First Question of the Year: Which 2013 movie(s) do you appreciate but wouldn’t watch again?


It’s been a bitterly c-cc-cold start to the new year here in my neck of the woods! I know I seem to be obsessing over the weather a lot but really, you’d understand when the *high* only reaches -2˚F (that’s -18˚ C!) and I’m super excited that Friday is going to hit 20 degrees (woot woot!) Yeah, it’s pathetic!

But hey, it’s not a weather blog so let’s talk about movies! As I’ve been writing some reviews of 2013 releases the past few days (stay tuned for my review of Nebraska later this week), it made me think of how I view some of those films now that it’s sunk in. More often than not, the reaction right after seeing the movie is pretty different than how I feel days or weeks later. There are some films I rate highly that I wish I’d watch again, sometimes right away (Frozen comes to mind, and on varying degrees HER, Nebraska, Austenland, and of course Pacific Rim, which I had watched twice since its theatrical release).

On the flip side though, there are films I appreciate and truly respect, but not something I’d ever want to see again. This question is kind of a different twist to what I posed a couple of years ago in regard to The Hurt Locker. A couple of movies that comes to mind (which sort of sparked this post), are Inside Llewyn Davis and The Wolf of Wall Street. In fact, I was originally going to title this ‘Movies I Appreciate but NOT Love.’ That’s perhaps an equally appropriate question, though there’s perhaps other reason why you don’t want to watch something a second time around. Interestingly, those two films come from beloved and celebrated filmmakers (the Coen Brothers and Martin Scorsese) whom I respect but their work are not exactly my cup of tea. In any case, both are good films, some would even call a masterpiece. But for me, I can only appreciate some aspects of the film (i.e. the performances) but as a whole, it’s not something I’d want to see again.

What about you folks? Which movies you saw in 2013 that you’re glad you saw but wouldn’t watch again?

105 thoughts on “First Question of the Year: Which 2013 movie(s) do you appreciate but wouldn’t watch again?

  1. Ted S.

    Hmm that’s good question, I guess I’m the type that if I don’t like a certain movie than I just don’t want to see it again, I’ve never been the type that appreciates the movie itself. I don’t know if that makes sense. Funny you mentioned The Coen Brothers and Scorsese, I love their most of their films but some I refuse to watch again. I guess I can’t really answer this question since I didn’t see any films that I really appreciate.

    As for films from 2013, I guess I’ll go with two that are quite popular with movie fans, American Hustle and Pacific Rim, I can’t bring myself to watch those films again. They’re not bad, just aren’t that interesting to me.

    1. Ah that’s interesting Ted. For me, unless a film is utterly terrible and without merit ( i.e. die hard 5), I still can appreciate certain films even if I’m not fond of it for whatever reason. I think with certain filmmakers, their style is an acquired taste, hence I may not LOVE their movies tho I still appreciate parts of them. Ahah we’ll sometimes I surprise myself as I really like Pac Rim 🙂

  2. I don’t know. The films of 2013 I saw were really good w/ a couple of exception in Oz the Great and Powerful and Jack the Giant Slayer which were mediocre. If nothing is on, I might watch it just to pass the time. Yet, I don’t think I have any films that I’ve seen so far that fit into that criteria.

  3. Great question, Ruth! Catching Fire is the first one that comes to mind. Having read the books, I’m excited to see if the movies change the ending that left me very unsatisfied…however the sequel film just didn’t do it for me. I wish it had but I found it much less intriguing than the first one. American Hustle might be a follow-up choice. I’d watch it again because it sure was FUN and for the performances…but the ending didn’t have a big enough reward for me to see it again and again. :/

    1. Hi Katy! I hear ya about Catching Fire. Though I enjoyed it, I haven’t seen the first movie on dvd again either, same w/ the sequel I imagine. I am looking forward to the 3rd film tho. As for American Hustle, I don’t mind seeing it again on dvd when it comes out, it was such riotous fun!

