Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Some of the best and worst movies of 2013

The other day I ranked the albums I listened to in 2013. I'm not done with 2013 yet. Today it's time to rank the movies of 2013. From the good to the bad to the horribly, horribly boring -- they're all here:

25. Mud

I kind of feel like I should give this one another shot. After all, I was playing Candy Crush when I was watching it. Then I fell asleep. That's how boring it was though. It failed to keep my interest from the start.

Mud is a drama about two young boys who find a man named Mud hiding out on a secluded Mississippi island. The two boys -- Ellis and Neckbone -- help Mud in what he says his goal is: trying to win back the woman he loves. In return, Mud will give the boys his boat.

Mud ends up tricking the boys into stealing. All the while there's other drama unfolding with Ellis' parents, who are separating. The entire movie seemed pretty disjointed, but maybe Candy Crush is to blame for that (love that app!).

Joining McConaughey are Tye Sheridan, Sam Shepard, and Reese Witherspoon. Usually Matthew McConaughey movies are watchable, but this one was a struggle.

I'll probably end up watching it again one day -- just so I'm sure that I gave it a fair shake.

24. Broken City

Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe star in this snoozer about an ex-cop (Wahlberg) who is blackmailed by the mayor (Crowe) into doing dirty work when the mayor's wife (Jones) is suspected of having an affair. There is a twist or two, but who cares about a twist when you don't care about the story in the first place?

Despite the (somewhat) surprising twist, the movie is fairly typical. What ends of happening is exactly what you'd expect to happen after reading the description of the movie at the Redbox.

It's a political blackmail movie that doesn't come close to being as good as a lot of other political thrillers. You don't end up suffering through this movie, but when it's over it leaves you questioning why you wasted your time.

23. Empire State

One of The Rock's many movies that were released this year. This one was a straight-to-DVD release and with good reason. It wouldn't have done well at the box office. It makes sense to send Empire State straight to the place it has any hopes of being successful.

There are a lot of Jersey accents and young people doing dumb things in this story that puts a man's dysfunctional white trash family on display.

The younger Hemsworth brother plays Chris (isn't that ironic?) Potamitis. When Chris causes his father to lose his job and Chris doesn't pass the test to get into the police academy, he decides to take a job as a security guard for an armored truck company. With building financial woes and a group of immoral acquaintances around him, Chris gives into temptation and robs the place he works.

That's when The Rock (who got top billing on the movie) finally comes in, playing the detective who has to solve the mystery of the heist.

That description actually doesn't sound bad, but the overused Jersey accents and the distracting family drama prevents Empire State from being a thrilling 'Is he going to get caught?' tale.

22. The Big Wedding

As is the case with a lot of large ensemble cast movies, The Big Wedding just wasn't that funny. It has a great group of actors, but the story was strange and lackluster.

A couple is trying to get married while bringing together dysfunctional parents (one set is divorced and the other set is racist), biological family members (including a sister who has sex with the adopted brother), and Robin Williams as a off-beat priest (didn't he already play that role in License to Wed?).

I didn't see much creativity in this movie. It's your typical large wedding fiasco movie mixed with a little Modern Family. It's a shame because Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon, Katherine Heigl, Topher Grace, Amanda Seyfried and Robin Williams have had some good movies in the past. I'm not usually entertained by any Diane Keaton movie (except for maybe The Family Stone), although she doesn't hurt this movie -- the story was overdone to begin with.

As a general rule of thumb I've developed over the years, ensemble movies with big-name actors are generally boring movies. It's funny because they always rave about the writing and the project on the DVD extras, but they obviously didn't see what everyone else saw: a horrible movie. The movie only grossed $21 million and has a 7% rating on

21. Pacific Rim

There's only room at the box office for major motion movie that features large robots and aliens -- that's Transformers. Truthfully, this movie wasn't that bad. It was more akin to Power Rangers or Voltron than Transformers. The large robots -- used to fight invading Godzilla-like aliens that arrive through a portal at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean -- are operated by two human pilots. The aliens are called Kaijus.

The robot versus alien fight scenes aren't too bad, but there's way too much uninteresting plot points involving the human characters of this movie. Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam, from Sons of Anarchy) is dealing with the loss of his brother, who was killed while battling a Kaiju.

Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi) is the woman Raleigh forms a connection with. She’s his want-to-be lover (though they never hook up in the movie) and his new co-pilot.

Her family was killed by a Kaiju, though, so she’s dealing with that drama.

Then there’s Idris Elba (yep – the guy from Thor!), who plays Mako’s adopted father (though that’s a big secret for some reason) and Raleigh’s superior.

I guess the writers did their best, but all of those storylines don't add up to make a very entertaining movie.

20. We're The Millers

I'd overlooked this movie earlier in the year, when it was out in theaters. I'd seen the title of the movie on a Facebook ad or tow, but I somehow dodged all the trailers until right before the movie was released on DVD. Not gonna' lie -- the previews looked entertaining.

The concept of having a drug dealer find a makeshift all-American family to smuggle drugs across the border was fresh. Jason Sudeikis can usually get a few laughs out of me in his movies. Jennifer Aniston and Emma Roberts? I can take or leave them. Though let me say -- Jennifer Aniston's stripping scene in the warehouse was...umm...impressive. She's in good shape!

The movie succeeded in getting a few laughs out of me. Overall it wasn't bad, but it suffered from the same problem so many comedies have these days: trying to be too outrageous and off-the-wall. If they wanted to be outrageous, they achieved their goal. There was a bit of nudity that wasn't needed...AT ALL (I'm talking male parts here).

A shocking and partially humorous movie with an interesting plot is how I'd describe this movie.

19. The Wolverine

I was shocked that one of my super hero movies ended up so low on the list, but it did. Off all the super hero movies released in 2013, The Wolverine is the one movie I saw just once. I watched every other super hero movie at least twice.

The Wolverine could've been a really cool movie about Wolverine, but I think the movie makers tried to make it too much of a Japanese-style action movie. That being said, the action sequences weren't really that impressive. I was expecting to be 'Wowed' by fast-paced sword fights and some kung-fu fighting, but the sword fight at the start of Pirates of the Caribbean was better than any fight in The Wolverine.

The best part of the movie? The fight scene on top of the bullet train. It's the kind of scene that can only happen in an X-Men movie with Wolverine; otherwise it would be too unrealistic.

My biggest complaint? There wasn't enough emotion in the big scene with the ninjas shooting arrows near the end of the movie. That should have been a freaking epic moment, but instead it was kind of 'meh.'

18. The Lone Ranger

The first thing I thought when I saw the preview for this movie was, 'It's Captain Jack Sparrow with face paint.' I don't know why they cast Depp in the role of Tonto. He did a decent job with the part, but the makers of this movie were just begging for comparisons with the similar comedic mannerisms and promoting the fact that The Lone Ranger was made by the makers of the Pirates movies. It was hard to get past that comparison, despite the fact that Depp was entertaining in this role.

Relative newcomer Armie Hammer did a nice job playing The Lone Ranger. He seemed like a leading man, acting alongside Depp with apparent ease. Helena Bonham Carter was entertaining in her bit role as a one-legged woman who shoots rifles out of her prosthetic leg. William Fichtner (from The Dark Knight, Armageddon, Contact, etc., etc.) plays a great villain by the name of Butch Cavendish. He always does a good job in whatever movie he’s in, so that’s not surprising.

Ruth Wilson was probably the most convincing actor in the movie, playing Rebecca Reid, the Lone Ranger’s love interest.

Good acting, decent fight scenes and mostly believable special effects. What was wrong with this movie, other than the Captain Jack similarities? The plot and the large amount of strangeness that happened. For some reason, in this Disney movie, there's a scrawny little cowboy (a villain) who likes to dress in women's clothing and contemplates being penetrated by Tonto's duck foot. Meanwhile Butch Cavendish is a cannibal. He eats people's hearts and is the reason Helena Carter's character has just one leg. I can deal with those things -- but in a Disney film? It seemed odd.

On top of that, the plot was dealing with the expansion of the railroad and the execution of Native Americans. It's not your typical 'bad guys robbing a bank in the Wild West' movie. Had they gone that route it may have actually been better.

To top it all off, there's an annoying child actor who I later found out is named Mason Cook. Despite the fact that I felt he was an annoying actor, his part in the movie wasn't needed. The writers went for a Princess Bride approach, having an elderly Tonto tell the story of The Lone Ranger to a young boy. It's a story within a story. That worked for The Princess Bride, but The Lone Ranger would've worked better without the kid or the old Tonto.

17. White House Down

I can count the number of entertaining Channing Tatum movies on one hand -- even if I were to have an accident involving a table saw. This is one of them.

White House Down could have probably been better with a different lead actor, but Channing Tatum isn't unwatchable here. He does his part well enough to keep the movie going. He still has no skills when it comes to comedy. When he tries to be funny it's forced and unrealistic, unlike when Jamie Foxx does it.

Foxx plays the President who ends up partnering with a want-to-be Secret Service agent (Tatum) after the White House is attacked by a group of terrorists. Maggie Gyllenhaal didn't have a particularly large role in the movie (more of her would have been a welcome addition), but she did well with the bits she had.

James Woods does a nice job as well. Even though he's not given a spot on the movie's poster, he's basically the lead actor in White House Down. It won't set your world on fire, but this movie is a decent watch.

16. G.I. Joe 2 - Retaliation

Three stars for the G.I. Joe sequel? I was surprised when I first gave it that ranking, but, looking back, it kind of fits.

This was a good sequel, but, honestly, I almost liked the first G.I. Joe movie better. I'm sure I'll buy G.I. Joe 2 on DVD at some point. After all, you can't have much of a G.I. Joe movie marathon with just one movie.

There wasn't anything particularly bad about the movie. There were some really good elements to it. For example, getting to see Cobra Commander in full-on gear with the mask plate was awesome. The mountainside sword fight between Snake Eyes/Jinx and Cobra was every bit as awesome as it looked like it would be in the trailers!

There was a mix of new characters and old ones in G.I. Joe: Retaliation. One thing is for sure: the movie got better (and so did the acting quality) when Channing Tatum's character was killed off.

Ray Stevenson was superb as Firefly and Lee Byung-hun was great, reprising his role as Storm Shadow. Jonathan Pryce, who had a good bit of lines in this movie, surprised me with just how well he did playing Zartan impersonating the President.

D.J. Cotrona's performance as Flint was tolerable, but kind of lackluster. He definitely did not own the screen when he was in a scene by himself. The Rock was kind of over-the-top and cheesy with his portrayal of Roadblock, but thankfully that character is over-the-top and cheesy. I was disappointed that Roadblock didn't rhyme more, the way he did in the animated series.

G.I. Joe won't go down as the best movie trilogy of all time, but I'll happily watch the next installment.

15. Iron Man 3

Of the three Iron Man movies, this was the worst. I've thought about it since I first saw the movie in May and I think it boils down to the re-energizing abilities of the main villain -- Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce). It seemed too cartooney. The Iron Man (and Marvel, for that matter) movies have been about exceptional beings, aliens or genetically-enhanced heroes -- but they've been based in reality.

A scientific experiment gone wrong that leaves a man as, essentially, The Human Torch -- but without the ability to control it? The concept isn't even that bad, but the poorly animated computer graphics leave a lot to be desired.

Robert Downey Jr. makes Iron Man 3 entertaining though. He does a great job as Tony Stark, just like he did in the first two movies.

What I liked about this movie was that the focus was more on Tony Stark -- the man -- rather than Tony Stark in the Iron Man suit. Stark had to rely on his wits to get him out of more than one dangerous situation. After he takes a severe beating at the hands of three missile-ready helicopters, Tony Stark couldn't just jump back into his Iron Man suit and save the day. He had to overcome odds as Tony Stark first.

That dynamic made for a good follow-up from the first two movies.

14. Safe Haven

I may have ranked this one too high. It's a nice little love story with some attempts to delve into the action genre at the same time. The biggest issue was Julianne Hough. It was the first movie I'd seen that she's acted in, but I'm thinking she should probably stick to dancing. She's not convincing at all, but her character is a little standoffish to begin with, so Hough's static delivery kind of worked.

As the movie progressed, however, it became more apparent that Hough was bringing this movie from a possibly good romantic drama to one that will maybe get some eventual air time on the Hallmark Channel.

My fellow Midwesterner, Josh Duhamel, however, did a good job playing the widowed father of two. Cobie Smulders playing a third, somewhat minor character was a pleasant surprise. I always enjoy her work on How I Met Your Mother and I was happy to see her get such a large role in The Avengers. Even though her role is smaller in Safe Haven, she makes the movie better.

