Competition: Win a 19 Inch Samsung HD Ready Freeview LED TV *CLOSED* 162 1243

Argos TV Competition

This competition is now closed! The winner is: Clare Webb, congratulations!

Thanks to all those who entered, there were some really great answers. Watch this space for future competitions!

It’s competition time again and this time we are giving away a fantastic 19” LED HD Ready TV worth £119.99!
Thoughts On Film has teamed up with Argos to give away a Samsung UE19D4003 19 Inch HD Ready Freeview LED TV. This ultra-thin, edge-lit technology TV comes with built in Freeview as well as a USB and 2 HDMI sockets – perfect for watching your next movie on!
Here are just some of the main features (for additional specs see the product listing on
  • Edge-lit TV Screen.
  • HD Ready display resolution.
  • Screen size: 19in (48cm).
  • Resolution 1366 x 768 pixels.
  • 1 USB port and 2 HDMI sockets.
  • Headphone socket.
  • Dolby Digital +SRS theatre sound HD sound system.
  • Freeview digital tuner.
  • Manufacturer’s 1 year guarantee.
Argos TV competition - 19 Inch Samsung HD Ready LD TV Freeview
To be in with a chance of winning this amazing prize all you need to do is comment on this post with an answer to the following: what is your favourite movie of 2013 so far and why? We’re looking for creativity and strong opinions so there’s not much point in giving a one word/title answer!
Make sure you input a correct and up-to-date e-mail address so we can get in touch with you easily if you win. The winner’s details will be forwarded to Argos for dispatch of the prize.
Now time for the small print:
  • Competition is open to UK residents only
  • Only one entry per person
  • Delivery will be within 28 days of Argos receiving the winner’s address, and the competition prize may vary at the discretion of Argos
  • The prize as described will be supplied direct from Argos, and there is no cash alternative
  • Competition closes on Friday July 19th at 11:59pm.
The winner will be chosen from the best overall answer given and will be notified soon after the competition closes. Good luck!
Argos also sell the hugely popular Samsung UE55F6100, click here to view their great range.
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I’m a freelance film reviewer and blogger with over 10 years of experience writing for various different reputable online and print publications. In addition to my running, editing and writing for Thoughts On Film, I am also the film critic for The National, the newspaper that supports an independent Scotland, covering the weekly film releases, film festivals and film-related features.

I have a passion for all types of cinema, and have a particular love for foreign language film, especially South Korean and Japanese cinema. Favourite films include The Big Lebowski, Pulp Fiction and 2001: A Space Odyssey.


  1. The Place Beyond The Pines, directed by Derek Cianfrance and starring Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes et al is my favourite film of 2013 so far. So excited to see it was I that I booked a day off work specifically just to go and see it.

    I’m aware of peoples criticisms of the slightly contrived nature of the final act, but personally I found the narrative structure worked excellently; each part fitting together and flowing from the previous section better than any other film I’ve seen attempt something similar.

    As a tale of human life, from endurance, compassion, love, belonging (or lack thereof), plus everything that could be seen as “the bad stuff” too like violence, deceit, theft, hate, there’s been nothing quite as comprehensive and of such high quality as this all year. A remarkable film and one that stayed with me for a long time after watching it.

  2. Man of steel, Henry Cavill is such a good actor and I really enjoyed it out of all the superman films so far. Kids also loved it.

  3. For me it has to be the croods, it is the ultimate movie and gives a clever insight to our current life with witty jokes for the adult and fun quirky characters for the children. It made me think how we have developed and modern society even though it was supposed to be a light hearted kids film.

  4. This Is the End, I love a good comedy and this is such a great one! Celebs appearing as themselves, the whole thing is just a great concept and it is a must watch in my book 🙂

  5. The Hangover 3, i really enjoyed the first two, and this was just as good, it’s one film that my husband and i can enjoy together as we usually like different things

  6. Man of Steel – it was so exciting and who wouldn’t want to see Henry Cavill in a tight Lycra suit!

  7. Les Miserables is without doubt my favourite film of 2013 so far. To take the classic West End show to the big screen was almost an impossible task for a film with such a cult following, however it exceeded all my expectations. Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman both giving the performances of their careers; I Dreamed A Dream put all the hairs on my body on end. An epic film that will live long in the memory!

  8. For me it has to be ” World War Z”. There has been a lot of Zombie films over the past few years but this one got it right. It kept you on the edge of your seat with tension and had some amazing jaw dropping scenes. The storyline kept you intrigued all the way through where as there tends to be boring points in other similar films. It had a great cast too which makes it my film of 2013.

  9. ‘Now you see me’ has great actors and a great storyline and kept me entertained throughout, cannot wait until it comes out on DVD (don’t want to say too much as don’t want to spoil it for anyone!)

  10. I’ve loved the musical Les Miserables since it hit the stage in the 80s & ‘I dreamed a dream’ that one day they would make it into a film & ‘At the end of the day’ my dream came true. I’d love this prize ‘In my Life’ so I could watch all the ‘Stars’ from stage & screen & as I’m ‘Master of the House’ as I live ‘On my Own’ what I say goes. I could invite all my friends to fill the ‘Empty chairs at empty tables’ & ‘Drink with me’. ‘Who am I?’ I’m Liz Denial!

  11. It has to be for me Hangover 3. Usually you find that films that have more then 2 sequels tend to fizzle out, and do not hit the same level of enjoyment as the original first film.
    With hangover 3 you know the characters well, but it still delivers enjoyment throughout the film. I am still not sure which one of all the Hangover films is my favourite, or which is the funniest. Can they deliver the same level of enjoyment and comedy if they done a 4th Hangover? I for one think they can and look forward to seeing it if it is made.

  12. My favourite film of 2013 so far is Behind the Candelabra, a crazy ride through an extaordinary life. In parts a rip roaring black comedy of glitz, glam and the truly weird, but I was also left feeling hollow by the isolation and destructive, cruel behaviours within the gilded cage. Such a shame American film fans didn’t get to see this intelligent and witty film on a wide scale.

