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The AP's top 10 movies of the year

FILE - This file image released by Fox Searchlight shows Chiwetel Ejiofor, center, in a scene from "12 Years A Slave." (AP Photo/Fox Searchlight, Jaap Buitendijk)In surveying the year at the movies, the topography is rich. From the dusty, dying towns of "Nebraska" to the rooftop Roman parties in "The Great Beauty" to the sleek future Los Angeles of "Her," 2013 has been a trip. But has it been a great year? Negativity reached a fever pitch in the summer when Steven Spielberg lamented Hollywood's risk-adverse, finance-driven blockbusterism. The grim, humorless "Man of Steel" and its careless backdrop of mass destruction was a low point: the epitome of everything bad about movies today. Yet ambitious films gathered in number as the year went on, and many began calling 2013 a historically excellent year for film, after all. Here are one critic's top picks of the year, all of them reasons why 2013 was a good year for the big screen:


Spotify's Top 10 most viral tracks

FILE - This May 18, 2013 file photo shows Hannah Hooper, left, and Christian Zucconi of Grouplove performing as part of Party in the Park at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta. Grouplove's, “Ways to Go,” was the most viral track on Spotify, from Monday, June 10, to Sunday, June 16, via Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Spotify. (Photo by Robb D. Cohen/RobbsPhotos/Invision/AP, file)The following list represents the most viral tracks on Spotify, based on the number of people who shared it divided by the number who listened to it, from Monday, Oct. 20 to Sunday, Oct. 26 via Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Spotify.


Spotify's Top 10 most streamed tracks

FILE - In this Sept. 7, 2012 file photo, musician Robin Thicke performs during Macy's Passport presents Glamorama 2012 at The Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles. Thicke's "Blurred Lines (feat. T.I. & Pharrell)" was the top streamed tracks on Spotify from Monday, June 10, to Sunday, June 16, 2013. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)The following list represents the most streamed tracks on Spotify, based on the number of people who shared it divided by the number who listened to it, from Monday, Oct. 20 to Sunday Oct. 26 via Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Spotify.


Globe nominations for musical or comedy film
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The Golden Globe nominations for best musical or comedy film have been announced in Beverly Hills, Calif., by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Golden Globe nominations for TV drama series

In this image released by Showtime, Claire Danes portrays Carrie Mathison in a scene from the Showtime original series, " Homeland." Danes was nominated Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012 for a Golden Globe for best actress in a drama series for her role in “ Homeland .“ The 70th annual Golden Globe Awards will be held on Jan. 13. (AP Photo/Showtime, Kent Smith)BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The Golden Globe nominations for best television drama series have been announced in Beverly Hills, Calif., by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.


Globe nominations for TV comedy series actor
The Golden Globe nominations for best actor in a television comedy series have been announced in Beverly Hills, Calif., by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Golden Globe nominations for TV comedy series
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The Golden Globe nominations for best television comedy series have been announced in Beverly Hills, Calif., by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
Golden Globe nominations for animated film
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The Golden Globe nominations for best animated film have been announced in Beverly Hills, Calif., by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
NKorean cinema: Kidnappings and evil Americans

FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2013 file photo, North Koreans ride on an amusement park ride while watching a 3D movie at the Rungna People's Pleasure Park in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea hates the Hollywood film that revolves around the assassination of its beloved leader, but the country has had a long love affair with cinema - of its own particular styling. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder, File)SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea hates the currently scrapped Hollywood film that revolves around the assassination of its beloved leader, but the country has had a long love affair with cinema — of its own particular styling.


Iraq TV show makes 'terrorists' confront victims

In this photo taken Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014, a man, center, expresses his anger at Haider Ali Motar, not seen, as they perform a scene from "In the Grip of the Law," a reality show produced by Iraqi state TV, in Baghdad, Iraq. The man is a relative of a victim who was killed in an attack for which Motar was convicted. He was convicted of terrorism charges about a month ago for helping to carry out a string of Baghdad car bombings on behalf of the Islamic State extremist group. Now, the 21-year old is a reluctant cast member in the reality TV show. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)BAGHDAD (AP) — Haider Ali Motar was convicted of terrorism charges about a month ago for helping to carry out a string of Baghdad car bombings on behalf of the Islamic State extremist group. Now, the 21-year old is a reluctant cast member in a popular reality TV show.


NKorean cinema: Kidnappings and evil Americans

FILE - In this Sept. 22, 2013 file photo, North Koreans ride on an amusement park ride while watching a 3D movie at the Rungna People's Pleasure Park in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea hates the Hollywood film that revolves around the assassination of its beloved leader, but the country has had a long love affair with cinema - of its own particular styling. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder, File)SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea hates the Hollywood film that revolves around the assassination of its beloved leader, but the country has had a long love affair with cinema — of its own particular styling.


US mulls putting NKorea on terrorism sponsor list

Cars drive by the Sony Pictures Plaza building in Culver City, Calif., Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. President Barack Obama declared Friday that Sony "made a mistake" in shelving the satirical film, "The Interview," about a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader. He pledged the U.S. would respond "in a place and manner and time that we choose" to the hacking attack on Sony that led to the withdrawal. The FBI blamed the hack on the communist government. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)HONOLULU (AP) — President Barack Obama says the United States is reviewing whether to put North Korea back on its list of state sponsors of terrorism as Washington decides how to respond to what he calls an "act of cybervandalism," not one of war, against a movie company.


