Celebrating 17 Years of Film.Biz.Fans.
by Steve Greene and Eric Kohn
December 30, 2013 9:07 AM
49 Comments
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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

"Blackfish"

62. Blancanieves (Film Page), directed by Pablo Berger (2012 Toronto International Film Festival; February 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (41 grades)

63. In the House (Film Page), directed by Francois Ozon (2012 Toronto International Film Festival; April 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (39 grades)

63. You're Next (Film Page), directed by Adam Wingard (2011 Toronto International Film Festival; August 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (39 grades)

65. The Conjuring (Film Page), directed by James Wan (2013 Nocturna: Madrid International Fantastic Film Festival; July 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (38 grades)

66. Lore (Film Page), directed by Cate Shortland (2012 Sydney Film Festival; February 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (38 grades)

67. War Witch (Film Page), directed by Kim Nguyen (2012 Berlinale; March 2013 VOD/theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (37 grades

68. The Kings of Summer (Film Page), directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts (2013 Sundance Film Festival; May 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (36 grades

69. What Maisie Knew (Film Page), directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel (2012 Toronto International Film Festival; May 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (33 grades)

70. Drinking Buddies (Film Page), directed by Joe Swanberg (2013 SXSW Film Festival; August 2013 VOD/theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (32 grades)

70. You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet (Film Page), directed by Alain Resnais (2012 Cannes Film Festival; July 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (32 grades)

72. Our Children (Film Page), directed by Joachim Lafosse (2012 Cannes Film Festival; August 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (31 grades)

73. Blue Caprice (Film Page), directed by Alexandre Moors (2013 Sundance Film Festival; September 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (29 grades)

73. I Killed My Mother (Film Page), directed by Xavier Dolan (2009 Cannes Film Festival; March 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (29 grades)

75. An Oversimplification of Her Beauty (Film Page), directed by Terence Nance (2012 Sundance Film Festival; April 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (28 grades)

76. The Broken Circle Breakdown (Film Page), directed by Felix Van Groeningen (2013 Berlinale; November 2013 release date)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (26 grades)

76. Philomena (Film Page), directed by Stephen Frears (2013 Venice Film Festival; November 2013 theatrical release) 
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (26 grades)

78. Hannah Arendt (Film Page), directed by Margarethe Von Trotta (2012 Toronto International Film Festival; May 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (24 grades)

78. It's a Disaster (Film Page), directed by Todd Berger (2012 LA Film Festival; April 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (24 grades)

80. Our Nixon (Film Page), directed by Penny Lane (2013 IFFR; September 2013 theatrical release date)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (22 grades)

81. Augustine (Film Page), directed by Alice Winocour (2012 Cannes Film Festival; May 2013 release date)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (21 grades)

81. A Band Called Death (Film Page), directed by Mark Christopher Covino and Jeff Howlett (2012 LA Film Festival; June 2013 release date)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (21 grades)

83. The Unknown Known: The Life and Times of Donald Rumsfeld (Film Page), directed by Errol Morris (2013 Telluride Film Festival; December 2013 release date)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (20 grades)

84. Sound City (Film Page), directed by Dave Grohl (2013 Sundance Film Festival; February 2013 theatrical release) 
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (19 grades)

84. We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks (Film Page), directed by Alex Gibney (2013 Sundance Film Festival; May 2013 theatrical release)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (19 grades)

86. From Up On Poppy Hill (Film Page), directed by Gorō Miyazaki (2011 release (Japan); March 2013 release date (English-language version))
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (18 grades)

86. The Selfish Giant (Film Page), directed by Clio Barnard (2013 Cannes Film Festival; December 2013 theatrical release date)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (18 grades)

88. Concussion (Film Page), directed by Stacie Passon (2013 Sundance Film Festival; October 2013 release date)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (17 grades)

89. Graceland (Film Page), directed by Ron Morales (2012 Tribeca Film Festival; April 2013 release date)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (16 grades)

89. I Used to Be Darker (Film Page), directed by Matthew Porterfield (2013 Sundance Film Festival; September 2013 release date)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (16 grades)

89. In the Fog (Film Page), directed by Sergei Loznitsa (2012 Cannes Film Festival; July 2013 release date)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (16 grades)

