Sunday, December 28, 2014

My Favorite Films of 2014

I don't get to see as many movies as i used to.  With a toddler running around all the time at 100 miles per hour, there just isn't any time.  And that's okay.  I still manage to see stuff here and there, and while there are a bunch of movies that i've missed, and that i think would probably be on this list ("Nightcrawler," "The Babadook," "Snowpiercer," "John Wick," etc.), the films i've seen have been pretty damn good.  Here are eight of my favorites.

"Under the Skin"
It's hard to call Jonathan Glazer's latest film my favorite movie of the year.  It's a difficult film, a kind of art house, sci-fi verite, but it stuck with me in a way no other movie has this year.  In so many ways, the best films are the ones you're still thinking about days later, and this story of an alien being preying on men in Glasgow did just that.  It's dark, and beautiful, and has the ability to just crush you.

"Grand Piano"
A good, old-fashioned thriller in the mold of Hitchcock or DePalma that pumps up the tension and suspense with a mastery that would make old pros jealous.  Elijah Wood is always a blast.  I love this movie.

"The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Wes Anderson has a perfect batting average with me.  He has yet to make a movie i don't love, and his latest is, while short of his masterpiece, really damn close.  Anderson's normal quirky tone, detailed set pieces, and wonderfully framed shots are all there, but there is a dark undertone throughout the work that lifts it above some of his other work.  And Ralph Fiennes is simply amazing.  I want him to be in all of Anderson's movies now.

"Guardians of the Galaxy"
I'm a comic book guy...of course i loved this movie.  All films should have a talking, outer space raccoon.

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier"
You gotta love when sequels outdo their predecessors, and an old school espionage feel, as well as an excellent cast from top to bottom make "The Winter Soldier" one of the best comic book movies to ever be produced.

"The Lego Movie"
If you have not seen this movie based preconceived notions that movies based on toys are terrible...ultimately i agree with you, but "The Lego Movie" is the proverbial exception that proves the rule.  It's one of the funnest movies i've ever seen.  Just watch it.  Everything is awesome.

"Only Lovers Left Alive"
A vampire movie directed by Jim Jarmusch, starring Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton as the cool and detached aforementioned creatures of the night?  Sign me up.  This movie is too cool.

"Blue Ruin"
A revenge film as played out by people who have no idea what they are doing, this film feels real and visceral, a suspenseful thriller that rounds its edges with some dark and bleak humor.  Nice.

So there we have it.  Here's hoping the new year sees me seeing more movies.  I deserve it.

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