Showdown for AFC North title moves to prime time
NEW YORK (AP) — The showdown for the AFC North title will be played in prime time.
German-language pop superstar Udo Juergens dies

FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 15, 2013 file photo, Udo Juergens holds the Bambi trophy during the Bambi 2013 media awards in Berlin, Germany. Udo Juergens, an Austrian-born star who dominated pop music in the German-speaking world and sold more than 100 million records in a career spanning five decades, died on Sunday. He was 80 years old. Juergens collapsed in Gottlieben, a town on Lake Constance north of Zurich, Switzerland, and was taken to a hospital where he died 4:25 p.m., his management told the German news agency dpa. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer, file)BERLIN (AP) — Udo Juergens, an Austrian-born star who dominated pop music in the German-speaking world and sold more than 100 million records in a career spanning five decades, died on Sunday. He was 80 years old.


How do you joke about the Sony hacking? A little carefully

FILE - In this Dec. 3, 2014 file photo, actor Chris Rock attends the premiere of "Top Five" at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York. While out promoting the film this week, Rock noted: "My movie's very Korean-friendly. There are no jokes about North Korea in 'Top Five.' If you're Korean, go out and see 'Top Five.' You will enjoy it." (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)How do you joke about the Sony hacking story? After all, it was an attempt at comedy that launched this whole sobering mess.


'Hobbit' goes out on top with $90.6 million 5-day debut

In this image released by Warner Bros. Pictures, Martin Freeman appears in a scene from the film, "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, Mark Pokorny)NEW YORK (AP) — While Hollywood continued to wrestle with the fallout of the Sony hacking scandal, the weekend box office offered the solace of a moviegoing truism: Hobbits sell.


Good news from Tom Brokaw: His cancer is in remission
NEW YORK (AP) — Tom Brokaw says his cancer is in remission.
Happy day: Elton John, David Furnish marry in England

FILE - A Wednesday Dec. 21, 2005 photo from files showing pop star Elton John, right, and his longtime partner David Furnish, after they had a civil ceremony at the Guildhall in Windsor, England. Elton John and his partner David Furnish plan to tie the knot for a second time this weekend, following the legalization of same-sex marriage in Britain. The singer's spokesman, Gary Farrow, said Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, that the ceremony will be private. Same-sex couples have been allowed to marry in Britain since March. Previously, gay couples could form civil partnerships, which carried the same legal status as marriage but without the title. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, File)LONDON (AP) — Entertainer Elton John and longtime mate David Furnish officially married Sunday on the ninth anniversary of the day they entered into a civil partnership.


Real-life 'Sopranos' strip club robbed of $30K

Bada Bing ClubLODI, N.J. (AP) — Authorities say the northern New Jersey strip club that was used for filming of "The Sopranos" has been robbed of $30,000.


US dismisses N. Korea hacking probe offer, seeks China's help

North Korea's alleged hack of Sony Pictures was not an act of war, President Barack Obama saysThe United States has dismissed a call by North Korea for a joint investigation into the hacking of Sony Pictures and wants China to help block cyber attacks from Pyongyang. Washington blames North Korea for a breach of cyber security at Sony which led to the release of embarrassing emails and prompted executives to halt the release of "The Interview". Pyongyang has repeatedly denied that it was behind last month's crippling attack, which also led to the leaking of scripts, and called Saturday for a joint probe with the US.


Sony saga blends foreign intrigue, star wattage

An exterior view of the Sony Pictures Studios building is seen in Culver City, Calif., Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. President Barack Obama declared Friday that Sony "made a mistake" in shelving the satirical film, "The Interview," about a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader. He pledged the U.S. would respond "in a place and manner and time that we choose" to the hacking attack on Sony that led to the withdrawal. The FBI blamed the hack on the communist government. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)LOS ANGELES (AP) — The hackers who hit Sony Pictures Entertainment days before Thanksgiving crippled the network, stole gigabytes of data and spilled into public view unreleased films and reams of private and sometimes embarrassing executive emails.


AP source: US seeks China's help after cyberattack
HONOLULU (AP) — The United States is asking China for help as it weighs potential responses to a cyberattack against Sony Pictures Entertainment that the U.S. has blamed on North Korea.
Guest lineups for the Sunday news shows
WASHINGTON (AP) — Guest lineups for the Sunday TV news shows:
'Dragon Age' tops AP critics' best games of 2014

This photo provided by Electronic Arts shows a scene from the video game, “Dragon Age: Inquisition." (AP Photo/Electronic Arts)The top 10 video games of 2014, according to Lou Kesten:


Amazon-Hachette feud headlines book news in 2014

This image released by 20th Century Fox shows Ben Affleck in a scene from "Gone Girl." The film, released in 2014, is based on the best-selling book by Gillian Flynn. (AP Photo/20th Century Fox, Merrick Morton)NEW YORK (AP) — Like a serial for the digital age, the book world's most dramatic story of 2014 unfolded in installments, often in real time.


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