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It was a great year for major motion pictures, from Gravity to Captain Phillips, from Twelve Years a Slave to American Hustle. But not every good movie makes it into the mainstream consciousness, either due to a small budget, lack of distribution, minimal marketing campaign, Oscar oversight, foreign release, bizarre subject matter or stylistic choice (i.e. shooting in black and white). So, weve compiled a list of the Best Movies You Never Saw in 2013, the Sweet 16 Cinema Cinderellas, the Diamonds in the Celluloid Rough. Note Dallas Buyers Club and Blue Jasmine are not included, seeing as Matthew McConaughey and Cate Blanchett are both favored to win the top acting prizes at the Oscars. If youd like to see where all of our hidden gems rank among all of this years best movies, check out our overall rankings of the Top 40 Movies of 2013.

It was a great year for major motion pictures, from "Gravity" to "Captain Phillips," from "Twelve Years a Slave" to "American Hustle." But not every good movie makes it into the mainstream consciousness, either due to a small budget, lack of distribution, minimal marketing campaign, Oscar oversight, foreign release, bizarre subject matter or stylistic choice (i.e. shooting in black and white). So, we've compiled a list of the Best Movies You Never Saw in 2013, the Sweet 16 Cinema Cinderellas, the Diamonds in the Celluloid Rough.

Note: "Dallas Buyers Club" and "Blue Jasmine" are not included, seeing as Matthew McConaughey and Cate Blanchett are both favored to win the top acting prizes at the Oscars.

If you'd like to see where all of our "hidden gems" rank among all of this year's best movies, check out our overall rankings of the Top 40 Movies of 2013.
Director Lake Bell Often, the key to a good flick is finding a topic thats right under our noses, then exposing its comic possibilities. In a World... does just that, spoofing the absurdity of movie trailer voiceovers. Actress Lake Bell makes her feature-length debut as writer, director and producer and should be a real talent for years to come. She plays a struggling voice coach who competes against her arrogant father and his protege in the male-dominated voice-over industry. I adored this quirky little indie, but even if you walk away less than impressed, I guarantee you wont look at movie trailers the same way again. Where to Watch Netflix (DVD), Amazon (RentBuy), iTunes (RentBuy), Xfinity On Demand

Director: Lake Bell

Often, the key to a good flick is finding a topic that's right under our noses, then exposing its comic possibilities. "In a World..." does just that, spoofing the absurdity of movie trailer voiceovers.

Actress Lake Bell makes her feature-length debut as writer, director and producer and should be a real talent for years to come. She plays a struggling voice coach who competes against her arrogant father and his protege in the male-dominated voice-over industry.

I adored this quirky little indie, but even if you walk away less than impressed, I guarantee you won't look at movie trailers the same way again.

Where to Watch: Netflix (DVD), Amazon (Rent/Buy), iTunes (Rent/Buy), Xfinity On Demand
Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts This summer brought plenty of coming-of-age flicks, from Mud to The Spectacular Now. But The Kings of Summer was the most unabashedly fun, following three boys who escape their parents and build their own house in the woods for a modern-day Stand By Me (1986). Just like Superbad (2007) had its McLovin, Kings offers its own awesomely weird sidekick in Biaggio (Moises Arias), who keeps things light despite some real teenage heartache. Where to Watch Netflix (DVD), Amazon, iTunes (RentBuy)

Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts

This summer brought plenty of coming-of-age flicks, from "Mud" to "The Spectacular Now." But "The Kings of Summer" was the most unabashedly fun, following three boys who escape their parents and build their own house in the woods for a modern-day "Stand By Me" (1986).

Just like "Superbad" (2007) had its McLovin', "Kings" offers its own awesomely weird sidekick in Biaggio (Moises Arias), who keeps things light despite some real teenage heartache.

