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Old 12-31-2014, 06:08 AM   #21
FestinaLente FestinaLente is offline
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Jan 2013

My final rankings. Didn't get to all the movies I wanted to see, but sure saw a lot.

1. Only Lovers Left Alive 5/5
2. The Grand Budapest Hotel 5/5 (3x)
3. Under the Skin 4.5/5
4. How to Train Your Dragon 2 4.5/5
5. Guardians of the Galaxy 4.5/5 (3x)
6. Boyhood 4.5/5
7. Snowpiercer 4.5/5
8. The Guest 4.5/5
9. Into The Woods 4/5
10. Enemy 4/5
11. Godzilla 4/5
12. They Came Together 4/5
13. We Are The Best! 4/5
14. Gone Girl 4/5
15. Palo Alto 4/5
16. The One I Love 4/5
17. A Coffee in Berlin 4/5
18. Interstellar 4/5
19. Stranger by the Lake 4/5
20. The Raid 2 4/5
21. Captain America: The Winter Soldier 4/5
22. Neighbors 4/5
23. Edge of Tomorrow 4/5
24. Locke 4/5
25. Ida 4/5

Yay for a new year of films! It's gonna be a great one.

Last edited by FestinaLente; 02-14-2015 at 03:34 AM.
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Old 12-31-2014, 06:32 AM   #22
Jasonic Jasonic is offline
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Aug 2011

2 questions

Does The Wind Rises count for this year or last? Had a small run in LA and NY last year?
Also in the same vain, does Song of the Sea count for this year or next? I know it had a small run in those same cities as well to get eligible for the Oscars. Apparently my arthouse theater says it will get it on Feb 13th, a day before this closes.
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Old 12-31-2014, 06:36 AM   #23
Trigen Trigen is offline
Senior Member
Sep 2014

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Theory of Everything
The Imitation Game
Gone Girl
Edge of Tomorrow

American Sniper

The Equalizer
The Judge
The Babadook
I, Frankenstein

The Lego Movie
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Guardians of the Galaxy
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Big Hero 6

Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies
The Amazing Spiderman 2
The Expendables 3

Last edited by Trigen; 02-15-2015 at 07:11 AM.
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Old 12-31-2014, 06:51 AM   #24
Astro Zombie Astro Zombie is online now
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Dec 2010

Originally Posted by Jasonic View Post
2 questions

Does The Wind Rises count for this year or last? Had a small run in LA and NY last year?
Also in the same vain, does Song of the Sea count for this year or next? I know it had a small run in those same cities as well to get eligible for the Oscars. Apparently my arthouse theater says it will get it on Feb 13th, a day before this closes.
I'd count The Wind Rises for this year, not sure about Song of the Sea. I don't know if just NY and LA counts as limited.
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Old 12-31-2014, 07:58 AM   #25
Kryptonic Kryptonic is offline
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Jul 2009

01. Interstellar
02. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
03. Gone Girl
04. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
05. X-Men: Days of Future Past
06. Edge of Tomorrow
07. Amazing Spider-Man 2
08. 300: Rise of An Empire
09. As Above/So Below
10. Lucy
11. Dracula Untold
12. Equalizer
13. Snowpiercer
14. Guardians of the Galaxy
15. Snowpiercer
16. The Purge: Anarchy
17. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
18. Godzilla
19. 22 Jump Street
20. The Monuments Men
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Old 12-31-2014, 08:31 AM   #26
Britbuffguy Britbuffguy is offline
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Feb 2013
Madison, WI

I may enter mine later, but having not seen half currently in theaters, as well as the Oscar bait slow roll out films, I will wait a few more weeks.

I think I have seen 112 2014 films.

My list will probably throw off everyones favs, cause I just dont care for the arthouse crap. :-)
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Old 12-31-2014, 09:27 AM   #27
Foggy Foggy is offline
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Dec 2008

1) Boyhood

Directed by: Richard Linklater
Written by: Richard Linklater
Starring: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke

Why I like it: A 3 hour film chronicling 12 years seems like a tough sit, but Richard Linklater's heartwarming and uncynical approach to filmmaking invites viewers into something wildly experimental and has you at ease almost instantly once the film begins. The film begins to mould throughout the duration as the characters begin developing their identity as they come across moments of there lives that are seemingly out of their control and their choices not only shape those around them, but themselves as human beings. It's a dense film that's only as important as you allow it to be, but it's one that emotionally engaging without cheap heart string pulling manoeuvres and completely timeless to anyone of any age or gender. Honestly a once in a lifetime movie.

2) Foxcatcher

Directed by: Bennet Miller
Written by: Dan Futterman & E. Max Frye
Starring: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo

Why I like it: Bennet Miller's precise and methodical slow burning psychological thriller is an exercise in making a viewer uncomfortable sitting within the reflection of a monstrous creature. Steve Carrell excels as the unstable and unsettling John DuPont, a man corroding from the inside from loneliness, unable to connect to people emotionally due to how they perceive him. Hid money and his power consume him into madness as his search for longing leads him on the path towards two wrestling Brothers, Mark and Dave Schultz, who both struggle to connect to each other, to the point when the two are introduced they don't even feel like brothers, despite the sense of a long history between the two. The film builds up to a chilling, yet seemingly inevitable conclusion, as the cracks and damage of the American way are revealed juxtaposed with the internal struggle amongst almost all men.

