Germain’s Not Quite Top 10 Movies of 2014

Wild

Top-ten lists can be predictable. They often feature the same 15 or so movies, recycled and reshuffled to a point where it’s pretty obvious those were the best movies of the year — or at least the ones that made it to the top of the consensus pile. But out of the hundreds of films released every year, why cut it off at ten?

This list is not the ten best movies of 2014. These are the films that almost made the cut. Numbers 11-25. I decided to feature them because, unlike my top ten, these movies are at least a bit more varied. Foreign films, independent films, documentaries, animation, the movies on this list come from all over and contain at least a few surprises in an otherwise tired format.

Make no mistake. The films I previously wrote about, in my opinion, are the ten best of 2014. But these movies are pretty damn great too. Below read my not quite top 10 movies of 2014.

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20 Movies to Watch During Christmas Week 2014

Movies to Watch This Christmas

The Christmas vacation week has been a great time for movies for many years now. Knowing that people are on vacation and (possibly) eager to escape the odd family obligation or two, studios plan big releases for Christmas day, which is also conveniently one of the last big release dates of the year, making the time also a prime spot for the release of films with big award season campaigns. That means there are also many choices this week, from new releases to films that have been in theaters for a week or more, and the plethora of VOD offerings. So here’s a list of twenty movies to watch this Christmas.

Here, we’ll run down the big options for Christmas week movies, and give you some clue of which audiences might get the most out of each. Read More »

Comet Emmy Rossum Justin Long

Editor’s note: This review originally ran in June, but the wonderful Comet opens in limited release this weekend, so we’ve republished it. It’s also on demand. Watch the trailer here.

Imagine you’re watching your relationship on TV. It is playing on five channels, with each channel airing a different stage of the relationship. When things get too uncomfortable, awkward or emotional, you just flip the channel. On that next channel, you’d continue to watch your relationship unfold, maybe from a point a few years later. The cumulative result of the experience would probably put into perspective the whole of what you and another person can be together. Loving in one moment, hateful in another, caring, selfish and more.

That metaphor is an elaborate attempt to describe Comet, the directorial debut of Sam Esmail, which had its world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival this weekend. Comet stars Emmy Rossum and Justin Long as the central couple. While there is absolutely no TV channel surfing involved, the film’s complex and fascinating structure feels like that, from the audience perspective. It’s a dense, funny, insanely well-written and well-acted film. Unlike most romantic films, it keeps you guessing. Simultaneously, it raises questions about the nature of love, life, and truth, all disguised in an semi-conventional love story told in the most unconventional of ways. It’s a special movie. Read More »

comet trailer

Every once in a while, you go to the movies with no idea what you’re about to see and witness something special. Even something miraculous, cinema in its purest form, without hype or expectations. That happened to me this summer when I saw Sam Esmail‘s Comet.

In Comet, Justin Long and Emmy Rossum star as a couple whose entire relationship is viewed in a series of connected scenes that change, transform and surprise in a multitude of ways. It opens in limited release December 5 and now the first trailer is here. Check out the Comet trailer below. Read More »