Where to Watch: Netflix (DVD), Amazon, iTunes (Rent/Buy)
Director Jeff Nichols Who knew 2013 would be the year of Matthew McConaughey Exactly 20 years after Dazed and Confused, he offered a chest-beating cameo in The Wolf of Wall Street, while giving two lead performances to silence any doubters Mud and Dallas Buyers Club, the latter of which is generating plenty of Oscar buzz. In Mud, he plays a drifter whose boat is discovered in a tree by two young boys, Ellis and Neckbone, who help him reunite with his long lost love Juniper (Reese Witherspoon). The film is a great coming-of-age tale with a tone that recalls the best of Mark Twain literature. It would have ranked higher on this list if it had chosen a less tidy ending, perhaps showing Muds signature crucifix sandal print on the sand in an ambiguous final shot. This would have played up the films allegorical strengths. Where to Watch Netflix (DVD), Amazon (Buy), iTunes (Buy), Xfinity On Demand

Director: Jeff Nichols

Who knew 2013 would be the year of Matthew McConaughey? Exactly 20 years after "Dazed and Confused," he offered a chest-beating cameo in "The Wolf of Wall Street," while giving two lead performances to silence any doubters: "Mud" and "Dallas Buyers Club," the latter of which is generating plenty of Oscar buzz.

In "Mud," he plays a drifter whose boat is discovered in a tree by two young boys, Ellis and Neckbone, who help him reunite with his long lost love Juniper (Reese Witherspoon). The film is a great coming-of-age tale with a tone that recalls the best of Mark Twain literature. It would have ranked higher on this list if it had chosen a less tidy ending, perhaps showing Mud's signature crucifix sandal print on the sand in an ambiguous final shot. This would have played up the film's allegorical strengths.

Where to Watch: Netflix (DVD), Amazon (Buy), iTunes (Buy), Xfinity On Demand
Directors Joel Ethan Coen Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes, Inside Llewyn Davis tells the tale of a struggling folk singer who fails to achieve Bob Dylan fame in 1961 Greenwich Village. The characters ideal is admirable -- an artist who wont compromise creative integrity for commercial appeal -- but it ultimately becomes the films own stubborn flaw. The Coen Brothers have a knack for painting art masterpieces disguised as rip-roaring entertainments, but Llewyn Davis forsakes the latter so much as to feel inferior in their canon. The film has a unique setting like Fargo, but far less likable characters. It casts John Goodman like The Big Lebowski, but lacks the comic dynamite. It uses folk music like O Brother, Where Art Thou but lacks the charm. And it has the open ending of No Country for Old Men, without the shock, awe and Chigurh.Llewyn Davis may win awards, but only by the Coens riding their reputations. Still, an average Coen flick is better than most filmmakers best efforts. This one deserves a spot for Oscar Isaacs Oscar-caliber performance, clever cat symbolism (Oscar cat) and Nashville-esque songs (Justin Timberlake sings Please Mr. Kennedy). Where to Watch Amazon (Pre-Order Buy), iTunes (Pre-Order), In Theaters

Directors: Joel & Ethan Coen

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes, "Inside Llewyn Davis" tells the tale of a struggling folk singer who fails to achieve Bob Dylan fame in 1961 Greenwich Village. The character's ideal is admirable -- an artist who won't compromise creative integrity for commercial appeal -- but it ultimately becomes the film's own stubborn flaw.

The Coen Brothers have a knack for painting art masterpieces disguised as rip-roaring entertainments, but "Llewyn Davis" forsakes the latter so much as to feel inferior in their canon. The film has a unique setting like "Fargo," but far less likable characters. It casts John Goodman like "The Big Lebowski," but lacks the comic dynamite. It uses folk music like "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" but lacks the charm. And it has the open ending of "No Country for Old Men," without the shock, awe and Chigurh.

"Llewyn Davis" may win awards, but only by the Coens riding their reputations. Still, an average Coen flick is better than most filmmakers' best efforts. This one deserves a spot for Oscar Isaac's Oscar-caliber performance, clever cat symbolism (Oscar = cat) and "Nashville"-esque songs (Justin Timberlake sings "Please Mr. Kennedy").

