100 Best Films of 2013, By Kam Williams

Annual Assessment of the Cream of the Cinematic Crop

2013 may be remembered for black-themed films. Those include 42, The Butler, Fruitvale Station and 12 Years a Slave. The last one, 12 Years a Slave, was the early Oscar favorite. There were many of other excellent offerings released throughout 2013. Through the summer season three outstanding horror films were featured. Those three great works were The Conjuring, You’re Next and The Purge.

Fans of horror films were treated to a fascinating documentary. The director deconstructed the making of Night of the Living Dead called Birth of the Living Dead. There were so many cinematic treats this year, that it was practically impossible to limit the lists below to just the 10 best.

Although I usually make my annual list up to 100 entries, this story will honor the top ten in four sections, starting with big budget films, then foreign films, independent films, and finally, documentaries.

10 Best Big Budget Films

1. The Butler

The Butler is the true story of an African-American butler who served at the White House. Based on the story A Butler Well Served By This Election, written by Wil Haygood. Eugene Allen was a Presidential butler from 1952 to 1986, and is paralleled with the election of Barack Obama. See the “Lee Daniels” interview with Cuba Gooding. Also see Prairie Miller’s interview with Oprah and Mariah Carey.

2. Prisoners

A couple’s daughter goes missing, with her friend, and the man kidnaps the person he suspects is behind the disappearances. Starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal.

3. 42

Everyone knows the great baseballer Jackie Robinson. 42 is the story of Jackie Robinson, who wore the number 42 shirt for the Brooklyn Dodgers thanks to team executive Branch Rickey, played by Harrison Ford. This was a history-making signing.

4. You’re Next

One of the most terrifying horror films ever, You’re Next is a home-invasion shocker. A gang of masked, ax-wielding murderers attack a family reunion. The victims seem to be trapped, with no way out alive. But then an unlikely guest of the family proves to be the most talented killer of all.

5. Gravity

Starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, Gravity is a deep space thriller that shows how unforgiving space can be.

6. The Purge

The dystopian horror film The Purge was both written and directed by James DeMonaco. This is a strange film that allows a 12-hour timespan in which all illegal acts are celebrated, rather than prosecuted. Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Adelaide Kane, and Max Burkholder star in the film, as the family held hostage in their own home.

7. 12 Years a Slave

The period drama film 12 Years a Slave is an adaptation of the slave narrative memoir Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup, from 1853. Solomon Northup was a free African-American man who was born in New York State. In 1841, Northup was kidnapped in Washington, D.C. by two conmen and sold into slavery.

8. This Is the End

9. Inside Llewyn Davis

10. American Hustle

The 10 Best Foreign Films

1. The Hunt (Denmark)

2. Hannah Arendt (Germany)

3. Paradise: Love (Kenya)

4. Kon-Tiki (Norway)

5. Aliyah (Israel)

6. 2+2 (Argentina)

7. The Price of Sex (Bulgaria)

8. S#x Acts (Israel)

9. A Hijacking (Denmark)

10. The Broken Circle Breakdown (Germany)

The 10 Best Independent Films

1. Fruitvale Station

2. The Kings of Summer

3. Nebraska

4. Mud

5. Drinking Buddies

6. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

7. The Sapphires

8. I Used to Be Darker

9. The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete

10. Enough Said

The 10 Best Documentaries

1. Stories We Tell

2. Dear Mr. Watterson

3. Best Kept Secret

4. A Place at the Table

5. Muscle Shoals

6. Unmade in China

7. 20 Feet from Stardom

8. Schooled: The Price of College Sports

9. Evocateur: The Morton Downey, Jr. Movie

10. Linsanity

Kam Williams is a popular and top NewsBlaze reviewer, our chief critic. Kam gives his unvarnished opinion on movies, DVDs and books, plus many in-depth and revealing celebrity interviews.

Sadly, Lloyd Kam Williams passed away in 2019, leaving behind a huge body of work focused on America’s black entertainment community. We were as sad to hear of his passing as we were overjoyed to have him as part of our team.