The year is nearly over and so comes a time for me to reflect on the many releases I’ve seen in 2014. What better way to celebrate the starry gems of this movie calendar than my top ten list of great films to hit screens over the last 12 months.
This is one of the hardest posts I’ve had to muster up, trying to whittle down a heck load of films to just 10 is difficult, they have to mean something or be darn good. So it’s a real shame to see that films like ‘Nightcrawler’, ‘Interstellar’, ‘The Double’, ‘The Lego Movie’ and ‘The Raid 2’ among plenty of others not quite make it.
To mirror the sparkling trail of Interstellar’s poster, let’s have a look at what I liked a lot in 2014. (opinions of course, don’t all hate me).
10. EDGE OF TOMORROW – A whirlwind summer movie of explosions, fun and Groundhog style playing with time. It was so nice to see Tom Cruise not be Tom Cruise for the first part of the film and even better for a blockbuster to not be a prequel, sequel or dud idea. Jump around in time here.
9. DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES – Groundbreaking motion capture work, Serkis is on fire in his world of make believe and Caesar is amazing. The story is not perfect but tense and the tank shot with Koba gets this a place in my top ten alone. A dark set up to what warring drama should come in the next outing. My hu-man work lies at this review link – DOTPOTA.
8. GONE GIRL – A gritty exploration of human relationships in different lights. David Fincher gets the best out of the source material novel and his cast, Tyler Perry dropping his drag routine to stand out and Rosamund Pike having one of the best performances this year. A suspenseful mystery with twists and shocks. My Gone Girl review.
7. WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS – Laughs come aplenty in this spoof vampire mockumentary, it sadly didn’t get the light of day in many screens, pretty apt for the vampire curse of sunlight but if you can, see this New Zealand movie. It’s dry, clever and silly from start to finish. Every character is a riot and the story is great. Drop your crosses and let my review in – WWDITS.
6. THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL – A quirky and typically Wes Anderson movie with a spiffing turn from a comedic Ralph Fiennes. There’s wonderful doll house imagery of the hotel and its surroundings, big stars make fun dizzying appearances and the ride is zany enjoyment throughout. Check in here.
5. BOYHOOD – A magnificent idea, not a film per say, more a cinematic project of puberty and family. It’s well done and amazing to sit and witness these characters progress in front of you. I really want to see it again just to capture the well placed pop cultural totems to signal changes of time. The newcomers are exceptional and play off Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette to convince us they’re a true family. Read my full review of Boyhood.
4. THE GUEST – An electric thrilling triumph that may not have lasted very long but has stuck in my mind to this day and hopefully it will survive as a great cult film. Dan Stevens is a steel eyed god throughout this blend of genres. Tension mixed with horror, ‘Drive’ like sounds and sights all make for a visual smack of cinema gold. See what else I have to praise for The Guest.
3. INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS – A very grey scaled Coen Brothers affair but artfully done and Oscar Isaac steals the show as down on his luck Llewyn. It stood as my favourite film of the year for quite a well, reflecting on 2014 has shuffled one film in particular, but that’s still to come. This movie has exquisite music, cold but believable depressing feelings and top notch acting. It truly was snubbed in my view at the last Oscars but what can I do?! Read my once favourite film review here.
2. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – The entry of number 3 was pushed aside by this Marvel juggernaut, mostly because I’ve watched it multiple times, it’s the best comic book movie to exit from the Marvel universe at the moment, every character is genuinely excellent, the formula may be the same but the alien setting and space vibe lift it to frankly stellar levels. Chris Pratt is a great every-man hero, Groot and Rocket are cute yet vicious sidekicks and Drax is one of the best characters of the film. Witty, snappy and stuffed with sci-fi, I cannot wait for James Gunn to return with the sequel. If you like Pina Coladas and reading reviews then hyper jump to my thoughts of GOTG.
1. HER – This and Inside Llewyn Davis got wider releases in the UK in 2014 so technically stand as candidates so happily I put this film as my favourite. Looking back I see this pipping Guardians and Llewyn because of its stylish and romantic look. The film is emotional and balanced with a hefty yet light performance from Joaquin Phoenix. The fashion, the technology and the soundtrack are perfect. The Spike Jonze script deserved its Academy win and poetically this was my first ever review for this blog. So check out how my writing may have changed here Her.
Please feel free to like, comment and let me know if you agree or what your top films of 2014 are. I love film opinions and would love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks 2014, it’s been wonderful.
2015. I’m ready.