2013 Movie Picks: Nick Olson
Image: Studio Ghibli
'From Up on Poppy Hill'

For movie lovers and movie critics, the end of the year brings an avalanche of "best of" lists to analyze, pick apart, and argue over. Here at CT Movies, knowing that every critic and every movie lover brings different tastes, interests, and perspectives to the table, we've decided to take a different approach.

Each of our regular critics came up with a list of "best" films in categories of their own choosing, and we'll be running them over the next week. These aren't necessarily the year's best films, nor even the best movies these critics saw all year—just a sampling of the riches of 2013. We hope you'll find something to love.

The Best Film About the (In)Human Capacity to Minimize Evil in Our Minds
The Act of Killing
(Not rated)

Joshua Oppenheimer's documentary depicts gangsters from the 1965-66 Indonesian Killings reenacting grim moments from their reign of genocidal terror. It's an invitation into woefully deluded imaginations that plays like a bizarre nightmare—equal doses shocking and, somehow, darkly comical. But their evils are all too real. So when Anwar Congo sits on a dock in the middle of the night with lightning flashing in the background as he describes karma as "a law of nature, a law straight from God," you begin to realize that though we may try to rationalize our evil acts, we will in the very least be haunted by them.

The Animated Film That Too Few People Are Talking About During Awards Season
From Up on Poppy Hill
(Rated PG for mild thematic elements and some incidental smoking images)

In a year when Pixar has a Monsters sequel, Hayao Miyazaki directed what may be his final film, and Disney delivered the pleasantly surprising Frozen, ...

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2013 Movie Picks: Nick Olson
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