An almost perfect year in theatres: 2013 movies in review

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This past year promised us viewers some rather spectacular films; returns of franchises — both superhero and not — critic favourites, and big book adaptations. With 2013 coming to a close, here is a reflection on just how those promises held up throughout the year.


Superhero movies have been dominating the box offices for ages, but in the past few years, thanks to Marvel&rsquo;s ingenious Avengers superhero formula, the stakes have never been higher. In 2013 we saw the return of Thor and the villain people love to hate, Loki, in <em>Thor: The Dark World</em>. It was surprisingly funny, but could not compete with the highest grossing film of the year, <em>Iron Man 3</em>.


Robert Downey Jr. constantly brings his special brand of charisma to <em>Iron Man,</em> and along with well-placed humour and great action scenes, <em>Iron Man</em> stole 2013 financially. The Superman remake <em>Man of Steel</em> also debuted in an attempt to reboot the series.


On the note of rebooted series, <em>Star Trek Into Darkness</em> continued the winning streak of 2009&rsquo;s <em>Star Trek</em>. It continues to draw in new fans with its stunning (albeit lens flare heavy) visuals, and possibly the help of Benedict Cumberbatch, who was in not one, but four movies this year (<em>The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug</em>, <em>12 Years a Slave</em>, <em>Star Trek into Darkness,</em> and <em>The Fifth Estate</em>).


<em>The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug</em>, <em>World War Z</em>, <em>The Great Gatsby</em> and <em>The Hunger Games: Catching Fire</em> all used their respective novels to draw viewers into theatres. While <em>Desolation of Smaug</em> certainly did better theatrically than its predecessor, <em>The Great Gatsby</em> and <em>World War Z</em> paled in comparison to their novel counterparts.


<em>Catching Fire</em> topped all the competitors, gaining the second highest grossing in 2013 title. It utilized its two and a half hour running time much better than the previous movie and delved into darker, grittier themes and visuals. It gracefully avoided the middle book plague to critic and fans&rsquo; delight alike.


Family titles like <em>Despicable Me 2</em> and <em>Monsters University </em>all did exceptionally well in the box office this year as well. While Disney&rsquo;s <em>Frozen</em> didn&rsquo;t match <em>Despicable Me 2</em> in terms of money, the critics, and viewers thought of it as a great addition to Disney&rsquo;s strong collection of films.


Critics in particular had a lot to enjoy this year with titles like <em>Gravity</em>, <em>12 Years a Slave,</em> and the newest addition to the roster,<em> American Hustle. </em>


Many viewers enjoyed other notable titles like <em>Rush</em>, Danish entry <em>The Hunt</em>, <em>Pacific Rim</em>, and <em>The Wolf of Wallstreet</em>. It is a testament to this year cinematically that it is near impossible to include all the great movies that came out in 2013. Now if only we could forget about <em>After Earth</em> and <em>Grown Ups 2</em> it would be a perfect year.