#SpoilerFreeReviews

    Written by: Aaron (Dobler) Goldstein. Follow along on twitter.

    Boyhood

    “Boyhood” is easily one of the best films this year and Richard Linklater (pic below) will surely be nominated for Best Director at the Oscars next year. It’s fascinating to watch a film cover the span of 12 yrs be so relatable and profound.

    Captain America

    “Captain America” set a new high for the number of times a movie can use the word “hella” and not take place in the bay.

    Muppets Most Wanted

    Muppets Most Wanted musical numbers = B+

    Muppets non-musical moments = B-

    Overall grade = solid B

    Her

    “Her” is quite possibly the saddest and most insightful movie on romance this year.

    Gravity

    Outside of being disappointed that there wasn’t a Rotten Tomato’s Top Critic that made a “Defying Gravity” joke/reference within their review, this is hands down the best film you will see in 2013. It’s a marriage of special effects; storytelling, an amazing performance and a thrill ride like nothing you’ve ever seen before. I’ve been comparing it as an odd hybrid of “Jurassic Park” and “2001: A Space Odyssey.” In a year where countless special effects heavy box office smash hits won’t be remembered by a viewer browsing through future Redbox selections, “Gravity” will be a feature that professors and teachers will be talking about for years to come. It’s a near flawless survival horror story set against the backdrop of a rebirth metaphor in space where not since “Alien” has a film truly had you believe the tagline: “no one can hear you scream.”

    Captain Phillips

    It’s truly unfortunate that Paul Greengrass’s “Captain Phillips” is one edited cut away from being an Oscar contender. However, it was great recognizing names in the credits from people that I worked with when I was in Morocco.

    The Short Game

    “The Short Game” may be a documentary about kids playing golf, but it’s fun, thrilling and easily one of the best times at the movies this year.

    The Act of Killing

    “The Act of Killing” is a fascinating true depiction of sadism and humanity. This transcendently haunting documentary film is worth seeing in its limited theatrical run.

    2 Guns

    “2 Guns” is so contrived that the climatic sequence features a Mexican standoff actually set in Mexico.

    Pacific Rim

    With Charlie Day acting like Jeff Goldblum in “Independence Day,” mindless fights with robots versus monsters and awfully good quotes like, “Today we are cancelling the apocalypse,” you would expect “Pacific Rim” to be the best B movie of the summer. However, it sorely lacks all the charm of a Guillermo Del Toro film and plays out like an extended “Voltron” cartoon.

    The Great Gatsby

    “The Great Gatsby” is not the worst movie of 2013, but it’s definitely the most disappointing.

    The Hobbit

    Watching “The Hobbit” is like playing a video game you are not controlling. You are seeing everything happen, but not completely understanding/experiencing it yourself.

    Silver Linings Playbook

    Obsessively watched “Silver Linings Playbook” two times in a row on my flight home to Los Angeles for a total of 3 viewings now. It’s still easily the best movie of 2012.

    Zero Dark Thirty

    “Zero Dark Thirty” is equal to “Traffic,” but much more timely.

    Life of Pi

    “Life of Pi” is a transcendent piece of cinema that wows you with its jaw dropping 3-D visuals and wins you over with its heart. “Argo” may be the best crowd pleasing film of 2012, but “Pi” is destined to become a classic film geeks talk about for years to come.

    Lincoln

    “Lincoln” has far too much “talk and talk” when it should have borrowed from Aaron Sorkin and used the “talk and walk.”

    The Impossible

    “The Impossible” may play like a TV movie of the week at times yet it has some of the most terrifyingly haunting natural disaster images I’ve seen captured on film.

    Sinister

    I keep telling myself I am a grown man, I shouldn’t have to sleep with the light on tonight. Then I remind myself that I saw “Sinister,” the scariest film of the year and I’m doing everything in my power not to have nightmares. Damn you Scott Dickerson!

    Argo

    “Argo” is a standard political thriller that doesn’t reinvent the genre yet it is surprisingly the most crowd pleasing movie going experience of 2012

    The Master

    “The Master” is a compelling/complicated piece of cinema that should soar from the amazing performances but instead is disappointingly the worst movie Paul Thomas Anderson has directed.