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'The Past,' 'The Unknown Known' and 'The Selfish Giant' Join Ten Others on Updated List of Best-Reviewed 2013 Films Among Criticwire Members

By Steve Greene and Eric Kohn | Indiewire December 30, 2013 at 9:07AM

Four new films make the cut this week, as we update the list for one of the final times in 2013. As the collection passes 80, how many have you seen?
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READ MORE: The 10 Indies to Watch on VOD This December

Because critics can grade films at their leisure, all averages are subject to change; this list will grow or shrink on a regular basis to reflect fluctuating averages and new releases. The list is ordered in terms of letter grades first, followed by the number of grades a film has received. Duplicate numbers reflect ties in volume of grades and totals in italics reflect changes from the last update.

Head to a film page to browse reviews and other information pertaining to each film. For more rankings, check out the top documentaries of 2013 and the top foreign language films of 2013.

1. Before Midnight (Film Page), directed by Richard Linklater (2013 Sundance Film Festival; June 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A (124 grades)

2. 12 Years a Slave (Film Page), directed by Steve McQueen (2013 Telluride Film Festival; October 2013 theatrical release) 
Average Criticwire Rating: (99 grades)


3. The Act of Killing (Film Page), directed by Joshua Oppenheimer (2012 Telluride Film Festival; July 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A (78 grades)

4. Her (Film Page), directed by Spike Jonze (2013 New York Film Festival; December 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: (62 grades)


5. Upstream Color (Film Page), directed by Shane Carruth (2013 Sundance Film Festival; April 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (104 grades)

6. Frances Ha (Film Page), directed by Noah Baumbach (2012 Toronto International Film Festival; May 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (101 grades)


7. Inside Llewyn Davis (Film Page), directed by Joel & Ethan Coen (2013 Cannes Film Festival; December 2013 theatrical release) Average Criticwire Rating: A- (98 grades)

8. Stories We Tell (Film Page), directed by Sarah Polley (2012 Venice Film Festival; May 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (82 grades)

9. Blue Is the Warmest Color (Film Page), directed by Abdellatif Kechiche (2013 Cannes Film Festival; October 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (79 grades)


10. Fruitvale Station (Film Page), directed by Ryan Coogler (2013 Sundance Film Festival; July 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (72 grades)

11. Blue Jasmine (Film Page), directed by Woody Allen (June 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (67 grades)

12. All is Lost (Film Page), directed by JC Chandor (2013 Cannes Film Festival; October 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (66 grades)


13. No (Film Page), directed by Pablo Larraín (2012 Cannes Film Festival; February 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (63 grades)

14. American Hustle (Film Page), directed by David O. Russell (December theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (60 grades)

15. Leviathan (Film Page), directed by Verena Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor (2012 Locarno International Film Festival; March theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (58 grades)

16. The Spectacular Now (Film Page), directed by James Ponsoldt (2013 Sundance Film Festival; July 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (54 grades)


17. Captain Phillips (Film Page), directed by Paul Greengrass (2013 New York Film Festival; October 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (51 grades)

17. Short Term 12 (Film Page), directed by Destin Cretton (2013 SXSW Film Festival; August 2013 theatrical release) 
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (51 grades)

17. The World's End (Film Page), directed by Edgar Wright (August 2013 theatrical release) 
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (51 grades)

20. A Touch of Sin (Film Page), directed by Jia Zhang-ke (2013 Cannes Film Festival; October 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (49 grades)


21. The Past (Film Page), directed by Asghar Farhadi (2013 Cannes Film Festival; December 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (43 grades)

22. Enough Said (Film Page), directed by Nicole Holofcener (2013 Toronto International Film Festival; September 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (41 grades)

22. The Gatekeepers (Film Page), directed by Dror Moreh (2012 Telluride Film Festival; February 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (41 grades)

24. Museum Hours (Film Page), directed by Jem Cohen (2012 Locarno International Film Festival, June 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (34 grades)

Twenty Feet From Stardom

24. Twenty Feet from Stardom (Film Page), directed by Morgan Neville (2013 Sundance Film Festival; June 2013 theatrical release) 
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (34 grades)

26. Bastards (Film Page), directed by Claire Denis (2013 Cannes Film Festival, October 2013 theatrical/VOD release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (33 grades)

26. Blackfish (Film Page), directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite (2013 Sundance Film Festival; July 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (33 grades)


26. The Great Beauty (Film Page), directed by Paolo Sorrentino (2013 Cannes Film Festival; November 2013 release date)
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (33 grades)


29. The Wolf of Wall Street (Film Page), directed by Martin Scorsese (December 2013 theatrical release) 
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (32 grades)

30. Wadjda (Film Page), directed by Haifaa al-Mansour (2012 Venice Film Festival; September 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: A- (31 grades)

This article is related to: Reviews, The Best Indie Movies of 2013, Criticwire, No, Leviathan, The Gatekeepers, Side Effects, Room 237, Beyond The Hills, Like Someone In Love, Spring Breakers, Upstream Color, War Witch (Rebelle), Blancanieves, Lore, J'ai tué ma mère (I Killed My Mother), Fruitvale Station, We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, The Spectacular Now, Computer Chess, Blue Jasmine, Dirty Wars, Prince Avalanche, Cutie and the Boxer, Ain't Them Bodies Saints, The Conjuring, 12 Years a Slave, All Is Lost, Dallas Buyers Club, Concussion, The Broken Circle Breakdown, Nebraska, The Great Beauty, You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet, Inside Llewyn Davis, Philomena, Paradise: Hope