EDITOR'S NOTE: To close out the year, Ad Age media columnist Simon Dumenco has been gathering up selected notable critics' picks across pop culture and presenting them in convenient, all-in-one servings by category. Yesterday's round-up covered the best music of 2013. Today we have movies.
Entertainment Weekly serves up its take on the best movies of the year in the form of a couple of countdown slideshows from its marquee movie critics. Owen Gleiberman's list starts with the Coen Brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis" at No. 10 and ends with Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" at No. 1, while Chris Nashawaty's list starts with James Wan's "The Conjuring" at No. 10 ("one of the most delirious experiences I had at the movies this year") and gives Richard Linklater's "Before Midnight" the No. 1 spot.
Empire, the British film magazine, presents its list of the 50 Best Films Of 2013 as a group-bylined collaborative effort by its house critics (Helen O'Hara, Phil de Semlyen, Ian Freer and Chris Hewitt). They threw three late entries -- Ben Stiller's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," Adam McKay's "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" and Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" -- onto the tail-end of the list, and settled on Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity" as the No. 1 film of the year.
Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan's Top 10 list has 11 films on it; "Everyone will just have to live with that," he writes, adding that "One personal tradition I am hewing to is that, with the exception of the No. 1 film, I will rank my choices alphabetically rather than by preference." Okay, fine! So what's his pick for No. 1? Paul Greengrass's "Captain Phillips." Fellow L.A. Times critic Betsy Sharkey gave "Gravity" the No. 1 spot in her Top 10. Meanwhile, Turan and Sharkey's colleague Mark Olsen ignores both of those films in his more indie-oriented, unnumbered Top 10 list, which includes the likes of Sofia Coppola's "The Bling Ring" and Andrew Bujalski's "Computer Chess."
Incidentally, the Los Angeles Times has been running a reader poll titled "What's the most overrated movie of 2013?" Leading the pack as of this writing is "Gravity."
Finally, venerable Film Comment, the official publication of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, offers up a 50 Best Films of 2013 list, its 14th annual, that's assembled from a poll of more than 120 critics and film programmers. The magazine's No. 1 film of the year: "Inside Llewyn Davis." (Barely squeaking onto the list at No. 50? "Captain Phillips.")
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.
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UPDATE: Part 3 of this series is now live: