Monday, December 29, 2014

Top 10 Movies of the Year 2014

The Immigrant

James Gray's modern American classic about the price of freedom. Marion Cotillard is a revelation yet again. The shot of her in the confession booth with her face emerging from the darkness is the best movie moment I saw this year. Pure class, pure cinema.

Maps To The Stars

The sharpest, most brutally realistic dissection of Hollywood culture ever made. A precision look at the damaged psyches within a morally corrupt system that creates monstrous children and churns out content for morons. The actor that plays the spoiled kid deserves an Oscar for being so repulsively vile. 

Welcome to New York

A return to form for Abel Ferrara and arguably his best film. A much darker look at debauchery than Leo DiCaprio's Wall Street fantasy from last year. Gerard Depardieu is awesome as DSK. The stunning final shot as he looks into the camera was the best ending of any film this year.

Under The Skin

A uniquely psychedelic vision about the alien within that rides the line between experimental and classical perfectly. Not since Enter The Void have we seen something this trippy on screen. A triumph for Jonathan Glazer.

Abuse Of Weakness

One of the great Catherine Brilliat's most personal films. Deals with her recent stroke and her run in with a famous con man swindler. Up there with Fat Girl and Romance as one of her best. Isabella Huppert is astonishing as always.

Starred Up

Masculinity, violence, respect, anger. All throughly dissected in this hardcore British drama about their incredibly harsh prison system. Tremendous.


Patriotism, ego, homosexuality, sport, manhood, insanity. Steve Carrel as John du Pont is one of the more complex and creepy character studies I can recall. And I finally gained some respect for Channing Tatum. Amazing film.


Not a film per se but a mini-series from the UK. This three hour deconstruction of a killing spree is an intricate portrait of grief. Inventive, scary, affecting.

Force Majeure

Heavy movie about a family in crisis punctuated by moments of pure comedy. Bergman-like moments of existential grief mixed in with some of the biggest laughs of the year. Totally unique.

Wolf Creek 2

The horrors the outback come alive once again in Greg McLean's follow up to his 2005 classic. Largely inspired by the unholy killings of Ivan Millet

Late contender for Movie of the Year: Whiplash. The nerve wracking intensity of musical performance has never been captured like this before. Amazing performances, great music, and lots of huge laughs. A modern classic.


I also very much enjoyed the visceral exploration of alternate dimensions via Ketamine of Coherence, the unexpectedly twisted end to Bobcat Goldthwait's Bigfoot film Willow Creek, David Michod's wonderfully harsh statement on the value of human life The Rover, the awesome rendering of relativity and fifth dimensional timespace in Interstellar, the composed and nuanced paranoid nightmare of Night Moves, the foreboding mysticism of I Origins, the allegorical home invasion in Borgman, Von Trier's epic journey into hell Nymphomaniac, intense crime picture The Drop, the price of conformity exposed in Cheap Thrills and the Australian crime epic Son Of A Gun.


I recommend checking out the inspiring and truly heroic public defenders in Gideon's Army, the demented pedophile cult exposed in Secrets Of The Vatican, the obsessive art recreation in Tim's Vermeer, the unfathomably evil oil company killing people and gorillas in Virunga, Nick Cave autobiography 20,000 Days On Earth and the eight Mind Of A Chef episodes that focus on the brilliant chef Magnus Nilsson (Season 3, episodes 9-16). I also very much enjoyed Lisa Kudrow's brilliant and hysterical satire of Hollywood idiocy The Comeback.

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