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Top 10 Best Dramas Of 2013

Top 10 Best Dramas 2013 (Movies)This is my personal list of the best dramas of 2013 (movies, not TV). A few years back it felt like the drama film was becoming something of an endangered species, as even at highbrow festivals like Cannes and Venice it was the fansite-friendly genre flicks grabbing the fattest slices of critical attention. Well, 2013 saw cinematic drama resurging with all the remorseless force of a Cher comeback tour. There were ample contenders for spots in this Movie-Moron Top 10, but only 10 could there be and these are they…

10. The Place Beyond the Pines

Best Dramas 2013 Movies
The second feature from writer-director Derek Cianfrance, the most powerful man in Hollywood named Derek (probably…), Place Beyond the Pines was a decidedly mixed pleasure, like splitting a sh*t sandwich with Glenn Beck.

On the plus side, Ryan Gosling’s emotionally bruised motorcycle bandit gave Drive addicts the follow-up dose of high octane heartthrobbery that the defiantly oddball Only God Forgives refused to deliver.

In the debit column, the film seemed to go on for about five days and the scenes between the new Harry Osborn and the abominable bovine offspring of Bradley Cooper’s character were more tedious than a Christmas day spent adding up the combined value of all the tiles in your new Scrabble set.

9. Upstream Color


To say Upstream Color doesn’t provide any easy answers is like saying Robert De Niro’s quality control antenna went kaput around the time Joe Pesci retired from being an irate dwarf: i.e. a fact so solid you could fit a few windows and happily live in it.

But like the best obscure movies, the long-anticipated second feature from Shane Carruth left you wanting to watch it again, in a bid to make just a soupcon more sense of its pig-farming, parasitic shenanigans. Oh, and to hear that emotionally epic soundtrack – surely the finest movie score of 2013.

8. Frances Ha


Also known as the movie in which co-writer-director Noah Baumbach and co-writer-star Greta Gerwig offered a cold hard slap of reality for toiling artists everywhere: your ‘talent’ is non-existent and your dreams of cultural immortality have zero chance of coming to fruition. Oh, and on a personal level, you’re an epic, epic jerk.

The best you can aspire to is munching enough corporate cock to earn the cash to try and soothe the towering misery of your pathetic dashed hopes. Sorry. But like, not really, loser.

7. Behind the Candelabra

Best Drama Movies 2013
Initially tittersome, ultimately tragic, Steven Soderbergh’s sketch of the troubled twilight years of king of camp Liberace was both skilfully realised and all the better for its levity and irreverence.

Matt Damon just about got away with playing the young hunk the ivory-tinkler seduces and then proceeds to treat as his own personal plaything, while Michael Douglas, wrapped in furs, festooned with rhinestones, gave a completely convincing performance as an elderly sex-addicted millionaire. Give the man an Oscar. And a Viagra.

6. A Hijacking


Apologies Tom Hanks, but the best Somali hijack flick of 2013 had already sailed into cinemas before you’d even been forced into having an opinion on why it wasn’t important or not whether the real Captain Phillips was a supertanker-sized douche nozzle.

Written and directed by Tobias Lindholm, the Danish brain behind small screen political saga Borgen, A Hijacking thumbed its nose at clichés, melodrama and sentimentality, instead delivering a white knuckle, tense as hell ride through the trauma of when a ship is seized by pirates. And not the fun kind of Disney pirates either.

Top Dramas Films 2013
Best Dramas 2013 – 5th to 1st >

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4 Comments »

  • G said

    The Place Beyond the Pines was awful. I barely could make it to end as it was longer than the last ice age. Lucky my provisions lasted and I didn’t have to resort to cannibalism.

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    • Sheridan Passell said

      I have to admit I liked The Place Beyond The Pines, the structure was something different and experimental and I appreciated that. There’s no doubt the last section wasn’t as good as the previous two, not least because it lost the star power, but at that point I was invested enough to be interested. I did watch it over a couple of days, kinda like someone would read a novel, so maybe all in one sitting might have been a bit much.

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      • Paul Martin said

        The simple but rather substantial problem was that the first bit was good, the middle bit was all right, and the last bit was a one-way ticket to Snoozeville. It felt like Derek Cianfrance had quietly snuck out without finishing the film, instead just letting it run and run and run, in some hilarious jape against we poor saps in the audience.

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  • JP said

    Philomena. Best drama of the year. Best film of the year. Bar none.

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