  4. I’m still working on 2013 movies (probably 10 more to go) but from what I’ve seen, I think the biggest disappointment (which grew greater and greater as I thought about it more) was Ironman 3. Other than that, nothing that I wouldn’t see again…from what I saw (which wasn’t a lot) there wasn’t anything that I really hated 🙂

    1. Hi Kim, I haven’t finished my Top 10 list either, hopefully this weekend. I haven’t had any desire to rewatch Iron Man 3 either, the first one however is a lot of fun!

  5. I’d only want to see The Wolf of Wall Street again at home on DVD so I could pause it to use the bathroom. I made it through the film in the theater by not drinking much two hours before the show. Movies I saw and wouldn’t want to see again include Phantom (worst dialogue ever), Admission (cute but predictable, nothing special), and Enough Said (only watched it cos I missed the start of All Is Lost).

    1. Hello Diane! If I were to see Wolf of Wall Street again, it’d probably be a 1 hour movie as I’d fast forward so many of the crude scenes (which are too many!) Was Phantom the submarine movie? That looks dreadful indeed. I might rent All Is Lost though.

  6. Tom

    Intriguing question!!

    Hmm….from 2013. . . . . . .12 Years a Slave definitely is up there. It’s an immensely powerful, well-acted, vital piece of cinema but nothing would make me see that twice. 🙂 In second place might be Blackfish. That was a terribly sad film and it made me quite upset. Also, a great piece of work.

    1. Hiya Tom! Funny you mentioned 12 Years a Slave as I had just finished reviewing it last night. Yeah, like The Passion of the Christ, it’s not something I could sit through again anytime soon. I haven’t seen Blackfish but if it’s anything like The Cove then it’s definitely heart-wrenching!

  7. That’s some very cold wheather! Luckily it has not been very cold yet over here, but you never know 🙂

    As for movies I would not watch again Enter the Void is the movie which immediately jumps to mind. Amazing experience, but not one I would like to repeat.

    1. Yeah it’s brutal over here, it’s REALLY getting on my nerves!

      Haven’t seen Enter the Void, curious to check out what that one’s all about.

      1. Seems I wasn’t fully awake this morning when I replied…did not see it had to be a 2013 movie. Enter the Void was an earlier film. Naming one of last year is difficult, those I do not want to see again were the horrible ones 😉

        1. It’s ok Nostra, I appreciate your response anyway. I hear ya about not wanting to see horrible movies, but that’d be too easy of a question 😉

  8. Good question. I haven’t seen a lot of films last year but some that might fall under that criteria would be Elysium and The Spectacular Now. It’s not that they were terrible (they were good, at most) but it’s not something I would want to watch again in the near future.

    1. Hi there! I was quite disappointed w/ Elysium so I wouldn’t watch it because I don’t think it’s a good film. Haven’t seen The Spectacular Now though, I heard it was pretty good.

  9. Tough question for 2013, though I have to say I loved the movie ‘Prisoners’, but I think it’s a one-time-watcher for me. Phenomenal acting and story, but clocking in around 2hr 20min as a psychological thriller/drama it may be hard to go back and watch when you know the ending. It’s that kinda movie. Really good but once you get it, you’ve got it.

    1. Hi there, welcome to FC! Haven’t seen Prisoners yet but based on my friend’s guest review here, I probably would only see it once too.

    1. Hi Claratsi, long time no see man, happy new year! 😀 I actually would love to see Gravity again but it probably would be a lesser experience seeing it on my TV as opposed to the big screen w/ Dolby Atmos sound 😦

  10. That’s a very tricky question, Ruth, and I’m struggling to think of one but I will admit to not taking to Pacific Rim. In fact, I lasted about half an hour and turned it off. I have no real desire to sit down to it again. Another would probably be Now You See Me. I done that exact same with that film and the remake of Evil Dead was abysmal in my eyes. Never again!

    1. Ahah, not a fan of Pacific Rim eh? I understand, I’m actually surprised how much I LOVE that movie, but hey it is what it is. Sometimes there’s no explaining why you like something and not others. I wish I didn’t waste my time w/ Now You See Me, now that was dreadful.

      1. I really wanted to like Pacific Rim but the dialogue was so poor that I couldn’t help but cringe. It lasted about 20mins before I pulled the plug. I was quite taken with the SFX, though, so I probably will return to it when I have nothing else to watch. As for Now You See Me, I might just return to that so I can slaughter it in a review.

