This is the first time I have ever attempted to create an end of year Top 10 Movie list and it’s bloody hard work. It has changed various times over the past few weeks but I think I have it down now. All movies listed are relative to their UK general release date so if you reside across the pond you might be confused by some of the inclusions. There are some notable supposed “best movie” absentees like Boyhood, Gone Girl, Birdman and a few others due to the fact that I simply haven’t gotten around to watching as many of them as I would’ve liked.
Check out the list below and as always I would love to hear your thoughts.
10. 12 Years A Slave
When I first saw Hunger I knew Steve McQueen would turn out to be a favourite director of mine. His adaptation of Solomon Northup’s unlawful kidnapping and wrongful imprisonment into slavery is extremely tough and harrowing to watch. It’s also bolstered by strong, career defining performances from Michael Fassbender and Chiwetel Ejiofor and an emotional – if at times somewhat familiar – score by Hans Zimmer.
Checked this one out on Netflix since it technically didn’t receive a UK general release (did it?). From what I had heard from fellow movie enthusiasts I was in for a real treat however it didn’t quite live up to the hype for me. Despite that, Bong Joon Ho and everyone involved still managed to deliver a thrilling, explosive and original piece of cinema that is sadly hard to find these days. It’s very difficult to pigeonhole this movie which helps to highlight it’s originality.
Possibly one of my most anticipated movies of 2014. Christopher Nolan goes beyond space and time but never quite reaches the peak of his previous films. To say he failed would be extremely harsh. Interstellar was entertaining and the cast were great. Ambitious was the word that kept popping up in reviews everywhere and it certainly was that but at nearly 3 hours long it felt even longer and probably could’ve benefited from having 20 minutes shaved off somewhere. It was still gripping even though the third act reveal was fairly predictable.
7. Inside Llewyn Davis
Easily the Coen’s best offering in recent years, Inside Llewyn Davis follows a folk singer during a troublesome week as he attempts to get his name out there during the 1960s Greenwich Village folk movement. Oscar Isaac is flawless and turns in one of the most likeable performances of the year in my opinion. The Coen’s are the masters of character creation and development yet they always seem to keep their character’s cards close to their chests. It’s their ability to give characters different layers while remaining subtle in what they do on screen. It helps that the music was ace too.
I happened to see this one a few days before I started creating this list and I knew about an hour in that it would be on here somewhere. It’s being compared to Drive and Collateral in how it depicts night life in Los Angeles but I prefer the comparisons of Lou Bloom to Travis Bickle. Bloom’s descent into a kind of madness is nowhere close to Bickle’s in terms of physicality but he is undoubtedly a loner with high ambitions and his mental state throughout the movie is unsettling at times. Gyllenhaal has been knocking on the Academy’s door for some time now but 2014 was a stand out year for him and his stint as sleazy, up and coming news freelancer is nothing short of outstanding.
Check out my Top 5 Movies on the next page!