’t racist. Sandra Bullock was just reprising her role from Crash.)
Update: Prisoners and This is the end won’t be making the list. Gravity will most definitely.