My Top 10 of 2014

2014 has brought some amazing creations to the big screen.  In addition to an extension of the established Marvel universe, a film about a load of Danish bricks to a hilarious group of vamps in New Zealand, compiling my top 2014 was a tricky feat.

So after filtering through a top 14 for…umm, 2014, this is my personal top ten for the year:

1. Boyhood

boyhoodI love Linklater’s Before series, but this 12-year, 3hr film stands out as a cinematic achievement.  Using the same core cast throughout, it manages to resonate the troubles of growing up and the inclusions of key events (notably, the midnight launch of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) brings out a sense of nostalgia.  It will be a crime if Linklater doesn’t get an Academy Award nomination.  It will be a bigger one if he doesn’t get an award.

2. Gone Girl

gone girl

When it comes to consistently good directors, Fincher is up there.  From Fight Club to The Social Network, he manages to hit the mark and this year, he made one of the better book-film adaptations of the year.  By putting a modern take on the classic femme fatale and giving Rosamund Pike a career-defining role, its twists, turns and dark humour is hard to top.

3. ‘71

71-efm-1sheet-lr-1
If someone were to tell me a couple of years ago that the mouthy one from Skins would become a bona-fide Hollywood star, I would have probably raised an eyebrow in scepticism.  But the film debut of Yann Demange about ‘The Troubles’ is thrilling and tense.  It needs a lot more love.

 

4. What We Do in the Shadows

what we do in the shadows
A vampire mockumentary by Jermaine Clement, one half of comedy band Flight of the Concords, and Taika Waititi.  It has simply done for vampires what Shaun of the Dead did for zombies.  Easily one of the funniest films of 2014.  Fact.

5.  Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-2-1308x1940
 Just when the Marvel Cinematic Universe is already bursting at the seams with standalone films, James Gunn creates a comedic gem about an unlikely group of heroes, combining it with one of this year’s best soundtracks.  If there was ever an excuse to dig out your old Walkman, it would be this film.

 

6. Wish I Was Here

Wish_I_Was_Here

When I reviewed this back in September, I thought it was one of the best films of the year and while others may not agree, I found it endearing and sweet.  It was easy to lose myself in the story and by encapsulating my own aspirations (driving an Aston Martin DB9, surfing, going to Comic-Con), it is in my top pic(k)s of 2014.

7. The Grand Budapest Hotel

grand budapest
I thought it was hard to top the loveliness of Moonrise Kingdom but due to a strong colour scheme, delectable pastries (see below) and an actually funny Ralph Fiennes, it was hard not to love Wes Anderson’s latest feature.  Especially as it has one of the best posters of the year.

8. Whiplash

Whiplash_poster
It was hard not not to include this, as this is not out in the UK until January, but this blistering drama about the road to perfection in music is hard to ignore.  It had been on the radar since its debut since Sundance and it is sure to attract many award nominations, thanks to J. K. Simmons’s dominating performance.

9. How to Train Your Dragon 2

httyd2

In a notably Pixar-less year, and after Disney’s Frozen basically took over the world, it is great to see a fitting sequel to one of Dreamworks’s better films.  The animation and the development of the now grown-up characters are just fabulous.

10. Obvious Child

obvious-child

Going against the pro-life grain of pregnancy in film, Robespierre created one of the more relatable films of this year.  With a witty performance from SNL alumnae Jenny Slate, it is one of 2014’s independent darlings.

Thanks for reading.

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