  13. My best film of the year so far has been Star Trek into the darkness, I was brought up watching the Star Trek series and as I got older they became dated and my love for them faded fast but after Star Trek in 2009 which I thought was brilliant, and shot Star Trek into the 21st century I was hooked and when hearing into the darkness was being released in 2013 couldn’t wait, chris pine was excellent as Captain Kirk and Simon Pegg brought a great deal of comedy in his role as scotty! It’s a great start and the mission at the start of the film gets you hooked from start to finish with some spectacular effects.

  14. Star Trek Into Darkness.

    The action rips along at a fantastic pace so you never stop to think about any potential holes in the plot. Also the characters of the Enterprise crew have developed a stage further from the original reboot. And Benedict Cumberbatch is worth the ticket price all on his own!

  15. I loved the Les Miserables movies as the cast did a brilliant version of the show and showed that they could play the roles as well as most stage actors. I’m glad that we paid a little bit extra to see it in an IMAX cinema as it made the experience even more epic

  16. Star Trek into the darkness for me too – Star Trek was a religion in the Darling household, and now its great to take my kids to see the latest movies.

  17. The Swedish film The Girl who kicked the Hornet’s nest.Despite having to watch the film dubbed it was remarkably faithful to the book (which I have read).A great plot and some really likeable acting.In fact I watched it twice in two days!!

  18. World war Z, I thought it was amazing, the action started quite early on in the movie which was great (no one wants to wait ages for the action right?)

    The movie was action packed throughout, kept me on the edge of my seat and it also had a few jumpy scenes in it.

    The actors/actresses played good parts too, the acting flowed, it wasn’t wooden like with some films, it was almos like you could connect with the characters.

  19. For me, it’s Star Trek – Into Darkness. The opening scene is a work of beauty. It slots into the whole Original Star Trek story perfectly, and if you are a fan of the original series, you will appreciate some of the little touches that are in this film.
    There are no bad performances, every actor steps up to the plate. A very enjoyable movie.

  20. For me it has to be the The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in 3D because its very clever how its made with brilliant scenery and wonderful acting love the story, have watched all of Peter Jackson films and I love Fantasy it was also a book that I read quite a few years ago

  21. It has to be MAN OF STEEL, for me, it was only the 2nd film I’ve ever seen in 3D [1st being Prometheus] & it blew me away, the effects were crazy, it was non-action, I don’t remember looking away from the screen once [ popcorn everywhere] it was highlight movie of the year so far & will be a tough one to beat, bring on superman 2! 🙂

  22. Behind the candelabra , is a fasinating insight into probably the worlds most flamboyant entertainers from the perpective of his long-time partner , matt damon and micheal douglas are perfectly cast as liberace and scott thorson . Initialy the script for the film was turned down by all of hollywoods major film company’s , rumoured because of the gay contect of the script would mean low box-office success , how wrong they were , television HBO picked up the opertunity to make the film , and was released on there cable network , due to the high positive responce it received the film was then given major cinema release not long after the cable release .

  23. Man of steel. Superman is real they made me believe it so! He’s strong and handsome and makes every girl weak at the knees.

    Well cast and fabulous graphics, can’t wait to buy the DVD!

  24. For me it would be ‘Fast and Furious 6’

    There are some great action shots, the cast is great and the storyline fills in some of the blanks from the previous films. I am a big Diesel/Walker fan and I am thoroughly looking forward to Fast 7 next year!

  25. Despicable me 2 – I loved the first one but this was even better. It involved the minions more, which is are my favourite part of it and it was a lot funnier than the last one. I love Pixar films they really know their animated films and they are so enjoyable from start to finish! Even my husband who isn’t massively keen on animations loved it, that says a lot!

  26. Now You See Me-It’s different,keeps you in suspense throughout the whole film and you don’t want to take your eyes off the screen.

  27. 2013 has been a poor year for film so far. the major blockbusters of Man of Steel and WWZ were hugely disappointing, the ‘tug at your heart strings’ Les Mis and The Impossible failed to bring a tear (or sliver of emotion) to mine eye, even ‘big director’ films such as Django Unchained seemed like plotless cesspits of poorly constructed story, excessive blood and emotionless acting. Drivelly teem romps like Warm Bodies and Beautiful Creatures were true to form and expectation with dull and uninspired stories that were surprising only in the fact that they made it to screen! However, one film that stands out in terms of narrative/storytelling and exceptional acting performance is Flight. Washington evidences why he is an oscar winning actor and his support cast all hold their own – driven by the emotional story unfolding and disintegrating on screen as we watch. I’d definitely recommend Flight to folk who don’t mind a non-showbiz-happy-hollywood ending.

  28. Man Of Steel – Superman was one of my favourite films growing up and this new one really lives up to the hype.

  29. Wold War Z because it was so dramatic and full of action. It had such a good storyline and I could connect with the characters. Very scary in places and lets hope this situation doesn’t become reality!

  30. Now you see me- because it kept me on the edge of my seat throughtout the film and kept me guessing. I also liked the twist at the end.

  31. It has to be Les Miserables for me. I have seen the show 4 times and could not wait for the film. They did a terrific job, okay so the singing could of been better but the atmosphere and acting was A1.

  32. Despicable Me 2 was an absolute hilarious fest! Every person in the screening; old or young, were laughing along and intently watching the film. An all rounder!

  33. ‘This is 40’ has been my favourite movie of the year so far. The reason? Well sadly it made me laugh because, although not 40 yet, I’m getting older and this film really made me see the funny side of the horrific aging process. Plus I loved the couple when they were in ‘Knocked Up’ and they were totally deserving of a starring role!

  34. Man of Steel gets my vote! As a complete comic/superhero novice, I was blown away by the stunning visuals, fantastic storyline and the icing on the cake was my all time favourite actor Henry Cavill as Clark/Kal-el 🙂 This movie has definetly inspired me to check out similar movies in this genre. Hopefully they can live upto this amazing movie.

  35. Really loved The Great Gatsby, amazing costume and sets, as well as a brill soundtrack. Think it did justice to the book too!

  36. Star Trek Darkness which is great from the first mission through to the end. Fluent to the original series and all the actors played their parts well. It is a brilliant film in my opinion!

  37. World War Z, didn’t expect it to be good but was very good, not your typical “zombie” film.

  38. I saw a preview of ‘Frances Ha’ last week and it is without doubt the best movie I have seen this year so far. Directed by Noah Baumbach who co-wrote the film along with it’s lead actor Greta Gerwig, the story is a quirky tale of friendship, love and navigating through the successes and failures of life. It is beautifully filmed in black and white with a sing out loud soundtrack. You’ll laugh a lot, cry a little and then want to have a play fight with your other half. I urge everyone to see it.

  39. The Great Gatsby – I didn’t like how sympathetic they made her, but I loved the sets, the use of modern music to relate scenarios to their modern day equivalent, and that Leo was the perfect man in love.

  40. Mines would definitely have to be Fast And Furious 6. A lot of the time with sequels they tend to get worse or a tad boring after a while but this one definitely didn’t disappoint. From the amazing action sequences to all the returning fantastic characters , I was very very pleased! Can’t wait for the next one. xx 😀

  41. Life Of Pi is my pick…a story of one man and one tigers fight to survive in the face of fear and adversity. The special effects were amazing.

  42. ‘Mud’ is a film about two teenage boys who encounter a fugitive. They form a pact to help him evade the bounty hunters and to reunite him with his true love. Nothing new about the plot so why do Iike it so much?

    On the surface there is a naive fairy tale feel to the film, reminiscent of ‘Huckleberry Finn’. There is something special about the film’s energy and nuance, Mud seems more like the kind of film Hollywood would have made during my childhood (70s),

    Visually the film has a haunting, and rare big-screen beauty and is set in the in the sleepy Mississippi.

    The friendship between the two very different boys, Ellis and Neckbone is expertly crafted and totally believable. The acting is as natural as the environment it is filmed in.

    It is a film that appeals to men and women equally either as a love story or as an adventure. It is a film that has an enduring effect rather than a one night passing of time.

  43. The Act of Killing by Joshua Oppenheimer An intense and stunning work.

    Werner Herzog- “I have not seen a film as powerful, surreal, and frightening in at least a decade”

    Need I say more!

  44. I’ve not seen very many new films this year, but I did really enjoy Side Effects with Jude Law. I found the subject matter very interesting – what with all the recent stories in the press about side effects of medication and Derren Brown doing a show on the placebo effect and it had lots of twists and turns. I thought the plot was original and funny in parts which took the edge off. I’d describe as a cross between a psychological thriller and a drama. I got very emotionally attached to Jude Law’s character as he became obsessed with the case. Often with these type of films I’m disappointed by the ending but not with this one – I remember leaving the cinema feeling content and thinking what a good film it was!

  45. Olympus Has Fallen. It grips you early on, and watching the action on the big screen was incredible. Gerard Butler was superb, and I liked his character, and how he could make you grin with some of the stuff he came out with. The action was great to watch to, especially when the initial attack on the white house took place. It was nail biting, and got me thinking what I would do if I was in that situation (Unlikely, but interesting to think about anyway!) It was the only film of 2013 so far that I’ve recommended to people, and it’s one I’m excited to see again when the DVD comes out. I think a big part of what makes a film a success is whether you would want to see it again in the future. And, without a doubt, I definitely do!

  46. It has to be World War Z. The story line really kept you gripped the whole way through and forever wondering what would happen next and how they would get out of situations so you mind was running wild through the whole film. So much tension runs through your body and at points you just want to jump out your chair and help lol !

  47. The croods, its funny for all the family, very well thought out and believe-able and the bit where she has the shoes sooo funny you can actually imagine them behaving like that

  48. Welcome to the Punch
    The film had a moody and atmospheric feel, great performances from the leads. The sets and locations looked great and were enhanced by superb cinematography and lighting. The story line kept me guessing and thinking from start to finish. I loved the ending it worked out better than I could have wished. I can’t wait to watch it again.

  49. ‘Temptation Confessions of a Marriage Counselor’ it was a heart touching story about what you can lose if you let your head rule instead of your heart.
    I won’t spoil it but it has a massive twist at the end and you will end up in tears!

  50. Despicable me 2! The minions singing I swear and the YMCA in their own language is simply the best thing I have seen all year!

  51. My favourite film of 2013 is Django Unchained. Quentin Tarantino is arguably the best film maker of our time. His subject matter is always intriguing and controversial and Django addresses a sensitive historical matter with enthusiasm and enormous creativity. It’s a long film but completely worth investing in and viewers will feel more than satisified at its conclusion. Also worth noting is the lead actors, most notably Jamie Foxx and Christophe Waltz. Foxx is an outstanding hero that viewers root for and Waltz demonstrates, as he did in Inglourious B*sterds, that he plays complex, near-psychotic characters with complete believability. Overall this is another Tarantino classic that will almost certainly make it into many Top 100 lists.

  52. My favourite film of 2013 so far is Gangster Squad. It reminds me of when I first saw Goodfellas, I love the old gangster films. Ryan Gosling is fantastic and Josh Brolin is one cool cop!

  53. Despicable Me 2 its a great film to see with the kids and a great follow up to the first one

  54. Spring Breakers is my film of 2013 so far. It plays out like a mainstream art house film, which is destined to polarise audiences, due to the way it has been marketed, the topics that the films examines and the dream like deliberately ambiguous ending. The pulsing score that has so much energy to it composed by Cliff Martinez and Skrillex compliment the hypnotic neon visuals perfectly. A real exploitive look into how close sex, crime and violence can be to corrupting the thrill seeking youth of today. This is a unflinching and intoxicating glimpse into today’s pop culture fuelled generations pursuit of their own seductive version of the American dream and one of the years best films claiming all five stars, a must see.

  55. Despicable Me 2 has been my highlight of the year so far, it was a great film to see and I would have went by myself even if i didn’t have a 4 year old!