3) Calvary

Directed by: John Michael McDonagh
Written by: John Michael McDonagh
Starring: Brendan Gleeson, Chris O'Dowd, Kelly Reilly

Why I like it: Bitter black comedy with a huge focus on drama instead of laughs, Calvary is a study on the shattered reputation of Christianity in today's world. Set in a quiet rural village in Ireland, a Priest is threatened to be murdered due to the mistakes of other priests in the world. As the week continues, he's forced to deal with sins of the villagers along with his own anxieties of what's right and his position as a practitioner of Religious beliefs. What makes the film is that it's never anti-religious, but takes Christianity and the teachings as philosophy and tests that both within the shattered image of the Catholic Church and the wider issues in the world, and Brendan Gleeson's character, while undoubtedly a good man, is as flawed as anyone else, both with pride and anger, yet is challenged with the stature of being guidance towards the villagers. Dark and daring, filled with great characters and performances and emotionally charged, undoubtably one not to miss out on when catching up with the years best.

4) Birdman: or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance

Directed by: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Written by: Alexander Dinelaris, Nicolás Giacobone, Alejandro González Iñárritu & Armando Bo
Starring: Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone

Why I like it: Birdman is a lavishly produced and directed soapbox movie, fully energised with audacious ambition and uncompromising performances. Following a nest of actors and family working in a Broadway play, all with some element of disconnect from the real world, Michael Keaton's Riggan Thompson is an actor on the brink of reinventing his career, with the main goal becoming an artist looked upon for years to come around the world, yet seemingly lacking in anything profound to say. The seemingly unedited camera whips back and forth between the characters who all singularly range from being loathsome to apathetic as the script spits venom at celebrity obsessed media in a increasingly claustrophobic world where everyone has a medium for expressing themselves yet no one really having anything important to say. It's a film with a huge array of ideas grounded by wonderfully unhinged performances.

5) Mr. Turner

Directed by: Mike Leigh
Written by: Mike Leigh
Starring: Timothy Spall, Marion Bailey, Paul Jesson

Why I like it: Mr. Turner is an unusual and unconventional bio-pic. It takes the painters techniques and work in an attempt to understand the way his life headed, while also looking at his social class background, he was a character who managed to surpass the strict boundaries and lifestyle most in his situation would have to conform to, to do what he loves, and has inspired artists of all sorts throughout the ages, despite the class structure, along with the Industrial revolution, being the downfall of him. Surprisingly witty and beautifully photographed by Dick Pope, Timothy Spall's performance of the titular artists is currently one of my favourites of the year, capturing his begrudging eccentric persona while not shying away from the man questionable sexual attitude and neglect for his home life.

6) Frank

Directed by: Lenny Abrahamson
Written by: Jon Ronson & Peter Straughan
Starring: Domhall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Fassbender

Why I like it: Frank is a bizarre and wonderful comic creation, despite the main character based around the look of comedic musician Frank Sidebottom, the story is more inspired by the tragic real life stories of Daniel Johnson and Captain Beefheart. As a band stuck on the fringes of society invites a plucky new keyboardist to record a new album, they soon find fame on social media as the band mental health is challenged. I think Frank is the film that utilised social media the best in a year chocked film of films tackling the subject, as the social disconnect essentially places people is a situation of receiving cynicism and humiliation of their own choosing, with those laughing being away from the context or the people affected. It adds a tragic and extremely relevant element to a very funny film, and has one of the sweetest endings of the year. Packed full of fun bizarre music and wonderfully off the rails performances, this one was simply a lot of fun and destined to be a cult classic.

7) Godzilla

Directed by: Gareth Edwards
Written by: Max Borenstein
Starring: Aaron Taylor Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston

Why I like it: Godzilla is a huge budgeted monster movie that delivered on what people needed. It didn't place the audience as spectators, but instead as victims, teased with huge monster battles but never receiving the pay off until the final third, the film builds a huge sense of dread around Godzilla himself despite never seeing him so often. The sound design in this film is hugely impressive and the Lovecraftian inspired designs and visuals add a grandiose stage for us to view when the film pays off. And trust me, when the film pays off, it's ****ing awesome!

8) Nightcrawler

Directed by: Dan Gilroy
Written by: Dan Gilroy
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed

Why I like it: Disturbing yet slick and stylish rags to riches story featuring the standout character of the year, Lou Bloom. We follow this sociopathic void of a person as he becomes a free runner camera man for a failing news channel, capturing news stories that give sensationalist America their fix of doom and misery in the morning, while neutralising fear, and often thinly veiling racism/stereotyping while hiding real issues, which just so happens to be behind the camera. A deconstruction of Media Coverage in a wider frame of an ironic deconstruction of the American dream, Nightcrawler is a creepy, deliciously humorous film with a phenomenal performance from Jake Gyllenhaal.

9) Inherent Vice

Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson
Written by: Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Katherine Waterson

Why I Like It: While it might (well, more than definitely will) take more than first glance for Paul Thomas Anderson's psychedelic detective epic to get to the bottom of, the film raises all the Whos? Wheres? Whats? Whens and Hows? With little to no interest in actually answering them, instead plunging you head first into a sprawling web of dysfunctional characters who are as rich and engaging than any mystery conjured up by the paranoia driven times. While daft and hilarious, the film has a melancholic centre, shot through wonderfully authentic heat damaged 35mm film and a sweet soundtrack that sucks you into the time period, acting as a love letter to the era, as the characters find themselves in a world that is quickly leaving them behind. While not the most refined pieces of Anderson's work, I think this is one that will grow to be one I'll be very fond of in years to come.

