A last look at movies in 2013

Gary Wolcott, atomictown.comDecember 31, 2013 

As noted earlier, the only movie opening in the Tri-Cities is Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones. There is a reason the Paranormal Activity movies aren't screened for most critics. They pretty much suck.

However, there are still some films left over from 2013 that you ought to see before they disappear from Tri-City screens. The two best involve financial scandal and are based on "true" events. American Hustle is David O. Russell's view of the 1970s Abscam sting that saw several members of Congress and other politicians caught taking bribes.

The who's who ensemble cast includes Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams, and all are getting award nominations from various movie groups. So is Russell for directing and Russell and Eric Singer for the script.

The other is Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street. It covers the rise and fall and money and the drug and alcohol excesses of Wall Street wheeler-dealer Jordan Belfort in the 1990s. Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill lead an exceptional cast. While not getting as much award notice, this, too, is a good one.

Also not to be missed is Saving Mr. Banks, the Disney flick about Walt Disney's effort to get Mary Poppins made in the 1960s. Tom Hanks and a brilliant Emma Thompson lead an incredible cast through this very charming biopic.

The more cerebral The Book Thief is a flawed World War II anti-Nazi picture, but it has Geoffrey Rush, who could stand and light matches for two hours and give one of the year's best performances. He's supported by the always excellent Emily Watson.

For guilty pleasure, Grudge Match has Sylvester Stallone doing a Rocky-like character and Robert Di Niro as his boxing nemesis. The two old characters go toe-to-toe, and the two old actors do the same. This is not just a good character study; it's lots of fun.

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