Top 25 Songs and Films of 2013 (5-2) (With Top 40 Albums of 2013)

This is my penultimate list of the best songs and movies of 2013. Before I issue those favourites, here is a lightning quick rundown of my Top 40 Albums of 2013:

1) Vampire Weekend – Modern Vampires Of The City; 2) Chvrches – The Bones Of What You Believe; 3) Paramore – Paramore; 4) Sky Ferreira – Night Time, My Time; 5) Biffy Clyro – Opposites; 6) Cold War Kids – Dear Miss Lonelyhearts; 7) Daft Punk – Random Access Memories; 8) Shad – Flying Colours; 9) Queens Of The Stone Age – …Like Clockwork; 10) Arcade Fire – Reflektor; 11) Neko Case – The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You; 12) Surfer Blood – Pythons; 13) Phosphorescent – Muchacho; 14) Foals – Holy Fire; 15) The 1975 – The 1975; 16) Lady Gaga – Artpop; 17) Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Mosquito; 18) Lorde – Pure Heroine; 19) Arctic Monkeys – AM; 20) Charli XCX – True Romance; 21) Bastille – Bad Blood; 22) Tegan & Sara – Heartthrob; 23) One Republic – Native; 24) Kanye West – Yeezus; 25) Placebo – Loud Like Love; 26) The Neighbourhood – I Love You; 27) The Joy Formidable – Wolf’s Law; 28) The Knife – Shaking The Habitual; 29) Blue October – Sway; 30) Britney Spears – Britney Jean; 31) Miley Cyrus – Bangerz; 32) Major Lazer – Free The Universe; 33) Panic! At The Disco – Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!; 34) City and Colour – The Hurry And The Harm; 35) Frightened Rabbit – Pedestrian Verse; 36) Valleys – Are You Going To Stand There And Talk Weird All Night?; 37) Stereophonics – Graffiti On The Train; 38) Goldfrapp – Tales Of Us; 39) Jon Hopkins – Immunity; 40) Jimmy Eat World – Damage.

Before I issue my top 5 songs and films, here are a few random awards I’d like to dole out to 2013 films:

Best Performance In An Otherwise Lacklustre Film – Jim Carrey, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Best Cameo – Will Ferrell, The Internship

Scariest Use Of Product Placement – Google, The Internship

Reddest Beard On A Dude You Wouldn’t Expect To Have One – Michael Fassbender, 12 Years A Slave

Worst Oral Hygiene – Leonardo Di Caprio, Django Unchained

Best Pimp Walk/Example Of An Actor Who Won’t Change How He Carries Himself Under Any Circumstance – Charlie Hunnam, Pacific Rim

Best Use Of Sequins: Michael Douglas, Behind The Candelabra

Best Hair/Best Jewellery: Matt Damon, Behind The Candelabra

Best Use Of Song: James Franco, singing Britney Spears’ “Everytime”, Spring Breakers

In case you’re wondering what “WAR value is” click here:

Here are my Top 5 Songs and Films of 2013 (5-2):

(NB: I finally saw Fruitvale Station, and Michael B. Jordan’s performance was a master-class in acting. If I’d have seen it in 2013, it would be in my top 5 films of the year. It’s a must-see movie.)

5. Phosphorescent – Song For Zula (WAR value: 9.5)

“Song For Zula” is the most heart-wrenching tune of 2013. It’s a masterpiece. It’s the best track Matthew Houck’s ever done. “Song For Zula” is a restrained wonder. A steady, sad, imprisoned song. The strings are sooooo bloody good. With no chorus, the song never loses sight of its soul. Its cell is small, but its attempt to free itself is massive. The song ebbs in and out of light, flowing through darkness on its melancholic, melodic journey. The song is rife with lyrical lynchpins of love and its like: “See the cage it called. I said come on in. I will not open myself up this way… again,” and “But my heart is wild, and my bones are steel. And I could kill you with my bare hands if I was free.” A deep irony pervades: “Song For Zula” is trapped, scarred, burned by love, but the honest, gorgeous expression of these horrors is a catharsis, revelation, freedom. By the time it’s over, it’s no longer just Zula’s song, it’s everyone’s.


