Top 10 Movies of 2014
With the Oscars just around the corner, it seems like a perfect time to provide our own take on the best movies of 2014. Now I’m not really one to base my film tastes on the Oscars, so though I’m posting this around Oscar season, it’s really coming so late into 2015 because I haven’t had the time to write it and I needed to get caught up. After spending a big part of my Winter holiday sitting through hours upon hours of film, I think I’m finally ready to get this thing out there. Before we get started it’s worth noting that I am typically partial to unique horror/thriller films and shy away from the “made for the Oscars” films. Don’t even get me started on The Lego Movie snub…. Haters gonna hate. Let’s go after the jump.
You’ll notice that I try my best not to discuss the plot too much so as to not spoil anything. If you want a plot summary, look em up on wikipedia.
Likely a film many of our readers have never seen or even heard of until right now. Housebound is a New Zealand horror movie with tons of comedy, innovation, and generally messed up shit. Think Shaun of the Dead with legitimate scares and plenty of plot twists. The major plot twist of the movie had me gasping for breath and squealing like a little girl. You’ll laugh, pee your pants, and maybe even get a little sick to your stomach. Fun right!?
This is a documentary film about beloved indie band The National as they embark on a massive world tour. While that may sound like any old rock doc to some, this movie gives us a bit of a twist as we see the band from the perspective of the director, Tom Berninger, who also happens to be lead singer Matt Berninger’s brother. So as you ease into the film loving listening to some live music by your favorite band, you are unexpectedly taken on an emotional roller coaster ride as the younger, fuck up brother Tom tries to deal with his brother’s shadow and never living up to expectations. Easily one of the best music documentaries to come out in a long time.
Wait a second, this a-hole just said he didn’t buy into this whole Oscar thing and here he is touting one of the favorites to win it all?! I have heard you…. and challenge anyone who has actually seen this film to try and tell me that it isn’t a masterpiece of modern cinema. If nothing else, the performance of Patricia Arquette here is worth a watch. Don’t deny it. Viva Austin!
This film is all about Tom Hardy. If you aren’t a fan of his work, which I’m not sure how you couldn’t be, maybe this isn’t for you. Hardy delivers a masterful performance as every shot of the film is on his character as he drives in his car. I know that description doesn’t do the film justice, so just trust me. Hardy makes you feel every moment and emotion as if you are in that car with him as he makes some of the toughest phone calls of his life.
I’m a self-proclaimed horror buff and I don’t scare easy, nor do I often enjoy the crap mainstream “horror” films popping up in theatres nowadays. Babadook, though I’m not sure I’d call it mainstream, is one of the rare films that legitimately scared the piss out of me. Number of times I said “oh f*ck” during the movie = 10. An all around excellent horror genre piece that even non genre fans could get into.
5. The Guest
Is it a horror movie? A thriller? Maybe a crime/mystery? What makes The Guest superb is that it manages to combine all of those elements into a movie that could be called this years Drive. You’ll find moments that leave you on the edge of your seat, grabbing onto your mate for support mixed with multiple “holy shit!” events. Former Downton Abbey actor Dan Stevens nails it as the creepy, yet mesmerizing Afghan war vet who you want to hate but end up loving.
Frank is a “weird” movie that might not be for everyone, but as a music buff and a fan of all things quirky, count me in as a supporter of this film. Fassbender plays the role of a creatively demented lead singer, simply known as Frank, better than anyone else I could have imagined in the role. You’ll get high on the band’s creative process as they make music, then find yourself near tears as Frank just can’t seem to get it together while maintaining his firm grip and control on the band’s direction. Though it may go to some major extremes, this movie captures the total bat shit nature that can come with being in a band who are around each other 24/7. Don’t we all know someone who can be just a little bit like Frank? Word to the wise: Don’t try to listen to the soundtrack without the visual aide of the film. It won’t be the same.
Before you get on me about having another Oscar movie here, I’ll defend myself by saying that I saw the film prior to the nominations or build up. Birdman is a movie you wouldn’t feel right classifying into any specific genre. Hell, I saw the film several months ago, and I’m still not sure what to make of it. But isn’t that what makes a great film? One that forces us to reflect and ponder the meaning for days to come? I say yes. Michael Keaton offers a return to form performance that should win him his very first, and very well deserved, Oscar. Edward Norton and Emma Stone (who surprisingly won me over) both compliment Keaton in their roles beautifully. If you’re still not sold, Birdman has to be recognized for its extraordinary one-shot style cinematography. Don’t mess up the line, don’t mess up the line….. GAH!
If you have yet to see this film, I beg you now to not read the true story behind the movie prior to watching. It just won’t be the same and all the dramatic effect will be lost. Deal? This is a fairly long movie that somehow never really feels too long as director Bennett Miller has you on the edge of your seat the entire time. Steve Carrell’s creepy as hell portrayal of real life Steve E. duPont (don’t look him up!) drives the movie as we all get this feeling that some bad shit is about to happen. Foxcatcher being left off the Best Picture nominations is a crime against humanity.
1. Blue Ruin
Bluin Ruin affected me more than any movie I’ve seen over the last several years. My body actually hurt after the movie from literally being tense throughout the film. Through every second the viewer is worried, concerned, and almost upset as we eagerly anticipate what’s going to happen next. Yes it’s a classic revenge flick, but the development and build up to the climactic final scene hasn’t been executed successfully in a long time. You’ll feel all range of emotions and be exhausted when it’s over. Incredible cinema.
Snowpiercer, Captain America – The Winter Soldier, Grand Budapest Hotel, The Lego Movie(screw you Oscars)
Overrated films of the year:
Cold in July, Guardians of the Galaxy, Starred Up, Gone Girl, Night Crawler, A Most Violent Year