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Best movies of 2013 that you don't know about yet: Dannette's list

Posted Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 5:00 PM Central
Last updated Friday, January 25, 2013 at 9:36 AM Central

by Dannette Medina

When Tim & John asked me to come up with my own list of movies for 2013, I was so excited and extremely honored... until I started to worry, that is. Since I went public as a Twi-hard right here on this site, I was afraid my credibility would be lost with all of you, especially since Breaking Dawn 2 was just nominated for 11 Razzie awards.

Why would anyone listen to my predictions of what's going to be the “best” of 2013 when I'm watching Twilight Marathons?

Well I'll tell you why. Because like you, I freaking love movies, man. I know that there are a few “bad” movies in your library mixed in with your Shawshanks and Pulp Fictions, and I know as a movie lover you can appreciate watching a movie that is so bad it's good.

With that being said, I will tell you that most of the movies on my list are not slated for wide release, which is one of the reasons I picked them. We all know how many movies out there don't get the attention they deserve. I'm sure most of these titles will barely hit the radar as far as the theater world is concerned, but I decided to go with movies that I genuinely want to see. They probably won't tear up the box office, but I do believe they will be a lovely way to spend a few hours of your life in 2013.

Here are my picks listed by release date:

Supporting Characters

Opens in theaters January 25th

This film caught my eye because I saw Alex Karpovsky & Lena Dunham (both of HBO's Girls and Tiny Furniture) in the trailer. It's about two film editors whose latest project has them attempting to make an unwatchable movie, watchable.

As they are putting together their movie, their relationships start to fall apart. Listen for the line about “an illusion that couples create when a third party enters the room” and you know there are some dark truths in this otherwise lighthearted looking movie.

Possible fizzle: We've had a lot of movies about making movies lately, and anyone that isn't feeling the whole “Girls” phenomenon (aka “haters”) might shy away from a movie that has two of the stars in the trailer.

The Playroom

Opens in theaters February 8th

It's a little hard not to think of The Ice Storm when you see this trailer. It is set in the suburbs in the 70's with adults trying to bring some excitement to their monotonous lives during an adult gathering.

The big difference with this grown up tale is it's told from the children's perspective. While the kids are gathered in the attic telling stories to each other, they quietly observe the drinking, smoking, & betrayal that unravel in the adult world over the course of the evening.

Possible fizzle: Watching the observations of children that might very well be a detriment to their innocence could possibly be cringe worthy.


Opens in theaters March 1st

You can tell by the movie poster alone that there is some secret we aren't privy to. One of these shady looking characters is hiding a deep, dark secret, and we won't find out which one until the very end.

This is one of those movies that looks deliciously twisted, and I for one, needs to know what the heck is up with the spider in the trailer.

Possible fizzle: I hesitate to say this, but Nicole Kidman has been box office poison as of late. I am ready to see her in roles like this, let's hope everyone is too.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Opens in theaters March 15th

Steve Carell plays a Burt Wonderstone, a magician who ruled the Vegas strip with his partner (Steve Buscemi), until a David Blaine type magician (Jim Carrey) steals their thunder with his crazy stunt-like performances.

Even though they have grown to secretly detest each other, they set out to save their act as Burt tries to get in touch with what made him fall in love with magic in the first place. With the writer of Horrible Bosses on board you know we are in for some fun.

Possible fizzle: I could see this movie being more of a dramedy which can turn a good movie in to a not-so-good movie when you think you are going in to laugh non-stop.

The Place Beyond the Pines

Opening in theaters March 29th

Pines is written and directed by Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine), so I had assumed it probably wouldn't be an uplifting tale. My assumption was solidified when I read the synopsis: A motorcycle stunt rider (Ryan Gosling) turns to robbing banks to support his lover (Eva Mendes) and newborn child.

I just can't imagine that ending on a good note. Since it also stars Bradley Cooper and Rose Byrne, you know you can expect dynamic, solid performances, which I think will make it an easier pill to swallow. Not every movie can be rainbows and sunshine, and when done well, painful tales can be very powerful to watch.

Possible fizzle: Pines has a run time of 150 minutes. That's a long time to sit through a painful tale, strong performances or not.


