MY TOP 10 MOVIES FOR 2014
Every year I reflect back on the past 365 days and try to assemble my Top 10 Movies. I had hard time limiting myself. I always say this, but there were so many films I loved. Just because it doesn’t appear on this list, doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. However, in the interest of being concise, I did limit myself to 10. I did include some honorable mentions though, so sue me.
And with that, my Top 10 Movies for 2014: Click the titles for the full review.
Directed by Jonathan Glazer – Starring Scarlett Johansson, Adam Pearson, Paul Brannigan, Kryštof Hádek
The drama explores human emotion in the interactions regarding an enigmatic seducer of various men. As she relates with each individual, their personalities expose aspects of the human condition. In doing so, the picture brilliantly demonstrates the qualities that make human beings so wonderful and what also makes them monsters.
Directed by Bong Joon-ho – Starring Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Song Kang-Ho, Jamie Bell
Snowpiercer is a politically provocative ensemble piece of legendary proportions. A parable that manipulates the medium in impressively dynamic ways which captivate the mind while delighting the eye. It’s the greatest kind of picture. An intelligent saga of well crafted action that creatively entertains with a loopy imagination.
Directed by Richard Linklater – Starring Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Lorelei Linklater
The emotional evolution of a life. Rarely has an individual’s developmental transitions been dramatized so imaginatively on film. Boyhood is an outstanding achievement and a magnificent paean to the simple brilliance of the human experience.
Directed by Dan Gilroy – Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton, Riz Ahmed
First and foremost, Nightcrawler is a compelling character study. Jake Gyllenhaal manages to embody a thoroughly loathsome but intriguing character that you cannot look away from. He talks with a calm reserve even when he’s saying something rather disturbing. He makes us understand how that quiet, nice boy who was so polite, is capable of such evil.
Directed by James Gunn – Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel
The jaw-dropping manifestation of this universe is a marvel of modern technology, fashion, and special effects. The art direction never ceases to amaze in a world where outstanding visually impressive displays have become commonplace. And let’s not forget that soundtrack!
6. The Babadook
Directed by Jennifer Kent – Starring Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall, Hayley McElhinney
The relationship between mother and son form an underlying subtext that elevates this horror movie into something deep and poignant. I didn’t expect to actually be moved by the events of the plot, but that’s exactly what happened. The Babadook is a film that ranks high with the very best of the genre.
7. Gone Girl
Directed by David Fincher – Starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry
The lie and the truth are simply ideas that the news manipulates to create a shared perception for the masses. The reality is always deeper than what is readily apparent. Gone Girl highlights this fact. And by doing so, not only entertains, but also educates us in how truth is merely a moldable concept of the modern media age.
Directed by James Marsh – Starring Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox, David Thewlis
More than just a mere biography of the scientific genius. The chronicle is also a romantic drama – a most unique approach to the profile of a man more famous for being an astrophysicist and cosmologist than with whom he fell in love. The method humanizes the man in a way that is altogether unexpected.
Directed by Denis Villeneuve – Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini
Anthony’s existence proves unsettling to Adam’s identity. There’s something sinister looming you can’t quite put your finger on. The whole production has this unrelenting feeling of dread. The narrative grows more fascinating with each new development.
Directed by Bennett Miller – Starring Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Vanessa Redgrave
The full extent of John du Pont’s need is cryptic but it belies a tortured personality. The script subtly hints at things which are implied but never explicitly stared. Foxcatcher brilliantly handles all of these emotionally complex relationships in a skillful way.
Bubbling under the Top 10
11. Big Eyes
12. The Skeleton Twins
14. How to Train Your Dragon 2
18. The Grand Budapest Hotel
20. The Immigrant
Worst of the Year
I find my tastes favored independent films over mainstream Hollywood fare in 2014. Is that a sign of me growing older or just that Hollywood didn’t produce as many great stories this year? Probably a little of both, but given the worst of the year, more of the latter.