Where to Watch: Amazon (Pre-Order Buy), iTunes (Pre-Order), In Theaters
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Director Nicole Holofcener When writerdirector Nicole Holofcener set out to make a touching romantic comedy, she had no way of knowing it would be the last role of Tony Soprano.The late James Gandolfini plays the sloppy love interest to Julia Louis Dreyfus, who develops a deep friendship with her massage patient (Catherine Keener), only to find out she was the ex-wife of Gandolfini.After years of killing it on TV, from Seinfeld to Veep, Dreyfus has proven she can carry a feature length film, rather than simply lending hilarious support in Christmas Vacation, or quoting Brandos Streetcar by yelling, Stella Where to Watch Netflix (DVD), Amazon (RentBuy), iTunes (RentBuy), Xfinity On Demand, In Theaters

Director: Nicole Holofcener

When writer/director Nicole Holofcener set out to make a touching romantic comedy, she had no way of knowing it would be the last role of Tony Soprano.

The late James Gandolfini plays the sloppy love interest to Julia Louis Dreyfus, who develops a deep friendship with her massage patient (Catherine Keener), only to find out she was the ex-wife of Gandolfini.

After years of killing it on TV, from "Seinfeld" to "Veep," Dreyfus has proven she can carry a feature length film, rather than simply lending hilarious support in "Christmas Vacation," or quoting Brando's "Streetcar" by yelling, "Stella!"

Where to Watch: Netflix (DVD), Amazon (Rent/Buy), iTunes (Rent/Buy), Xfinity On Demand, In Theaters
Director Steven Soderbergh When Channing Tatum wasnt saving the president in White House Down, he was dating the unstable Rooney Mara, alongside Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones in Side Effects.The film arrived just three days before the Academy Awards, and unfortunately got buried in all the Oscar hype. But go back and revisit this one. Its a true thinking mans psychological thriller and a social commentary on our self-medicated society. Most of all, it marks another stellar effort by director Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brockovich, Traffic, Sex, Lies Videotape), who also made headlines this year by directing Mike Douglas and Matt Damon in the Liberace TV movie Behind the Candelabra. Where to Watch Netflix (Instant), Amazon (RentBuy), iTunes (RentBuy), Xfinity On Demand

Director: Steven Soderbergh

When Channing Tatum wasn't saving the president in "White House Down," he was dating the unstable Rooney Mara, alongside Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones in "Side Effects."

The film arrived just three days before the Academy Awards, and unfortunately got buried in all the Oscar hype. But go back and revisit this one. It's a true thinking man's psychological thriller and a social commentary on our self-medicated society.

Most of all, it marks another stellar effort by director Steven Soderbergh ("Erin Brockovich," "Traffic," "Sex, Lies & Videotape"), who also made headlines this year by directing Mike Douglas and Matt Damon in the Liberace TV movie "Behind the Candelabra."

Where to Watch: Netflix (Instant), Amazon (Rent/Buy), iTunes (Rent/Buy), Xfinity On Demand
Director James Ponsoldt The Descendants was one of the best movies of 2011, and many of its key players have found success this year. Director Alexander Payne went on to make Nebraska, writers Nat Faxon Jim Rash went on to writedirect The Way Way Back and star George Clooney went on to appear in Gravity. But the most underrated part was up-and-coming actress Shailene Woodley, who now stars in The Spectacular Now, this years version of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. She is pitch perfect across co-star Miles Teller, who looks like a mix between Ben Savage and John Cusack. Together, the pair won a Special Jury Prize at Sundance for two young actors who showed rare honesty, naturalism and transparency, leading a cast of familiar faces (i.e. The Wire, Breaking Bad). More importantly, the writers of (500) Days of Summer prove they can tell a straightforward story just as well as they did with their time-jumping romance. Where to Watch Netflix (DVD), Amazon (RentBuy), iTunes (RentBuy), Xfinity On Demand

Director: James Ponsoldt

"The Descendants" was one of the best movies of 2011, and many of its key players have found success this year. Director Alexander Payne went on to make "Nebraska," writers Nat Faxon & Jim Rash went on to write/direct "The Way Way Back" and star George Clooney went on to appear in "Gravity." But the most underrated part was up-and-coming actress Shailene Woodley, who now stars in "The Spectacular Now," this year's version of "The Perks of Being a Wallflower."

She is pitch perfect across co-star Miles Teller, who looks like a mix between Ben Savage and John Cusack. Together, the pair won a Special Jury Prize at Sundance "for two young actors who showed rare honesty, naturalism and transparency," leading a cast of familiar faces (i.e. "The Wire," "Breaking Bad").