89. Narco Cultura (Film Page), directed by Shaul Schwarz (2013 Sundance Film Festival; October 2013 release date)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (16 grades)

89. Paradise: Hope (Film Page), directed by Ulrich Seidl (2013 Berlinale; December 2013 release date)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (16 grades)

94. Viola (Film Page), directed by Matías Piñeiro (2012 Toronto International Film Festival; July 2013 release date)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (15 grades)

94. Yossi (Film Page), directed by Eytan Fox (2012 Tribeca Film Festival; January 2013 release date)
Average Criticwire Rating: B+ (15 grades)

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49 Comments

  • justin | December 30, 2013 8:26 PMReply

    ACADEMY MUST NOMINATED TO PAULINA GARCIA AT BEST ACTRESS FOR HER BRILLIANT PERFORMANCE WORK IN GLORIA.

  • lmao | January 5, 2014 11:28 PM

    Jajajaja yeah right!

  • Allen | December 7, 2013 5:20 PMReply

    I'm pretty open-minded and yeah sure different people dig different movies. But Spectacular Now beats films like Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska and The Hunt? Please tell me this is a joke.

  • Sarah | December 7, 2013 12:49 PMReply

    I hate dallas buyers club because always the LGBT community is in silk underground movies. Homophobia. Don't awards for that stupid film.

  • Sherman Brooks | November 16, 2013 5:54 PMReply

    What happen to the "The Inevitable Defeat Of Mister and Pete"?

  • Caemen Sawing | November 9, 2013 10:22 AMReply

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  • FXCOOL | October 25, 2013 1:17 AMReply

    Since when "Captain Phillips" is an indie film? Its production cost is around 55 million dollars, not so sure it's an 'indie' budget and also distributed by Columbia.

  • enrico | October 24, 2013 12:36 PMReply

    3. Upstream Color???????

  • Daniel Delago | October 23, 2013 5:38 AMReply

    'Spring Breakers' was garbage.

  • marcia.jones72@yahoo.com | October 18, 2013 1:55 PMReply

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  • me | October 18, 2013 10:17 AMReply

    Mother of George

  • me | October 18, 2013 10:15 AMReply

    Um, Concussion?

  • Olivia | October 18, 2013 10:08 AMReply

    I agree with a number of these, such as After Tiller, Kings of Summer but agree with below commenters in saying this is a broad definition of an independent film. Also, where is the Way Way Back? Most importantly, where is THE DIRTIES by Matt Johnson?!! This movie has so many layers, the most real and complex characters in any movie I've seen this year, and touches on an important and timely issue in our society. I would reconsider this list if I were you.

  • Eric | October 18, 2013 10:43 AM

    We invite commenters to provide their own definitions of independent film. We tend to treat it as an expansive term because any objective criteria limits certain films that might deserve a spot on the list. We include some studio films that we believe represent a certain indie quality, but again, remain flexible as much as possible.

    http://www.indiewire.com/film/the-dirties

    "The Dirties" has only received 5 grades form our Criticwire Network. Once it received 15, if it has a B+ average or higher, it will absolutely make the cut.

  • Daniel | October 17, 2013 3:52 PMReply

    Are you freaking kidding me? Where the hell is GRAVITY?

  • Cat | October 24, 2013 3:53 PM

    Gravity isn't an indie film dumbass

  • Mike White | July 19, 2013 9:36 PMReply

    Seems like a pretty broad definition of "Independent."

  • JJ | July 19, 2013 12:34 PMReply

    A Field in England is my favorite of the year.

  • howard | July 5, 2013 6:23 PMReply

    Is This is the End an indie? IMDB lists Columbia as one of the producers.

  • Eli | July 5, 2013 2:07 PMReply

    What about Slamdance co-founder Dan Mirvish's "Between Us"?; it has a Criticwire average of A-
    Any reason that doesn't count?

  • tmack | July 5, 2013 1:46 PMReply

    What's happening with Blue Caprice?

  • Solid | June 14, 2013 12:14 PMReply

    The first half of Berberian Sound Studio was superb, full of menacing atmosphere, intriguing situations, and original characters. But having assembled these great elements, Strickland didn't know what to do with them and, minus a thought-through plot or structure, the whole thing fizzled out at the end. All set-up, no payoff.

