While most reviewers and studios base their top ten on the financial return derived from a film's box office success, this list focuses on the perceived quality of the plot, effects, acting, originality, and the entertainment value of the feature in question. Unlike previous summers, the summer of 2013 could be considered less than successful for the majority of the most anticipated movies. In many cases, the most unexpected genre seems to have lead the pack. Usually a the dark horse in the pack, holding on, but rarely taking first place, comedies took the lead on more than one occasion. The following list is based on the movies reviewed by this reviewer. And for those wondering, "Man of Steel" was seen and rejected. It had some great visuals, but many of the director's choices made the story and its character development choppy and incomplete in too many ways.
Summer's Top Ten
10. World War Z
Like a good number of today's films, 'Z' is based on a novel, which depicts a man's rundown of the events leading up to and during an apocalyptic incident, which results in a war against an unstoppable army of undead. Garnering a good number of the details depicted in the novel, "World War Z" is a thoughtfully horrific action-drama.
9. The Wolverine
Picking up not long after the incident, which lead to the death of Jean Grey, this film delves deep into Wolverine's past and reveals much of what is left unsaid in previous iterations of the X-Men inspired movies. It may have not been the blockbuster that the studio had hoped for, but it was probably the best Wolverine movie yet.
8. Now You See Me
"Now You See Me" is an unexpected and unpredictable joyride. Even though it isn't difficult to guess about where some of its plot is headed, new surprises and twists popup just when you think that you've gotten it all figured out. A fun and entertaining journey into a world of illusion and misdirection.
7. Monsters University
A followup to Monsters Inc, "Monsters University is a prequel, expanding the universe and enriching the tapestry of the world introduced in the franchise's original feature film. Not only do we get to see Mike and Sully before they became the premiere masters of scare, but we are also treated to the evolution of who they would become and the difficulties in building a friendship.
6. Pacific Rim
"Pacific Rim," A heavy hitting smack-down from beginning to end, this movie is visually stunning, with tons of action, a passable amount of character development, and a dash of humor to offset the gigantic battles which garner the majority of your attention.
An unlikely and relatively simple concept, "We're the Millers" manages to turn drug running and escaping from vengeful drug dealers into a heartwarming comedy about relationships and family values, while offering a continuous barrage of entertaining and laughable movements and interactions.
4. Kick-Ass 2
Taking it to the next level, this dark comedy tracks the evolution of the real life superhero craze, set into motion by a high-school student, tired to doing nothing about crime. A followup to "Kick-Ass," "Kick-Ass 2" features Hit Girl, who struggles with the possibility of giving up her life as a hero. Even though the move is called "Kick-Ass 2," it really should have been called "Hit-Girl." If not for it's under developed villain, it would have been higher in this list.
In a movie filled with actors and comedians, parodying themselves in an apocalyptic Los Angeles, "This is the End" manages to maintain a fairly constant stream of the ridiculous and outlandish, making the purely moronic laughable and enjoyable.
Featuring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, "The World's End" is a thorough and surprisingly fulfilling. An odd mix of comedy, science-fiction, and the apocalyptic, its fantastic nature is a dark passenger, slowly creeping up and directing the characters from quirky camaraderie to fancifully ridiculous and fun.
Despite the romantic plot surrounding Gru, "Despicable Me 2" is driven onward and upward by a constant and ever increasing tide of Minion related antics, which culminate in some of the best, biggest, and funniest moments in the film.