10) Gone Girl

Directed by: David Fincher
Written by: Gillian Flynn
Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Carrie Coon

Why I like it: A tightly woven suburban nightmare that might be director David Fincher's sharpest and most biting film since Fight Club. A film where everyone is both a perpetrator and victim to their own punishment and those around them, the film has been deemed misogynistic and misandrist and the more and more outrageous and preposterous the events in the film get the further gets towards unveiling and confronting the truth in society today towards gender politics and marital bonds. All within the framework of the patronising world of sensationalist media, the film lingers on the mind with many questions yet the story of the film is compelling and the pace is snappy that the film works phenomenally well as twisting thriller if that is what one demands of it.

11) Interstellar

Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Written by: Jonathan Nolan & Christopher Nolan
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Anne Hathaway

Why I like it: Interstellar is a film receiving a lot of flack, and while I agree that director Christopher Nolan's mouth may have been bigger than his mind here, Interstellar is a hugely ambitious, exciting adventure filled with thrilling spectacle and storyline that isn't afraid to dabble in sentimentality and has the chops to pull off the emotion it promises. McConaughey proves himself a phenomenal science fiction leading man in a film that requires a lot of heavy work from him to ground the film in a sense of realiy. With some fantastic practical effects work and utterly stunning cinematography, while at being the only film this year that made me teary eyed more than once, Interstellar proves Christopher Nolan is a master storyteller in the world of celluloid.

12) The Raid 2

Directed by: Gareth Evans
Written by: Gareth Evans
Starring: Iko Uwais, Julie Estelle, Arifin Putra

Why I like it: It's f***king mental mate!! There's one geezer at the end of the film who reduced to being Spaghetti Bolognese, it's bloody f**king awesome!!!!

13) Whiplash

Directed by: Damien Chazelle
Written by: Damien Chazelle
Starring: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist

Why I like it: A brilliant piece of drama that electrifies the screen and reinvigorates the spirit. J.K. Simmons is superb as an oppressive teacher, who's problematic philosophy and almost torturous practices take a huge emotion toll on a young drummer. What makes Whiplash such a great breath of fresh air is that it's wonderfully stripped back of glam and excess and places it's drama well amongst the blood, sweat, tears and saliva of the action within the orchestra. The final 10 minutes is one of the most fantastic pieces of filmmaking of the year, delivering a absolutely belting climax that is simple yet theatrically pulse-pounding.

14) A Most Violent Year

Directed by: J.C. Chandor
Written by: J.C. Chandor
Starring: Oscar Isaacs, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo

Why I Like it: A Most Violent Year is a film that plays with your expectations from the very get go. The film in fact takes place with the most violent year in question as an aftermath, as Oscar Isaacs deals with the repercussions of starting a business in such a hostile world. Advertised as a gangster flick, the film deals with more with cooking books than crooked crooks, using the iconography of the gangster genre to show moral ambiguity instead of cheap thrills. Borrowing from the likes on Sidney Lumet and Francis Ford Coppola, this period thriller is less about thrilling than it is raising questions of how far one is willing to go, both against the law and their own ethics for the American dream.

15) The Rover

Directed by: David Michôd
Written by: David Michôd
Starring: Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson, Scoot McNairy

Why I like it: Nihilistic post apocalyptic western set 10 years after a devastating economic crash makes for one of the most unsettlingly violent films of the year, with gunshots blasts carrying the weight of a life being taken, and the desolate landscape running parallel to the remains of society and humanity. The film follows Guy Pierce on track to receive his stolen car, and nothing much else other then some highly tense encounter, we see this former shell of a man fight for what seems to be the only thing left remaining in his life. Harrowing and distressing, might make it hard for some to watch, but it's worth watching if you can stomach it.

16) The LEGO Movie

Directed by: Chris Miller & Phil Lord
Written by: Chris Miller & Phil Lord
Starring: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Ferrell

Why I like it: This could of been a heartless, shameless cash in for a toy corporation, but bizarrely enough, The LEGO Movie ended up to be one of the most richly dense satires of the year, even to the point where it's baffling to get your head around. A postmodern deconstruction of the entertainment industry, an ironic twist on the conventions of the heroes story, the effects storytelling and filmmaking can have on a kid and his imagination, heck the thing is often so self-reflective that the fact it's a LEGO movie about things in our lives feels almost paradoxical in and upon itself. Christopher Miller and Phil Lord's idiosyncratic animated masterpiece could be something timeless and profound if it wasn't for the corporate label and the amount of generation X humour manoeuvring around it, but for all that it's worth, it's one hell of an inventive, surprising and hilarious film.

17) Under the Skin

Directed by: Jonathan Glazer
Written by: Walter Campbell & Jonathan Glazer
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Adam Pearson, Paul Brannigan

Why I like it: A bizarre mixture of cinema vérité and acid trip science fiction, Under the Skin is a haunting film about an Alien who disguises herself as a woman who roams the streets hunting for men to seduce and harvest. The film offers little in the terms of answers, or even narrative coherence, but it aims to alienate the audience as much as possible, often seeing through the aliens eyes, as she grows more accustom to life on Earth and humanity infects her. Often terrifying in it's stillness and maddening in it's silence, it's quite odd to believe this is one of the more life affirming films on my Scarlett Johansson gets her tits out.

