Everyone likes a good surprise at the movies. It's always fun to go to a flick and find a gem in the pile of stones out there.
I saw over 170 movies in 2013, and it should be noted there are far more average movies made each year than non-average ones. In the days ahead I will post some of the great ones, and disappointing ones of 2013. To be on THIS list, it has to be a real "breath of fresh air not expected movie," and be released to local theaters in the calender year. So here goes, my list of the 5 Most Surprising Movies of 2013
1/ Carrie - This retelling of the Stephen King classic novel was 40 years in the making, and is far better than the original. Chloe Grace Moretz is a perfect Carrie, the rest of the cast is great too. It's still Carrie, but this looks better, and is better that the mid 1970's movie. Normally remakes get on my nerves, but this was well thought out. Plus, they begin with a great story from a great writer - King. This was a real good idea,as movie making has evolved so much since the 70's. This needed an update, because King's story was ahead of the movie making technology at the time. His breakthrough story needed a better memory than the original.
2/ Snitch - February is the wasteland of movie going, but this year Snitch helped make it tolerable. The Rock starred in this, and didn't go all superhero on us. The story is based on truth and is quite interesting about a desperate father, trying to vindicate his son who is wrongfully imprisoned for drugs. How far will he go to make things right. This movie stays inside itself and does not go over the top. Good story, and The Rock is quite good. Perfect? No. But a great surprise.
3/ Fast And Furious 6 - These are not my favorite movies by any stretch, but I have a ton of respect for this series. As the numbers get bigger, so does the box office take, and that is exceptionally unusual. And 6 of them? They are what the are. This is fun, and zips along well. Will this change cinematic history? No. But, somehow they manage to keep their core viewers interested, and new viewers become engaged quickly. These don't get worse as most sequels can and generally do.
4/ Mud - This movie starring Mathew McConaughey is simply terrific. His performance as "Mud" is Oscar worthy, and the story is gripping with a fantastic supporting cast. This movie came and went completely under the radar, as about 10 people saw it. This was one of the real "shames" of the movie year. More people should have seen this. And his MM's performance, is award worthy. Redbox this movie, it's fantastic!
5/ All Is Lost - The one man movie starring Robert Redford as a man trying to survive being lost at sea alone. There is no dialogue in this one hour and forty minute movie, but it holds your attention and is very compelling. Redford gives a great performance, might be one of the best of his career, and he doesn't speak. This is certainly not for everyone, but this is surprisingly good. Redford's name could be tossed around at Oscar time too.