Prisoners (WAR value: 8.0)

Prisoners was absolutely riveting, a “what would you do to save your family” thriller of the highest order. Hugh Jackman was incredibly good as a father who pushed his moral compass to the limit. It’s the best I’d ever seen him. Paul Dano is a fantastic actor, and was eerie to the Nth degree here. The Canadian director, Denis Villenueve, did a fantastic job dousing this film various shades of greys, with the cinematography and the tone, in its sadness and in its message. I was held captive from beginning to end by Prisoners.

Link between “Song For Zula” and Prisoners:

The sadness. The greys. The feeling of helplessness. The doing everything within reason, and more importantly, outside of it, to get back what is a fundamental right, the reason for the fight: freedom.


4. The Vaccines – Everybody’s Gonna Let You Down (WAR value: 9.9)

Eminently enjoyable. Luxuriously listenable. Earth-shattering earworm. “Everybody’s Gonna Let You Down” is all of these things. That guitar riff is my favourite of the entire year. It forms a sensational series of hooks. This is the best song the extremely underrated London quartet has ever done. Lead singer Justin Hayward-Young sounds restrained but seething. This might be the smoothest song of the year. I couldn’t stop listening to it. “Everybody’s gonna let you down,” but this song hasn’t, and I don’t believe it ever will.


Gravity (WAR value: 9.0)

There had never been a movie that looked liked Gravity before. It may be some time before one looks like it again. It’s hard to judge the story — after some consideration, I think it was a good, probably not great plot — when the visuals look so real, so captivating, so awesome. Alfonso Cuaron is a brilliant director. His filmography, particularly Pan’s Labyrinth, Children of Men, and Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban prove this, but this may be his finest work in terms of sheer imaginative gall. I’d heard Cuaron tell of wanting to do a “space” movie for many years; I’m glad he waited until special effects caught up to his imagination. There is a cold, peaceful beauty about the “space” that Cuaron created here. Gravity’s pull is unrelenting.


3. Vampire Weekend – Ya Hey/Hannah Hunt (WAR value: 10.0)

Ya Hey

“Ya Hey” holds a special place in my heart. I adore Ezra Koenig’s lyric, his delivery, Rostam Batmanglij’s music. I’m so impressed with how Vampire Weekend began their story (on their impressive eponymous debut) and how they’ve continued to tell it (on what I consider the best album of 2013, Modern Vampires of the City). Musically, I think they could very well be the most inventive, creative band on the planet. They’re strange and likeable, qualities embodied by the thrilling, wondrous gem that is “Ya Hey”. For a while, I couldn’t listen to this song without getting goosebumps from the line, “Through the fire and through the flames, you won’t even say your name, only I am, that I am.” “Ya Hey” is an exposition of faith, a dialogue with the mystic, a hymn to heaven. All of this, but it joyously avoids preaching. Such is the beauty of Ezra’s tone and lyric, and their familial connection to Rostam’s music.

Hannah Hunt

It would be easy to assume that no song could match the power of the talismanic “Ya Hey”. Normally, this would be true, of other bands, of other albums. But this is Vampire Weekend, and they are different. So is “Hannah Hunt”. It doesn’t seek the light like “Ya Hey”. It’s content to take turns, basking in a small piece of the sun one moment, serenading the coolness of shade the next. I think the music and lyric are wonderful, but what makes the song for me, what makes the hairs on my neck stand, is when Koenig sounds like I’d never heard him before, singing as if nothing else in the world could matter more (at 2:59): “If I can’t trust you then dammit Hannah, there’s no future, there’s no answer. Though we live on the U.S. dollar, you and me, we got our own sense of time.” Ezra and Hannah may have their own sense of time, but I can’t help but get lost in it. Over and over and over again.


12 Years A Slave (WAR value: 9.5)

12 Years A Slave was not an easy movie to watch. But it was spectacularly acted, particularly by Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o, and Alfre Woodard, and beautifully shot by Steve McQueen. The horrifying reality depicted in the plot is juxtaposed with a creepy, almost calm sense of dread, of malice that lingers in the sun-strewn fields and pretty white houses. This contrast made the film an unsettling triumph. Seemingly everyone and everything in this movie told a story: a whisper in the wind, a tear-drowned eye, a blood-soaked back, a bead of sweat. This is a story of endurance, telling, I think, of how it will be viewed in the future. This film will linger in the hearts and minds of many for a long while. It deserves to.

12 Years A Slave

2. Chvrches – The Mother We Share (WAR value: 10.5)

The plainest way I can put it is that “The Mother We Share” is the best pop song I’ve heard in ages. I heard it very early on in 2013, and it stayed a gargantuan powerhouse right through the end of the year, even as it began to be heavy rotated on all manner of radio stations. Atypical of most songs, it didn’t lose any lustre when played and played again. In fact, I think it gained something. The music is perplexingly perfect, so pristinely produced, so preened and polished. And that chorus. My God, that chorus. I can’t be 100% sure — the music too big to be measured by human tools — but my best guess is that the chorus contains 1.7 trillion hps (hooks per second). Let it be known that this is a conservative estimate. Lauren Mayberry’s vocal is downright tremendous. Her soft, pure, sirenesque voice mixes magically with the music. The lyric, especially for a pop song, is smart and contemplative. Who’s mother do we share? I think the point is to wonder. The combination of music, voice, and lyric is a shrine to nostalgia, a throw-down to everything else in music right now, and a vision of the future.

I was flabbergasted by the quality of Chvrches’ debut album. It’s clear these musicians are preternaturally gifted, and even still, they hit the jackpot with the collection of songs that comprised their first LP. And even though their talents are bulging at the seams, and even though they’ve just begun what’s hopefully a long career in music, I feel like they’ll never top “The Mother We Share”. And you know what? That’s okay. Sometimes a band releases the best they’ll ever do the first time around. It happens more than we realize. The band has already gifted the world with what I think will go down as one of the songs of the decade. This is pop music at its absolute peak. The air here is rarified, clean, and fresh. The sound here is immaculate, supportive, and free. Life here is great.


The Place Beyond The Pines (WAR value: 9.9)

I revere this film. Director Derek Cianfrance is a relatively new filmmaker, but he’s already one of my favourites, and one with an incomparable style. I say this having seen only two of his movies, the heart-breaking Blue Valentine and this, the torrential, towering triptych, The Place Beyond The Pines. His style, ability to say something even in silence, wizardry with tone and eye for cinematography make him a very special artist. Cianfrance also handles his cast beautifully, and directed some fantastic performances here. The supporting cast were brilliant, particularly the chillingly cold Ray Liotta, the devastating Ben Mendelsohn, and the anchor-leg runner, Dane DeHaan. All that, and the leads were all great too. Bradley Cooper was on fire (as he has been for the past couple years), and the performances by Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling were sterling. (I like Gosling in pretty much everything — such is his charm — and right now, I’d rank his top 3 performances: 1) Blue Valentine; 2) The Place Beyond The Pines; 3) Drive. Semi-tangent: I can’t even begin to qualify how much better a love story Blue Valentine is than the rote blandness that is The Notebook.)

There’s something magical about The Place Beyond The Pines that doesn’t happen often in movies. There are feelings I have about this film that I can explain, and there are some that I can’t. I love that this film does that to me; I believe the best art elicits that type of duality.

The Place Beyond The Pines

Top 25 Songs and Films of 2013: 25-16 (with a nod to MLB’s WAR system)

I decided to spice up the format of my Top 25 Songs of 2013 list. I saw a lot of good films, some dazzling ones, in 2013, and wanted to list my favourites, but didn’t want to keep writing best of 2013 lists into June, so in lieu of two separate lists, I thought I’d deliver more bang for the less bucks and list songs and movies together in a smorgasbord of pop culture delight. So henceforth, from 25-1, each slot will contain both a song (there may be more than one song — see here for my rationale behind this) and a film.

Lists are a fun endeavour, and part of that fun, for me, is being as accurate as possible in conveying the specific value of a song or movie. In order to impart this specificity, I sought a way to augment the basic list number (25, 24, 23, etc.). Why? Because many of the top 25 songs are, for the most part, more special to me than the films residing in the same slot. Why is this the case? First and foremost, because music is the dearest art to my heart. But practicality plays a part too. One is able to listen to a song more often than one is able to watch a movie. One can build a rapport with a song more easily, on the whole, than with a film, which takes 30-50 times longer to watch and engage with. Occasionally though, there are transcendent films, that even upon a single viewing, can have an effect equal to or greater than a song.

What I want to do with this Top 25 Songs and Films of 2013 list is illuminate my favourite tunes and movies and distinguish the precise value between one and the other. (I know, I know. In the grand scheme of things, art’s value is unquantifiable and ebbs and flows as tides of passion rush forward and recede. But bear with me, I’m trying something fresh and having some fun with it, so let’s just roll with it, shall we?)