More importantly, the writers of "(500) Days of Summer" prove they can tell a straightforward story just as well as they did with their time-jumping romance.

Where to Watch: Netflix (DVD), Amazon (Rent/Buy), iTunes (Rent/Buy), Xfinity On Demand
Director J.C. Chandor Writerdirector J.C. Chandor burst onto the scene two years ago with a screenplay nomination for Margin Call (2011), a talky Wall Street thriller with plenty of characters. He went the complete opposite route in his follow-up, All is Lost, in which Robert Redford delivers a one-man show as a resourceful sailor lost at sea. Its not for everyone with its slow pace and minimalist dialogue, but joins the ranks of Cast Away, Life of Pi and Gravity in lonely survival tales that speak volumes about our increasingly isolated society. An admirable experiment in visual storytelling. Where to Watch Netflix (DVD), Amazon (RentBuy), iTunes (RentPre-Order Buy), Xfinity On Demand, In Theaters

Director: J.C. Chandor

Writer/director J.C. Chandor burst onto the scene two years ago with a screenplay nomination for "Margin Call" (2011), a talky Wall Street thriller with plenty of characters. He went the complete opposite route in his follow-up, "All is Lost," in which Robert Redford delivers a one-man show as a resourceful sailor lost at sea.

It's not for everyone with its slow pace and minimalist dialogue, but joins the ranks of "Cast Away," "Life of Pi" and "Gravity" in lonely survival tales that speak volumes about our increasingly isolated society. An admirable experiment in visual storytelling.

Where to Watch: Netflix (DVD), Amazon (Rent/Buy), iTunes (Rent/Pre-Order Buy), Xfinity On Demand, In Theaters
Director Alexander Payne Like its very road trip plot, Nebraska takes a good 30 minutes to work its slow-paced spell, but by the time it reaches its destination, youll have grown so close to your travel companions that youll look back fondly on the ride. Bruce Dern won Best Actor at Cannes as a crusty old man traveling from Montana to Nebraska to claim a million-dollar sweepstakes that may or may not exist. But June Squibb steals the show as Derns wife and the foul-mouthed mother of Will Forte (SNL) and Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad). Writerdirector Alexander Payne (Sideways, The Descendants) told The Guardian why he shot in black and white Ninety percent of the movies I watch are in BW. It left cinema only for commercial reasons it never left fine-art photography. ... Can you absolutely prove to me that fewer people saw Manhattan, Raging Bull and Schindlers List because they were in BW Anyone who has lived in small-town America knows it fits. Where to Watch Amazon (Pre-Order Buy), iTunes (Pre-Order Buy), In Theaters

Director: Alexander Payne

Like its very road trip plot, "Nebraska" takes a good 30 minutes to work its slow-paced spell, but by the time it reaches its destination, you'll have grown so close to your travel companions that you'll look back fondly on the ride.

Bruce Dern won Best Actor at Cannes as a crusty old man traveling from Montana to Nebraska to claim a million-dollar sweepstakes that may or may not exist. But June Squibb steals the show as Dern's wife and the foul-mouthed mother of Will Forte ("SNL") and Bob Odenkirk ("Breaking Bad").

Writer/director Alexander Payne ("Sideways," "The Descendants") told The Guardian why he shot in black and white: "Ninety percent of the movies I watch are in B&W. It left cinema only for commercial reasons; it never left fine-art photography. ... Can you absolutely prove to me that fewer people saw 'Manhattan,' 'Raging Bull' and 'Schindler's List' because they were in B&W?" Anyone who has lived in small-town America knows it fits.