One of my pet peeves is child actors who can't act, but the two in this movie (Noah Lomax and Mimi Kirkland) aren't half-bad.

While Hough hurts the movie more than she helps it, it's still a worthwhile pick-up if you're in the mood for something a little sappy and uplifting.

13. Oz: The Great and Powerful

A prequel to one of the most famous movies of all time? I was intrigued by this effort. Could Disney make a classic with Oz or not?

The answer is, 'No.' It is interesting seeing the explanation behind The Wizard of Oz, but the movie isn't anything more than mediocre. Michelle Williams does a nice job as Glinda The Good Witch. She seems so sweet and bubbly in real life that she probably didn't have to act very much in the role. Rachel Weisz does a nice job playing who we’re lead to believe is The Wicked Witch of the West. The two casting choices that maybe prevented the movie from being as successful as it could have been were James Franco and Mila Kunis. Those were the two that I figured would have done well in the movie, so that surprised me.

James Franco as Oz is passable, but his energy is almost as low as when he hosted The Oscars with Anne Hathaway. Mila Kunis tried, but it didn't seem natural. Maybe she was trying too hard?

The acting would have been forgivable if the characters had been better. I'm not sure if they took these characters right from the books or if Disney invented some new characters specifically for this movie. Either way, Frank the Monkey, China Girl and Master Tinker aren’t half as fun as The Scarecrow, The Cowardly Lion or The Tin Man.

The computer animation was up to par, but the final fight scene between Glinda and Evanora wasn't very exciting. Even though they were two witches zapping each other with magic wands, there was about as much energy in that fight scene as there is the first day back to work after Christmas vacation.

This movie is worth a watch, but by no means a classic.

12. The Hangover 3

I was actually excited to see this movie. I had no idea what to expect when I saw the first one. I knew what I was getting into with the second and therefore enjoyed it. The third time around, I figured I'd be entertained. There were some decent parts of the movie, but it was kind of a roller coaster -- and not in a good way. It went from good to meh to funny to silly to ridiculous to so-so.

What really saves this movie from being a bomb or another one of those 'outrageous comedies' is the actors. Each actor does a great job playing their part. They're used to their characters and they know exactly how to play them. Zach Galifianakis is hilarious even when he's not trying to be or when the material is clearly lacking.

This is a movie that ends up making lemonade out of lemons. The writing and plot turns aren't as fun as the first two movies, but the actors play their parts so well that you can forgive that.

One thing I do have to commend the writers on is how they wrapped up each character's story. They did a nice job of tying up any loose ends that happened throughout the trilogy and ended the series on a positive note.

11. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

A witch-hunting Hansel and Gretel is a concept that sounds fun, but this movie was a so-so action movie rather than one that will end up being an action classic.

It's a Gothic turn for this fairy tale, which wasn't exactly happy-go-lucky I guess. After all, the witch ate the children in the fairy tale, right?

In Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, the children end up putting the witch into the fire. Years later, they're grown up witch hunters, capable of tracking down, fighting and killing witch after witch. They travel town-to-town, collecting their pay for ridding the townspeople of the evil witches.

There seems to be some underlying level of incest between Hansel and Gretel, but they don't act on any possible feelings. In order to stop our minds from going straight to the gutters, the writers included love interests for Hansel and Gretel.

Famke Janssen plays the main witch in this movie. Her character probably has a name, but I don't remember it. You don't need to know it anyway. All you need to know is that this witch has a dastardly plan that involves the aligning of stars (or was it moons?).

To say the whole 'stars aligning' plot is overused would be an understatement. By the time that is explained, you've already figured out that this movie isn't going to win any awards, so typical, overused plot points aren't that offensive.

There were a couple of exciting fight scenes and the dialogue was entertaining. Furthermore, an ogre being added to the mix was interesting.

I guess Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters 2 is already in the works. I don't know that this movie deserves a sequel, but maybe they can improve on their mistakes from the first time around. I can't complain too much because the sequel will provide another opportunity for me to ogle the very gorgeous Gemma Arterton, who makes this movie worthwhile all by herself.

10. The Internship

The concept was really fun, but the laughs were few and far between. Half romantic-comedy and half screwball-comedy, this movie should've been better than it was. Maybe the combination of Vince Vaugh and Owen Wilson just doesn't work anymore? It was kind of wash, rinse, repeat -- despite the fact that the plot is very different from Wedding Crashers or any other movies they worked on together.

