It’s safe to say that ScreenCrave didn’t quite agree this years Sundance Film Festival Awards Winners, though we applaud those filmmakers and admit to not seeing some of the winning films, we liked a whole different group of film! Between three of us covering, Brendan Walsh, Christie Ko and myself, we saw over 40 films at the festival, and out of those 40, these are our top 10 films that we feel you HAVE to see out of this years ‘dance….

10. The Way, Way Back

One of the highly talked about films of the festival, not just for it’s quality but it’s price tag! Fox Searchlight bought the film for over $10 million, one of the highest prices at the fest. The film has already been a Summer 2013 release date by Fox and here’s what we thought…

The Way, Way Back  is certainly enjoyable and charming enough to justify a wide release to broad audiences, and its quirky cast and sensitive performances make it a strong fit for the Sundance Film Festival.”

Full Review of The Way, Way Back

9. Mud

Jeff Nocholas has has another great Sundance. His film Mud was picked up and will be distributed later this year by Roadside Attractions on April 26, 2013. We thought….

“Director and screenwriter Jeff Nichols wowed us all in 2011 with Take Shelter and this year returns to Sundance Film Festival with Mud. Though Take Shelter was amazing, it was wonderful to see him return with something completely different, showing that he’s far more than a one trick pony, while still retaining a number of the qualities that we were first impressed by.”

Full Sundance Review of Mud

8. C.O.G

This is one of the only films that was so requested, that it had to have an additional Press & Industry screening added simply because it was so popular. BUT, the film has yet to sell. We’re sure it won’t be long though…

It does justice to the tone of the essay on which it is based and has excellent performances by Groff, Denis O’Hare, and the rest of the cast. It manages to be funny, scary, somber, and hopeful in a way that feels effortless.

Full review of C.O.G

7. Computer Chess

This is the only film on our list that does not have a release date but did actually win one of the award at the fest! It was awarded The Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize, presented to outstanding feature films focusing on science or technology as a theme, which received a $20,000 cash award from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Personally, we loved it…

This has been the best surprise I’ve had at Sundance so far; I walked in, was confused for a few minutes… and then was positively swept away by the comedy and the strangeness that had me grinning from ear to ear, all the way through to the twisted ending.

Full Review of Computer Chess

6. Toy’s House

One of the least star-powered, but most creatively powered films, Toy’s House, pack emotion and laughs, and was bought by CBS Films while at the festival. It has yet to receive a release date but we’re hoping for a Spring release…

This was a genuinely fun film to watch. It had meaning and depth that came off quite effortlessly through it’s unique wit and perspective.

Full Review of Toy’s House

5. Sound City

The only film on this list left in limbo… no distribution is set for this film and it won no awards, but we still like it!

The Foo Fighters front man exhibits an intimate film with a playful nature, and the kind of forthright, unabashed enthusiasm for music performance that only Grohl himself could deliver… Dave Grohl is so sincere and charming that his movie washes over the audience with great ease.

Full Review of Sound City

4. The East

Another Fox Searchlight film, that was bought before the festival. It has yet to receive a release date but we can’t imagine it’ll be that long seeing at how star-studded and very fun film is released…

This film is big in presentation and scope, filled with recognizable and talented faces, and yet still packs some provocative punches. Probably one of the most enjoyably stressful films of the festival, this film has you on the edge of your seat and intrigued the whole way through… When done right, subversive is the best thing for a film, and this film knew exactly how to entice audiences without excluding them.

Full Review of The East

3. S-VHS

Far outdoes its predicesor with the fantastic directors all showing up and helping to create a fantastic horror film. The film is still in limbo, but it won’t be for long. Find it before it finds you…

This year, Barrett, Wingard & Co. return with a badass, stakes-raising collection of new films which elevate the series to a whole new level.  It’s exciting, impressive, and completely wild.  It’s easily more enjoyable than the first installment, and if the series continues in this vein, it may end up being a celebrated launching pad for the careers and collaborations of independent horror filmmakers for a long time  to come.

Full Sundance Review of S-VHS

2. Don Jon’s Addiction

It’s been proven, there’s nothing cinematically that Joseph Gordon-Levitt can’t do. This film was brilliantly made by Joseph Gordon Levitt’s company and Dimension Films and will be releasing it in the US and Canada on October 4, 2013. Don’t miss it!

Probably one of the most refreshing and unique comedies at the fest, this film does more than just deliver salacious sex scenes and big laughs, but also meaning and an important message about consumption.

Full Sundance Review of Don Jon’s Addiction

1. Stoker

This film is not to be missed. Luckily, while at the festival, getting gasped at by audiences, it received a release date of March 1st, 2013. Lucky for you, you won’t have to wait long to see it.

Despite my love for a number of the indie filmmakers at Sundance, there’s just no comparing Park’s expertise and keen eye for story-telling. His craft is far superior to others and he demonstrates this by creating a challenging, beautiful, expertly well made film, that is truly an inspiring… Stoker slowly unravels, revealing one piece of the puzzle at a time… [Park] meddles with perceptions of good and evil, with clever visual styles and characters that will have you wildly fascinated, repulsed, intrigued and completely enchanted by.

Full Review of Stoker

Runners Up:

We loved these three films, sadly they just skimmed our top 10 list, but still come very highly recommended!

  • Sightseers
  • Austenland
  • Blue Caprice