Top 10 Top 10s of 2013: Review of the Year

Happy New Year from Top 10 Films! Here are some of the highlights from 2013 including terrifying bus rides, great opening scenes, and the best movies to be snubbed for an Oscar…


Firstly, the thank you’s…

I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all our readers for stopping by the site. I hope the articles, top 10s and reviews have helped you make informed decisions about the time you invest in watching movies, ultimately enriching the experience. Hopefully we have introduced you to some new movies while celebrating many of your favourites and through our competitions given you the opportunity to get your hands on great DVDs and blu-rays. There is plenty more to come in 2014 so I hope you continue to enjoy visiting the site.

I must also say a big thank you to those writers who have contributed to the site this year. Again, Rodney Twelftree of Fernby Films has written some terrific pieces, while Mark Fraser, Neal Damiano, and Dan Grant have provided some of the most popular top 10s of the year.

Thank you also to Ryan Pollard, who recently joined the team as a film critic. He will be reviewing the latest UK theatrical releases and new DVDs/Blu-rays in the coming months.

You will have also noticed a new logo and website design in 2013. In order to provide a better reading experience for you I hope the new design aids site navigation and makes visiting Top 10 Films more fulfilling. The logo design was created by my talented brother-in-law Will Tarpey who spends his days as a professional graphic designer and his evenings watching endless episodes of new American TV drama.

Additional thanks to Chris Wharfe, Ellen Daniels, Rob Samuels, Rory Fish, Olan Ahern, Ragil Pembayun and Rob Keeling.

Highlights of the year…

The goonies, film,Some of my own top 10s that stand out this year include the top 10 treasure hunts in film because it let me list Indiana Jones and The Goonies in the same top 10, top 10 movie phone calls, and top 10 Brits on Holiday . Other favourites came from my “about” series such as top 10 films about taxi drivers and prostitutes.

I also really enjoyed writing the top 10 1990s murder investigations featuring the likes of Basic Instinct, Seven, JFK, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me and Silence of the Lambs. The top 10 Harrison Ford in Peril list was also a joy to put together – he’s one of my favourite actors but I didn’t realise before writing it that his characters are almost always faced with life-threatening scenarios! Just list them and you’ll see: The Fugitive, Air Force One, Six Days Seven Nights, all the Indiana Jones films and of course Star Wars. You could title any Harrison Ford movie Clear and Present Danger!

In addition, having completed a number of lists devoted to the male-centered buddy-buddy genre, I decided to redress the gender balance with a look at my favourite female buddy movies. I also put together a top 10 close to my heart as it looked at one of my favourite genres – the ghost story!

Other top 10s I really enjoyed reading in 2013 were Neal Damiano’s Top 10 Films Under The Radar, Mark Fraser’s celebration of Charles Bronson’s career highs and lows, and Rodney Twelftree’s look at the “greatest” movie death scenes in modern cinema.

Film Articles…

Gravity_film_sandra-bullockAway from our top 10 lists, we published a number of reviews and articles about film. Highlights include Mark Fraser’s in-depth analysis of William Friedkin’s under-appreciated Sorcerer and his take on one of Alfred Hitchcock’s less successful movies, Ellen Daniels’ review of the disappointing Man of Steel, and Rob Samuels’ critique of British independent film The Ex and the Why.

Meanwhile, I tried to defend Spielberg’s misfiring but enchanting Peter Pan adventure Hook, while I reviewed Richard Curtis’ About Time (which was one of my favourite films of the year). I also reviewed some great recent films that I saw for the first time in 2013 – these included Martha Marcy May Marlene, 50/50 and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I also caught up with The Grey, The Avengers, Sightseers, The Iron Lady and The Hunger Games.

Additionally, Ryan Pollard and Chris Wharfe reviewed a number of new releases – both theatrical and DVD/Blu-ray/VOD – including Milius, The Hunger Games Catching Fire, The Witches, Stoker, Doctor Who and Gravity.

Other highlights…

Small Soldiers, Gremlins and Explorers director Joe Dante recognising my appreciation of the brilliant but under appreciated comedy The Burbs on Twitter was a definite highlight!