18) Guardians of the Galaxy

Directed by: James Gunn
Written by: James Gunn & Nicole Perlman
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista

Why I like it: While I think the affection for the film has gone a bit overboard, Guardians of the Galaxy is easily the most relaxed and confident films of the year. The unorthodox characters and off-kilter comedy makes for a ton of fun and most of all, it's a blockbuster that has an identity. While most most films feel like they're stretching to reach the widest margin of audience possible, Guardians is so comfortable within it's own skin that the fun is simply infectious and the craftsmanship is so stellar, that for any shortcomings, Guardians of the Galaxy is simply the most likeable film of the year.

19) The Grand Budapest Hotel

Directed by: Wes Anderson
Written by: Wes Anderson
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Saoirse Ronan

Why I like it: Wes Anderson's tale of tales passed through time is deliriously witty and colourful with characters and setting, the film has a bitter and poignant edge with an almost naive view on violence and the hardship of war while never shying away satirising not war, but human nature. The heightened reality of the film offers lots of secrets within it's beautiful presentation, however, as is often the case with a Wes Anderson film, the substance is in the style, not behind it. Featuring a wonderful cast and a superb performance at the front by Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel is a great mix of poignancy and hilarity.

20) A Most Wanted Man

Directed by: Anton Corbijn
Written by: Andrew Bovell
Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright, Rachel McAdams

Why I like it: A wonderfully woven political thriller featuring a multi-layered performance from the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman, where you never quite know how pernicious his acts will go in the name of security in regards to he's careful manipulation of his chess pieces on a national scale, and how much he can really trust his allies of other countries. While not quite as carefully constructed and mind-wringing as it's closest cinematic relative (Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy), the film has a terrific handle on it's slow burning pace that leads to a devastating climax that is similar in vain to the pessimistic conclusion of Chinatown as true malicious motives come to light.

21) Selma

Directed by: Ava DuVernay
Written by: Paul Webb
Starring: David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Oprah Winfrey

Why I Like It: Selma just feels like it's alive, it has a real energy to it that makes you want to stand up and speak out. David Oyelowo is fantastic as Martin Luther King Jr. portraying him not as an important figure but instead a resilient force of nature that will stand up for what he believes to be right. As the film delves into the moral ground of staging protests and potentially leading people to their deaths for what they believe is right, while also adding in moments of humanity to King, through his family and friends, lead to a really rich experience that does get it's hands dirty while not cheapening the inspiration and achievements of the time. And hopefully will inspire a few people to see what they can do to what ever prejudice dwells in our world today.

22) The Double

Directed by: Richard Ayoade
Written by: Richard Ayoade & Avi Korine
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn

Why I like it: Richard Ayoade's dystopian Kafka-esque comedy takes place in an Orwellian nightmarish retro-verse, making the film a huge departure from his reasonably charming directorial debut, but thankfully his brain is as big as the films ambition. Centring around invisible timid worker drone Simon James as his life is thrown into disarray by the arrival of his identical doppelgänger James Simon that is everything he's not, charming and outgoing, the two begin to battle over control of their own lives. Inspired by Terry Gilliam's Brazil, David Lynch's Eraserhead and Krzysztof Kieślowski's A Short Film About Love to name a few, the film portrays a world where happiness feels unobtainable, a language that is simply not understandable as your identity is rubbed out gradually and the more isolated you become. Despite all it's mind bending and array of influences, The Double never feels anything less than personal and inventive.

23) The Guest

Directed by: Adam Wingard
Written by: Simon Barrett
Starring: Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe, Brendan Meyer

Why I like it: Genre bending 80's fest featuring a really unnerving performances from Dan Stevens as an enigmatic house guest who manages to charm his way into the house of a grief stricken family, but if the John Carpenter inspired sound cues and Halloween decorated town is anything to go by, not is all as it seems. Delightfully silly and pulpy fun, despite a slight analogy for PTSD, the film is never burdened with enough darkness for it to be taken seriously as the film veers more and more into a horror film the more the family begin to become central to the violence.

24) Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Directed by: Matt Reeves
Written by: Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver
Starring: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Toby Kebbell

Why I Like It: Despite taking some narrative shortcuts when it comes to certain minor characters, the second Planet of the Apes prequel is enormously effective at taking it's time and setting up the relationship between characters and the drama to play out with interruptions, which is made all the more effective by the known outcome of the series. The motion capture effects are incredible, often coming close to photorealism, however it's the writing and performances behind those effects that keep the film so compelling.

25) Lucy

Directed by: Luc Besson
Written by: Luc Besson
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Min-sik Choi

Why I Like It: Rigorously ludicrous and insanely ridiculous. Lucy is energy drink cinema at it's most audacious, dealing out shotgun philosophy in spades, Lucy is the shortest film on my entire list, yet in under 90 minutes it manages to address the dawn of man, the afterlife, the existence of god, the universe and everything within it and the reinvention of human kind while blowing up shit and killing a mass load of the yakuza. It's just madness.

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Old 12-31-2014, 12:14 PM   #28
Darth Marcus Darth Marcus is offline
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1. Interstellar
Christopher Nolan delivers a hauntingly brilliant epic about parenthood and sacrificing time with the ones we love in order to fulfill our purpose in life. He takes us on a beautiful trip outside of our known galaxy, using wormholes and the relativity of time according to gravitational pull as instruments to play with our minds. And Hans Zimmer delivers a score for the cosmos.

