1. American Hustle
American Hustle isn’t a perfect movie. It relies too heavily on voiceovers early on. It’s a little too obsessed with its music too, but during its better moments, no film released in 2013 even comes close to matching its quality. Director David O Russell is completely in his wheelhouse with this material, and he’s able to mine everything available for just the number of laughs to keep the tone the right level of light. From stories about ice fishing to experiments with the new-fangled, nutrition-stealing science oven, it’s an absolute joy to sit through. It’s also proof that the director boasts the most interesting mind working in film today.

At more than two hours, the film should feel a little long and cumbersome, but the runtime actually flies by as a wide net of mobsters, politicians and co-workers are ever so carefully integrated into the plot. They all have something to say. They all have a clear purpose, and they’re all on screen for exactly the right amount of time. American Hustle is the single best movie we got in 2013, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you’re missing out.

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