How have I chosen to do said distinguishing? With a system of measuring value that’s used in Major League Baseball, called Wins Above Replacement (Player), or WAR for short. I’m a big baseball fan, and part of the beauty of baseball is the depth with which statistical analysis pervades the sport. One such statistic, and probably my favourite of the new stream of measurements, is WAR.

What is WAR? Diehard baseball fans and/or stat geeks will already know, but for those who aren’t that, I’ll try to be as general and brief with the description as possible.

The WAR system says, generally, how much better or worse a given player is than the average (or replacement level) player in a given year. Specifically, it says how many more wins a player has produced for his team than the average player. Since WAR is a newish system of measurement (to most people), WAR is constructed differently depending on the source, but the goal is the same: to signify the total sum (offence, defence) of a player’s worth.

A player with a 2.0 WAR is a decent player, and it means he has produced two more wins for his team than the average player. Progressively, a 4.0 WAR is really good, a 6.0 WAR is excellent, and anything above that is freaking fantastic. Simply, the higher the WAR number, the better the player.

Using a specific example, Mike Trout had a 10.4 WAR in 2013 (according to Fangraphs, meaning he produced 10.4 more wins for his team than the average Major League Baseball player. That’s beyond brilliant. That’s historically good. That number is nearly impossible to obtain, but then again, Mike Trout is impossibly good at baseball.

Got it? Good. I realize that’s a very brief description of a relatively complex system, and it’s kind of an obscure thing to reference in a list about songs and movies, but cross-genre blog posts are where it’s at in 2014, and that’s where I intend to be.

I chose to include a WAR number beside each song and movie in the Top 25 because I want to be unequivocal about the value each song and movie hold for me.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t say there will be some very good movies missing from my list; because of the time needed to experience a film, it cannot be consumed at the same rate a song can. Unfortunately, I’m not a film critic (Guinevere is snickering and can’t watch 5-10 films per week, so I’ll have missed some movies, probably some very good ones. Here are a few I would’ve loved to have seen but haven’t at present: Her, Fruitvale Station, Captain Phillips, All Is Lost, Nebraska, The Wolf of Wall Street, and many others.

Lastly, the songs and films that are listed together in the same slot won’t necessarily have any connection, be it thematic, emotional, or otherwise.

Here are my favourite 25 Songs and Movies of 2013:

25. Arctic Monkeys – Do I Wanna Know? (WAR value: 5.5)

It took me some time to fall heavily for “Do I Wanna Know?”. The guitar riff is punishing from second six. Alex Turner’s magnetism abuses soundwaves. His swagger accosts the mic. His slick back don’t take no crap. This song is at once bad-ass and nonchalant. I love Matt Helders’ (AM’s brilliant drummer) soaring backup falsetto. The song’s climax of sounds is delectable. The song is a straight-away tease. Do I Wanna Know? Of course I do, if it sounds like this.


Hangover 3 (WAR value: 3.0)

I’ve a different opinion than most people I’ve talked to about the Hangovers. I really like Hangover 2, and enjoyed Part 3, the darkest of the trilogy. Some were thrown off or dissatisfied by the linear structure of this one, but not me. Cooper, Helms, Galifianakis, and Jeong are great and they seem remarkably comfortable playing their characters. I was sorry to see this franchise come to the end of the road. To-da-loo muthaf***asssss (must be said with a lilting voice, preferably as a tinted window closes), thanks for all the laughs.

Hangover 3

24. Paramore – Still Into You (WAR value: 5.7)

After all this time, I’m still into this song. I cannot get sick of it. This tune offers a quick synopsis of why Paramore are so good: Hayley’s playfulness, sincerity, and hooks galore. From the band’s gobsmackingly amazing self-titled album, “Still Into You” got better with repeated listens. Their crossover country/alt/pop ballad, “Hate To See Your Heart Break” was my jam when the album first came out — it’s still a super track — but this tune stands above it and the rest of the eye-opening collection of genre-scrambling tunes on Paramore’s latest. This song is the next logical step from still-brilliant “That’s What You Get” and “Misery Business”. I’m glad “Still Into You” exists. The feeling is more than mutual.