  11. Interesting question Ruth. I think I might say The Act of Killing as that was really harrowing. I definitely wouldn’t watch it on my own again, although I might watch it with other people just to see their reactions and be able to discuss it with them.

    1. Hi Chris! Y’know, I’ve only seen The Act of Killing twice because the director gave me the original full version but I was barely able to get through it. It’s definitely too harrowing to watch repeatedly!

  12. For me, I’d say Prisoners. I liked it a lot and it’s an interesting picture, but over time I’ve cooled towards it and have no particular desire to go back and rewatch it. Good question Ruth!

    1. Hi Mark! Someone else just mentioned Prisoners too and though I haven’t seen it, I totally get what you mean just by reading some of the reviews.

  13. Interesting question. Off the top of my head, The Act of Killing would probably land in this category for me. Just thinking about it again makes me wonder how humanity got here.

    Also Compliance. Appreciate it fully and all that jazz, but while watching it, I was so frustrated and angry at just how stupid people can be!

    1. Hi Jaina, yep I just said to Chris above that The Act of Killing is a tough one to sit through again. I only read about Compliance, for some reason I’m not all that interested in seeing that one.

  14. Hmmm… probably “The Way Way Back”. It put a smile on my face and I’m glad I saw it, but it’s not something I could see myself renting to see again, or stopping in my channel surfing when it comes to tv one day. This type of question usually gets answered with horror films, or movies with brutal violence, so I feel kinda weird with my answer. Lol.

    1. Hello Gene! I kept seeing “The Way Way Back” on Netflix Streaming but haven’t got around to seeing it. It might end up be a ‘one time viewing’ thing for me too. Well, I don’t even watch any horror movies at all and I can’t stand gruesome violence or films w/ too much sex either.

  15. 12 Years a Slave, definitely. I did sort of love it — I thought it was amazing, but obviously it’s not one I’m going to watch again and again. I was a little bit disappointed by Inside Llewyn Davis, but I probably wouldn’t say no to watching it again. I’ll bet there are some nuances and layers that get missed in the first viewing.

    1. Hi Sam! I might rent 12 Years a Slave as my hubby hasn’t seen it, but yeah it would be tough to sit through repeatedly. As for Inside Llewyn Davis, I guess I just didn’t *get* what the point of the whole thing was, though I enjoyed seeing Oscar Isaac and listening to his beautiful singing voice!

  16. This is a great question, and one I need to ponder as I haven’t seen a lot from this year yet and most that I really admire I also really liked, and the ones I don’t care to see again I didn’t really admire.

  17. Great question!

    I’ll say Blue Caprice, which is a really interesting look at some people who did really bad things.

    And also one of the films in my Current Top Ten: Ginger and Rosa. The performances are spell-binding, the screenplay and direction near flawless, the attention to period details some of the best I’ve ever seen, all of which to combines to make Ginger and Rosa one of the most emotionally impacting movies I can remember. But it isn’t easy to watch. Nor does it count as entertaining, really. Going through that experience once was probably enough.

    1. Hi there James! Haven’t heard of Blue Caprice, hmmm I’m curious now, did you review it?

      I remember reading about Ginger and Rosa, that does sound like an emotionally exhausting film to see, but I still might give it a shot.

      1. I did review Blue Caprice, though almost immediately after I started the blog, before I began reading any of the other film blogs (most of them better than mine) that WordPress has to offer. Which is to say there’s a reason you haven’t seen my review. 😉 If you’re interested, you can find it here:

        Anyway, Blue Caprice is about the 2002 DC area snipers. Like I said, a movie about two people who did very bad things.

        And if you do ever see Ginger and Rosa, I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

  18. Interesting. I thought about Prisoners but the performances are so good I might give it a re-watch just to see them again, despite the super dark subject matter. Maybe ‘What Maisie Knew’ or The Butler.

    1. Hi Fernando! Oh I’d be happy to watch The Butler again, in fact I will do so as my hubby hasn’t seen it. As for ‘Prisoners’ and ‘What Maisie Knew’ I haven’t seen either, but both sounds like a one-time-watch for me.

