2014 Movie Review

So many good movies in 2014! I do not presume to say  which movies are the best, because I will spurn even a very good movie if it has too much psycho-drama and self-loathing (Birdman) and I’ll always watch a musical, even if it’s mediocre (Into the Woods). The following movies were simply the ones I liked the best from last year.

Another list that may be useful is the metacritic.com “Films Mentioned on Most Critic Top Ten Lists in 2014” which lists the top 31 movies last year based on a point system of how many 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places they got. That link also takes you to 201 critic top ten lists of the year. That’s the kind of website my husband uses to make sure no watchable movies slip by our greedy movie-watching eyeballs.

Yup, watched all the movies below.

FAVORITES

Guardians of the Galaxy

Snow Piercer

I liked Interstellar. It was massively long (indeed, because of technical problems there was no picture for the first fifteen minutes, but by the end of the 3.5 hour-long flick, I’d completely forgotten about the missed opening – Chad didn’t; he complained and got us 4 movie passes!) Jessica Chastain had a minor role, as did Matt Damon and  Ann Hathaway – practically cameos, but Matthew Maccoughney carried the movie easily as he tends to do. (Wow, the Dallas Buyer’s Club was some serious acting, no?)

Still Alice didn’t get the play I thought it would, but I suppose that makes sense for a tightly acted emotional drama about early-onset Alzheimer’s. Geez. I cried a lot. More than a months worth of crying in one movie. It felt like it was based on a true story, but it wasn’t. And even though she will forever make me think of Amber Waves, the motherly porn star in Boogie Nights, Julianne Moore deserved the Oscar she got for Best Actress.

We Are the Best!

American Sniper

Boyhood

Whiplash

Two Days, One Night

Force Majeure

Edge of Tomorrow

GOOD (would recommend):

The Imitation Game – Benedict Cumberbatch is impeccable as the brilliant guy who broke the cipher code during the war, but the movie’s real importance is the historical revelation that despite his enormous contribution to world peace (seriously, he ended the war), that he was driven to suicide because it was illegal (ILLEGAL!) for him to like men in that way. Kinda like watching Milk: Well-done, good, and you pat yourself on the back for knowing a little more about gay inequality (*shudder*)

Foxcatcher

The Theory of Everything

Selma

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Gone Girl – one instance where the movie is better than the book. Perfectly cast with Rosamund Pike,  Ben Affleck, and Moore with even and better pacing than the book – which had a strange yank-twist too close to the end – like reading two separate books. I felt a little betrayed. (Girl on a Train is this year’s Gone Girl and highly readable; I did, in one night)

Big Hero 6

Ida

Mr Turner

The Immigrant

Leviathan

Nightcrawler

Wild Tales

Love is Strange

Wild

Rudderless

Unbroken – this one shouldn’t be on the list because there is a long list of things-that-were-wrong-with-this-movie (too long, good god, what was Angelina Jolie thinking to take on such a megolithitic beast of a historical wartime movie) but still, it’s a story that should be known: based on the true story of an Olympic gold runner who becomes the pet peeve of the intern camp sadistic manager.

I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND (but my husband might)

Inherent Vice – Based on a Thomas Pynchon book, which pretty much means it can poop gold as far as my husband is concerned

Love in the Moonlight – ugh, don’t bother. I guess I’m over Woody Allen.

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