  56. Really enjoyed Warm Bodies. I am a huge fan of the Zombie genre anyway and it was a touching story! Who would have thought of Zombies being able to fall in love?? My husband and I will remember it as a rare bit of time away from the children on valentines day this year!! 🙂

  57. Olympus Has Fallen, yes the plot was predictable, yes it was an unrealistic scenario, technically some of the things in there could not or would not happen, the whole thing just inconceivable in every sense, BUT it was incredibly entertaining and thats what going to the movies is all about!

  58. The Art of Killing, because although the film is mainly talking the subject matter is made very powerful by the blasé attitude and even pride of the killers towards the horrible things they did and the way in which the director manages to make them open up and realise the awful nature their brutality in a way that arguing with them in an overtly judgemental way would never have achieved.

  59. This is The End is my fave so far. It was funny and original – a lot different to other comedies out at the moment.

  60. Wreck-It Ralph! It’s an amazing, gorgeous animation that’s non-Pixar related, which is a rarity.

    Plus all the retro sweets in it made me reminisce of my 90s childhood. And a bit peckish too.

  61. After Earth is my favourite in this year. A story about dad and son and they can’t handle their relationship,they can’t get closer to each other. After an accident everything changed. At the end they become a complete family.
    I love this movie because it’s very simple, emotional.

  62. i took my children to see the croods and it was absoloutly brilliant. the quality of the animation was great and these sort of films arent just for kids, theres allways some sort of adult content that the kids just woulnt get.the stonage family were hilarious and the 3d was the best ive ever seen. ill definately be buying it on dvd when its released and will be watching over and over for a long time.

  63. My favourite movie of 2013 so far has to be Identity Thief. Ok so it might not be a deep, meaningful picture like Side Effects and not an epic classic like Man of Steel, but it was hilarious!! I love Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman and they work so well together here. Hope to see more of them on screen together. I actually can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard! So Identity Thief gets my vote even though it won’t be winning any Oscars any time soon.

  64. Man of steel by a long way. A retelling in a new way of a very old story, and it worked.

    Action packed and emotionally charged, Zack Snyder knocked this film right out of the ball park with his take on this character.

    Superman is a brand new character than the Christopher Reeve Superman. This Superman doesn’t mind throwing down, and if needs be kill, to save innocent people. This makes him much more 3 dimensional than the previous Superman films.

    This film got a lot of criticism from some due to the change of direction of the franchise, but it needed updating and moving forward, much like what Nolan did with Batman. If Superman stayed static it would have been like the previous Superman reboot, Superman returns, and not done as well commercially.

    The two stand out actors in the Man of Steel for me were the two father figures, Kevin Costner and Russell Crowe. Both of these actors bought emotion and depth to their relationship with Superman, this made him believable as a person wanting to do good things in the world.

    And most all, above all I have mentioned, and ever will mention, the single biggest improvement made to this film, unquestionably must be….

    Ditching the dumb red pants he wore over his dumb tights, just cause he is a super goody hero, doesn’t mean he has to look like a nob!

  65. It has to be Les Miserables. I was so sceptical at first as I do not really enjoy musicals but I was sat in my seat the whole time and never once felt the need to move out of it. The magic of feeling that you have been taken back to the french revolution was astounding. I never knew much about it and learnt enough to make me google it all when I got home.
    To say I was entranced is putting it mildly. I cried, laughed and most of all could not stop talking about it for weeks to everyone and made sure my entire family went to see it, even though they did not want to go. They did all go and all of them were astounded at how good it was. Amazing performances by all, has to be the best film of 2013.

  66. I think ’12 Years A Slave’ is absolutely the best film I have watched this year. It is an inspirational film and it is very educational. It highlights the struggles and plights that black people have had to suffer. Even though he was a FREE man that counted for nothing because of his colour and it represents just how strong racism was back then. It is also a very emotional film as he did eventually have a ‘Master’ that was kind to him but had no choice but to sell him on. Even after the beatings and brutality that he faced he never gave up hope and always stayed strong in his belief that he would be reunited with his family which is a great message. No matter what life throws at you you stay positive and stay strong and you can get through it. Great great film. Emotional but worth watching.

  67. My favourite movie of 2013 is Iron Man 3. It was very different from the first two instalments, taking lots of very daring moves for a superhero film. The special effects were excellent, as was the very humorous script. Another particularly great thing about it was that it had by far the most unique action out of any superhero film I’ve seen. The creativity of the whole thing was truly marvellous.

    The script employs a very dramatic plot device which has been quite popular lately. It takes away almost everything from Tony Stark near the beginning of the film and forces him to use his intelligence and perseverance to overcome the antagonist. Not until the climax does he use a fully functioning Iron Man suit.

    This is a film with great action, shocking twists, and excellent acting from everybody.

  68. Man of steel, Henry Cavill is a ideal actor for Superman since Christopher Reeve. They (filmmaker) dared to remove the red pant and to improvise the bigger cape but it look superb.

  69. Despicable me 2 because the minions are absolutely hilarious and I never stopped giggling the whole way through – it made me and my two boys laugh and smile . It’s a great feel good movie. Fun for all the family

  70. Has to be Star Trek into Darkness – absolutely love the latest Star Trek series as a Sci Fi fan.

  71. I loved Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing. Beautiful setting, filmed (in black and white) at his house in 12 days – amazing! Wonder if he’d let me move in! Original Shakespearean dialogue and contemporary setting worked so well and Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker shine in their roles as Benedick and Beatrice.

  72. Despicable Me 2,Me and the kids love the first one and this sequel did not disappoint!! A must see film with plenty of laughs form Finnish to end. Fantastic film!!!!!!

  73. Being a horror fan I really enjoyed the Evil Dead remake. I thought it was very well made – I enjoyed the special effects although some parts were unintentionally funny! Raimi, when he does it good he does it well!

  74. I know this isn’t particularly highbrow, or intellectual, but sometimes you have to leave life (and your brain) at the door and just enjoy cinema. That’s why my favourite film so far has been Despicable Me 2. A good, laugh out loud, romp along for the whole family where you can munch on popcorn, boo the baddies, cheer for the goodies and laugh at the minions.

  75. Behind the Candelabra. Interesting but slightly dark subject matter. Two established male leads playing it “straight” excuse the pun, away from their stereotypical previous/usual roles. Well acted and produced. Good cameo from Dan Ackroyd too!

