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What We Learned: Five Critics Recall Lessons Absorbed from 2013’s Movies
By: Pete Croatto
Jan 13, 2014
What We Learned: Five Critics Recall Lessons Absorbed from 2013’s Movies
Learned: Cats really do have 9 lives.

Yes, 2013 was a wonderful year for movies, but it was — as always — one that offered a world of knowledge, both convential and surprising. What did we learn at the movies last year? Your lesson commences below. 

Chris Barsanti

Google Maps means that, in Los Angeles at least, even the least intelligent teenager can treat any celebrity’s mansion as their own personal wardrobe. (The Bling Ring)

Ask five people about the same event and you’ll get five different stories; all of them true. (Stories We Tell)

The greatest artists sometimes don’t have any idea of how they do what they do. (Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction)

Cats love the subway. (Inside Llewyn Davis)

Fire hoses aren’t the best defense against AK-47s. (Captain Phillips)

Being the best band at the right time doesn’t mean anybody will necessarily ever know you existed. (A Band Called Death)

Pete Croatto

The best way to get a busy businesswoman to lighten up? Sexual intercourse! (The Internship)

J.D. Salinger liked to type feverishly on a stage basked in atmospheric lighting. (Salinger)

Marry Rooney Mara at your own peril. (Side Effects, Her)

Before you show your in-laws photos from your honeymoon, screen them first. (I Give it a Year).

Want to escape the clutches of a mob of angry rodeo riders? Punch a cop. (Dallas Buyers Club)

Linda Lovelace probably had sex with Hugh Hefner. (Lovelace)

Rock stars make terrible parents. (What Maisie Knew)

Papa John’s is where dreams go to die. (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty)

The traditional British pub is a thing of the past. (The World’s End)

Want to kill time in Paris? You can always catch Puss in Boots. (Frances Ha)

Mike McGranaghan

The safest place in the White House is behind the Press Room podium. Even if the whole room blows up, you’ll be safe if you duck behind it. (White House Down)

They call bats “Chicken of the Cave.” (Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues)

It’s totally possible to have sex with the windshield of a car. (The Counselor)

You can hack into any computer network, no matter how sophisticated, with just a few swipes of an iPad. (Getaway)

It should take a lot less than two days to drive from Montana to Nebraska. (Nebraska)

Never rob a bank across from a diner that sells the best donuts in three counties. (2 Guns)

Christopher Null

Waterproof your gear, master the sextant, and check the caps on your water supply jugs before all solo transoceanic sailing trips. (All Is Lost)

In Denmark, you’re pretty much guilty until proven innocent, and even then… (The Hunt)

You didn’t win the sweepstakes. (Nebraska)

The guys that paint road stripes have to camp out together all week. (Prince Avalanche)

The Apollo 11 moon landing video was fake and was shot by Stanley Kubrick. (Room 237)

Whales get pissy. (Blackfish)

A “Take Yo Panties Off!” t-shirt won’t keep you out of heaven. (This Is the End)

Google’s interns are insanely incompetent. (The Internship)

Norm Schrager

The safe way to subdue a troubled kid: Hold back both arms (one adult per arm), and slowly move down to the ground until all three people are sitting. (Short Term 12)

When the zombies come, you definitely don’t want to pray so loudly. (World War Z)

Pigs can be the catalyst for an entire drug-driven crime conspiracy. (Upstream Color)

Neil Geraldo — not Rick Springfield — plays lead guitar on “Jessie’s Girl.” (Sound City)

Two guys locked in a basement will be unable to leave if the doorknob suddenly turns into a penis.  (John Dies at the End)

The holy grail of New York City graffiti artistry is tagging the New York Mets’ giant apple. (Gimme the Loot)

One of the most violent cities in Mexico shares a border with one of the most peaceful in America. (Narco Cultura)