Well it’s that time of year again, and this year has certainly been a mixed bag. Some great movies and a few stinkers, but I have enjoyed compiling the good and the bad over the last week or so, to finally come up with what I consider to be the ten best movies I’ve watched and reviewed (for the first time) this year. Note: I try and limit the contenders to movies released in the last two years.
Top Ten 2013
1.The Impossible 2. Django Unchained
3. Captain Philips
7. Man Of Steel
9. The Wolverine
Notable mentions: Monsters University, The Great Gatsby, World War Z
Zombie movies. Ok don’t stop reading just yet … I’ll admit they are ten a penny these days and hey, they even have their very own TV series in the shape of The Walking Dead … but despite this I feel there is still fun to be had, especially when its done as well as this. Brad Pitt plays an ex-UN officer trying to enjoy life with his wife and two daughters. That is until a virus begins to spread throughout the population, turning normal folk into crazed infected zombies. Pitt gets called back into action and soon is jetting off to find the source of the outbreak and hopefully come up with a vaccine.
Immediately movies like Outbreak and more recently Steven Soderberg’s Contagion came to mind, but here clearly done with a much bigger budget at the expense of star names. This is unashamedly a vehicle for Pitt (who also produces) but he acquits himself well (terrible hair cut aside). I’ve always liked him and he makes for a great, emotional and believable lead. The concept is gripping and the action and effects all first rate (with a heart-in-mouth plane crash). CGI zombies piling on top of each other and masses running through the streets is also something that has to be seen to be believed – and boy are they savage!
The globe trotting story line doesn’t offer anything we haven’t seen before though and has moments of alarming convenience and slight implausibility, but this is made up for by decent performances and a hectic, intense pace. I would have liked more emotion and more scenes with Pitt and his family, who are separated very early on … and a shaven headed female marine brings little to proceedings. It also lacks genuine scares or gore, but that’s probably to be expected for a summer blockbuster.
Yet for a tired concept, this was a cut above similar movies, and for a Brad Pitt vehicle, proves easily he’s still one of the best around. Recommended.
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