Where to Watch: Amazon (Pre-Order Buy), iTunes (Pre-Order Buy), In Theaters
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Director Abdellatif Kechiche When it came time to present the years top art film prize at Cannes, jury head Steven Spielberg hailed the virtues of Blue is the Warmest Color, saying, The film is a great love story that made all of us feel privileged to be a fly on the wall ... The director did not put any constraints on the narrative and we were absolutely spellbound by the amazing performances of the two actresses (Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux). It was the first time the Palme dOr was awarded to both the director and the lead actresses, but ironically, the film did not receive a single Oscar nomination, unlike Michael Hanekes Amour (2012) or Terrence Malicks The Tree of Life (2011). The extended lesbian sex scenes make it the years most controversial flick, but just like actually making love, they make us fall for the characters, so that we can then feel their heartbreak. The film takes its critics head on, defending its 3-hour runtime by saying, I put down some short books after 2 pages, and foreshadowing its conclusion, What we have here is a perfect example of tragedy. ... It concerns eternity. It concerns what is timeless. It concerns the mechanism, the essence of humankind. Where to Watch Amazon (Pre-Order Buy)

Director: Abdellatif Kechiche

When it came time to present the year's top art film prize at Cannes, jury head Steven Spielberg hailed the virtues of "Blue is the Warmest Color," saying, "The film is a great love story that made all of us feel privileged to be a fly on the wall ... The director did not put any constraints on the narrative and we were absolutely spellbound by the amazing performances of the two actresses (Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux)."

It was the first time the Palme d'Or was awarded to both the director and the lead actresses, but ironically, the film did not receive a single Oscar nomination, unlike Michael Haneke's "Amour" (2012) or Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" (2011).

The extended lesbian sex scenes make it the year's most controversial flick, but just like actually making love, they make us fall for the characters, so that we can then feel their heartbreak.

The film takes its critics head on, defending its 3-hour runtime by saying, "I put down some short books after 2 pages," and foreshadowing its conclusion, "What we have here is a perfect example of tragedy. … It concerns eternity. It concerns what is timeless. It concerns the mechanism, the essence of humankind."

Where to Watch: Amazon (Pre-Order Buy)
Director Stephen Frears Hes directed numerous hits, from Dangerous Liaisons to The Queen. But many forget the talent of British director Stephen Frears, who molds Philomena into a most unique blend of comedy and suspense. Based on the book The Lost Child of Philomena Lee by Martin Sixsmith, the film tells the true story of Philomena Lee (Judi Dench), who was kicked out of an Irish convent for having a child out of wedlock. Her search for that son takes her to America, a journey chronicled by a controversial journalist (Steve Coogan). Philomena is an engrossing battle between the faithful Dench and the atheist Coogan that reveals more truth than either knew existed, especially in the context of the new Pope Francis. Where to Watch Amazon (Pre-Order Buy), iTunes (Pre-Order Buy), In Theaters

Director: Stephen Frears

He's directed numerous hits, from "Dangerous Liaisons" to "The Queen." But many forget the talent of British director Stephen Frears, who molds "Philomena" into a most unique blend of comedy and suspense.

Based on the book "The Lost Child of Philomena Lee" by Martin Sixsmith, the film tells the true story of Philomena Lee (Judi Dench), who was kicked out of an Irish convent for having a child out of wedlock. Her search for that son takes her to America, a journey chronicled by a controversial journalist (Steve Coogan).

"Philomena" is an engrossing battle between the faithful Dench and the atheist Coogan that reveals more truth than either knew existed, especially in the context of the new Pope Francis.

Where to Watch: Amazon (Pre-Order Buy), iTunes (Pre-Order Buy), In Theaters
Directors Nat Faxon, Jim Rash From the Oscar-winning writers of The Descendants and the studio that brought you Juno and Little Miss Sunshine, The Way Way Back was the best summer comedy that no one saw. It follows a shy 14-year-old boy trapped on a summer vacation with his mother (Toni Collette) and soon-to-be jerk stepfather (Steve Carell), while finding refuge at a zany water park. Allison Janney carries the laughs as an alcoholic neighbor in the first half, then hands the comedy baton to a brilliant Sam Rockwell for the homestretch. Surprisingly hilarious and absolutely tender, The Way Way Back proves that clever summer comedies can also have real dramatic weight and plenty of heart, raising the bar for all to follow. Where to Watch Netflix (DVD), Amazon (RentBuy), iTunes (RentBuy), Xfinity On Demand

Directors: Nat Faxon, Jim Rash

From the Oscar-winning writers of "The Descendants" and the studio that brought you "Juno" and "Little Miss Sunshine," "The Way Way Back" was the best summer comedy that no one saw. It follows a shy 14-year-old boy trapped on a summer vacation with his mother (Toni Collette) and soon-to-be jerk stepfather (Steve Carell), while finding refuge at a zany water park.

