Best Lesser-known Movies from 2013

The Best of 2013! Check out these great lesser-known films, and forgive me for the inclusion of a small number of Hollywood and bigger indie releases.

#1 Kill Your Darlings

The story of Allen Ginsberg during some of his more interesting years.

“Kill Your Darlings” is the story of Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) as he arrives at college and is ushered into a new generation of writers. Ginsberg is young, na├»ve and innocent. He was raised by his father – a writer (in the very traditional sense), and his mentally unstable mother. Columbia University presents a whole new world, a bright future for this talented man. 2013

Directed by: John Krokidas

Screenplay by: Austin Bunn and John Krokidas

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan
See full review of Kill Your Darlings

#2 Best Man Down


Drama, comedy, a marriage, a death and brilliance all around.
“Best Man Down” is an independent film about a couple who gets married in Arizona but flies back to Minnesota for a funeral. It’s a comedy! No, scratch that. The funeral is for the best man who died at the wedding. It’s a dark comedy? Perhaps, or a drama. It’s also about the newlywed couple navigating their current relationship. It’s a relationship drama. And it’s also a light mystery as the real life of the best man is uncovered. 2012

Directed by: Ted Koland

Screenplay by: Ted Koland

Starring: Justin Long, Jess Weixler, Tyler Labine and Addison Timlin
See full review of Best Man Down

#3 It's a Disaster


The hilarious end of the world of 8 ill-prepared people.
I think the question on everyone’s mind is since when are end of the world movies actually good? In the past two years from “Melancholia” to “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” to “This is the End” we’ve had a number of solid to downright brilliant end of the world movies and now “It’s a Disaster” fits neatly in the middle. 2012

Directed by: Todd Berger

Screenplay by: Todd Berger

Starring: David Cross and Julia Stiles
See full review of It's a Disaster

#4 Prince Avalanche


Just a simple conversation between hilarious characters by great actors.
“Prince Avalanche” is the story of two men and is the classic comedy of differences. Alvin (Paul Rudd) is in his late thirties and has such trouble connecting with other people that he doesn’t even realize his marriage is in trouble as he prefers to spend time alone. Lance (Emile Hirsch) is in his early twenties and he is desperate for the presence of females, as he is way too into himself to understand true companionship. 2013

Directed by: David Gordon Green

Screenplay by: David Gordon Green

Starring: Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch
See full review of Prince Avalanche

#5 Short Term 12

Realism allows comedy and drama to come together in a fully likable manner.

The realism of a foster care center for teenagers is up-close and personal but provides so much humour that the drama is never over-whelming. It’s also quite touching that the adults in charge are just as messed up as the kids but try even harder in covering it up. “Short Term 12” stars Brie Larson as Grace a twenty-something counselor who is in charge of fellow staff and a few emotionally-damaged kids. 2013

Directed by: Destin Cretton

Screenplay by: Destin Cretton

Starring: Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr.
See full review of Short Term 12

#6 Rapture-Palooza


The rapture is coming, be prepared to laugh.
“Rapture-Palooza” is based on a true story. Or, so it says at the very beginning of the movie, and then you know exactly what type of humour you’re getting yourself into. It’s funny, extremely funny. The type of funny that you’re laughing out loud so often that you need to rewind to catch all the jokes you missed; it’s also the offensive kind of funny. It’s offensive, extremely offensive. 2013

Directed by: Paul Middleditch

Screenplay by: Chris Matheson

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Craig Robinson
See full review of Rapture-Palooza

#7 The First Time

Proves that teen romances can be sweet and charming.

“The First Time” is not just about having sex for the first time, but falling in love for the first time, and also just being yourself in front of the object of your affection for the first time. Aubrey (Britt Robertson) has a boyfriend (we’ll get to him later) and Dave (Dylan O’Brien) is infatuated with a girl who will probably never like him for who he really is – she’s just too into herself for that to ever happen. 2012

Directed by: Jon Kasdan

Screenplay by: Jon Kasdan

Starring: Britt Robertson, Dylan O'Brien, and James Frecheville
See full review of The First Time

#8 Family Weekend

Dark comedy turns a kidnapping into a sweet coming-of-age story.

“Family Weekend” is a dark comedy about a 16-year-old girl, Emily (Olesya Rulin), who takes her family into her own hands to turn them into a normal family. But it’s not going to be easy; Samantha Smith-Dungy (Kristin Chenoweth) is a workaholic mom, Duncan Dungy (Matthew Modine) is hippie artist dad, and her brother and sister are maladjusted kids who think they are perfectly well-adjusted. 2013

Directed by: Benjamin Epps

Screenplay by: Matt K. Turner

Starring: Olesya Rulin, Matthew Modine and Kristin Chenoweth
See full review of Family Weekend

#9 Stuck in Love

A romantic drama that survives on the empathy for the main characters.

Younger brother, Rusty (Nat Wolff), is an aspiring writer; older sister, Samantha (Lily Collins), is an up-and-coming writer; and father, Bill Borgens (Greg Kinnear), is an accomplished writer. And, as you can guess from the title, they are all “Stuck in Love”. Rusty’s in love with a girl from his class who doesn’t know him, Sam refuses to fall in love, and dad Bill is still waiting for his ex-wife to come back to him. 2013

Directed by: Josh Boone

Screenplay by: Josh Boone

Starring: Nat Wolff, Lily Collins and Greg Kinnear
See full review of Stuck in Love

#10 The Happy House


A horror-comedy short on thrills and laughs but has interesting character interactions.
The Happy House is a remote Bed & Breakfast specializing in odd rules to make your stay as uncomfortable as possible. It somehow got good reviews (even though the movie itself has gotten bad reviews) and our New York Couple are off for a weekend to repair their relationship. Wendy doesn’t want to go; Joe thinks it will be for the best. And as an audience, we have no clue what it’s going to be like. 2013

Directed by: D.W. Young

Screenplay by: D.W. Young

Starring: Khan Baykal and Aya Cash
See full review of The Happy House

#11 Girl Most Likely


A girl has lost her way and comes back home with quirky comedy.
“Girl Most Likely” is Imogene (Kristen Wiig); a girl once likely to become the next big playwright in New York City, now she’s desperately hanging on to the upper-class lifestyle convinced that it’s all about who you know, where you live, and who you are with. A failed attempt of a fake suicide attempt sends Imogene back where she came from. All the way to New Jersey. 2012

Directed by: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini

Screenplay by: Michelle Morgan

Starring: Kristen Wiig, Annette Bening, Matt Dillon and Darren Criss
See full review of Girl Most Likely

#12 The Lifeguard

Quarter-life crisis character study with dramatic depression and comedic maturation.

“The Lifeguard” is Leigh (Kristen Bell), a 30-year-old girl quits her job in New York and comes back to Connecticut to find herself. It’s a quarter-life crisis character study. What sets this movie slightly above similar films is that it’s a rather mature look at an immature woman. Leigh is convinced that her life didn’t turn out the way it was supposed to and so she has gone back to her high school life. 2013

Directed by: Liz W. Garcia

Screenplay by: Liz W. Garcia

Starring: Kristen Bell, David Lambert
See full review of The Lifeguard