Screening Room: Russ’ Best and Worst Movies of 2013

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Welcome to this special edition of the Screening Room.

It's Shawn and Russ' look at the best movies of the year.

After watching more than 250 movies they have each selected the 10 best and the 10 worst of the year.

For a complete list of their 2013 popcorn ratings, click here.

Picking the worst and best of 2013 was not easy but fun.

Russ' 'Five Best' list:

#5: THE HUNT (R) Magnolia
"The Hunt" is an excellent Danish film that depicts a nightmare scenario. Mads Mikkelsen from TV’s “Hannibal” stars as a teacher who is falsely accused of sexually abusing a child. Thomas Vinterberg’s gripping movie shows that good intentions, when fueled by fear, can lead to injustice.

#4: STORIES WE TELL (PG-13) Roadside Attractions
"Stories We Tell" is an altogether unique and personal documentary from Canadian actress Sarah Polly. She started out to make a film about her late mother, but after interviewing friends and family members, she discovered a startling family secret. It's a beautifully realized and unusual movie.

Should one recommend a movie rated NC-17 that contains graphic sex scenes? Well, this is a review, not necessarily a recommendation. I can only comment on the superior quality of the acting and filmmaking in "Blue is the Warmest Color," a French film about two young women who fall in love. If those controversial scenes were eliminated, it would still be a powerful and moving film.

#2: GRAVITY (PG-13) Warner Bros.
Question: So what were big screens created for? Answer: “Gravity.” An expertly crafted and brilliantly realized space adventure, “Gravity” is an edge-of-your-seat thriller, an immersive movie experience that stands as one of the most impressive examples of purely visual storytelling that you’re likely to see.

#1: 12 YEARS A SLAVE (R) Fox Searchlight
Adapted from the autobiographical book of the same name, “12 Years a Slave” is a powerful drama that serves as both an indictment of human cruelty and as a portrait of individual resilience and dignity.  Chiwetel Ejiofor plays a free black man who was kidnapped into slavery in 1841. Director Steve McQueen has fashioned an important and potent historical epic.

Russ' Full list, BEST of 2013:
1. 12 Years a Slave (R)
2. Gravity (PG-13)
3. Blue is the Warmest Color (NC-17)
4. Stories We Tell (PG-13)
5. The Hunt (R)
6. The Spectacular Now (R)
7. A Hijacking (R)
8. The Act of Killing (Unrated)
9. American Hustle (R)
10. Fruitvale Station (R)

Russ' full list, WORST of 2013:
1. Spring Breakers (R)
2. The To-Do List (R)
3. The Big Wedding (R)
4. The Host (PG-13)
5. Grown Ups 2 (PG-13)
6. Gangster Squad (R)
7. Getaway (PG-13)
8. Diana (PG-13)
9. Pain and Gain (R)
10. To the Wonder (R)

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