From a father's desperate search for his missing daughter to the true story of rivalry between two Formula One car drivers, Hollywood's topography this year was rich with films that went beyond entertainment and provided a wholesome cinematic experience.
IANS lists the 10 best Hollywood films of 2013 released in India:
"Prisoners": A story that revolves around the search for two missing girls, Denis Villeneuve's "Prisoners" is one of the finest thrillers to come out of Hollywood this year albeit blood and corpses. Is it acceptable to do the wrong to get to the right? The film presents an opportunity for us to find answers to these questions, which in essence form the premise. Hugh Jackman as the grieving father chips in a career best performance.
"Gravity": Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity" is a visually stunning film that literally makes you float as you leave the cinema hall. It is the most successful Hollywood flick of the year in India, making a whopping Rs.40 crore and successfully completing 50-day runs in several cities. The film is about a space shuttle that is destroyed and its medical engineer and a veteran astronaut who are stranded in space.
"Mud": No actor across the globe had a better year than Matthew McConaughey, who proved why he is the most talented in the business with films such as "Magic Mike" and "Dallas Buyers Club". In "Mud", a coming-of-age story, Matthew plays a drifter who lives in a boat on a tree. The film explores the unlikely friendship between him and two 14-year-olds.
"Monsters University": You don't have to be a fan of animation films to like "Monsters University", a prequel to highly successful "Monsters, Inc". The story tracks the college days of two most lovable animated characters Mike Wachowski and James P. Sullivan, who from being worst enemies grow on to become best friends. All that you want to know about team work is imbibed in the film with a dash of humour.
"Django Unchained": Who doesn't love a Quentin Tarantino picture? In this brilliant and brutal spaghetti western, Tarantino paints an atrociously violent tale of revenge against the backdrop of slave plantation of pre-civil war America. Featuring Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz, "Django Unchained" is the most ruthlessly violent film to come from the factory of Tarantino.
"Warm Bodies": Can love bring someone from the dead? Well, it does in "Warm Bodies", about an unusual zombie falling in love with a beautiful young girl. It's a simple yet powerful film about human connection and love even during an apocalypse.
"Captain Philips": A riveting recounting of a true story, director Paul Greengrass took on a terrain very few filmmakers would dare to and succeeded in it. "Captain Philips" focusses on the 2009 hijacking of an American cargo ship by Somali pirates. The film, at heart, is about the victims of globalization and what they do for a living.
"About Time": Known for churning out memorable romantic flicks such as "Love Actually" and "Notting Hill", filmmaker Richard Curtis tugs at yours hearts with "About Time", a surprisingly thoughtful romantic-comedy and a coming-of-age story of a young man with a special gift to go back in time. Domhnall Gleeson is a perfect successor to Hugh Grant, who was popularised by Curtis many years ago.
"Rush": You don't have to know about Formula One racing to watch Ron Howard's "Rush", which captures the rivalry between James Hunt and Niki Lauda with an adrenaline pumping narrative. Greed, ambition, focus and attitude are explored in detail in the film, which was powered by the performances of Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Bruhl and Hans Zimmer's electrifying score.
"Pacific Rim": To save the world from monstrous sea creatures, filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro created giant human-controlled robots in his magnum opus "Pacific Rim", which was visually grand and entertaining from the get go. If you thought the visuals weren't enough to blow you away, then you should listen to the soundtrack by Ramin Djawadi.
(Haricharan Pudipeddi can be contacted at email@example.com)