  76. Side Effects. Reminded me of Hitchcock, cool,nicely paced psychological thriller. Good performance by Jude Law too. I hope Soderbergh returns to make more films like this.

  77. hummingbird – it may not be a fantastically high-profile film, but it reveals statham in a new light and i loved seeing soho and covent garden on film!

  78. Has to be Les Miserables – I didn’t expect to like it, wasn’t a great fan of some cast members and couldn’t see how it would work. But it did, everyone was fabulous and it was great.

  79. Django Unchained for me. I’m a Tarantino nut anyway, always have been, and this really didn’t disappoint. I wouldn’t say it’s his best ever, but the cast may have been the best he’s ever assembled. I thought Di Caprio was a absolute revelation, having never been much of a fan. It takes guts to take on a character with no redeeming features at all. Having to play an out and out racist with views so completely at odds with the way we feel now, and still make him real, and believable, not a caricature takes real acting ability, and he showed that.

    The surprising fact was that he didn’t dominate the film. He was easily matched by Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz. Waltz especially was incredible. His character wasn’t as out there as the other two, so he played smaller, but was still mesmerising.

    The topic of the film was one that could have made it difficult to watch, but the story and the screenplay were so clever and well written, that you could enjoy the film without wallowing in out ancestors guilt about the horrors of slavery.

    Plus the usual Tarantino kick-ass soundtrack, what’s not to like?

  80. Has to be Cloud Atlas. Not only do you get 6 stories but they way they’re so subtle linked that you could easily miss the links the first time around. You leave the cinema feeling anything is possible.

  81. got to be fast and furious 6. has abit of everything. humour, love and action! everything i like in a film all rolled into one. perfect!

  82. despicable me 2. It is hilarious, it’s very rare that second films are great but this is and you can watch it with the whole family.

  83. Les Miserables, couldn’t believe how well it translated to the media of film. Totally heart rending and fabulous.

  84. Before Midnight. It makes a fantastic ending to the trilogy, and adds the harsh touch of realism that Before Sunset only hinted at.

    Not only is Greece wonderfully showcased with the thoughtful cinematography, the script goes the extra step and covers so much thought-provoking ground that it takes a while to gather your thoughts.

    The whole film is comprised of perfect scripting, perfect performances, perfect direction, and it’s just the epitome of perfect film-making.

  85. There’s no shadow of a doubt – the best movie of 2013 is Cloud Atlas.

    Any attempt to make that book – one of the most “unfilmable” books of recent years, mark you – into a motion picture was ALWAYS going to be impressive, but Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis really went above and beyond.

    The cast are all superb, handling multiple roles with huge amounts of grace under what should just be hilarious makeup and prosthetics, and it’s a testament to the directors’ skills that six wildly different stories all feel like essential parts of the same movie. It’s also the single best-looking movie of the year; shots like Somni-451 on the gantry with a jet bearing down on her are nothing short of iconic.

    But it’s also a testament to the fact that modern cinema has not yet devolved into a brainless series of action movies. It was a huge, ballsy gamble of a project, but everyone who’s involved looks 100% committed all of the time, and that’s why it worked so damn well.

    It’s a modern masterpiece, pure and simple.

  86. Cloud Atlas – I was swept away watching this film, in the same way that I imagine the films of the golden-era of Hollywood must have done to the viewers back in the 50’s. In fact, that is the overriding sensation I felt throughout, one of being witness to something approaching classic cinema. It made me feel like a kid again. I felt like I was curled up on the sofa of a Saturday afternoon experiencing one of those films that are repeated every year because everyone loves it so much. The Cloud Atlas Sextet no doubt contributed to my love of the film; what a beautiful piece of music. I laughed, I cried and I smiled all the way through. I really feel sorry for those who didn’t get it, I think they might have tried to intellectualize it too much, looking for a ‘point’, where the only real point was to let it wash over you. One of my favourite films of all time.

  87. Before Midnight. It makes a fantastic ending to the trilogy, and adds the harsh touch of realism that Before Sunset only hinted at.

  88. Behind the Candelabra – Have you ever seen Michael Douglas as a gay man? He captures the essence of Liberace, the spirit of Las Vegas, the humour of the times and genuinely performs in a way I’d never thought possible. Well worth a watch, if it isn’t your usual type of film!

  89. For me it has to be What Richard Did.
    I just haven’t seen a stronger performance from anyone this year than what Jack Reynor gives in this film. It says a lot when I saw this early January as one of the first new films of 2013 I saw and it still stands above everything else I’ve seen, it is nothing short of fantastic

  90. I unfortunately arn’t a brilliant writer but here’s my view , It has to be Warm Bodies by far!! The film has everything in it , happiness , fright , humour , shock and sadness, the acting is brilliant and the concept is unique and original.
    The film goes from good to great with a brilliant ending and not only is it a zombie film its a like a love film too ! Me and my bloke loved it. It’s one of those films you don’t want to end.

  91. I loved Star Trek: Into Darkness. I’m a fan of the old Shatner movies, and I was really impressed with J.J. Abrams’ first Trek film, so I had high hopes for Into Darkness; and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.
    I loved that they used scenes from Wrath of Khan and did the role-reversal thing with Kirk and Spock. Cumberbatch was a totally new Khan, but impressive – that fight scene with the Klingons was amazing! All the cast were superb, and loyal to the original cast.
    A sequel that really worked. Unusual these days… especially with Star Trek movies!

  92. Best film I saw this year was…. The Evil Dead, thought it would not be able to live up to the Bruce Campbell films but it notched it up a gear and sent the franchise in a spooky direction. Just hope we don’t have to wait 2 years for another sequel, this film got under my skin and can’t wait to see another movie made.

  93. Despicable Me 2. Former arch villain Gru is wonderfully funny in this sequel. Put him alongside Dr Nefario voiced by the quirky Russell Brand and this is the best film of 2013 so far for me. The Minions continue to be a brilliant addition and play a bigger role in this movie. Sitting in the cinema which was full of people of all ages including children, teenagers, young adults etc. All laughing out loud. With all the doom and gloom happening this year, Despicable me 2 is a welcome lift and Gru is the most lovable and reluctant hero of the year. Besides which he has huge shoulders which he’s gonna need as his girls get older and boys start turning up at the door.

