In 2013, there were a thousand bright lights and no strong center ― even with Gravity, which ranked No. 8 on our tally of nearly 100 critics’ bests. results in this year’s Village VoiceFilm Poll, like the decisions arrived at by critics’ circles around the country, suggest that consensus is the first thing to go when quality films are in such abundance. That is, quality films at the indie and international level. As usual, the top slots go to the best of studios’ parade of holiday hams, especially from old reliables like the Coen brothers (No. 1) and Spike Jonze (No. 2), but I defy you to find many wide releases from the first half of the year on this list ― or in your store of pleasurable memories. But the smaller films live on and still surprise: James Franco as best supporting actor? At spring break, anything can happen! And marvel at this: Andrew Dice Clay was in the running, too. Inside Llewyn Davis, the best-film winner, appeared on the ballots of just over half the critics, and in the directors’ category, the Coens didn’t crack the top five. The upshot: With more movies than ever released, and fewer good big movies than ever released, critics in 2013 assembled top-tens that look more like playlists than authoritative declarations of bests. Here’s what we discovered this year.... More >>>