2014 was a so-so year in my opinion. Right out of the gate things started off on a disappointing note as half the stuff I really wanted to see got pushed back to 2015 (Carol, Welcome To New York, The Lobster, Blackhat, etc). That’s not to say there weren’t any pleasant surprises (It Felt Like Love & Tyler Perry in Gone Girl) or moments of greatness (Boyhood & Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler) but at the end of the day, Gone Girl & Chef managed to creep in to my top 10. I mean…what does that say!? I don’t mean to downplay those movies (they certainly deserve their spots in my top 10 and I stand by my selections) but I think we all know that in past years like 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009 or even 2011, Gone Girl & Chef would be in the bottom tier of the honorable mention category.
There were just way too many disappointments (Under The Skin, Nymphomaniac: Part 2 & Grand Budapest Hotel) or movies with a ton of hype that turned out to be just “ok” or underwhelming (I know I’m in the minority, but I don’t share everyone’s enthusiasm for Birdman).
But on a more positive/interesting note, quite a few films from 2014 shared connections with one another – Guardians Of The Galaxy & Captain America: The Winter Soldier obviously took place in the same cinematic realm; It Felt Like Love & Nymphomaniac both dealt with the sexual curiosity/discovery of young girls (without sugarcoating anything); Stranger By The Lake & Li’l Quinquin were centered around small town serial killers, and maybe it’s just me but I thought Donald Rumsfeld & Jake Gyllenhaal shared the same sociopathic grin in their respective films…
I guess any year where the likes of Errol Morris, Bruno Dumont, Jim Jarmusch & Mike Leigh are active cant be all that bad, right? 2014 did bring us some memorable imagery, cool moments and a few noteworthy performances.
I just can’t remember the last time I struggled so hard to come up with a top 10. With the exception of possibly Boyhood, I don’t see too many movies from this year standing the test of time (is anyone really going to be talking about The Imitation Game or Foxcatcher by this time next year?)
Lets hope 2015 is an improvement.
So, in no particular order, here are my favorite films of 2014…