My favourite top 10s of 2013…

10. Top 10 James Gandolfini Films (by Neal Damiano)


9. Top 10 Feel Good Movies Set in Small Town America (by Dan Stephens)

Pleasantville, Tobey Maguier, Reese Witherspoon,

8. Top 10 Spontaneous Dance Sequences in Film (by Dan Stephens)


7. Top 10 Movie Bus Rides to Avoid (by Mark Fraser)


6. Top 10 films to be snubbed for Best Picture at the Oscars (by Dan Stephens)


5. Top 10 Death Scenes in Modern Cinema‏ (by Rodney Twelftree)

Hans Gruber's death, Die Hard,

4. Top 10 Opening Scenes in Film (by Rob Keeling)


3. Top 10 Drug-Themed Films (by Neal Damiano)

Less Than Zero, Top 10 Films, Andrew McCarthy, Robert Downey Jr.,

2. 10 movies that are literally a pain in the behind (by Mark Fraser)


1. Top 10 Random Acts of Kindness from Actors (by Dan Grant)

What was your favourite top 10 list from 2013?

About the Author
Editor of Top 10 Films, Dan Stephens is usually found pondering his next list. An unhealthy love of 1980s Hollywood sees most of his top 10s involving a time-travelling DeLorean and an adventurous archaeologist going by the name Indiana.

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    Dan Grant Reply

    I’m honoured that top 10 random acts of kindness made the list at number one. Thank you Dan. My favourite this year is the one listed at number 2. Pain in the butt is original and such a good read. Neal Damiano is my second fave guy to read on the site and of course (not butt kissing, truth) your articles are my favourite. You have come up with some truly innovative and humourous top tens and other passages. Two of my faves are Best and Worst Marines in Aliens and Top 10 films of a ten year old.

    Congrats on a great site and I look forward to 2014.

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      Dan Reply

      It wasn’t easy picking a number one but I felt yours was a very worthy victor, helped because there was such a good message behind it.

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    Neal Damiano Reply

    Dan, I want to thank you for up keeping an amazing film website, it really is for true fans of cinema. I enjoy reading all the different viewpoints on film from the contributors.

    I look forward to writing more lists in 2014.

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      Dan Reply

      Thanks for the kind words Neal, I always enjoy reading your lists and you so often introduce me to fantastic movies I’ve somehow missed.

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    Rodney Reply

    G’day from Down Under all!! More than happy to contribute this year Dan, although I have to apologise for not supplying more content than I did this past year. I hope to continue to controbute throughout 2014.

    Love the site design, it’s easy to read and makes browsing for stuff – especially older stuff that is still interesting – easy and fun. Also love some of the newer contributors, especially Neal and Mark, who write well, write interesting stuff, and provide much grist for the cinematic mill. Keep it coming, guys.

    Happy New Year to all at Top 10 Films, and I can’t wait to read more stuff over the next 12 months!!

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      Dan Reply

      …I only wish I could put together as much material as you do on Fernby Films, Rodney. The new review posting schedule of one per day is incredible!

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    Mark Reply

    @Dan, Dan and Rodney – thank you; I appreciate your observations. It was gratifying being with you on the top ten 2013 list.

    My wish for 2014: more Neal Damiano and Jack Deth.

    This is a funny and fantastic website – it’s a thrill being involved with it.

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      Dan Reply

      Cheers for the kind words Mark. It has been a real pleasure reading your articles this year.

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    Ryan Pollard Reply

    Thanks very much Dan for accepting me into the team, and I’m hoping I can provide some good reviews or top 10s in the coming months.

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    Evan Crean Reply

    Congratulations on a great year. Your posts are always insightful and fun. Plus they introduce me to tons of new movies, which has enriched my Netflix queue for sure. Love the new site design. Keep up the good work gents!

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      Dan Reply

      Thanks Evan. Hopefully I’ll have plenty more recommendations for you in 2014!

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    Lights Camera Reaction Reply

    Congrats on a great year. I always love reading your top ten lists!

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