I was surprised with the very large amount of nudity in the lengthy strip club scene. I wasn't so much surprised at the nudity, but the fact that this movie got the 'all clear' from Google. I would think they wouldn't have wanted association with more adult content like that, especially since the previews made the movie seem like more of a family-friendly comedy.

I will give credit where credit is due though: there were some great one-liners in the movie. The bit about Wilson and Vaughn being sent to find Professor X was great!

9. Snitch

I wasn't expecting much out of Snitch when I rented it on DVD. It didn't make huge waves at the box office and, based on the cover art (yes, I do judge a book by it's cover...and a movie too), it looked boring. The Rock is standing prominently in the center with a stern look on his face. The coloring is all very cold with the gray and black. There's a big semi-truck in the background.

I figured the movie was probably a suspense movie about a cop who has some Fast and the Furious action with a semi-truck. It turns out, that's not what it was about and I misjudged the movie.

Snitch is about a divorced father whose daily life as the owner of a construction company comes to a halt when his teenage son is arrested for drug trafficking. Even though his son wasn't actually trafficking drugs, he was facing those charges. The DA would reduce the sentence if the teenager agreed to snitch on his friends, helping the DA make more arrests. The boy refuses, so The Rock steps in, tracks down some drug dealers and tries to help the DA arrest them.

The acting wasn't astounding and the movie began to feel like a chore to watch near the end, but, all in all, it wasn't too bad. It's worth the Redbox rental. I'd probably watch it again on TNT one day, but I wouldn't buy the movie.

8. The Heat

What to say about The Heat? It wasn't the best movie in the world, but it wasn't the worst either. It was a solid outing for both Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock, both of whom had other big hits this year with Identity Thief and Gravity (continue reading for both of those rankings).

I think Identity Thief and Gravity were the better movies for both actresses, but The Heat was probably fun for them to work together one.

Melissa McCarthy actually outdid Sandra Bullock in this movie. Bullock somewhat resumed her role from the Miss Congeniality movies, playing a by-the-books FBI agent who is forced to work with someone who is rude and crude and loaded with street smarts. McCarthy, of course, is that person.

It probably would've been a better movie if the scenarios were a little more realistic (no cop would get away with pulling the stunts McCarthy's character did). Nonetheless, if you don't take it too seriously, it's a decent movie.

7. Man of Steel

Perhaps the most anticipated movie of 2013, Man of Steel did kind of fall flat. It did well at the box office, but reviews were mixed. I felt the same way. Honestly, I think it was a good first start. Batman Begins wasn't the best movie of the Dark Knight trilogy. It only got better from there. That's how I think we'll all look back at Man of Steel.

There were some things in the movie that were worthy of a face palm (Amy Adams walking around in sub-zero temps with a simple winter jacket). There were some really great moments, like Kevin Costner play dad to a young Superman. It's not a perfect movie, but the glass is more full than empty here.

This movie leaves me wanting more. I want to know how Metropolis will recover after the insane amount of damage Superman and General Zod left in the wake of their battle. With Zod out of the way, I want to see Lex Luthor show up. I want to see what happens with Lois Lane and Superman. As the first movie in a possible trilogy or series of D.C. super hero movies, Man of Steel did a great job.

6. The Croods

This is a family-friendly prehistoric animated comedy adventure movie. Try saying that five times fast.

There are some decent actors taking the voice leads, like Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds and Nicholas Cage. There are definitely some absurd, exaggerated moments, like over-sized jungle cats, but The Croods tells a creative story, explaining how the cavemen started using fire, where the term "hug" came from, and what the very first pair of shoes were.

At first I rolled my eyes at some of the ridiculous moments, but then the movie tamed my Grinch heart and had me thoroughly enjoying this movie.

I think a lot of actors enjoy doing these animated movies because they can escape realism and take part in a make-believe world. It's evident in their voices that they enjoy what their working on, making it that much easier to enjoy as a viewer.

5. Gravity

Like I said in my original review of this movie, this isn't one I'd want to watch again and again on DVD. In fact, I think I may be good for the next 15 years.

However, I was really intrigued the first time I saw it. It wasn't on my list of movies to go see in the theater, but I was impressed by the idea of a movie about two characters being lost in space. How does one make an entertaining movie like that?