2. Gone Girl
What at first might seem like another David Fincher police/crime procedural as well as a rumination on our modern day marriage is turned upside down halfway through the film with a twist for the ages. Much like Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, the first and second half of Gone Girl couldn't be any more different, or any more mesmerizing for that matter. Sit back in awe (and terror) as Rosamund Pike becomes Amazing Amy.

3. Whiplash
This film is most certainly my tempo. J.K. Simmons gives the performance of a lifetime as a jazz instructor who believes that fear, intimidation, degradation, and manipulation are the necessary tools that will help him unlock the potential of the next great jazz musician. Miles Teller is the student who so desperately wants to be the greatest jazz drummer of our age. Watch as these two duel it out in a battle of wits and drive that is so intense and so riveting, modern day superheroes and super-villains will look on in envy as their battles pale in comparison.

4. Selma
Ava DuVernay directs what is probably the most timely-relevant film of the year in Selma. Focusing on the civil rights march set in Alabama that would aim to give the African-American community the right to vote, David Oyelowo brilliantly transforms in Martin Luther King, Jr. as he tries to lead the movement against strong opposition from the government and people of Alabama. It never paints Dr. King as some god-like figure who did no wrong, but rather a flawed individual trying to do all that was humanly possible to right the wrongs of social injustice and inequality, taking it one day at a time.

5. Foxcatcher
What drives men and women to excel? Is it a desire to do what others can't? Is there an external force pushing someone to their limits and beyond? Is there an inherent craziness to those willing to suffer in order to reach that unreachable plane of greatness? These are some the questions at the heart of Bennett Miller's Foxcatcher, a superbly crafted character drama based on the relationship between the Olympic wrestling Schultz brothers and John Du Pont, the heir to the Du Pont family fortune. The film is absolutely fascinating in its quiet, intense portrait of those aching to be legends, and just as equally unnerving in its buildup of tension until it erupts in violence.

6. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
In what is truly one of the most unique cinematic experiences of the year, Alejandro González Iñárritu crafts a visual and dramatic masterpiece as a former superhero movie star attempts to recapture the glory days and leave his penultimate acting legacy on the theater stage. The film is absolutely hypnotic as the "seamless" cut weaves the audience in and out of the comings and goings of actors and crew members as they attempt to bring their all to this stage production. Utterly hilarious and wonderfully moving, Birdman will stay with you long after the credits roll.

7. The Grand Budapest Hotel
Wes Anderson delivers what is arguably his greatest work yet in The Grand Budapest Hotel, a beautiful dramatic comedy based on the writings of Stefan Zweig, an Austrian Jew who had to vacate his homeland due to Hitler's rise in power. While the film may not directly reference Zweig, Austria, or Nazis, it is set in the fictional European country of Zubrowka at a time of unrest, verging on warfare with the forces of the ZZ (a reference to the SS, Hitler's Nazi goon squad responsible for crimes against humanity). Using wonderfully colorful characters and Anderson's quirky, dry humor, The Grand Budapest Hotel highlights the beauty in love, friendship, art; and how quickly they can be torn apart in wartime.

8. Calvary
It's not so often a film comes along that deftly handles how faith can change one's life for the positive, as well as examine the inherent doubt in one's beliefs as they are tested regularly by internal and external forces. Brendan Gleeson delivers a captivating performance as Father James, a Catholic priest whose life is turned upside down when he's been given a death threat in the middle of a confessional. Father James is given one week to get his "house in order", and throughout this week Calvary will examine the priest's relationship with a wide assortment of colorful characters, as well as his relationship with himself. The film never preaches that one belief (or non-belief) is right over the other, but rather examines how faith can inspire beauty and grace while confronting not only the demons in ourselves, but also confronting the demons in others.

9. A Most Violent Year
1981 was the most violent year on record for New York City. While this film may be set during this violent era in New York, it is not about the time it is in. Oscar Isaac brilliantly plays a private businessman trying to expand his empire of sorts, legitimately might I add, in a time and place where people no longer believe in working for what they want, but do believe in taking it by force. He demands excellence from himself, his employees, and his family, which creates an interesting concoction considering his wife (Jessica Chastain) is the daughter of a former mob boss. She certainly doesn't see any problem in cracking a few skulls to get ahead, and this begins to undermine all that Oscar Isaac's character has been working for. Forces outside of his control continually test his resolve, making for a fascinating study on one's will to achieve the American dream in an era of crime. Of course the only crime is that this film was criminally overlooked by the Academy.

10. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
My vote for best franchise film of the year is undoubtedly Matt Reeve's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. It's bold, beautiful, thought-provoking, and intense. How many directors out there have the balls to start a film with 15 minutes of apes interacting and thriving as a community, intelligently communicating with each other with nary human in sight? Not many. The trouble starts when the humans and the apes collide, and the film becomes a parable about how quickly fear can lead to hate and war among different species. The film earns top marks for neither painting one side as good and one side as evil, but instead showing that good and evil can be on both sides of any conflict. And I haven't even mentioned the revelation that is Andy Serkis. He is the heart and soul of this film, and due to his groundbreaking work in motion capture this film is all the more captivating. Viscerally intense and emotionally wrenching, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes stands strong as one of the best films of the year and an omen of great things to come since Matt Reeves will be tackling its sequel.

