“Anyone who laments the death or decrepitude of movies just isn’t paying attention,” argues the New York Times‘ A.O. Scott before eventually segueing into his best-of-2013 list. “Yes, there are great shows on cable, and dreary franchise action fare clogs the multiplexes in the warmer months. Animation, a bright spot in Hollywood over the past decade, has entered a creative slump as the studios discover that they can sell tickets and tie-in merchandising without taking the creative risks that generate masterpieces. But everywhere else, from the legacy studios and their indie-dependent subsidiaries to the hothouse cottage industries of micro-releasing and self-distribution, the art of cinema is thriving.”
And his list goes all the way to 35, with “a Top 10 with an absurd (but eminently justified) six-way tie for the 10th spot” and “15 runners-up, any one of which could have easily claimed a slot in the top tier and five documentaries, from a crowded and eclectic field.” His #1: Inside Llewyn Davis.
“We are living in an era of cinematic abundance, so why does this feast sometimes feel like a famine?” asks the NYT‘s Manohla Dargis. Her snapshot of the state of cinema is a few shades darker than Scott’s, and, while she lists 16 favorites (in alphabetical order) and adds nearly two dozen more on her “honor roll,” she emphasizes that the chasm between the pretty good, quite good, and downright great movies on the one hand and what people are actually going out to see remains as wide as ever.
Film.com revisits the “100 Best Movie Scenes of 2013” with clips and pix.
The AV Club counts off the “15 worst films of 2013.” #1: John Moore’s A Good Day To Die Hard.
Flavorwire‘s Jason Bailey posts the “30 Best Movie Posters of 2013.”
At Indiewire, Alison Willmore recaps the “15 Best Episodes of Television in 2013.” #1: Breaking Bad‘s “Ozymandias.”
Pope Francis is Time‘s Person of the Year. The New Yorker has begun asking contributors to tell us about their favorite books of the year. At Year-End Lists, you’ll find The Wire‘s “Top 50 Releases of 2013.” Top tunes: Gorilla vs. Bear and Slant.