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Top 10 movies of 2013, plus honorable mentions

10. What Maisie Knew
10. What Maisie KnewDave Kotinsky/Getty Images

2013 was an amazing year for movies, especially those nominated for the Academy Awards’ Best Picture, announced Jan. 16, 2014. Though the following list may not contain some of the most critically successful films of the year, this reviewer does hold filmmaking to a much higher standard than average film watchers.

This past year offered great films in all genres with some truly incredible performances from men and women. Indie films were especially terrific, but some big budget films were stunning. Before the best, here are ten honorable mentions (in no particular order):

About Time, All is Lost, American Hustle, Frances Ha, Frozen, Fruitvale Station, The Grandmaster, Her, In a World…, Philomena

That being said, the following list contains my favorite films of 2013. Click "View all 10 Photos" or "More Photos" (above) to see my Top 10 List.

10. What Maisie Knew
10. What Maisie Knew Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

10. What Maisie Knew

What Maisie Knew:  A child tries to make sense of the separation of her parents and their battle over her.  An emotional film with an amazing performance by tiny Onata Aprile as Maisie, “What Maisie Knew” begs you to cherish your children.  A+

9. Much Ado About Nothing
9. Much Ado About Nothing Jason Kempin/Getty Images

9. Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing:  Director Joss Whedon uses the dialogue written by Shakespeare, but his remarkable, black-and-white version uses incredible, physical performances by its funny stars to make Shakespeare relatable to the masses.  A

8. Inside Llewyn Davis
8. Inside Llewyn Davis Araya Diaz/Getty Images for TheWrap

8. Inside Llewyn Davis

Inside Llewyn Davis:  A depressing tribute to artists that refuse to sell out, the Coen brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis” acknowledges the discrepancy between art and what sells.  Beautiful folk music is performed by its stars, including Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, and Justin Timberlake.  A

7. Gravity
7. Gravity Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images

7. Gravity

Gravity:  A technological achievement that will give audiences a chilling, 3D experience of the vastness of space, “Gravity” is one of the most wowing movies of all time.  A

6. 12 Years a Slave
6. 12 Years a Slave Kevin Winter/Getty Images

6. 12 Years a Slave

12 Years a Slave:  Director Steve McQueen’s flawless and rich film depicts the many sides to slavery with some stellar performances, especially by Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Paul Dano, and newcomer Lupita Nyong’o.  A+

(winner of Golden Globe for Best Picture- Drama)

5. August: Osage County
5. August: Osage County Kevin Winter/Getty Images

5. August: Osage County

August: Osage County:  Similar to classic “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” “August: Osage County” is based on a play about some bizarre, slightly crazy people.  A story of a dysfunctional family, “August” shines with its stars’ worthy performances of some terrible, difficult people.  A

4. Blue Jasmine
4. Blue Jasmine Ethan Miller/Getty Images

4. Blue Jasmine

Blue Jasmine:  Woody Allen’s modern tale of two sisters is reminiscent of “A Streetcar Named Desire.”  Cate Blanchett plays the role of her career as the critical, crazy Jasmine.  A

(Critics Choice Movie Award winner for Best Actress)

3. Nebraska
3. Nebraska Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for AFI

3. Nebraska

Nebraska:  A heartwarming tale of a son getting to know his alcoholic father, Alexander Payne’s beautiful, black-and-white film is natural and real.  Its script is faultless with a perfect blend of comedy and sincerity.  A

2. The Wolf of Wall Street
2. The Wolf of Wall Street Kevin Winter/Getty Images

2. The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street:  Martin Scorsese directs a (very dark) comedy?  And Leonardo DiCaprio stars?  It’s shockingly the fastest paced three hour film in existence thanks to fantastic performances and plenty of humor blending with the debauchery of Wall Street.  A

(Critics Choice Movie Award winner for Best Actor - Comedy)

1. Dallas Buyers Club
1. Dallas Buyers Club Christopher Polk/Getty Images

1. Dallas Buyers Club

Dallas Buyers Club:  The most moving film of the year, “Dallas Buyers Club” inspires with two of the best performances of the year; Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto transform before your eyes.  Just incredible.  A+