11. Snowpiercer
One of the bigger surprises of the year came in Bong Joon Ho's sci-fi actioner Snowpiercer, based on a graphic novel of the same name. Chris Evans stars in this tense and politically charged thriller about a group of lower-class people rising up against the oppression and tyranny of the upper-class. Here's the catch: they're all aboard the last remaining fully-functioning train on Earth which has become completely frozen in ice and snow, wiping out the rest of humanity. Wholly unique with white-knuckle action and edge-of-your-seat suspense, Snowpiercer is one train ride you won't want to miss.

12. Boyhood
I'll be honest and admit this is the first Richard Linklater film I've ever seen. And what a film it is. Penned by many as the best film of the year, Boyhood follows the life of a boy over 12 years, his coming of age, his interactions with his parents (and step-parents), all the while being a smart and beautiful rumination on life itself. Probably the most interesting thing about the film is that it literally took 12 years to make, keeping the same cast throughout it's shooting schedule. Watching Mason grow on screen in front of your very eyes is a real delight, and Linklater is clever enough to use popular music as indicators of time passing by. Definitely one of the best films of the year; I can't wait to check out the rest of Linklater's directorial efforts.

13. Nightcrawler
In a year of fantastic performances, one of the most memorable is undoubtedly Jake Gyllenhaal's in Nightcrawler. His Louis Bloom is a critique on American capitalism as well as a critique on the modern media. By exploiting any person he can by any means necessary, Louis seeks to be the best go-to source for live media footage. Louis becomes a prime example of what we become when we subject others to harm and abandon all morality simply for success or a headline. It's an eerie performance, and one that was sadly overlooked by the Academy. As far as neo-noir goes, Nightcrawler doesn't remake the genre, but it's a bright example of how splendid the genre can be.

14. X-Men: Days of Future Past
Bryan Singer returns to the franchise he built with X-Men: Days of Future Past to right all the wrongs that the franchise took in his absence. Utilizing show-stopping set pieces, a bracing story, and an ensemble cast that would make any prolific director jealous, Singer turns in the best film of the franchise yet, and one of the best comic book films to grace the silver screen. One can only wait with heightened anticipation for Singer's next franchise entry: X-Men: Apocalypse.

15. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
When Disney announced that Anthony and Joe Russo were directing the next installment of the Captain America franchise, many people had the exact same reaction: "who?" What no would expect is a film that would smartly harken back to the political thrillers of the 1970's while also providing social commentary on current government oversight of its people. Combining this with smart characterizations and a twist that turned the entire MCU on its ass, Captain America: The Winter Soldier became an instant comic-book film classic, and one of the top films of the MCU. 15 years ago if someone told you that people were more excited about a third Captain America sequel than they were about a film featuring both Batman and Superman, you would have laughed yourself senseless. Who's laughing now?

16. How to Train Your Dragon 2
This year there were several notable animation releases, but none more notable in my mind than Dreamworks Animations' How to Train Your Dragon 2. The first film was a rousing success back in 2010, so it was pretty obvious that a sequel was on the horizon. Great family films are just that, they are great for the entire family. There's something here for everyone, including the adults who often get skimped in favor of what kids will like. Topping the first film in every imaginable way, the sequel employs stunning art direction and mesmerizing visuals (thanks to Roger Deakins serving as visual consultant), as well as utilizing a wonderful and heartfelt, albeit darker story from the first. All of the characters are top notch, and the voice acting lends gravitas to the film. Like the dragons our characters ride in the film, this one soars.

17. Edge of Tomorrow
Wait, is it Edge of Tomorrow or Live. Die. Repeat, or both? Who cares. This is the film no one expected anything from this past year. Thanks to terrible marketing on the part of Warner Bros., not as many people turned out for this film as they should have. But what those people missed was not just another throwaway Tom Cruise sci-fi actioner, but one of the cleverest and truly entertaining films of the year. Based off a Japanese manga titled "All You Need Is Kill" which was inspired from the author's video game experiences, Edge of Tomorrow was a huge breath of fresh air in a summer crowded with (although mostly excellent) sequels. Tom Cruise proves that even at the young age of 52 he can still kick ass with the best of them, but even better was Emily Blunt, exemplifying badassery fused with natural sexiness. Top that off with the assured direction of Doug Liman, and you've got a movie-going experience that you'll want to repeat many times to come.

18. The Imitation Game
I'm not too familiar with the life of Alan Turning other than knowing he was the grandfather of the modern day computer. What's even more interesting is that he developed this computer to break the Nazi Enigma code and help win the war for the Allies. What's even more interesting is not only was he a closet homosexual, but was punished by the British government for being so at a time when homosexuality was literally illegal. It's almost unbelievable that one of the saviors of the modern world would be punished for their sexual preference, but unfortunately that's what happened. All of this is brought to light in a beautiful and entertaining drama directed by Morten Tyldum, with Benedict Cumberbatch delivering an award-worthy performance as Alan Turning. Lending even more deft and grace in a wonderful supporting role is Keira Knightley, who almost steals the show right out from Benedict Cumberbatch. While the film plays somewhat loose with the facts (what film based on a true story doesn't), it remains an effective and interesting study of a man who changed the world, even when the world didn't love him for it.

