Best Sequels of 2013

00:00 December 22, 2013
By: David Vicari
[Courtesy of Walt DIsney Studios/Motion Pictures]

Generally, movie sequels are often inferior to the original, but 2013 saw several sequels/follow ups that are either as good or better than their predecessor.

Before Midnight

Like the previous Before Sunrise (1994) and Before Sunset (2004), for a 24 hour period, we get a glimpse into the lives of Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy), now married with kids. The entire movie is a conversation between these two main characters and the talk is thoughtful, amusing, occasionally bitter, but always engrossing. It's great to meet up with these characters to see where life has taken them.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Jennifer Lawrence returns are heroine Katniss Everdeen where, in a future society, young people are forced to participate in a "game" to the death. This first sequel to The Hunger Games is pretty much a rehash, but everything the first film did wrong (shaky cam in the action scenes, easily dissolving hard dilemmas, etc.) this one corrects. Catching Fire improves upon the original with clearer story focus and exciting, well-shot action sequences.

Iron Man 3
This is the best of the comic book inspired series, and is really the only Iron Man movie you'll ever need. Writer/director Shane Black, new to this series, infuses the film with awesome action set pieces and smart, witty dialogue. Robert Downey Jr., as Tony Stark/Iron Man, is in top charismatic form, and Ben Kingsley is a hoot "playing" The Mandarin.

Star Trek Into Darkness
I didn't much care for the 2009 Star Trek reboot, but this follow up adventure of the crew of the Starship Enterprise is well written with crackling dialogue, good characterizations, clever plotting and spectacular action. It's riveting all the way, and a great companion piece to the best Trek film there is - Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982).

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