Drama and Thriller Films: The Best Of 2013

Photo Credit: Screen Gems
November 5th, 2013

Drama and Thriller Films: The Best Of 2013

This has been a great year for the movie industry. Many of the big movies released are sequels such as "Iron Man 3," "Thor: The Dark World," "Star Trek: Into Darkness," and "Despicable Me 2." A lot of drama and thriller films have also been unveiled, and many have received considerable public attention. Among these are "Gravity," "Carrie," "Captain Phillips," "Only God Forgives," "Prisoners," and "The Conjuring."

Based on the rating given by the International Movie Database (IMDB), "Gravity" is the most popular drama film. The sci-fi drama cum thriller movie about astronauts who survive the destruction of a space shuttle while in space was directed by Alfonso Cuarón. The movie, starring Sandra Bullock as Dr. Ryan Stone and George Clooney as Lieutenant Matt Kowalski, has received a lot of positive feedback from critics and audiences. They praised the acting, screenplay, direction, special effects, design, computer graphics, and the music. The film has some scientific inaccuracies and exaggerations, but it's praised for its realism and overall adherence to physical laws. The always notable Quentin Tarantino called it one of the best movies of 2013 so far.

"Carrie" is an American drama and horror film based on the 1974 Stephen King novel of the same name. This is the novel's third adaptation, and the movie is known to have a script that is more loyal to Stephen King's penmanship. Taking the directorial helm this time is Kimberly Peirce, and assuming the role of the story's protagonist Carrie White—played so well by Sissy Spacek—is Chloë Grace Moretz. The plot revolves around a shy but gifted girl who unleashes her telekinetic rage after being bullied by her peers. The movie received mixed reviews. However, it was noted for Moretz's portrayal of Carrie and the feelings of sympathy she was able to evoke.

"Captain Phillips" is an American action-thriller film based on the true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the hijacking by Somali pirates of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama in 2009. Directed by Paul Greengrass, it stars Tom Hanks as Captain Richard Phillips and Barkhad Abdi as Abduwali Muse, the pirate leader. The film premiered on September 28, 2013, in the opening of the 2013 New York Film Festival. It received very positive reviews and was commended for its direction, cinematography, screenplay, and the performances of the cast. It received a rating of 8.1 out of 10 from IMDB. Even though some controversies surround the film, it is certainly worth watching.

"Only God Forgives" is a Danish-French-Thai coproduction crime-thriller film about a drug smuggler who thrives in the criminal underworld of Bangkok, a quality which leads him into more trouble as he hunts whoever is responsible for his brother's death. Written and directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, it stars Ryan Gosling as Julian, Kristin Scott Thomas as Crystal, and Vithaya Pansringarm as Lt. Chang. The film received mixed responses from its press screening at Cannes. Some booed while others gave a standing ovation. However, it received five out of five stars from "The Guardian" newspaper, where it was praised for its "pure formal brilliance." "The Chicago Sun-Times" also gave it a positive review, noting that it was stylized and daring and that Gosling had portrayed Julian really well.

"Prisoners" is a drama-thriller movie starring Hugh Jackman as Keller Dover, Viola Davis as Nancy Birch, Jake Gyllenhaal as Detective Loki, and Maria Bello as Grace Dover. It is a journey into loss where questions about morality proliferate; it concerns the abduction of Keller Dover's daughter and her friend in Pennsylvania. Directed by Denis Villeneuve, the film received many positive reviews and has picked up an IMDB rating of 8.1 out of 10. Rotten Tomatoes gives it an 81 percent approval rating based on 210 reviews. Fans have commented on its emotional complexity and its sense of dread. Many movie watchers have found it very absorbing as well as quite disturbing.

"The Conjuring" is a horror and thriller film about paranormal investigators helping a family terrorized by an evil presence in their farmhouse. James Wan takes the director's chair, and it stars Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as Ed and Lorraine Warren. Critics and viewers alike have generally given it positive feedback. IMDB has given it a 7.6 out of 10 rating. The film is well crafted and creepy.

More big drama and thriller movies have yet to be released, so the end of the year may still hold some surprises in store. Movie aficionados should check out the new releases, so they don't miss any of the drama and the thrills.