19. Locke
Forget that this film is set entirely inside a car. Forget that we only see one actor's face for the film's duration. Forget that you're going to learn quite a bit about construction. Instead, get ready to be taken on one hell of a ride (pun intended) by the one man tour de force that is Tom Hardy. The entire film's premise is set around Hardy's character as he drives toward an event that will forever change his life, all the while tipping on the verge of the most substantial construction project of his career. It may not sound like something that's all too interesting, but that's what's great about it. Tom Hardy and the supporting actors (who you never see but do hear over the phone) make you care about all that is going on, and that, considering the film's premise, is one hell of a feat.

20. Guardians of the Galaxy
A talking raccoon? A walking tree? Most people thought Marvel had lost their marbles when they announced this as one of the Phase 2 projects. What a pleasant it was when movie-going audiences found that Marvel had knocked it out of the park. Thanks to the smart and talented writer/director James Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy bursts onto the scene with a lively and talented cast and an infectious sense of fun. It's colorful and action-packed, as any good space opera should be, and it left audiences around the world, including myself, wanting more. If you haven't seen it, you need to get hooked on that feeling because the Guardians of the Galaxy are returning in 2017.

21. A Most Wanted Man

22. John Wick

23. The Drop

24. The Raid 2: Berandal

25. Godzilla

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Old 12-31-2014, 12:25 PM   #29
HockeySlasher HockeySlasher is offline
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Oct 2008
St. Paul, MN

1. Interstellar
2. Edge of Tomorrow / Live. Die. Repeat. / Whatever WB is calling it now.
[Show spoiler]It is a shame that WB screwed up the marketing on this movie.

3. Snowpiercer
4. Captain America: WS
5. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
6. Days of Future Past
7. Guardians of the Galaxy
8. Lego Movie
9. Hunger Games: Mockingjay 1
10. Raid 2
11. St. Vincent
12. Gone Girl
13. Expendables 3
14. Non Stop
15. How to Train your Dragon 2
16. Penguins of Madagascar
17. Mr. Peabody and Sherman
18. Sabotage
19. Godzilla
20. Chef
21. Jack Ryan Shadow Recruit
22. Spiderman 2
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Old 12-31-2014, 12:58 PM   #30
NP13 NP13 is offline
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Jul 2012

Good thing we have until February, as I still need to see Boyhood, Foxcatcher, Whiplash, Snowpiercer, etc.

1. Under the Skin
2. Interstellar
3. Gone Girl
4. Guardians of the Galaxy
5. Frank
6. Calvary
7. Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
8. The LEGO Movie
9. Pride
10. Nightcrawler
11. The Guest
12. The Double
13. The Grand Budapest Hotel
14. A Most Wanted Man
15. Edge of Tomorrow
16. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
17. 22 Jump Street
18. Mockingjay Part 1
19. Godzilla
20. X-Men: Days of Future Past
21. Jersey Boys
22. Blue Ruin
23. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
24. Muppets Most Wanted
25. The Inbetweeners 2

Last edited by NP13; 01-02-2015 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 12-31-2014, 01:55 PM   #31
chris_sc77 chris_sc77 is offline
Feb 2012

Top 25
1. Boyhood
2. Captain America 2 : The Winter Soldier
3. Inherent Vice
4. Snowpiercer
5. Nymphomaniac Volumes 1 & 2
6. X-Men Days of Future Past
7. Interstellar
8. The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies
9. The Grand Budapest Hotel
10. Noah
11. Chef
12. Gone Girl
13. Nightcrawler
14. Guardians of the Galaxy
15. Edge of Tomorrow
16. Joe
17. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
18. The Normal Heart
19. Fury
20. Sabotage
21. The Zero Theorem
22. Tusk
23. Horns
24. Calvary
25. The Interview

Last edited by chris_sc77; 01-29-2015 at 11:04 PM.
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Old 12-31-2014, 02:05 PM   #32
Foggy Foggy is offline
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Dec 2008

Originally Posted by NP13 View Post
OK, there's a few on my list that had early 2014 releases in the UK (I've marked them in the list), but I'm not too sure about their releases in the US, so if anyone can help identify any films I need to take out, that'd be much appreciated. There's a couple I think will definitely have to go, but I can sort them out later. Good thing we have until February, as I still need to see Boyhood.

1. Under the Skin
2. Interstellar
3. Gone Girl
4. Guardians of the Galaxy
5. Frank
6. Calvary
7. Inside Llewyn Davis (UK RELEASE: JAN 24)
8. The LEGO Movie
9. Pride
10. Nightcrawler
11. The Guest
12. The Double
13. The Grand Budapest Hotel
14. A Most Wanted Man
15. Edge of Tomorrow
16. The Wolf of Wall Street (UK RELEASE: JAN 17)
17. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
18. 22 Jump Street
19. Mockingjay Part 1
20. Godzilla
21. X-Men: Days of Future Past
22. Jersey Boys
23. 12 Years A Slave (UK RELEASE: JAN 10)
24. Blue Ruin
25. Dallas Buyers Club (UK RELEASE: FEB 7)
The UK releases don't count, however the Oscar stuff we do get in our January does count, and you're allowed to edit your list up until Valentine's Day.
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Old 12-31-2014, 03:29 PM   #33
animefan77 animefan77 is offline
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Aug 2009

