Best of the best: Top ten in arts

This school year was one of the best for music and movies. It was filled with good songs but even better albums. Here’s a list of the top ten essential movies and music from the year. Remember, if you disagree or passionately feel that we left something out, our Dear Life section is made for just that. So without further ado, here is the ten best movies and music from O-Week until now.

Top Ten Albums
10. Unapologetic – Rihanna.

Filled with provocative lyrics and crashing dub step drops, the R&B/pop princess made noise with her seventh album. There is a little something for everyone on this LP.

9. Night Train – Jason Aldean.

With 15 songs of country crossover, the hard-rockin’ Georgia native aims high and wide with tracks ranging from hip-hop tributes to the classic country ballads. Throw on your cowboy boots and enjoy.

8. Long.Live.A$AP – A$AP Rocky.

Rap’s young gun displays a series of fuzzed-out bangers that are exceptionally stylish on his major label debut. It builds on the promise that Rocky is here to stay.

7. The 20/20 Experience – Justin Timberlake.

N’SYNC’s front man returns to music with a horn-heavy, neo soul album that delivers some smooth serenades as well as the pop singles that will drive teeny boppers crazy.

6. The Next Day – David Bowie.

The classic rock legend gives us a loud, thrilling and confident rock and roll album full of noise, energy and songs that sound like they desperately need to be sung.

5. 18 Months – Calvin Harris.

Mixing hurried synth-pop riffs with full on radio friendly singles, this album features a little bit of everything for everyone.

4. Kaleidoscope Dream – Miguel.

On his very impressive second album, the L.A.-born R&B crooner offers fresh options for mainstream urban pop. Just press play and let his love “adorn” you.

3. Red – Taylor Swift.

Whether she’s plucking her guitar, amplifying catchy arena rock or harmonizing with male counterparts, she sounds her happiest when she’s belting out a good revenge anthem.

2. Babel – Mumford & Sons.

The London-based quartet has truly mastered the emotional delivery of quiet and loud dynamics, exploding from low-murmured harmonies into full-fledged freak-outs.

1. good kid, m.A.A.d city – Kendrick Lamar.

K Dot unveils a collection of songs that are as strong individually as they are together. Touching everyone from the radio rap fans to the hip-hop hipsters, Compton’s golden child gives us a body of work that is being debated as an instant classic.

—Compiled by Scott Glaysher

Top Ten Movies
10. Seven Psychopaths (2013):

The movie as a whole feels largely influenced by Tarantino’s style, but not in a negative fashion as the film’s eccentric narrative and gore-filled action maintain the audience’s attention and keep them entertained.

9. Side Effects (2013):

In Steven Soderberg’s alleged final feature-film, he delivers probably his most tense and palpable thriller in the past few years. The twists and turns of the story will have viewers glued to the screen, anxiously awaiting the truth to be revealed.

8. Lincoln (2012):

Daniel Day-Lewis steals the show and rightly wins his third Oscar for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s biopic of the towering president that guided America through the Civil War.

7. Argo (2012):

The movie dramatizes the events of “The Canadian Caper” where Tony Mendez and a team of CIA operatives along with Ken Taylor, the Canadian ambassador to Iran, safely extract six American diplomats. Argo is suspenseful throughout its entirety and demonstrates Ben Affleck as one of America’s best directors.

6. Looper (2012):

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a gun for hire that comes face-to-face with his future self during a scheduled hit. Consequently, his world begins to fall apart and the action is exhilarating, which helps the film really come into its own as the plot thickens. Without a doubt this is a must-see for science fiction fans.

5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012):

This coming of age film is an offbeat romance that takes a serious look at insecurity and adolescent social pressures. The movie succeeds thanks to its charming lead, Charlie, who is played by Logan Lerman. Along with solid acting, the film offers a great soundtrack and will remind everyone of their time back in high school.

4. The Master (2012):

Paul Thomas Anderson hadn’t made a film since 2007, but he returned with a bang and he brought Joaquin Phoenix along with him, earning the recluse a much-deserved nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

3. Zero Dark Thirty (2013):

Jessica Chastain delivers a performance worthy of several nominations and director Kathryn Bigelow takes viewers back to the Middle East for her follow-up to her 2008 film, The Hurt Locker. The film runs on for a little longer than it should, but the drama and masterful build-up to the climax make it worth the while.

2. Django Unchained (2012):

Quentin Tarantino’s latest creation takes the issues of racism and slavery and paints them across the backdrop of an homage to the spaghetti western. Although hyper-violent at times, the performance of Christoph Waltz carries the film and elevates the acting of his peers around him.

1. Life of Pi (2012):

Visually striking and narratively captivating, Life of Pi is Ang Lee’s best directorial effort yet and turns the “un-filmable” book into a visceral journey that viewers can lose themselves in.

—Compiled by Andrew Savory

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