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Archive for the ‘10 Best Films of 2014’ Category

10 Best Films of 2014

Honorable Mentions: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Lego Movie, We Are The Best, The One I Love, Force Majeure, Only Lovers Left Alive, Obvious Child, A Most Violent Year

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10. Life Itself, Altman, and Milius

Yes I know I’m cheating here by putting 3 movies here, but I can’ t choose between the 3 documentaries.  They’re all fantastic portraits of the great film critic, the great American director, and the over the top writer/director.  They almost work as companion pieces with each other.

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9. Under the Skin

Really one of the most beautiful films I’ve seen this year.  Under the Skin is provocative, it’s terrifying, and it’s intriguing.  Jonathan Glazer has made a near masterpiece here, and Scarlett Johansson gives her best performance ever.

A ringed spacecraft, revolves around a wormhole, here depicted as a reflective sphere.

8. Interstellar

Yes it has its plot issues, and is written with a very heart-tugging heavy hand, but…visually it is a masterpiece and Christopher Nolan has outdone himself in that regard.

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7. Ida

Stark, subtle, and beautiful in black and white.  Ida is the story of a young girl trying to understand the circumstances of her birth and her life, before she turns away from the outside world to find god.

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6. The Babadook

The Babadook is not just a horror film, it does work on that level, but it’s really an examination of mental illness and what it feels like to be trapped inside your own skin.  That’s more terrifying than just a monster under the bed.

The five Guardians, sporting various weapons, arrayed in front of a backdrop of a planet in space.

5. Guardians of the Galaxy

I’m sorry, but this is the best Marvel film that has come out EVER…with The Avengers being a close close second.  This is all about the humor though.  It’s the first Marvel film that was focused on comedy, and the action followed instead of the other way around.  This is the launching pad for the next round of great Marvel films.

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4. Boyhood

Groundbreaking as far as film-making is concerned.  Boyhood is the realistic story of a young child who grows to adulthood, and the story of those around him that raised him and influenced him.  Richard Linklater should be praised for even attempting such a grandiose project.

3. Nightcrawler

One of the great performances of the year from Jake Gyllenhaal. He plays one creepy dude in a sort of Patrick Bateman meets Rain Man role.  He finds his calling and he has a clear path to become one of the greats in his field.  He’ll stop at nothing to get there.

2. Birdman

A truly transformative role for Michael Keaton, and an amazing ensemble cast supports him here.  Inarritu has made his masterpiece after a number of near near misses.  Keaton is mesmerizing as an actor trying to prove himself on the Broadway stage.

1. Whiplash

The idea of perfection based on passion is the entire reason that I feel we strive for anything in life.  This is the story of the attempt at perfection.  To strive beyond the 99% and be great.  It is all of the things that it claims to be, Exhilarating, Astounding, and Electrifying.

The Worst Films of the Year….

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5. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

I think everyone forgot about this film the second it was released in the theater.  I got confused and thought I was watching that horrible Tom Hardy/

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4. Need For Speed

First off Aaron Paul is a genius for cashing in on his Breaking Bad fame, but this film makes zero sense.  As far as action goes it definitely didn’t keep my attention one bit either.  I’ll stick with the Fast and the Furious for my car films.

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3. Sin City 2

Not really sure what Robert Rodriguez was trying to achieve here, but it’s basically 4 or 5 different scenes over and over and over again.  A waste of time, and a blow to how great the original was.

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2.  Jason Reitman – Labor Day, Men Women & Children

Reitman has lost the plot as they say, and goes down as the big loser of 2014 with these two stinkers.  A wannabe Nicolas Sparks film, followed by a sadistic sad bastard film.  How easily they fall.

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1. Tusk

What in the world was Kevin Smith thinking?  This is his attempt at pretending he’s a relevant filmmaker at all.  I don’t just make bad comedies! I make bad horror/drama films about people turning in to Walrus’s!  What a piece of junk.