Hunger Games: Catching Fire (WAR value: 3.3)

More interesting than the first, which is a good flick, and more action-packed. Apropos of nothing, Donald Sutherland’s hair in the film is whiter than an arctic snowflake, and it’s fantastic. I’m looking forward to the next two films, to see what comes of Catniss and company, but also, and perhaps just as much, to see what becomes of Sutherland’s regal, frosted coif.

Hunger Games Catching Fire

23. Cold War Kids – Bitter Poem/Bottled Affection/Loner Phase/Lost That Easy (WAR value: 5.7)

These four songs are the highlights of what I think is Cold War Kids’ most consistent and compelling album to date, Dear Miss Lonelyhearts. Sure, for most, they’ll probably never top “Hang Me Up To Dry” or “Hospital Beds” in terms of leaving a turn-your-head impression, but the band continue to sound better, more comfortable, and more cohesive with each passing album. I enjoy all four of the following songs equally, though Nathan Willett’s delivery, and lyrics of “Bitter Poem” hold a special place in my heart.

Bitter Poem:

Bottled Affection:

Loner Phase:

Lost That Easy:


Cloud Atlas (WAR value: 3.3)

Cloud Atlas was a lot of things, including messy. This offering from the Wachowski siblings shot for the moon, and missed, though they deserve kudos for trying. Segments of the movie made sense, and I’d even go so far as to call some scenes beautiful, but overall, cohesion was absent. This could’ve been the best movie of the year if it was more tightly knit. I applaud many of the actors (Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae come to mind) for displaying dexterity while inhabiting multiple characters. Faults notwithstanding, I have a feeling I’d enjoy this movie more with a second viewing.

Cloud Atlas

22. London Grammar – Wasting My Young Years (WAR value: 5.9)

Possibly the most heartbreaking song of the year. The formula is pretty simple: Hannah Reid has a stunning, incomparable voice; the lyrics are extremely powerful; the melody is simple but resplendent. The resulting amalgam is what I consider to be, already and unassailably, a classic song.


Trance (WAR value: 3.4)

A cool, zig-zagging, trippy film from Danny Boyle about altered realities and trust, set to a high-stakes game of life and death. I really enjoyed the performances of the three leads: James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, and Vincent Cassel.


21. Daft Punk – Get Lucky (WAR value: 6.0)

I think one word sums the song up: Ubiquitous. “Get Lucky” was literally everywhere in 2013. On pop radio, rock radio (!), EDM stations, it connected with a huge range of demographics and permeated pop culture like few songs do. It was a bona fide phenomenon. A trick that could’ve only been done by the masters, Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, the progenitors of electronic funk. Beyond being extraordinary sound-crafters, the duo is incredibly savvy with their image, both in how they look and how they’re perceived. They showed their acuity as they staggered the release of “Get Lucky”, building a frothing fervour of interest, fanning the flames of anticipation for their comeback. I’d argue it was a much needed comeback too. They had a bulletproof reputation, thanks to their indomitable 90’s material, but for as much as they’re loved, they were without a bona fide hit for about 10 years. That’s an eternity in pop music. I think they knew this, and realized they had to bring the heat to sate, excite and re-captivate their massive built-in audience. That they did so with such ease speaks to the nature of their considerable talents.


Man of Steel (WAR value: 3.6)

I loved the opening scenes; Krypton looked amazing. I enjoyed much of the rest of the film too. The fight scenes may have been a little overbearing, but all-in-all, I’d consider this a successful reboot. And sure, it might not have been Michael Shannon’s best role of 2013 ( but he was still convincing as General Zod, and Henry Cavill was solid in the lead role. This franchise has a lot of potential, and I’m really excited for the next instalment.

Man of Steel

20. Justin Timberlake – Mirrors (WAR value: 6.1)

I couldn’t believe it when I heard JT had been sitting on this track for a few years. Must be nice. 99% of players in the pop game would’ve killed their manager to get their hands on a track this good. This is the best song from both of the LP’s JT released in 2013. I think Timberlake is best when his pure pop side shows. Sure, he can pull off the new school Rat Pack crooner schtick, but he’s best when he does a song like “Mirrors”, except there are almost no other songs like “Mirrors”. It’s a one-of-a-kind gem. It’s funny that the song’s lyrics are kind of narcissistic if you examine them with any depth, but the tone is so sweet and the melody is so strong that it hardly matters.