  94. The Great G A T S B Y – Glitzy American Tragedy So Beautifully Yummy! Visually dazzling, we were transported to the 1920s, with a haunting theme and great acting from de Caprio!

  95. For me it would have to be The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. As a huge fan of anything Tolkien I thought the film was shot beautifully, the scenery was amazing and the script outstanding!

  96. Les Miserables. It has a great cast.The film was also fantstic to look at and listen too. Having seen the film I want to see the stage show and read the book.

    I like the odd comic moments in what is a pretty depressing story when you think about it. Despite the amount of depressing scenes you leave the film feeling happy.

    I can’t get ‘Master Of The House’ out of my head.

  97. Django Unchained. It has everything you could possibly want from a Tarantino movie and may well be responsible for a resurgence in the Western genre.

    Samuel L Jackson plays one of the most complex characters I have ever seen and Leonardo DiCaprio goes evil for a career best performance.

    It’s also less offensive to Australians than Pacific Rim.

  98. World War Z is an excellent film and is one of numerous films I have seen this year. Its a hard choice as there are so many worthy of being my best film of 2013

  99. Despicable Me 2 because it was a huge hit with the whole family and it’s not often we all enjoy the same film!

  100. Iron Man 3 is the best movie of 2013. What a spectacle! Perfect for watching on the big screen! I was on my edge of the seat the whole 130 minutes, which didn’t feel long at all. There wasn’t any of the villain playing mindgames to lengthen the movie that you sometimes get, it was just great scene after great scene all the way through. I don’t know how they’re going to top it for Iron Man 4, though – maybe you get to be in the Iron Man suit yourself.

  101. Django Unchained is my choice of the best movie of 2013 (so far but it will be very hard to beat). It’s simply the finest Tarantino yet, and he has made some all time great groundbreaking movies. Tarantino’s formula of great storyline, superb soundtrack, great cinematography and an ample splash of action and violence never disappoints, but Django has gone a few steps further. DiCaprio, maturing as an actor, brings off one of his greatest roles and I really could picture him as a slave owner (quickly adding it’s his commendable acting that gives me this view and not that he’s racist). The characters were all believable and beautifully directed. The storyline itself whilst initially stomach churning for me and not a subject I would choose as part of my movie going kept me gripped throughout. For me Django Unchained is not just a run of the mill Tarantino action movie, it’s more thought provoking than most “Hollywood blockbusters”, indeed the conversations amongst friends and family spurred on by this movie makes it truly the “To Kill a Mockingbird” of the motion picture industry.

  102. Don’t think i’ve seen any movies this year yet 😕

    I so hope that the Alan Partridge film is good, but have a feeling that it may be a flop 🙁

  103. All You Need is Love – Funny, poignant, sensitive, sad. Made you both laugh and cry. Great film and would watch it again.

  104. It has got to be “The Man of Steel”. Right from the time the idea for this movie was conceived, it has been under the media glare. A new actor, huge expectation, a rewrite of a well known old story and to live up to Christopher Reeves.

    I thoroughly enjoyed it – it was a film with not just action, but substance as well. Henry Cavill had quite captured the heart of superman as well. The 3d was a bonus and was well done instead of making it look like a add-on for just the hype. It was also stylishly done, instead of the usual stupid Superman costume!

    The Superman has well and truly established himself and I can’t wait for the next movie from the franchise. Despite the huge expectation, I came out of the theatre with my mind blown and still in Krypton!

  105. Lincoln – a fantastic and very real performance given by Daniel Day Lewis, for me it really brought the last days of his presidency to life. Sally Field was also very realistic (for me) as his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln.

  106. The Hangover 3, we enjoy a good comedy and this one is as good as the others. Zach Galifianakis freaks me out what a buddy to have.

  107. IRON MAN 3

    I loved this movie so did the kids.

    It was hilarious, had us all in stitches.

    It was pure entertainment, perfect for the family.

    It even brought a smile on my grumpy grandma, so well worth it just for that.

    The twist was brilliant, great all round movie.

  108. Man of Steel, it was so good to see Henry Cavill in a completely different role, going from The Tudors to this film really showed off his acting skills xx

  109. I enjoyed The Great Gatsby. Beautiful visuals, soundtrack and a fun and fresh take on the book, whilst staying true to the story line. It was quite a slow movie, but the details and acting kept me interested all the way through. Loved it!

  110. World War Z is the best film of 2013 so far for me. Intense action with a few jumpy scenes to have you on the edge of your seat. Brad Pitt was his usual excellent self as well.

  111. My favourite film of the year so far has to be the comedy genius of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldbergs, This is the end. With the actors playing themselves it adds such a great deal of humour alone to the script and you really get sucked into the Hollywood lifestyle. My favourite actor in this film though had to be Jonah Hill as everything he said was just comedy gold in my eyes.With appearances from Emma Watson and Rihanna it makes it a must see film of the year. My favourite seen in this whole film though was the argument between James Franco and Danny Mcbride about James’s explicit magazine.

  112. My personal favourite this year is Star Trek, I think that Chris Pine really captures Captain Kirk’s personality, Zachary Quinto as Spock is also spot on. I took my 70 year old mum to see this at the cinema, and she loved it, nobody could have been more of a fan of the old TV series than her, and she as well as I were very impressed with the story, the amazing look of the film and how in parts it was very moving.A true classic!

  113. our favorite as a family was wreck it Ralph,was lovely to sit down with the kids (and popcorn of course) and watch such a good family film ,been a while since a good kids film has been so enjoyed in our house, im sure there are many more high brow watches out there but this caught the whole familys interest which is always a bonus 🙂

  114. It has to be Star Trek Into Darkness, it had me on the edge of my seat. It really brought the Star Trek franchise into another universe and totally updated it.

  115. As daft as it sounds, I really enjoyed A Good Day to Die Hard. You know what to expect from the Die Hard franchise and this really delivers – explosions, daft plot, Bruce Willis suffering uncomfortable family relationships. Exactly what it says on the tin and rip roaring fun.

