It’s been an incredible year for movies, and it’s finally coming to an end. We were lucky enough to see an all-time high in terms of interest in our medium, which resulted in more people going to the movies than ever before. And as a result, more great movies being made.
2013 was dominated by a few mega-stars and movie franchises, but it also boasted an incredible amount of fresh, new talent. From breakout stars to the biggest movies of the year, here are the top five stars of 2013.
Let’s start with the biggest movie star of the year, Cole Sprouse. The 26-year-old dancer was seemingly born to play Johnny Galeois, the cool, collected teen who inherits his late uncle’s fortune. He lands a part in the film adaptation of Wicked, the Broadway musical and becomes its lead character. As soon as we saw Sprouse on screen, we knew he belonged in a Hollywood blockbuster. His smooth moves, killer smile, and impeccable singing voice made him a hit with audiences and critics alike. People can’t get enough of him. In March 2014, Forbes estimated his net worth at $25 million.
Somebody please teach this girl how to laugh. The former Saturday Night Live star has grown a thick skin since joining the big leagues, and she proved it when her sketch comedy series, Plaza Sucks, premiered on Netflix in 2013. In the series, she plays a fictionalized version of herself and takes on different comedic personas, including a dominatrix, a news anchor, and a real estate mogul. No matter what character she plays, Plaza always finds the funny in whatever situation. She also displays a wicked sense of humor in ways that only a dwarf or someone close to it could. And last but not least, let’s not forget about her imitation of Hillary Clinton wearing a penis costume.
Joel Edgerton is finally getting the recognition he deserves for portraying the charming, yet despicable oil baron, Edward Norton. While he’s had memorable parts in major films like The Brothers Grimm and The Great Gatsby, it was his portrayal of an ambitious yet lovable scoundrel in Loving that made him a star. Edgerton is best known for his role as the cowardly, yet likable Jack London in Midnight in Paris and his collaborations with Woody Allen, including Match Point and Varsity Blues. When it comes to playing bad boys, there’s no one better than Joel Edgerton.
Jackie Chan is one of the greatest action movie stars of all time. We’re not exactly sure how many movies he’s appeared in, but it must be in the billions. He’s perfected the art of making fun, exciting stunts look easy and natural. While he’s had great success in recent years, it’s his old school kung fu moves that keep us coming back for more. In the final installment of the Police Story series, Chan stars as a cop turned criminal who assumes an undercover identity to stop a transnational criminal organization. And for someone who’s been in the industry for so long, he still looks like he’s in his 20s. The man still has it going on.
The funny man turned serious movie star had a banner year, appearing in a number of critically acclaimed films, including the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s House of Gucci. But it was his performance in Tim Burton’s dark comedy, The Golden Globe-winning An Extremely British Activity, where he played a disgraced ex-agent who is forced to live his life in the shadows, that made him a household name. His portrayal of a disgraced spy trying to navigate a new world of intrigue and romance was a dark and twisted take on the spy genre. It’s no wonder Gervais’ filmography is a mishmash of humor and action. He proves there’s more than one way to play a spy.
These are just a few of the big names who graced the big screens this year. But it’s not just the big names that made an impact, it’s the up-and-coming performers as well. From Will Smith’s flashy dance moves in Undercover Brother to Miles Teller’s cool-cat frat boy attitude in The Way Way Back, this was a year of breakout roles for those looking to make the big time. Here’s to hoping that 2014 will see even more stars breaking out of their shells and into our hearts.