  19. Excellent question. This goes through my head quite a bit actually and it is sometimes difficult to separate between films I respect and appreciate and films that I truly enjoy and love. Often, it is those that fall neatly on both of those “categories” that I consider favorites of mine and that will likely find a place in my shelf.
    Of those I saw in 2013, I guess Amour takes the prize for a film I appreciate and truly respect but that I will, most likely, never watch again. Still, I must give it the praise it deserves as I placed it in my top 5 of 2012 films. If you ask what it is exactly about Amour that would keep me away, well, I guess it has to do with the subject matter, which is downright depressing.

    1. Hi Niels! I usually know right away which movies I want to see again and which ones I simply appreciate I saw it, but wouldn’t care to see again. Some are for personal reasons based on taste, and others simply because it’s not an *entertaining* film per se.

      Oh I read reviews of Amour and I can see that being one of those films for you. Sounds heart-wrenching and depressing.

  20. I liked 12 Years a Slave, but the film was such a creative and artistic mess I can’t see it again. Maybe just Paulson and Cumberbatch’s scenes, some day.

    1. Hi Sati! Yeah that film isn’t a masterpiece as some critics are saying, but yeah, I like the scenes w/ Cumberbatch and Paulson is definitely memorable.

  21. Most of 2013’s films fall into this category for me actually, the only reason I want to watch some of them again (12 Years a Slave, American Hustle) is so I can solidify/possibly change my opinion of them, not so much because I really liked them and want to see them again. Others I would see again, but wouldn’t necessarily make a point of seeking them out (Prisoners, Out of the Furnace).
    Gravity is one that I appreciate a lot, but for some reason it didn’t really get to me personally. I thought the visuals and 3D were amazing, so I’m really glad I had that experience in the theater, but I really don’t have much desire to revisit it.

    1. PS: Also Escape From Tomorrow. It was a daring and interesting film, but it runs off the rails at the end and the whole thing is a bit horrific! I’m glad I saw it but I definitely don’t need to see it again.

    2. Hi Hunter! That’s interesting that there are films that you want to revisit to solidify your opinion about them. I never thought of that before, but yeah, there are some films that might be worth revisiting for that reason.

      I’m not sure what Escape From Tomorrow is about, totally escape my mind. Is it a horror/thriller?

      1. Yeah it’s like a horror film built around Disney World. This family goes on vacation to Disney and right before their last day the dad looses his job, doesn’t tell the rest of the family, and basically goes completely nuts at Disney World. The stuff there is all either bizarrely sexualized or demonized. They filmed it on location at Disney without permission, so it was getting a fair amount of hype for that reason. However, the film was pretty small so it wasn’t a big enough threat to Disney for them to quash it I guess.

        1. WHOAH! Something sexualized and demonized in Disney World?? That is bizarre! Oy, I don’t know if that’s something I could stomach though.

          1. Yeah I bet it could ruin a bunch of childhoods. I’ve never been there myself so I think I’m okay… probably.
            You can probably see why I would not really want to see it again though 🙂

  22. Good grief that’s cold!!! I feel guilty griping about our 30 degree temp! 🙂

    You ask a good question today but I’m scrambling for an answer. The French film “Renoir” is one that comes to mind. I really appreciated the film but the “artful” nudity was a bit much for me.

    1. Ahah, yeah you have nothing to complain about. 30 degrees would be a VERY warm front!

      I haven’t seen ‘Renoir’ but yeah, not particularly fond of films w/ excessive nudity, and almost every film, esp. foreign ones usually have too much of that IMO. I guess we might be in the minority in that POV amongst movie bloggers, Keith.

      1. In the movies defense it is never used in any sexual context. Also considering Renoir’s work it is certainly a key part of his life. He did paint many nudes with the same models. But in this film there is a TON of it. I really love the story and the performances were outstanding. But that will definitely keep me from seeing it again.

        1. Ah I see, then perhaps I’d have less issue with it than say, how nudity was used in a gratuitous way that objectify women. I’m curious to see a film about Renoir though, I might consider it now, even if for just a one-time viewing.

