Staff Picks: The Best Movies Of 2013 (So Far…)

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Mark’s Pick: Before Midnight

Rare is the threequel that wasn’t greenlit strictly due to the potential revenue impact of fast food tie-ins and licensing potential, but Before Midnight proves that there’s still room at the multiplex for intelligent, darkly humorous, character-driven films ($4.6MM at the B.O. and counting). The third film of a trilogy that also includes Before Sunrise And Before Sunset catches us up on the lives of Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy), a couple that first met during a chance encounter in the mid-90s and now finds themselves in their mid-40s trying to recapture the romantic connection that initially drew them together. It’s elegantly directed by Richard Linklater, who has proven himself over the course of his 20+ year directing career to be an American talent to rival the likes of Robert Altman. — Mark Graham

RUNNER-UP: Frances Ha (directed by Noah Baumbach)