  116. D is for the daring job that Gru’s been chosen for
    E is for the excitement as he falls out the boot door
    S is for the special romance between Gru and Lucy
    P is for the plotline which is full of jokes and juicy
    I is for the ‘ickle minions that love bananas so much
    C is for the cuddly pony that Agnes likes to cwtch
    A is for the awesome lines that Gru pulls from nowhere
    B is for the bald head of Gru’s, that Agnes likes to stare
    L is for the Lipstick Taser that shocks Gru at the start
    E is for the ending, that’s what caught my heart!

    M is for the memories of watching this with my kids
    E is for the enjoyment, they never batted their eyelids
    2 is for the amount of times we’ve already watched this movie
    DESPICABLE ME 2 is the one film that is groovy!

  117. World War Z

    I wasn’t expecting to like it much after reading the book (which is THE BEST) but; I was enthralled!
    So much so that, whilst my Mum was babysitting at my house, I missed 3 calls from her to let me know my youngest was crying for 30 minutes!

    I felt awful but that’s the first time I have ever been so engrossed in something that I haven’t checked my phone!

    Oh, my little one was ok, just wondered where we were 🙂

  118. For me, it’s Hanzel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. Although this film would be considered an action horror, it does have some quite amusing black humour comedic moments. It is the big kids fairy tale which has spanned and grown over 200 years, ever since it was first written by the brothers Grimm in 1812. The original was not all flowers and butterflies, but it was given a nice, happy, feel good factor, to appeal to young children and the new film wipes all that away, almost going back to it’s roots. This is helped with the old world look of the film, despite it’s modern touch. Definitely worth a watch although, be warned, it is for adults, particularly so if you watch the extended cut version.

  119. 2013 may only be half done, but the race for my favourite movie of the year was won only a couple of weeks into January. It was a rather special experience – I have never seen a film that moved a Scottish audience to applaud in a cinema before. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to join with them in their enthusiastic response to Les Miserables. In truth, I was too focused on trying to breathe through the emotional sobs that started with the movie’s finale and continued throughout our entire journey home.

    It wasn’t perfect, I’ll admit. Russell Crowe’s take on Javert was a pretty abysmal performance of what can be the best character in Hugo’s story. Sacha Baron Cohen and and Helena Bonham Carter seemed to phone in their performances from completely separate movies. There were some strange choices in the way it was filmed.

    But favourite movies don’t have to be artistically perfect. Asking for “favourite” rather than “best” demands the subjective over the objective. Choosing your favourite is something based on instinct, on emotion. And I cannot conceive of a film that produced more of an emotional response than Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables.

    The story is second to none, the music has enchanted audiences around the world since the 1980s, the design captured all of the grit and dirt of nineteenth century France, and there were some exceptionally strong performances among the film’s cast that even hardcore fans of the stage show could appreciate. These elements combined to take viewers on an emotional rollercoaster through seventeen years of French history from the small scale moments – Hugh Jackman’s hardened convict being forgiven by the kindly Bishop – to the epic – the scene where a public funeral turns in to an attempted revolution.

    Some may have questioned if a musical – a genre often seen as one for light romantic comedies and high-kicking dance routines – was the appropriate form for a story featuring poverty, prostitution and plenty of onstage deaths. In reality, the music allowed the characters to express their inner feelings and the emotions of the piece in a way that conventional naturalist cinema just would not allow. After all, it was the author of Les Miserables, Victor Hugo himself, who said “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.”

    Indeed, it is impossible to be silent about this film, easily worthy of a place among anyone’s favourites, with its universally appealing tale of love, hope and sacrifice and a score that you will be humming for months. Just remember to grab some tissues before you start dreaming the dream.

  120. Epic – as I only ever get to see children’s films at the cinema with my kids! The 3D effects were absolutely fantastic, some of the best I’ve seen & you would miss out on so much if you only watched it in 2D. The kids loved it.

  121. Despicable Me 2. I’m a big kid at heart and do enjoy a decent film aimed towards kids. I thought this film was great, funny, entertaining, and easy to follow and watch, so no thinking or having to really concentrate so I didn’t lose the storyline. Watching this was relaxing, amusing, fun and enjoyable – just what I want on warm days.

  122. I really enjoyed watching Gangster Squad. You just can’t beat a good film featuring corruption at the top in my opinion. This was really my cup of tea, up there with ‘The Departed’. Characters like Mickey Cohen probably did and still do exist. Sure they can be brought down but they take a hell of a lot of people with them. The film reminds us that as long as there is greed and fear, there will always be corruption at some level and some people really are above the law. The plot was strong throughout and was one of the better films I have seen this year. More of the same please.

  123. Citadel has to be my film of the year so far.

    The film concentrates on the chronic agoraphobia inflicted on a young father following the brutal attack of his wife.

    It’s the first film from writer / director Ciaran Foy who has drawn from his own experiences of agoraphobia following a brutal mugging.

    The reason I chose this film is because of its simplicity.

    Ciaran Foy only uses four characters during the film, he doesn’t try to explain too much and he doesn’t rely on special effects and it is this combination which really help to emphasise the affect chronic agoraphobia has on vulnerable people.

    I chose it instead of a typical ‘blockbuster’ movie largely down to the performance of Anuerin Barnard who plays the father – his portrayal of the character really sets the film apart from any other film and he really creates a relationship with the viewer
    It goes to show a good storyline and good acting are the only two components required for a good film.

  124. My favorite movie of this year is easily YOU’RE NEXT. I saw it two years ago at Fantastic Fest, and it is one of the most exciting, engaging, and downright fun horror films I’ve seen in years. Everything about it is top notch, and we can only hope Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard team up for more movies in the future.

  125. My favourite movie so far is Oblivion, starring Tom Cruise. I liked the fact that Tom Cruise wasn’t made up to look Hollywood glam in a film about ‘after Earth’. He actually looked like someone who might be expected to do a post apocalyptic clean up.
    I also thought the story was very clever. The twists kept coming throughout the film. I saw it with 7 other people and had to explain the story afterwards so needless to say I felt very clever to have followed the twists and turns 🙂 (Mind you, there was alcohol involved so perhaps some of the others were not really paying attention if you know what I mean!)
    I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen the movie but suffice to say there are twists and turns right up to the last few seconds and if you’re not paying attention you could miss a vital part of the story.

  126. Wreck it ralph is my favorite so far! such a different idea and made so intelligently. A must watch I would say!

  127. I adored Faro. Nothing else this year can touch it in terms of cinematography. The visuals are stunning. The sun through the trees, glinting off the water, reflecting the forests quiet menace.

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Movie Review: Home Again 0 417

This review was previously published at The National.

Despite an obviously talented leading lady in Reese Witherspoon and a family pedigree behind the camera in making this sort of rom-com flutter sweetly off the screen, Home Again struggles to finds its way out of cloying cliché and narrative contrivance.

This is the directorial debut of Hallie Myers-Shyer, daughter of genre stalwart Nancy Meyers (The Holiday, What Women Want). It focuses on the life of Alice Kinney (Witherspoon), a single mum who has just turned 40 and tries her best to raise her two daughters Isabel (Lola Flanery) and Rosie (Eden Grace Redfield) in Los Angeles with her job as an interior decorator.

Freshly separated from her British music mogul husband Austen (Michael Sheen), she embarks on a drunken birthday night celebration that leads to her meeting a trio of 20-something lads – Harry (Pico Alexander), George (Jon Rudnitsky) and Teddy (Nat Wolff) – who are trying their best to break into the Hollywood movie business.

The young men improbably end up staying in Alice’s guest house while they work on finishing the script for their first film. Before long they become an integral part of her life, from Alice embarking on a romantic relationship with Harry to George helping out Isabel with her school play. To quote the title of the director’s mother’s 2009 film – it’s complicated.

Except the film mistakes the kind of enjoyably frothy complexity exemplified by the best of the genre for skin-clawing convolution that renders much of the romantic and comedically-tinged drama of Alice’s life lacking in authenticity. Not that it needs the ring of truth that comes with, say, a Ken Loach picture but you need to be able to invest and believe in these characters’ lives as presented.

The approach to gender and generational relationships is simplistic which, of course, is nothing new to a genre that, at least in its Hollywoodized state, so often throws up films meant to be taken as easy-going fluff. But it’s particularly frustrating here when it squanders the potential thrown up with the initial concept of a woman trying to find herself again once she’s out of a stale relationship by entering into one with a much younger man.

It strangely seems far more interested in the plight of the three young men working as three cogs of one creative machine – director/producer, writer and actor – to get ahead in the movie business.  But even then it smacks of implausibility, like a cheap rom-com version of the bromance found in Entourage but without any of the snarky wit or Hollywood satire. Despite decent chemistry between a likeable assembled cast, Home Again is a tough pill to swallow as it rings false through and through.

3.5 out of 10

Movie Review: Goodbye Christopher Robin 0 448

This review was previously published at The National.

The world of celebrated children’s author A. A. Milne and the creation of his beloved Winnie the Pooh stories are chronicled in this frightfully polite biopic from director Simon Curtis (My Week with Marilyn) that flirts with dipping its toes into darker waters but steadfastly clings to safe tropes and always with its top button firmly fastened.

We start off in 1941 where we find an ageing Milne (Domhnall Gleeson in questionable make-up and greyed hair) and his wife Daphne (Margot Robbie) living on their secluded East Sussex farm. They receive a telegram informing them that their son, C.R. Milne, is missing presumed dead after heading off to fight in World War Two.

We then jump back in time to Milne on the front lines of the First World War. He returns from the fighting a changed man; suffering from PTSD (popped balloons evoking sudden gunfire et al.), becoming increasingly sick of just making people laugh with his West End plays and the general hustle-bustle that comes with big city life.

He convinces his reluctant wife to move to the country for some peace and quiet and where his infant son, Christopher Robin (played by Will Tilston at the younger age, Alex Lawther as he gets older), can go on the childhood adventures he deserves with the support of loving nanny Olive (Kelly Macdonald).

Settling into the kind of serene life he craves, he is inspired to create Winnie the Pooh and the rest of his soon-to-be-beloved friends inspired by the stuffed animals with which his young son has become so enamoured. Unfortunately for Christopher – referred to by everyone as “Billy Moon” – his father uses his real name in the stories, turning him into one of the most famous boys in the nation.

Despite the obvious attraction of it exploring the world famous Pooh stories, it’s a film much more interested in the effect it has on a fractured family clinging on to peacefulness, not least the unwanted attention thrust upon a young boy who simply isn’t equipped to handle it and how his parents carry on oblivious.

If anything it takes a curiously bleak outlook on what these stories mean to the world once they’ve been put out there, conveying a somewhat confusing message for a film that ultimately wants us to celebrate these stories as immortally cherished tales; that the Winnie the Pooh embraced immediately by the public and has now stood the test of time for almost a century is in some way missing the point of what it truly means to the author and a son who, inadvertently or not, was used as a tool of innocence to sell the idea of an idyllic childhood in Milne’s Hundred Acre Wood.

It’s bolstered by almost uniformly moving performances; Gleeson plays Milne with a kind of damaged empathy that makes you feel like you get to know the author beyond the public persona. Macdonald is oftentimes heart-breaking as Christopher’s devoted caregiver and Tilston walks away with the film as the adorably sweet-natured young Christopher. It’s only with Robbie that the film makes a misstep; she’s miscast as Milne’s wife and never stepping out of the shadow of cold motherly cliché.

In spite of its darker leanings, the film remains too buttoned up to properly wrestle with those themes in any sort of lasting way, far too polite to ever dive head first into the murky waters into which the drama intermittently peers.

Wrapped in Ben Smithard’s handsomely old-fashioned cinematography and soaked in Carter Burwell’s perpetually swelling score, it’s an aesthetically and emotionally appealing but nevertheless fairly vanilla period biopic best suited to being enjoyed on a rainy Sunday afternoon with tea and biscuits.

6.5 out of 10