The top 10 Hollywood South films of 2013

By Mike Scott, 

Picking the best Hollywood South films of the year was easy -- for the top three picks. Beyond that, with 30-plus Louisiana-shot films landing in theaters this year, ranking the rest was decidedly tricky stuff. Regardless, as I continue to roll out my year-end 10-best lists, below you'll find my accounting of the best that Hollywood South had to offer in 2013. So what do you think? Is your favorite on the list? Sound off in the comments section below. Also, check back every morning this week as I post a new list daily, covering everything from the best animated films to the best Hollywood South films to the best overall films of 2013.

10. "Oldboy." Spike Lee's New Orleans-shot reimagining of the classic tale rubbed people the wrong way right out of the gate. ("How dare he?") As a result, few people saw it -- so they'll never know that it was pretty good, if decidedly dark, stuff.

9. "Olympus Has Fallen." This Shreveport-made film was one of two "Die Hard in the White House" movies to land in theaters this year. Like "White House Down," it is good, popcorn-y fun.

8. "The East." Director Zal Batmanglij and actor-writer Brit Marling teamed up for this eco-thriller, which shot in both Shreveport and New Orleans. The result, though largely ignored by audiences, was smarter than your average Hollywood fare. 

7. "Now You See Me." Director Louis Leterrier's New Orleans-shot magic-themed heist movie featured a great cast and a general sense of fun -- which is why it was one of the surprise hits of the spring.

6. "Ain't Them Bodies Saints." Beautiful cinematography helped cover up any narrative flaws in this lyrical Shreveport-shot crime drama.

5. "Oblivion." With this, only his second feature, writer-director Joseph Kosinski ("TRON: Legacy") shows why he's a sci-fi force to be reckoned with. Not only does it benefit from a simmering intensity -- thanks to actor Tom Cruise -- but it's also gorgeously shot.

4. "This is the End." Not only was this New Orleans-shot cataclysm comedy -- marking the directoral debut of Seth Rogen and creative partner Evan Goldberg -- the best comedy shot in Louisiana in 2013, but it was one of the best comedies of 2013, period. 

3. "The Butler." Director Lee Daniels' star-studded, New Orleans-shot historical drama was a conversation starter and a surprise hit -- and very entertaining, to boot.

2. "Dallas Buyers Club." Two of the finest performances of the year can be found in this New Orleans-shot, Texas-set AIDS drama that doubles as an unlikely song of hope.

1. "12 Years a Slave." Steve McQueen's searing adaptation of the memoirs of Solomon Northup is the full package: great acting, great cinematography and an unforgettable story. It is Oscar-bound, and it deserves to be.