7. Toy Story 3 (2010) Directed By: Lee Unkrich
“So long, partner.”
Nostalgia has never worked better as a marketing tool than it did for Toy Story 3. With many of the viewers of the first film being the same age as Andy in the third, the idea of leaving home and cutting ties with childhood hit hard. Couple that with the emotional final scene, and a film that never rests on the laurels of its previous successes, the film was the perfect finale to the trilogy while also being a strong standalone.
6. Gone Girl (2015) Directed By: David Fincher
It’s hard for me to write about any David Fincher film without fangirling. Fincher is one of my all-time favorite directors, and his latest film, Gone Girl, has quickly become one of my favorites of his.
Rosamund Pike is a tour-de-force; this is her movie. The places she takes “Amazing Amy” will have your spine shivering in a good (or maybe bad?) way. Fincher adds his almost trademark menacing quality to Gone Girl, which makes it both unsettling and mesmerizing. He satirically takes on the media, making a statement of how much of a sideshow it all truly is. All the while, the film touches on marriage, adultery, socio-economic status, and family. Author and screenwriter Gillian Flynn crafts a solid and unrelenting screenplay that makes for a deviously entertaining film.- Gaby
5. Whiplash (2014) Directed By: Damien Chazelle
A monster movie disguised as a psychological drama, Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash was a taut, edge of your seat thriller. Blending jazz music with bloody, and self-destructive madness, it pulled impressive turns out of Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons while also managing to turn the story of teacher and student on it’s head.
4. Her (2013) Directed By: Spike Jonze
Her is the movie set in the not so distant future we never knew we wanted until we got it and the success of the film far outreaches the love story-which itself is extraordinary. The color palette is soft but vibrant, the characters facing normal, personal connection issues without it being hindered by technology, but rather enhanced. The music is stirring, fitting seamlessly with the meditative and melancholy atmosphere, and an overall hopeful message about being happy and content in life even when it get’s tough. It’s uplifting without being maudlin, and sweet without being cutesy, and leaves on a note where we feel hopeful for our characters. Spike Jonze has such an affection for his characters in this film, there is a deep understanding he has of their inherent loneliness and missteps along the way, and it is with that care and attention to detail that makes these characters so wonderful to watch.
Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and Scarlett Johansson are all tremendous, all sharing a palpable chemistry as Her became a definitive film for 2013.