Gravity's rainbow. A movie that so convincingly re-created outer space that it looked like it was shot there.
The summer swoon. Big-budget action films, often with big-name stars, have been a staple of the summer moviegoing season — and studio earnings reports — for well over a decade. But this summer that staple was knocked off its horse as "The Lone Ranger" and many of its sidekicks all went down (including "After Earth," "R.I.P.D." and plenty of others). One after another, these films took a tumble, causing studios to re-evaluate how they make movies and who they make movies with. This was perhaps the biggest story of 2013, and the one whose reverberations will be felt for years to come.
B-movie bumps. While many of those huge summer tent poles were going down, mid-budget comedies and genre movies were ascendant, often outgrossing their better-funded competitors. "The Conjuring," "The Heat" and "Despicable Me 2" all became monster hits, as the right packaging and concept made movies both more cost-effective and popular.
New black cinema. It's hardly a stretch to say that major movies featuring black actors and/or touching on themes of race have been less common than they should be in recent years. But in 2013 that began to turn around. Films such as
Untimely deaths. Nearly every year sees the deaths of veteran actors who brought us joy on screens big and small. But, in 2013, the passing of younger personalities such as James Gandfolini and
World War Zoom. It was one of the most famously troubled productions in recent memory — after all, it's not every film that writes an entire new third act after one has already been shot, let alone stars one of the biggest celebrities on the planet. But in garnering $540 million worldwide and becoming the seventh-highest grossing movie of the American summer,
Don't call it a comeback. Terms like "Strongest year for cinema in decades," thrown around by posts and postmortem roundups like this, tend to create more heat than light. Still, it was hard to argue against the idea that 2013 was a banner year for film, with ambitious pieces such as
Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT