Over 100 critics in Indiewire's Criticwire Network submitted their picks for the best films of 2013 so far and "Before Midnight" came out on top by a significant margin.
Rounding out the top five were a pair of films that also played in Park City back in January, Sarah Polley's family chronicle "Stories We Tell" and Shane Carruth's abstract sci-fi/fantasy/romance "Upstream Color." Two others that premiered in Toronto last fall, the ever-provocative "Spring Breakers" and the black-and-white twenty-something dramedy "Frances Ha," rounded out the list.
In order to qualify for the list, a film needed to have received a theatrical or VOD release in the first six months of the year. (Critics were also allowed to submit overall comments on the year in film; many used that space to highlight their favorite festival films that haven't yet made their way to public consumption.) The results page has the final poll outcome, complete with links to everyone's ballots.
As for the rest of the overall list, a pair of the most polarizing films of the year ranked highly as well. Derek Cianfrance's "The Place Beyond the Pines" and Terrence Malick's "To the Wonder" both faced bumpy receptions during their festival runs. But considering their respective placements at 8th and 12th place on the list, it's clear that they now each have developed a number of fervent supporters.
Two documentaries made the top ten: "Stories We Tell" and Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel's "Leviathan," an immersive look at the day-to-day operations of a fishing boat. Another six made the top 50, although a few of them (like Paolo and Vittorio Taviani's "Caesar Must Die") blend the traditional line between fiction and non-fiction filmmaking.
For all the derision directed toward some of this year's summer blockbusters, a handful of them garnered enough votes to make the cut in our poll: "Man of Steel," "Star Trek Into Darkness" and "Iron Man 3" all appeared on multiple ballots.
Finally, what do "Something in the Air," Olivier Assayas' tale of student revolution in 1970s Paris and "Pain and Gain," Michael Bay's adaptation of the true-life story of bodybuilders-turned-criminals have in common? They both tied at 17th. As with all of these polls, critics' varied interests and sensibilities make for some strange results bedfellows.
The Criticwire Network's Top 10 Movies of 2013 So Far
To see the complete list, visit the survey results page here.