1. Edge of Tomorrow
2. Birdman
3. Gone Girl
4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
5. Guardians of the Galaxy
6. Interstellar
7. The Imitation Game
8. Big Hero 6
9. Boyhood
10. X-Men: Days of Future Past
11. Nightcrawler
12. Grand Budapest Hotel
13. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
14. How to Train Your Dragon 2
15. Divergent
16. The LEGO Movie
17. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
18. John Wick
19. Into The Woods
20. The Fault in Our Stars
21. Fury
22. Godzilla
23. 300: Rise of an Empire
24. The Theory of Everything
25. Snowpiercer

Last edited by animefan77; 02-15-2015 at 05:03 AM.
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Old 12-31-2014, 03:38 PM   #34
Visco. Visco. is offline
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Oct 2012
Columbus, Ohio

Reserved. Lots of movies to watch still.
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Old 12-31-2014, 03:46 PM   #35
levcore levcore is offline
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Jun 2011

2014 was a great year for movies!

1. Edge of Tomorrow (3D)

Loved this more than any other, I'm a big Cruise fan and this is one of, if not his best. The best Doug Liman movie too for my money. A great story, great cast and fantastic action, FX and 3D. Just awesome fun.

2. The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies (3D)
3. 3 Days to Kill
4. 300: Rise of an Empire (3D)
5. The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet (3D)
6. Exodus: Gods and Kings (3D)
7. Pompeii (3D)
8. Guardians of the Galaxy (3D)
9. The Guest
10. The Amazing Spiderman 2 (3D)
11. Gone Girl
12. Snowpiercer
13. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (3D)
14. Non Stop
15. What We Do In The Shadows
16. The Equalizer
17. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (3D)
18. Godzilla (3D)
19. Transformers: Age of Extinction (3D)
20. The Signal
21. The Raid 2
22. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (3D)
23. Automata
24. Earth to Echo
25. The Expendables 3

Last edited by levcore; 01-01-2015 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 12-31-2014, 05:06 PM   #36
Foggy Foggy is offline
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Dec 2008

Originally Posted by levcore View Post
2014 was a great year for movies!

1. Edge of Tomorrow (3D)

Loved this more than any other, I'm a big Cruise fan and this is one of, if not his best. The best Doug Liman movie too for my money. A great story, great cast and fantastic action, FX and 3D. Just awesome fun.

2. The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies (3D)
3. The Inbetweeners 2
4. 3 Days to Kill
5. 300: Rise of an Empire (3D)
6. The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet (3D)
7. Exodus: Gods and Kings (3D)
8. Pompeii (3D)
9. Guardians of the Galaxy (3D)
10. The Guest
11. The Amazing Spiderman 2 (3D)
12. Gone Girl
13. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (3D)
14. Non Stop
15. What We Do In The Shadows
16. The Equalizer
17. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (3D)
18. Godzilla (3D)
19. Transformers: Age of Extinction (3D)
20. The Signal
21. The Raid 2
22. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (3D)
23. Automata
24. Earth to Echo
25. The Wolf of Wall Street

I would have included Snowpiercer but that was on my 2013 list.
Inbetweeners 2 doesn't count since it's yet to be released in the US, same goes for Wolf of Wall Street since it was a 2013 release in the US. But Snowpiercer is fully eligible for this list, and I would recommend you list it since it seems like a good underdog to get a high ranking on the list.
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Old 12-31-2014, 05:50 PM   #37
The Narrator The Narrator is offline
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Aug 2013

This is my list. It looks like other lists, but this one is mine.

1. Two Days, One Night
2. Inherent Vice
3. Whiplash
4. Boyhood
5. The Grand Budapest Hotel
6. The Immigrant
7. Selma
8. Under the Skin
9. Birdman
10. Nightcrawler
11. Gone Girl
12. A Most Wanted Man
13. A Most Violent Year
14. Foxcatcher
15. The Lego Movie
16. Interstellar
17. Snowpiercer
18. 22 Jump Street
19. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
20. Guardians of the Galaxy
21. The Drop
22. The Interview
23. Edge of Tomorrow
24. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
25. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Also-rans: Noah, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Big Eyes, Magic in the Moonlight, Veronica Mars, Godzilla, The Fault in Our Stars, Unbroken

Last edited by The Narrator; 02-15-2015 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 12-31-2014, 05:50 PM   #38
GumballRally GumballRally is offline
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Dec 2014


Last edited by GumballRally; 12-31-2014 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 12-31-2014, 06:10 PM   #39
GorillaGuy GorillaGuy is offline
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May 2014

I'll post my list once I see Selma and American Sniper (both of which are likely to crack my top 15)
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Old 12-31-2014, 06:28 PM   #40
Xenia Xenia is offline
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Jun 2013
United States

Tentative but here goes:

1. Inherent Vice
2. Calvary
3. Nightcrawler
4. A Most Violent Year
5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
6. Enemy
7. The Raid 2
8. Under the Skin
9. Blue Ruin
10. The Guest
11. The Grand Budapest Hotel
12. Gone Girl
13. X-Men: Days of Future Past
14. Birdman
15. Ida
16. Tusk
17. The Rover
18. John Wick
19. The Babadook
20. How to Train Your Dragon 2
21. The Drop
22. Boyhood
24. Guardians of the Galaxy
25. The LEGO Movie

Really rough, and I haven't seen a few recent releases (Whiplash, Imitation Game, etc.) but there it is.

Last edited by Xenia; 01-31-2015 at 03:26 PM.
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