          1. It’s a beautiful film too. There is almost an impressionistic quality to the movie that matches Renoir’s brushes. Gorgeous shots of nature and some great performances.

  23. 12 Years A Slave springs immediately to mind. Technically a tremendous movie, with great acting and stunning cinematography (though the recycled Inception score leaves a lot to be desired). That said, great as it was, and while I wholeheartedly understand all the praise it’s getting, I have absolutely no desire to revisit it.

    1. Also, completely understand that reaction towards Wolf of Wall Street, as that was my own initial reaction as well. It’s just that since it’s settled in a bit more, that stance has changed for me, and I really can’t wait to revisit it again.

    2. Hi Chris! It’s been a while since I saw 12 Years A Slave and for some reason I just didn’t remember the score! Must not be too memorable then, ahah.

      As for Wolf of Wall Street, I’m one of those film lovers who don’t care for overt sexuality nor gruesome violence, usually Scorsese’s films have both, but the borderline pornographic content is something I find repulsive. I guess he’s trying to make a point, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

  24. I don’t have any films that totally fit this question; there’s nothing super disturbing that I want to avoid. Instead, I’d probably have to choose Upstream Color, which I really admire but found pretty hard to crack. I’m not sure that I’ll watch it again despite being intrigued by the themes and its originality.

    1. Ahah, if Upstream Color is anything like Holy Motors then I totally understand. Though there is one scene I LOVE in Holy Motors that I don’t mind watching again as I love the song.

        1. Oh really? Um well, I’m not sure I can handle Upstream Color then. It’s funny as the poster seems so enchanting, but the film seems VERY, VERY different.

  25. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    I love your chatty style, Ruth. I enjoyed this read.

    I don’t usually watch movies twice. It would be SO rare for me to, so I’d say all the movies I’ve seen, I wouldn’t watch again! I haven’t seen JD Salinger yet, though. I’m interested in that one.

    1. Hello there! You don’t often watch movies more than once? I wish I could say the same, but when I like something I tend to obsess over it and watch it repeatedly 😀 Haven’t seen JD Salinger but I’m not that familiar w/ that author so that film might be rather lost of me. Thanks for stopping by!

  26. I don’t think I could watch American Hustle again. It was a bit disappointing for me, but I’ll leave the option open. Otherwise, not sure if I could watch a movie like The Wolverine or Pacific Rim again. Mindless action is fun for everyone, but it gets boring.

    1. Aw that’s a bummer that you’re disappointed w/ it. For me it met my expectations in that it was a wild, crazy ride and I found it to be hilarious. Now The Wolverine was disappointing as I expected more than just action but it ended up being boring and not really that entertaining. Pac Rim on the other hand, I had such a low expectation for it and it ended up surprising me in a big way!

      1. I thought Hustle was done well, but the plot was really odd and ruined it for me. The acting was great thought. My friends hyped up Pacific Rim too much for me, but I loved the action sequences, they were done so well.

        1. The plot is a bit out of focus at times, but it was so hilarious that I had fun w/ it. Plus just watching Bale being such a slimy con artist was so worth it. Ahah well sometimes a movie that was overhyped could end up disappointing. For some reason I loved Pac Rim, the action and the music are so awesome and I normally not into big monster movies, I mean I HATED Transformers!

  27. Hi Ruth, I was just thinking about this the other day. While I didn’t love Fruitvale Station, I appreciate it. It’s one of those movies where you should watch it once but don’t need to relive it again.

    1. Ah that’s interesting that you just thought of it recently! Haven’t seen Fruitvale Station but your answer is exactly what I was looking for, something you appreciate but not necessarily love. Thanks!

  28. Happy New Year, Ruth! That’s a great question. Honestly, I can’t really think of any 2013 films that I wouldn’t want to watch again. Maybe The Hobbit? I thought it was a good enough film, but its length was a bit of a turn off. I still have some major catching up to do on last year’s releases though, so maybe my answer will change in the next couple months.