    And anyone in a long-term relationship should go see Before Midnight with their SO. Be prepared for ascerbic glances, nudges, and pointing. Or maybe that's just us.

  • blue | April 25, 2013 4:48 PMReply

    How many critics are involved in reviewing films of this list?

  • Eric | May 4, 2013 2:44 PM

    There are nearly 500 critics who grade films on a weekly basis. You can browse the list of their names here: http://www.indiewire.com/critic/directory

  • blue | April 25, 2013 4:38 PMReply

    How many critics are involved reviewing films of this list?

  • enrique | April 25, 2013 12:13 PMReply

    Nice list. very rational grading. Thanks

  • jensen | April 25, 2013 11:46 AMReply

    I haven't seen it yet, but I'm pretty surprised that Ain't Them Bodies Saints isn't on the list, I've heard nothing but rave reviews about it.

  • Eric | May 2, 2013 6:19 PM

    Only films that have opened in theaters or VOD are included.

  • John | April 11, 2013 1:26 PMReply

    BLANCANIEVAS has lots of repeats of the same critic.

  • Eric | May 2, 2013 6:19 PM

    This has been fixed. Thanks.

  • scobro | March 28, 2013 11:15 AMReply

    Appreciate the list, but think it's a little strange to have two entries with 7 or less reviews in the same camp as most that average over 60. Especially EDEN, a fine little movie from SXSW last year but probably not in the same camp as many of the others. It's ranked so high due to it only being reviewed by a few people who saw it at the festival itself. Maybe those with so few reviews should be categorized separately? Still, this is a great list to update throughout the year. Thanks for putting it together!

  • Eric Kohn | March 28, 2013 3:37 PM

    Thanks for the suggestions. We'll take them into account with the next iteration of the list.

  • Damian | March 24, 2013 1:02 AMReply

    There might be a worse movie this year than Spring Breakers but there will not be a movie this year with a worse ending than the illogical, nonsensical, preposterous ending of Spring Breakers. And they gave this a B+?

  • Eric | March 24, 2013 10:49 PM

    Collectively, yes, but if you're looking for a more nuanced reaction we recommend you click the "Details" button here: http://www.indiewire.com/film/spring-breakers

    To date, while nearly 50 critics have graded the film with a "B" or higher, a sizable minority of 13 critics have graded it with a "C" or lower.

  • Daphne | March 22, 2013 5:36 PMReply

    Why isn't "Magic Camp" on here?

  • Paul | March 22, 2013 5:20 PMReply

    one of the best movies I've seen coming out this year is "Along the Roadside" ! Bold , Sharp and Funny with Great Music!!!

  • Ryan | March 21, 2013 6:48 PMReply

    The ranking system here is complete crap.

  • goren | March 21, 2013 1:28 PMReply

    This is a very intriguing list . I am trying to find were to watch one of the movies in the list

  • cinedyne | March 21, 2013 11:14 AMReply

    It's kind of easy to post 20 movies so early in the year, especially when all of them played big fests and/or were nominated for Oscars.

    I don't see Red Flag listed (which isn't either of the above). Thought that was a great indie comedy.

  • Eric | March 21, 2013 12:26 PM

    While I personally enjoy RED FLAG quite a bit, in general critics have been mixed on it. You can browse reactions here: http://www.indiewire.com/film/red-flag

  • Eric | March 21, 2013 12:26 PM

    While I personally enjoy RED FLAG quite a bit, in general critics have been mixed on it. You can browse reactions here: http://www.indiewire.com/film/red-flag

  • katy kern | March 21, 2013 10:50 AMReply

    About to watch one listed today. So excited. Many of the others are on my list to see. So many movies, so little time. ;-)

  • jimbo | March 21, 2013 9:55 AMReply

    the omission of lore is v v peculiar. while i know you hand pick critics and bloggers, it's one of the best reviewed films overall of the year, at least in terms of metacritic and rotten tomatoes.

  • jm | July 5, 2013 12:13 PM

    LORE should be much higher.

  • Eric | March 21, 2013 10:15 AM

    Look again. LORE made the cut.

  • Leo Arriagada | March 21, 2013 9:54 AMReply

    "No" is a great film. It's a shame that there lost the Oscar.