AFI Names Best Movies and TV Shows of 2013

AFI List Awards

'Captain Phillips,' 'Wolf of Wall Street' join awards season favorites 'Gravity' and '12 Years a Slave'

In its salute to the year’s films and TV shows, the American Film Institute has endorsed Oscar hopefuls “Captain Phillips” and Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street”, while “Fruitvale Station” continues its impressive momentum, after winning multiple citations this past week.

“American Hustle,” “Gravity,” “Inside Llewyn Davis,” “Her” and “12 Years a Slave” were all mentioned by AFI, after winning the top prize in various group’s voting in the last eight days. Rounding out AFI’s top 10 were “Nebraska” and “Saving Mr. Banks,” which have been honored for their performances in other group’s voting.

On the TV side, AFI recognized “The Americans,” “Masters of Sex” and “Orange is the New Black,” boosting the awards profiles of those popular shows that are relative newbies to the kudos world.

Also in the TV top 10 are such kudos faves as “Breaking Bad,” “Game of Thrones,” “The Good Wife,” “House of Cards,” “Mad Men,” “Scandal” and “Veep.”

AFI does not rank their choices, simply listing them alphabetically, saying these 20 works are “culturally and artistically representative of the year’s most significant achievements in the art of the moving image.”

In making the announcement, AFI prexy-CEO Bob Gazzale said the awards are meant to honor storytellers “not as competitors, but as a community,”  and said it was AFI’s mandate and honor to acknowledge “their collective contributions to America’s rich cultural legacy.”

According to the org, in its 14th such listing, “Honorees are selected based on works which best advance the art of the moving image, enhance the rich cultural heritage of America’s art form, inspire audiences and artists alike, and/or make a mark on American society.”

Selections are made by a jury consisting of scholars, film and television artists, critics and AFI Trustees. This year’s juries – one for film and one for television – were chaired by producers and AFI board of trustees vice chairs Tom Pollock for the movies and Rich Frank  for television.

Jury members included Jon Avnet, Anne V. Coates, Roman Coppola, D.C. Fontana, Nancy Meyers and Noah Wyle; film historian Leonard Maltin; scholars from universities (Princeton, Syracuse, USC, Wesleyan); AFI board of trustees members; and critics from Entertainment Weekly, The Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, Time, TV Guide, USA Today and others.

AFI will honor the creative ensembles for each of the selections at an invitation-only luncheon on Friday, Jan. 10.


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  1. KD says:

    Scandal? Boardwalk Empire should be on that list

  2. Daryle Gardner-Bonneau says:

    Afraid I have to agree with the omission of Homeland – it’s become a bit ridiculous…not even remotely credible any more. It’s also hard to sympathize with any of these characters – they’re all SO damaged.

  3. so4delish says:

    Here is my question/comment about the “difference” between the 2 HISTORIAL & Or SCIENTIFICAL it has proved??!!! Masters is on Showtime, a channel you have to pay for or The Americans which is on cable TV?? Masters which studied human sexuality, more than people just doing it missionary style to get pregnant as well as trying to do infertility treatment and all of that. The look at discovering the Pap smear and what a huge impact it is to try to prevent cervical cancer and it is in the 1950’s in which it spearhead the complete sexual revolution that not everybody is a man and woman couple, that women enjoy sex more than just making a baby, that size can sometimes matter to the person, that women can be multi orgasmic, that some women aren’t you need toys or tools. That there is homosexuality out there yet on the show they don’t show that act taking place except for same sex kissing. ACTUALLY, they do not show much nakedness & real enjoyable hot and heavy sex. its more of the studying of these things how they got their answers, who the test subjects were, and how they went about it, how people were influenced and how backwards the world was then and obviously to the people who don’t like the show you still ignorant, backwards, judgmental, narcissistic, and probably are a closet homosexual as well. There’s nothing wrong with people loving someone of a different skin color or of the same sex. just because you have a vagina or penis and you can make a baby does not mean you are a parent. There are many people who have those things and do not do there what’s called a parenting job and I’ve seen children who have two mothers or two fathers succeed and do well in life and get scholarship to college and be very athletic and the individual and have a voice as opposed to children who sometimes have one parent or five brothers and sisters with different fathers one parent in jail and the parent doesn’t give a crap if the kids coming to school or not???!!!! then they threaten someone at school, curse, join a gang, the face property or talk. back to a teacher and when you can finally get ahold of the parent they say not my child they would never do that, they never say that, and when you ask them to come up to school they never show up. This starts is kindergarten and goes continually until senior year that’s if the child even graduates.
    However, in the Americans, the show more resi graphic sex scenes but of course it’s a man and a woman. The show a married couple who technically are married & have kids, yet they screw other people so they can get information on the government & all. The killing the violence in blood the guns the decapitation of people’s body parts the torture yes that happened as well but it’s okay because Russia is not a communist country anymore and people think communism doesn’t exist anymore and that everybody’s free in the world is just fine and dandy. However you must be living on planet la la land because people are still racist and think that their race or religion is superior to other people if that was the case why do we have white supremacist groups & gangs? Hate crimes?

