The Best and Worst Films of Summer 2013

The summer has come to an end and this was one of the biggest box office summer seasons that we’ve had in recent years. What were the best and worst films of summer 2013? You may have your own favorites, but here are a few of mine.

The Best

We’ll start with the best, in no particular order.

Star Trek: Into Darkness

The franchise is taking bold new leaps while remaining faithful to fans of the classic series and the classic actors. Once again, the younger cast hits all the right notes and the script was just reminiscent enough of Star Trek II to give moviegoers that eerie feeling of déjà vu. My rating: 4-1/2 stars

Iron Man III

Take Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) out of the suit and you are left with a man facing life with his own anxieties and that’s where a hero’s true strength will be revealed. Arguably the best installment in this franchise. My rating: 4-1/2 stars

Fast & Furious 6

Okay, this isn’t Oscar caliber nor is it even a thinking man’s movie. It’s just pure popcorn cinema with a healthy dose of pathos mixed in for good measure. This film stayed on top of the box office for over a month in a summer filled with big budget blockbusters…and there’s a reason for that. My rating: 3 stars

Monsters University

Leave it to Pixar to develop an ideal mix of childlike wonder, the magic of friendship, the realism of true life and humor that transcends age and gender and a stellar cast of Hollywood A-list voice acting to create the perfect summer animated movie. If you haven’t seen this yet, then what are you waiting for? My rating: 5 stars

Pacific Rim

I went into this expecting another Transformers. Boy was I ever wrong. This is compelling science fiction story telling at its best. The characters and situations are brilliantly conceived. And assuming they do one, I can’t wait for a sequel. My rating: 4 stars

The Wolverine

Hugh Jackman is back playing old iron claws, this time in Japan. Some of the scenes are totally far-fetched but, like Iron Man III, Jackman faces his own human frailties and, as a result, becomes a better hero. My rating: 4 stars

Elysium

Another thinking man’s science fiction tale in a summer that didn’t dumb down the action adventure movie. Matt Damon and Jodie Foster prove again why they’re on Hollywood’s A-list. My rating: 4 stars

Blue Jasmine

A quiet picture, compared to summer’s other great movies. It’s a great study in how life can unravel and take someone who’s on top of the world and shatter them down their very core. Woody Allen at his best. My rating: 4-1/2 stars

The World's End

What passes for comedy in Hollywood today is often anything but funny and plays down to the low brow roots of its audience. Here, though, the Brits have done it again. Don’t get the British humor? It’s an acquired taste. My rating: 4-1/2 stars

2 Guns

Coming at the tail end of summer is often a curse for a movie, but the best ones manage to thrive in this otherwise dismal wasteland and prove themselves to be more than the sum of their frame count. This is a buddy cop movie unlike many that have come before. My rating: 4 stars

The Worst

And now for the five worst or most disappointing entries, in no particular order:

Hangover Part III

Hopefully, they will let this franchise die now. It’s run its course. But then again, Hollywood rarely learns from its mistakes. My rating: 1 star

R.I.P.D.

Who actually thought this script was either funny or good? Men in Black without the humor or star chemistry. My rating: 2 stars

AfterEarth

Two hours worth of movie with 20 minutes worth of entertainment. Shyamalan needs to find the formula that once clicked for him. This isn’t it. My rating: 2 stars

We're the Millers

Drug smuggling as entertainment? We have sunk low. Just because this did well at the box office doesn’t necessarily make it a good movie. My rating: 2 stars

Grown Ups 2

What passes for comedy in Hollywood today is sophomoronic at best and stupidly unentertaining at its worst. This is a great combination of both. Very inappropriately named, too. My rating: 2 stars

Dim the lights, pass the popcorn, I’ll see you this fall at the movies!

Which of my picks of the summer is your personal favorite? (I welcome your comments below, too)

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Comments 4 comments

Geekdom profile image

Geekdom 3 years ago

Thanks for the list. I had high hopes for RIPD while it was in development, but it just did not come together.


BernietheMovieGuy profile image

BernietheMovieGuy 3 years ago from Syracuse, NY Author

Not even in the end, my friend. Thanks for the comment!


clopez26 profile image

clopez26 3 years ago from Laurel, MD

Nice list. I mostly agree with your choices for best and worst. I haven't seen The World's End yet, but I love Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz so I expect I'll enjoy it. My personal favorite movie this summer season was Man of Steel, despite how controversial it has become. Of the movies you listed, Star Trek was definitely the best.


BernietheMovieGuy profile image

BernietheMovieGuy 3 years ago from Syracuse, NY Author

I saw Man of Steel twice and it didn't even grow on me. I think the lack of humor and over-pretensiousness was what did it in for me. The first time seeing it bored me. The second time I saw it, I fell asleep in the middle of the climactic battle with Zod. I definitely will NOT argue about Trek, though. That was, even to me, summer's best achievement.

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