Focus, simplicity and control. As I look back over the films of 2014, the ones that most stay with me are not the sprawling epics or the movies that tried to cram a surplus of ideas or technique into one story. (Sorry, Birdman and Interstellar.) They’re the movies, not even necessarily the “small” ones, that exhibit something specific in filmmaking technique, or unusually refined in their approach to story. 2014 was packed with movies I loved, and this list could easily be three times as long as it is. Below, you’ll find the ten films that have stuck with me most intensely, along with a page of extra picks that all offer something special, too. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, December 24th, 2014 by Peter Sciretta
So we’ve looked at the best and worst movies of the year as rated by the largest sampling of moviegoers available publicly (IMDB). And as you know, the public opinion sometimes differs from that of professional film critics. As it should, film critics often see hundreds of new movies a year (a larger sampling of content) and have thus have a more discerning taste. So after the jump we will take a look at the best reviewed movies of 2014.
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 »
Best Foreign Film Oscar Shortlist Highlights ‘Ida,’ ‘Force Majeure,’ Snubs ‘Mommy’ and ‘Winter Sleep’
Posted on Friday, December 19th, 2014 by Russ Fischer
The shortlist for potential Best Foreign Film Oscar nominees is out. As usual, the list is going to generate as much talk about what didn’t make the cut as it does about what ended up on the list. Many of the year’s most significant films were left off: Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Winter Sleep, which was this year’s Palme d’Or winner at Cannes, didn’t make the cut. Nor did Mommy by Xavier Dolan, also a Cannes prize winner, taking the Jury Prize; or Kornel Mundruczo’s White God; or the Dardenne brothers’ Two Days One Night.
But the Best Foreign Film shortlist for 2015 does feature some great films, including Ida, from Pawel Pawlikowski and Force Majeure (above), from director Ruben Östlund. The full list is below. Read More »