  4. so4delish says:

    Well, 2 programs I watch made list. both of them on real factual events that took place in life. Impacted the way we lived then and now & some people still refuse to accept change, are ignorant, racist, and judgemental.

  5. Nina says:

    The Americans, definitely. Masters of Sex, debatable.

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  7. Jenny says:

    Where is “42” & Harrison Ford? That movie deserves to be nominated!!!

  8. Tristan says:

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  10. Robert Winniford says:

    FRUITVALE STATION is a much better and more socially significant film that 12 YEARS A SLAVE. We’ve been blessed to have several outstanding films this year revolving around the African American experience, but Fruitvale Station is about the racism we live with today. We’ve seen a million movies about slavery. It’s time to acknowledge the problems African Americans face today and Fruitvale Sation does it brilliantly.

  11. Becky says:

    :The Place Beyond the Pines” still haunts me. Such an outstanding film.

  12. Ben Hayden says:

    i would agree with Gravity and Captain Phillips. But i havent seen any of the others yet. But how could they forget the banner year that Matthew McConaughey had with Dallas Buyers club and Mud. But also they should have included The Place Beyond the Pines

  13. Tom says:

    Agree with most of your choices. The one that I definitely don’t is Gravity. Over hyped and tremendously boring. Actually, this was the WORST movie I saw in a theatre this year! If not for the impressive 3D, it would have been a complete waste of time.

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  15. JKFeldman says:

    No “Dallas Buyer’s Club”??? ..Guess you missed it….can be only reason you didn’t
    list it. It’s not a reality show @ Dallas housewives at a “Tupperware” party…..You forget @ the films
    nominee’s……Hello !!!!!!!!

  16. Stacey K says:

    Only one TV comedy but nice to see the 10 shows spread across the TV spectrum and not mainly on Premium Cable. Excellent original programming & competition among all levels of TV producers/distributors:
    2 – Broadcast Networks
    3 – Basic Cable Networks
    3 – Premium/Pay Cable
    2 – Netflix/Digital Series

    • Michael Anthony says:

      The inclusion of the over the top “Scandal” diminishes the list. Its one cliche on too of another! “American Horror Story” is a solid show and mikes ahead of the soapy “Scandal”.

  17. David K says:

    I guess August: Osage County is this year’s “throw all the talent against the wall and hope it sticks” big disappointment.

  18. Stacey K says:

    “The Americans” deserves so much more attention than it’s gotten & very happy AFI recognized this great show in its annual kudofest! FX has a winner on its hands with this suspenseful, exciting period drama featuring brilliant acting from Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys & Noah Emmerich. Can’t wait for Season 2 in a couple months…amazing show & must see TV!

  19. John Smith says:

    No Homeland? :(

  20. Bob Smith says:

    Thankfully, no mention of SPRING BREAKERS in this list. It still astounds me that that continues to get the accolades and labels that it does, and words like “iconic” are lazily getting thrown around. Way to go AFI. Thanks for keeping it real. All great selections!

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