Allison Janney carries the laughs as an alcoholic neighbor in the first half, then hands the comedy baton to a brilliant Sam Rockwell for the homestretch.

Surprisingly hilarious and absolutely tender, "The Way Way Back" proves that clever summer comedies can also have real dramatic weight and plenty of heart, raising the bar for all to follow.

Where to Watch: Netflix (DVD), Amazon (Rent/Buy), iTunes (Rent/Buy), Xfinity On Demand
Director Ryan Coogler Current events have a way of shaping our movie conversation. While last years attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi propelled Argo to Best Picture, this years Trayvon Martin verdict came the same week as Fruitvale Station, which chronicles the racially-charged shooting of Oscar Grant in Oakland 2008. Forest Whitaker produces, Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer shines and Michael B. Jordan is a revelation as the latest alum from The Wire to find stardom this year (Stringer Bell stars in Mandela and Omar appears in 12 Years a Slave). Promising new director Ryan Coogler foreshadows the fatalistic finale with moving trains, living room rough housing, and symbolic talk at a grocery store deli.The films cops arent beacons of justice, but they arent inherently evil either, and the victims arent saints, but rather real people with real flaws and the occasional chip on the shoulder. Together, these forces clash in a domino effect of mistrusts, misunderstandings and victims of circumstance that won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. Where to Watch Netflix (DVD), Amazon (RentBuy), iTunes (RentBuy), Xfinity On Demand

Director: Ryan Coogler

Current events have a way of shaping our movie conversation. While last year's attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi propelled "Argo" to Best Picture, this year's Trayvon Martin verdict came the same week as "Fruitvale Station," which chronicles the racially-charged shooting of Oscar Grant in Oakland 2008.

Forest Whitaker produces, Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer shines and Michael B. Jordan is a revelation as the latest alum from "The Wire" to find stardom this year (Stringer Bell stars in "Mandela" and Omar appears in "12 Years a Slave"). Promising new director Ryan Coogler foreshadows the fatalistic finale with moving trains, living room rough housing, and symbolic talk at a grocery store deli.

The film's cops aren't beacons of justice, but they aren't inherently evil either, and the victims aren't saints, but rather real people with real flaws and the occasional chip on the shoulder. Together, these forces clash in a domino effect of mistrusts, misunderstandings and victims of circumstance that won both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival.

Where to Watch: Netflix (DVD), Amazon (Rent/Buy), iTunes (Rent/Buy), Xfinity On Demand
Director Richard Linklater While David O. Russell made the years best Scorsese-style flick, Richard Linklater made the years best Woody Allen-style film in Before Midnight, the third installment of a most unique trilogy. Every nine years, we check in with Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy), first in their 20s in Before Sunrise (1995), then in their 30s in Before Sunset (2004), and now in their 40s in Before Midnight. Linklater prefers long takes, following his characters as they walk and talk through European streets. Here, it all builds to a hotel argument thats a cinematic master class in writing, directing and acting. As the camera pulls away into a crowd of people on a patio, like the first films final montage of empty spaces, we realize the world exists eternal and were just passing through. You must watch this trilogy in order, as the love story only gets sweeter with time. Where to Watch Netflix (DVD), Amazon (Buy), iTunes (Buy)

Director: Richard Linklater

While David O. Russell made the year's best Scorsese-style flick, Richard Linklater made the year's best Woody Allen-style film in "Before Midnight," the third installment of a most unique trilogy.

Every nine years, we check in with Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy), first in their 20s in "Before Sunrise" (1995), then in their 30s in "Before Sunset" (2004), and now in their 40s in "Before Midnight." Linklater prefers long takes, following his characters as they walk and talk through European streets.

Here, it all builds to a hotel argument that's a cinematic master class in writing, directing and acting. As the camera pulls away into a crowd of people on a patio, like the first film's final montage of empty spaces, we realize the world exists eternal and we're just passing through. You must watch this trilogy in order, as the love story only gets sweeter with time.

