More than 600 movies received a theatrical release in 2013, which means that if you went to see a new movie every day this year, you still could not cover the whole cinematic spectrum. 2013 was, in this critic’s opinion, one of the best years for film in recent memory. Of the 80 or so films I saw this year, I enjoyed about two thirds of them. The titles that I can recommend heartily range from big-budget extravaganzas (among them, Gravity and Star Trek Into Darkness), as well as modest films that did not last long in theatres. If the diversity of the picks from early awards and critics prizes attest to anything, it is that the variety of quality films was vast this year.
With so many strong films hitting theatres in 2013 though, it is likely that many excellent titles evaded your grasp. From a crazy documentary moving through the world of cinephilia to an electric look at the early years of the Beat generation, many films captivated audience attention at film festivals but failed to last long at art-house venues later on.
From excellent titles courtesy of Denmark and Chile, to a few stunning directorial debuts as well as the latest from renowned filmmakers Danny Boyle and Sarah Polley, here are 10 terrific and essential films from 2013, all of which were overlooked during their first run.