Jeff & Sara's Top Ten 2013: Number 1

Posted 2:37 PM January 14th, 2014 by Binh Ngo
The Wolf of Wall Street

We're finally at the end of the countdown for Jeff and Sara's top ten movies of 2013. In the top spot are The Wolf of Wall Street and Gravity.

SYNOPSIS
Based on a true story, The Wolf of Wall Street is about the rise and fall of Jordan Belfort, a stock broker who runs a boiler room and defrauded investors with pump and dump schemes. The movie is directed by Martin Scorsese and stars Leonardo DiCaprio as the title character.

Gravity needs no introduction as we covered that at number 6 in the countdown, but here it is again for those who've missed it: Gravity is Alfonso Cuaron's long-awaited movie after wowing audiences with 2006's Children of Men. Sandra Bullock plays a medical engineer on her first shuttle mission. George Clooney as a veteran astronaut accompanies her for the ride. An accident left them stranded in space, tethered to nothing but each other.

THE FACTS
The Wolf of Wall Street was originally scheduled for release in November 15, but Scorsese had difficulty leaving things out of the movie. Luckily, he was able to finish the movie to make the Christmas release. Maybe it was the rush job, but The Wolf of Wall Street is the worst-reviewed movie in our countdown, with a Tomatometer of 74%. However, it has enough for Sara to make it her top movie of 2013. Box office-wise, it opened fifth with take of $18M and has made a total of $98M thus far -- which is decent.

Gravity is still unchanged since the last time we've covered it. It is one of the best-reviewed movies of 2013, with a Tomatometer at 97%, and is one of the top grossing movies of 2013.

Here are the trailers:
The Wolf of Wall Street

Gravity

WHY IN THE TOP TEN
Binh: When I see movie with a Tomatometer in the 60%-70% range, but is regarded highly regarded by some critics, the movie is usually very flawed in some way. What tipped the scale for you to make The Wolf of Wall Street your top movie of 2013, Sara?

Sara: I read the critical aggravation over Wolf and everyone's guilt in the pleasure they had watching a comedy about a real world tragedy, but the movie is about a bad guy. I never thought it wasn't. And all his excess is funny because it's gross. But don't believe me--your opinion is the one that really matters. It's easily the least intellectual picture on my top ten and I don't care. Ultimately, this movie is at the top of my list because it's an incredible ride. I have a dollar Jeff's selection resembles mine in that way.

Binh: Jeff, I got to tell you. Based on your choices so far, I was relieved that I didn't find One Direction: This Is Us as your top movie of 2013. Why Gravity?

Jeff: You wound me, Binh. In all seriousness, I was as surprised as anybody to find this many music documentaries in my top 10, but hey -- I have to call 'em like I see 'em, right? And for me, Gravity was a masterful piece of filmmaking that managed to use blockbuster techniques to subvert blockbuster tropes -- and make a ton of money in the bargain. Discovering that a film like this can not only make it through the major studio system, but take off at the box office too, has to be one of the most gratifying things about 2013 at the movies.

YOU HAD ME AT HELLO
Binh: Given the subject of The Wolf of Wall Street, I sure there are many of scenes of excess. Party like it's 1999, right? Describe the scene that made this the top movie for you.

Sara: My favorite scene was included in my Happy New Year Tweet.

Binh: Did the opening scene in Gravity also grabbed you from the get-go, Jeff?

Jeff: Aside from a couple of very minor quibbles, I don't think I could point to a bad scene anywhere in Gravity, so I don't have a problem going with that opening sequence. As a statement of intent for a smart-yet-pulse-quickening movie, it's just about flawless.

WHAT WOULD JAMES CAMERON DO?
Binh: Let's close this year's countdown with James "My Heart Will Go On" Cameron. What would we be watching if James Cameron had directed these movies?

Sara: Cameron's not so bad but he seems to think the only way to leave us in awe is with computers and Wolf is maybe too old fashioned for him. That said, he and Leo go way back. Maybe that yacht scene mighta looked a little angrier--maybe involved an axe.

Jeff: Thinking about a James Cameron-directed Gravity makes me sad. It wouldn't be any better-looking (how could it be?), but I think the script would probably be dumbed down to Avatar levels. There would be less for the viewer to think about after the closing credits rolled. Can we all agree that we're excited to see what Cuaron does next?

Binh: Well, that's all folks. We hope everyone enjoy reading these countdowns.

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