Where to Watch: Netflix (DVD), Amazon (Buy), iTunes (Buy)
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Director Spike Jonze Believe it or not, Gravity was not the years best reminder of Kubricks 2001. That title belongs to Her, which turned the concept of HAL 9000 into a highly unique romance. A year after his brilliant performance in The Master, Joaquin Phoenix plays a loner in the near future of Los Angeles who falls in love with a state-of-the-art operating system, a la Siri (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). The premise may seem bizarre, but is it any crazier than love itself As co-star Amy Adams says, Falling in love is a form of socially acceptable insanity. The result is the most impossibly touching love story since Harold and Maude (1971), saying so much about where we are as a digital society losing face-to-face interaction. After directing a pair of modern masterpieces -- Being John Malkovich and Adaptation -- from scripts by the wonderfully weird Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), Her is the first original script Spike Jonze has written for himself. He should do it more often. Where to Watch In Theaters

Director: Spike Jonze

Believe it or not, "Gravity" was not the year's best reminder of Kubrick's "2001." That title belongs to "Her," which turned the concept of HAL 9000 into a highly unique romance.

A year after his brilliant performance in "The Master," Joaquin Phoenix plays a loner in the near future of Los Angeles who falls in love with a state-of-the-art operating system, a la Siri (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). The premise may seem bizarre, but is it any crazier than love itself? As co-star Amy Adams says, "Falling in love is a form of socially acceptable insanity."

The result is the most impossibly touching love story since "Harold and Maude" (1971), saying so much about where we are as a digital society losing face-to-face interaction.

After directing a pair of modern masterpieces -- "Being John Malkovich" and "Adaptation" -- from scripts by the wonderfully weird Charlie Kaufman ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"), "Her" is the first original script Spike Jonze has written for himself. He should do it more often.

Where to Watch: In Theaters
Director Destin Cretton If you missed it over the summer, stop what youre doing right now and add Short Term 12 to your Netflix queue. The setup is a little bit Dead Poets Society and a lotta bit Cuckoos Nest, only instead of Nurse Ratched we get a sweet, selfless Brie Larson, who runs an institution for at-risk teens where a new arrival reminds her a lot of herself and her own inner demons. Anyone who loves filmmaking has to love the success story of young Destin Cretton, who wrote and directed the 22-minute short Short Term 12 (2008) based on his own experiences working with troubled youth. When the short picked up several festival awards, he expanded it into his first full-length feature, which won both the Jury Prize and Audience Award at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas. You need to get ready, cause its so unbelievable, says co-star John Gallagher Jr. It depends if you tell it right, replies Brie Larson, to which Gallagher insists, Theres no way not to tell this right. It is a storytellers wet dream. You are so right. Where to Watch Netflix (DVD), Amazon (RentBuy), iTunes (RentBuy), Xfinity On Demand See where all of these hidden gems rank among our Top 40 Movies of 2013.

Director: Destin Cretton

If you missed it over the summer, stop what you're doing right now and add "Short Term 12" to your Netflix queue. The setup is a little bit "Dead Poets Society" and a lotta bit "Cuckoo's Nest," only instead of Nurse Ratched we get a sweet, selfless Brie Larson, who runs an institution for at-risk teens where a new arrival reminds her a lot of herself and her own inner demons.

Anyone who loves filmmaking has to love the success story of young Destin Cretton, who wrote and directed the 22-minute short "Short Term 12" (2008) based on his own experiences working with troubled youth. When the short picked up several festival awards, he expanded it into his first full-length feature, which won both the Jury Prize and Audience Award at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas.

"You need to get ready, 'cause it's so unbelievable," says co-star John Gallagher Jr. "It depends if you tell it right," replies Brie Larson, to which Gallagher insists, "There's no way not to tell this right. It is a storyteller's wet dream." You are so right.

Where to Watch: Netflix (DVD), Amazon (Rent/Buy), iTunes (Rent/Buy), Xfinity On Demand

See where all of these "hidden gems" rank among our Top 40 Movies of 2013.
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