Alfonso CuarĂ³n did it. He did it without any flashbacks either. I won't tell you how he did this, in the event you haven't seen the movie yet, but it was an impressive bit of work.

Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are seasoned pros, so there aren't any issues with their performances. Even though this movie is more of a one and done deal (I wouldn't have much interest in watching it again), it was interesting to watch the first time around and a nice change of pace from most movies that are out there.

4. Identity Thief

I was not expecting to like this movie. For whatever reason Jason Bateman gets on my nerves. I don't often enjoy his work in movies. He was great in this role though.

His usual low-key acting style was a nice balance for Melissa McCarthy's very energetic style.

McCarthy plays an identity thief and Bateman is his unsuspecting, hard-working victim. Bateman's character is about to get offered a great job when he gets arrested for the credit card charges.

Since this ID theft happened in a different state, the local authorities don't have jurisdiction or time to go investigate one minor ID theft. That means, in order to save his job, Bateman's character needs to go track this con down himself. This turns this movie into a fun cat-and-mouse/road trip story.

There were a couple of times that I literally laughed out loud -- like when McCarthy was trying to outrun Bateman on the highway. McCarthy's character has a lot of spunk, which fits in with this definitely over-the-top movie.

3. Thor 2: The Dark World

I saw this movie twice already and I fully expect to see it twice more once it arrives at the cheap theater. It's not a absolutely perfect movie, but it's fun, it's entertaining, and it's a nice blend of action, drama and comedy.

I, like so many others, have become enthralled with this super hero universe that Marvel has brought to the big screen. It's amazing, though, how much better Thor 2 was than Iron Man 3. I'm not sure which one was written first, but Thor 2 follows in the footsteps of The Avengers, being almost as good.

I like Thor's story a little more than a lot of the other super heroes because it involves other worlds and monsters, yet seems completely realistic. While evil elves would seem silly in an Iron Man movie, they fit right in with Thor.

I just hope there's a Thor 3 because Tom Hiddleston as Loki is too good to end with Thor 2! He pretty much makes the movie worthwhile all by himself. Between Hiddleston and Kat Dennings, The Dark World is easily one of the best movies of 2013.

2. Red 2

Filled with less drama and more action and comedy than Thor 2, Red 2 was exciting to watch. It starts at a Costco, but within the first five minutes the action kicks in and it doesn't stop until the end of the movie. What made Red 2 so much fun was that it was a great cast of characters in a humorous, light-hearted action tale.

Just like Thor 2, it was well-rounded. You'll see drama, action and comedy all in one. They balance it out, too.

When there's more of a dramatic moment, the comedy kicks in. Then there's a big action scene infused with comedy. The result of that mixture is, from beginning to end, a good time.

I don't know if there's going to be a Red 3, but I certainly hope so. I think there's another story to be told with this group of characters. John Malkovich's performance, alone, makes me anticipate a second sequel. Malkovich was probably the M.V.P. of Red 2, but the rest of the cast is right there behind him, making cases with show-stealing performances of their own.

1. Star Trek: Into Darkness

What can I say that I haven't said about Into Darkness already?? J.J. Abrams won me over with his new depiction of the Star Trek series. I'm hoping he can do the same with Star Wars, but I'm also hoping Into Darkness isn't the pinnacle of the Star Trek movies.

I'd love to see at least a couple more in the series if they're as good as Into Darkness was.

Just like The Avengers, Into Darkness successfully told a concise story with multiple characters and different story arcs without getting lost in itself. That's not an easy task, so kudos to them for that.

There weren't any jump cuts or production mistakes that I noticed, which made the movie that much better for me.

It seems the entire movie-watching Internet community is in love with Benedict Cumberbatch. I haven't seen the series Sherlock yet, but I can say that he does a great job as Khan in Into Darkness.

You can tell that the entire cast is so into their roles and what they're doing that everything seems so natural. It's easy to forget you're watching a Star Trek movie. That's when you realize that what you're watching is a great movie, whether it's a super hero movie or not. The story-telling is great, the laughs are abundant, the action is exciting and the acting is on point.

As you can see by the rest of this list, it's hard to come up with a movie that has all of those qualities in one. Kudos to J.J. Abrams and the Into Darkness cast. They did well here!

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