Thursday, December 25, 2014

Best Films of 2014

It's that time of year when any film critic, movie buff or cinema aficionado with a media outlet posts the obligatory Top Ten list.  Though I've always taken issue with such an arbitrary number.  Is this supposed to imply there were only ten great movies this year?  To that I say, "Ridiculous!"  What kind of a film fan only loves 10 movies in a given year?  I saw 567 movies this year, with 390 of them being considered a 2014 release.  Why on Earth would I waste all that time if I only loved 10 of them?  No, instead I believe in shining a bright light on all the greatest movies I thoroughly enjoyed this year.  With that said my Best of 2014 list includes the 56 films that I have given an A or A+.  I loved all of them and I hope if you give them a chance you will love them too.  (Click on the titles for links to my reviews or IMDB.)

Now if you've seen other lists published this month you'll quickly notice that mine is significantly different.  Frankly I can never understand why everyone else's is so similar.  This is a subjective opinion, and not a science.  And when I see lists consisting of all the same buzzed about and awards nominated films, I am suspicious.  I am suspicious that you might just be a poser trying to seem like your taste is the correct taste.  So, if you want to go to a party and sound like you know what you're talking about, just tell them your top ten includes 'Birdman', 'Boyhood', 'Unbroken', 'Selma', 'The Imitation Game', 'The Theory of Everything', 'Whiplash', 'Wild', 'Foxcatcher', 'Inherent Vice', 'Gone Girl', 'Still Alice', 'American Sniper', and, of course, Wes Anderson's 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'.  (You absolutely need to include Anderson's latest flick if you want people to think you're cool.  Though by now, people already know I am not.)  Note that it doesn't matter if you've seen these movies or not.  Chances are your fellow party goers haven't either, and will just respond, "Oh, I want to see those!"

I, of course, take a more radical approach to all of this. After much deliberation, I express what I truly believe in my heart of hearts to be the best movies of the year, even if they are met by a smirk from my esteemed colleagues and fellow film buffs.  These are the films that moved me, made me think, made me feel, and resonated with me the most. These are the films that made it worth my time sitting through all the bad ones. These are the films that made me appreciate getting to see every film before it comes out so that I can form my own opinion before the consensus drills the "correct" one into my head. These are the films I add to my personal DVD library.  And these are the films I enjoy re-watching to often appreciate even more the second time.  Regardless of what you think of my list, I assure you a lot of thought went into it.  I hope some of you make good use of it and enjoy whatever you see every bit as much as I did.  Happy viewing!

  1. Boyhood
  2. I Origins
  3. Rob the Mob
  4. Edge of Tomorrow
  5. Snowpiercer
  6. 13 Sins
  7. Fury
  8. Whiplash
  9. Open Grave
  10. Trust Me
  11. Chef
  12. Anna
  13. The One I Love
  14. Coherence
  15. The Drop
  16. One Chance
  17. A Most Violent Year
  18. Interstellar
  19. Poker Night
  20. The Giver
  21. Lucky Them
  22. Nightcrawler
  23. Sabotage
  24. The Hundred-Foot Journey
  25. Wild
  26. The Heart Machine
  27. The Imitation Game
  28. A Million Ways to Die in the West
  29. Non-Stop
  30. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  31. The Immigrant
  32. Olive Kitteridge
  33. Comet
  34. Finding Vivian Maier
  35. The Gambler
  36. Cold in July
  37. Blue Ruin
  38. The Captive
  39. Men, Women and Children
  40. Million Dollar Arm
  41. John Wick
  42. Calvary
  43. Draft Day
  44. Blood Ties
  45. Rudderless
  46. 3 Days to Kill
  47. Jamesy Boy
  48. Force Majeure
  49. The Overnighters
  50. The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz
  51. Happy Valley
  52. Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me
  53. Enemy
  54. St. Vincent
  55. Whitewash
  56. We Cause Scenes

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