Opens in theaters March 29th

This movie is about a middle-aged slacker who made several “deposits” in to a sperm bank years ago, and as a result fathered 533 children. A discovery he makes when he is served with a class-action lawsuit from 142 of them.

Against his lawyer's wishes, his curiosity gets the better of him and he starts to look up each of his children one by one. Becoming a guardian angel of sorts to each one, he learns to take responsibility for his own life.

Buena Vista is releasing an A-list version this October starring Vince Vaughn called The Delivery Man, so someone must've been charmed by it somewhere.

Possible fizzle: You could get derailed when your brain starts to digest the possibilities that might ensue if this was a true story, like unknowingly dating a half sibling! Yikes!

The Angel's Share

Opens in theaters April 12th

The Angel's Share is the story of a new father, who narrowly escapes a prison sentence after convincing the judge that he wants to go straight for his newborn son. While he is serving his community service, his supervisor opens him up to the world of whiskey and takes him to visit a distillery.

He soon discovers he has a gift for identifying different types of whiskey, and spots his chance at building a better life for his family. When he hears there is a high valued rare case of whisky about to go on auction, he hatches a plan to steal some of it to finance his dreams for his new family.

Technically, The Angel's Share is the small amount of alcohol that evaporates during the fermenting process, alluding to the belief that guardian angels watch over it as it ages. No, that does not pertain to the story but I thought it was cute anyhow.

Possible fizzle: The Scottish accents are so thick it almost requires subtitles. (Which were included when it played at Cannes)

Frances Ha

Opens in theaters May 17th

Frances Ha is written by Noah Baumbach (who also directs) and Greta Gerwig (who also stars). It's about an Ivy League trained dancer who while everyone's lives around her seem to be going their merry adult way, cannot find a job and never knows where her next rent check will be.

Bumbling through life in New York as a struggling artist, she is forced to grow up. Shot entirely in black & white, this film oozes charm. I've had a girl crush on Greta ever since I was forced to sit through the re-make of Arthur who made it utterly watchable. She is my quirky girl of the moment.

Possible fizzle: Not sure if people can stomach watching another struggling artist in New York whine about how unfair life is.

The To-Do List

Opens in theaters August 16th

Now, you didn't think a naughty teenage comedy wouldn't make my list did you? The older I get, the more I seem drawn to these seriously inappropriate teen angst films.

The To-Do List is about a girl who feels pressured to have more “experience” before going to college, so she makes up a list of things “to-do” before she gets to campus in the fall.

It stars Aubrey Plaza, who charmed the pants off of everyone in Safety Not Guaranteed, Christopher Mintz-Plasse who will forever live in our hearts as McLovin, THE style maven Rachel Bilson, & Alia Shawkat who I can never see without hearing “Butterscotch”. With a cast like that it's a must-see on my list.

Possible fizzle: Teen comedies can go a number of different ways. They can be smart like Easy A, shockingly funny like Superbad, cliché but quotable like Can't Hardly Wait, or unwatchable like LOL. Sorry Miley.

We're the Millers

Opens in theaters August 9th

Jason Sudeikis plays a small-time pot dealer whose clientele includes chefs and soccer moms. While trying to keep a low profile, he tries to help a group of teens and ends up getting jumped. They steal his money and his supply which leaves him in major debt to his dealer who is played by Ed Helms.

To settle his debt, he must now smuggle in his dealer's latest shipment from Mexico. He ends up hiring some of his neighbors played by Jennifer Aniston and Emma Roberts to play his fake family.

Together they head south of the border in an RV for a Fourth of July weekend “trip”. From the writer of Wedding Crashers (Steve Faber) and the director of Dodgeball (Rawson Marshall Thurber), I can't imagine this not having some great laughs.

Possible fizzle: Even if it's not funny, who doesn't want to see Ed Helms as a drug dealer?

So there you have it. My must-see movies you didn't know existed for 2013, and not a vampire in sight. I can't wait to see Tim & John's lists as I know there will be some gems!

Check out John's list by clicking here.

And our final list of sleepers from Tim.