    1. Thanks Eric, Happy New Year to you as well! Yeah, the long movies are tough to watch again. Though I might rewatch The Hobbit later once I get the box set 😀 Have you seen HER yet? Try to see that before Oscar nom, it’s such a surprisingly heartfelt film.

  29. rockerdad

    I’m losing major cred here as all I’ve seen this year in the theatres are blockbusters like Catching Fire, Frozen, and Monsters U. I did see Inside Llewyn Davis and thought it was great. That said, it’s hard to sit through again. First viewing really kept me interested. But, like most Coen Bros. films for me, I will probably rewatch at some point to observe intricate details. I remember seeing The Big Lebowski when it first came out – enjoyed the stoner humor but didn’t really get it. Then I found myself repeating lines from the movie later on and now, it’s an annual viewing staple. I’m still singing that song Oscar Isaac and Justin Timberlake were recording in Columbia Studios…

    1. Hi Vince! Ahah, no your film cred is intact man, no worries 😀 I LOVED Frozen, how ’bout you? I think w/ Inside Llewyn Davis, I just didn’t see the point of the story, but I chuck it all to the fact that I don’t *get* The Coens. I do LOVE Oscar Isaac in it and he made it worth watching somehow. I might do a Music Break on it too as I quite like his singing voice, boy I’d buy his record if he were a real singer!

  30. I haven’t seen enough new films in 2013 to answer this question with any authority but I think The Kings of Summer might fall into this category. It had enough going for it to merit praise from the critics and appreciation from me but I was left strangely cold which I didn’t expect. Therefore, at the moment, I have no intention of re-watching it.

  31. I don’t watch many 2013 movies…but out of all movies I watched through 2013, the one I appreciate most is Funny Games but I don’t want to watch it again. Funny Games is definitely in my top 5 Movies of the year….awesome and brilliant movie.

    1. Did you mean Funny Games circa 2007 or 1997 Novroz? I couldn’t get through the 2007 one because it used name actors. The 1997 one was quite brilliant. I thought it was quite subversive of Haneke to remake a movie that his whole point was for you to make you stop watching the gruesome the first place. His point being what we are really willing to sit through in the name “entertainment”.

  32. Interesting question. I’d probably go with Laurence Anyways and Short Term 12. I might never watch them again, but I’m a fan of both.

  33. A GREAT question. I appreciated Only God Forgives, but highly doubt I’ll ever watch it again. Also, I loved Blue is the Warmest Color, but it doesn’t have a high rewatchability factor.

    1. Hi Alex, hope you’re well. I haven’t seen either one of the films you mentioned, but I probably never will. Based on the reviews I read of OGF, it sounds like an overindulgence of meaningless violence.

  34. Good question, Ruth, and not an easy one. (And I’m enjoying reading the answers from other people; seems like Prisoners comes up a lot.) My 2013 viewing is still pretty light, so there aren’t a lot of films to choose from. Generally it’s either films I’d be happy to see again (Monsters Inc.) or films I didn’t appreciate the first time around (The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia).

    I think I would have to say The Conjuring. It’s a very good film — exceptionally good for one of today’s horror movies. But having seen it once, I don’t think I need to see it again.

    1. Hi Morgan! I think films that rely on ‘twists’ usually don’t have high rewatchability value. Sounds like The Conjuring is one of those. I do love Monsters Inc and I don’t mind watching that one again!

      1. It’s not really a “twist” film, it’s just that like any supernatural horror film, fear and suspense are fueled by the unfamiliar nature of it. Once you’ve seen it, it’s familiar, and so it loses its impact.

  35. I’d have to say The Spectacular Now and The Kings of Summer. I guess I was just expecting more from them. I didn’t even try to watch 12 Years A Slave in the theater knowing what I was in for. Will be renting that one.

    It seems like I’m in the minority on American Hustle as I really liked it and would have no problem with it winning Best Picture although there are still a lot of films I have to see.

    1. I haven’t seen The Spectacular Now but I quite enjoyed The Kings of Summer. You expected more from a first time director? The latter was a feature film debut and I thought it was pretty great.

      I like American Hustle a lot, too. I won’t cry foul if it won Best Picture either, but I think lots of people will.

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