Collectively over the past few days we’ve bombarded you with hours of suggested feature film viewing, but for those of you having a hard time deciding where to begin, here’s our overall list of the top ten feature films of 2013 to start you off:

10. THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES | Derek Cianfrance

I think that I’m the only person I know that doesn’t fancy the absolute pants off of Ryan Gosling, but as a dirty tattooed motorcycle stunt rider who turns to bank robbery to support a son that he has only just found about, I begin to see the attraction. An incident that occurs pretty early on in the film left me wondering how on earth it could play out, but what results is an engaging story of family and consequence. [Miss D]

9. SIMON KILLER | Antonio Campos

Back in 2011, Borderline films production Martha Marcy May Marlene pretty much dominated the end of year lists here at DN. Following up Sean Durkin’s tense cult thriller, comes the New York based production company’s latest feature Simon Killer, this time directed by Antonio Campos (Afterschool). Revolving around a tense and uncomfortable narrative that follows heartbroken college graduate Simon to Paris, we witness Campos’ crushed protagonist as he attempts to get over his failed relationship with a series of bad decisions. Simon Killer transports its viewers into the mind of its misguided “hero”, making you feel almost like you’re experiencing every single foolish choice he makes and every awkward position he puts himself into. [El Vez]

8 & 7. 
LEVIATHAN | Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Verena Paravel

Motorik, experimental – at times it feels like a Stan Brakhage film, jarring, monotonous and jaw-dropping it is a hypnotic account of life aboard a sea trawler. It conjures the same tone and feeling as both Humphrey Jennings and David Lynch as it captures the feeling and the sense of life on board, which says more than talking heads and inter-titles could. A fantastic example of using the form to do more than just relay information and instead search for a deeper truth. [Neil]

8 & 7. FRANCES HA | Noah Baumbach

“Kooky” and “off-kilter” are regularly used adjectives to describe the work of director Noah Baumbach, however the filmmaker has definitely ramped up the charm in this feature co-written with partner and star Greta Gerwig. Following the titular Frances as she flits around New York, floating from home to home trying to make a living from her love of dance, Baumbach’s exuberant feature leaves you smiling from ear-to-ear. Whilst the decision to shoot in black and white is a little baffling, the choice to cast Gerwig in the role she helped write is inspired, with the actor’s pitch-perfect turn proving once again that she is one of the most interesting performers working in feature films today. [El Vez]


I enjoy a quirky character but Mona is way out there. She’s pregnant but refuses to go to the doctor and could give birth any day – no-one knows exactly when. Her mum and long suffering sister and partner are there to pick up the pieces of her random life which is a result of some form of mental illness. Loads of cringeworthy moments, the best being at a middle class lesbian couple’s leaving party. Mona may be mentally unhinged but look out for some great wallpaper in her apartment. [Miss D]

5. A FIELD IN ENGLAND | Ben Wheatley

Part horror, part road movie, part heist movie, all bonkers. It manages to traverse so many genres and tones and somehow never tips over into home movie re-enactment through a sheer force of cinematic will and devil may care ballsyness. It’s so refreshing to see a British film of such darkness and imagination that dared to be different. ….. repeat viewing. [Neil]

4. FLOATING SKYSCRAPERS | Tomasz Wasilewski

Tomasz Wasilewski’s Cuba finds himself torn between the affections of Sylvia, his long term girlfriend and Michael, the man he forms an instant, powerful connection with in Floating Skyscrapers. Whilst the film has been billed as Poland’s first LGBT feature, sexual orientation is far from its core theme. Rather it’s a beautifully observed story about love – hetrosexual, gay and maternal – and the search to find and make peace with one’s true identity. [MarBelle]

3. THE SELFISH GIANT | Clio Barnard

Clio Barnard is just a brilliant, heartfelt filmmaker. The performances of the young boys at the heart of this film are stunning – they share elements of Pug from 12 O clock Boys, breaking free into adulthood with horses and petty crime instead of dirt bikes. I can’t wait to see what Clio does next. [Jeanie]

2. THE BATTERY | Jeremy Gardner

When it comes to recommending The Battery I’m torn. Not because of any concerns over its quality as a film – trust me it’s brilliant and unlike any other zombie film you’ve ever seen – but rather because I want to be there with you on that initial watch to see the film win you over more and more as each scene unfolds. Jeremy Gardner’s debut feature embodies everything that DN is about. It’s about as independent as a film can get and with that comes a level of inventiveness which perfectly serves the narrative and makes the film so much stronger for the production’s ‘work around’ solutions. The Battery is my new litmus test of friendship. If you don’t love it at least half as much as I do then I’m not sure I can see a future in our relationship! [MarBelle]

Read the interview

1. UPSTREAM COLOR | Shane Carruth

Some films entertain, some shock and some thrill. Upstream Color overwhelms. Unique in concept, tone and story, Carruth’s follow-up to 2004 low-budget science fiction feature Primer is an audio-visual mind-fuck of a film, that tackles themes of identity, humanity and biology. Often bewildering, always immersive and intimate, Upstream Color once again proves why Carruth is so highly regarded in the world of independent film – lets just hope we don’t have to wait so long before his next film. [El Vez]

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