The Best And Worst Nerd Movies Of 2013

We didn’t get into the theater for every single movie this year, but we hit a fair chunk of them. Here’s a retrospective of what we saw, ranked from worst to best.

<!--pagetitle:After Earth-->

After Earth proves that Scientologists should not make movies with Earth in the title. Also that as hard as they try, Jaden Smith's not going to become a movie star.


Yet another pointless remake and in a year that wasn't great for horror movies, Carrie was a real lowlight that wasted a great cast and crew on retelling a story needlessly.

<!--pagetitle:Kick-Ass 2-->

Second verse, same as the first: Kick-Ass 2 was the same movie, but less funny and engaging. Way less funny and engaging. One hopes the third one isn't actually happening.

<!--pagetitle:Ender's Game-->

After all the hype and hubbub, it turns out that Ender's Game was more mediocre than anything else. Not as bad as it could have been, but not nearly as good as fans wanted it to be.


The action was impeccable and Matt Damon really delivered, but Elysium didn't earn its social message and wasn't as well thought-out or as engaging as District 9.


It's a bit of a rehash, and Riddick is far from flawless, but it's still fun to see Vin Diesel as a crafty mastermind.

<!--pagetitle:The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug-->

Or, "The Hobbit: It Was The Prequel To The Lord Of The Rings, Y'Know." It's an OK movie with a great one struggling to escape.

<!--pagetitle:World War Z-->

A troubled production and a script that largely hinges on Brad Pitt getting people killed weren't enough to keep audiences away from World War Z, and it turned out to be a much better action movie than anybody was expecting.

<!--pagetitle:The Wolverine-->

That terrible third act aside, The Wolverine was something different, a tough-guy-out-of-water movie that let Hugh Jackman actually, you know, act. What an idea!

<!--pagetitle:Star Trek Into Darkness-->

I grew up loving Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and I can't stand J.J. Abrams as a director or a writer. So I went in fully prepared to hate the hell out of Star Trek Into Darkness... and came away incredibly pleased, aside from the jaw-droppingly stupid last ten minutes.

<!--pagetitle:Man of Steel-->

Yes, it's currently nerd-fashionable to hate Man Of Steel because it's not all things to all people and blah Zack Snyder and blah Zod and blah tornadoes. But the truth is, it was actually a pretty good movie, and possibly the best Superman movie.

<!--pagetitle:Iron Man 3-->

Robert Downey Jr. and Shane Black? Always a great combination. And even better, the Mandarian actually makes sense as a character.

<!--pagetitle:Pacific Rim-->

I could link to my review here, but this is one case where the Honest Trailer lives up to its name. This really is either the dumbest awesome movie or the most awesome dumb movie ever made. And dammit, it's wonderful in how it sticks to its (idiotic) guns.

<!--pagetitle:Thor: The Dark World-->

Thor gets a worthy and well-done sequel, especially the virtuoso third act, which our own Nathan Birch does not like because he hates joy. Why do you hate joy, Birch?

<!--pagetitle:The World's End-->

The third act of The World's End loses a bit of momentum, but that's a minor complaint next to seeing the Cornetto Trilogy wrapped up so cleverly and with such style.


Gravity is the best movie about space ever made, and it will get screwed at the Oscars. Ah well. At least it's still great.