Iron Man 3 (WAR value: 3.9)

Iron Man 3 was a tonne of fun. Robert Downey Jr. looked ever so comfortable playing Tony Stark. The effects were great. Ben Kingsley was the real scene-stealer though, particularly in the scene where the script gets flipped.

iron man 3

19. Mutya Keisha Siobhan – Flatline (WAR value: 6.1)

What a comeback. The original Sugababes proved that they still have what it takes to flourish as a collective. Their maturity as women, singers, and friends is striking. More importantly than those important things though, is that I don’t think there’s another girlgroup or boyband on the planet, counting the last 20 years, that can harmonize like Mutya, Keisha, and Siobhan. “Flatline” is Capital P Power Pop at its absolute best.


Drinking Buddies (WAR value 4.0)

An eminently likeable film. Olivia Wilde and Jake Johnson are just so damn down-to-earth. The chemistry and futility between two close friends who know deep down that they should be more to each other but “can’t” for reasons having to do with “life” is played with such poise, perfection, and grace by both leads.


18. Lorde – Royals (WAR value: 6.3)

To give the racism backlash any credence whatsoever is to miss the point entirely. This is a teenager who put her life (feelings of apathy, disillusionment, etc.) on blast, and I’m sure that was, at least in some way, a terrifying thing to do. I think this is a great commentary on what “home” feels like for a young person from a small country or town: being proud of where you come from, confused that it seems unfulfilling, wanting to break free (and out), but aware that the bright lights might not be all they’re cracked up to be. To comment on such things — at Lorde’s age no less — over such a simple and delicious beat is what makes “Royals” so special.


Pacific Rim (WAR value: 4.2)

Popcorn cinema at its finest. It’s not a surprise when any Guillermo Del Toro vehicle is a success, but this is an impressive display, as in other hands, say Michael Bay’s (I reserve the right to retract this sentiment a few spots on), Pacific Rim would’ve probably been a hot mess.

Pacific Rim

17. Best Coast – Fear Of My Identity (WAR value: 6.7)

I can listen to this song over and over and over. It’s a melodic delight. “The hate is getting darker, the fear is growing larger, but I know, ooh-ooh-ooh-ooooh-oooh-ooh, I know…” is a lyric I found myself humming or singing often in 2013. The lyric “You taught me that my heart would grow old…” is sung by Bethany Cosentino with such sweetness, belying its corosive, acidic intent.


Behind The Candelabra (WAR value: 4.7)

I came upon this movie by chance, on television, and I was transfixed. Matt Damon is absolutely brilliant as Scott Thorson, Liberace’s young, secret lover in a relationship built on tumult. It’s possibly my favourite Matt Damon performance ever (he’s pretty awesome in “The Informant” too). Michael Douglas also deserves credit for a splendid turn as Liberace. Steven Soderbergh is a fantastic director who’s been on a great run with his last 3 films: Magic Mike, Side Effects, and now, Behind The Candelabra. I can’t wait to watch this movie a second time.


16. Arcade Fire – Reflektor (WAR value 7.0)

I was so intrigued by Arcade Fire’s choice to go in this sonic direction that I think it took me some time to warm to “Reflektor”. I had to adjust to James Murphy’s influence on Arcade Fire’s sound. There’s so much going on here, so many layers. The dynamism of this song is off the charts. It’s not surprising that Arcade Fire could pull off a dance track with such ease. There’s nothing they can’t do. The lyrics, the piano, the sax, the production — everything is superb. It’s a great track now, and I think it will have staying power. If the “songs of 2013” are looked back on in 5 or 10 years, this will be a must mention, and quite possibly, the cream of a loaded, bountiful crop.


Upstream Color (WAR value: 4.9)

Upstream Color is not: an easy watch, a particularly enjoyable watch, a wrist watch (although this could be debated). It’s relatively light on dialogue too, and at times, the pace is super slow. So why the fuss? Because it’s incomparably unique, the visceral vision of writer/director/actor/editor/Craft services provider Shane Carruth. The film is weird, tough to follow (I don’t think there’s one definitive thing I’d say this movie is “about”), but also, extremely impressive, a piece of art that’s tough to look away from. Upstream Color is a dreamy film. Hell, it might even be a dream. I can’t be sure if it’s of fancy or physics. It’s somewhere. It just is.

Upsteam Color