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 »
In box office terms, 2014 wasn’t a huge year for film. But in creative terms, it’s hard to fault this year’s crop. It contained at least one once-in-a-lifetime masterpiece, not to mention one of the greatest horror movies in years, several big-budget franchise-builders that soared way past expectations, and some completely out-of-nowhere gems.
As the year winds to a close, I’ve taken a moment to look back at some highlights. As usual, this shouldn’t be considered an objective list of the year’s best film, but an entirely subjective list of favorites. Run down my top 10 films of 2014 with me after the jump.
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 right director and the right script don’t mean anything without the right actor. Performers are the ones who bridge the gap between the minds behind the camera and the ones in front of the screen. It is their personalities that draw us in, their expressions that tell the story, and their faces that we remember.
There were no shortage of great performances this year, across all genres and all budgets. Inevitably, a few stood out above the rest. See our list of the best performances of 2014 after the jump. Read More »
Creating a truly great character is no easy task. Everything has to come together, from the script to the costuming to the acting. But when they do, the result feels like more than the sum of its parts. In a matter of hours or even minutes, great characters manage to feel as real and vivid as anyone we’ve met in real life.
In 2014 we met quite a few such characters in arthouse oddities and studio blockbusters alike, ranging from heroes to villains, comic relief sidekicks to horrifying bogeymen. The only thing all of our favorite characters of 2014 have in common is that days or weeks or months after we first saw them, we haven’t been able to get them out of our minds.
Read our list of the best movie characters of 2014, ordered by release date, after the jump. Read More »
The horror genre thrives on sequels. The instant a filmmaker creates some kind of interesting, iconic villain or scenario, it is pillaged and marketed into oblivion. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s just the way it goes. Sequels print money. Often, too, they happen because the filmmaker is new to the game and signs away any rights just to get their first film into theaters.
Both of those scenarios would’ve made sense with Jennifer Kent‘s The Babadook. The terrifying, super-smart horror film is currently in theaters and on demand and it not only has a wonderful, creative hook and villain, it’s by a first time director. Those two facts make it seem like a sequel would be likely. However, Kent has definitely said there will never be a Babadook 2. Read why below. Read More »
David, Devindra, and Jeff discuss all the films they watched over the break, explain why Ridley Scott could’ve been more sensitive in discussing the casting of Exodus: Gods and Kings, and review Jennifer Kent’s impressive debut, The Babadook.
Posted on Thursday, November 27th, 2014 by Angie Han
One of the many reasons we’re thankful for Thanksgiving is that it cuts the work week short, giving us twice as much weekend time to spend at the movies. And there’s no shortage of titles right now to spend that time on. The only question is where to start.
To help you answer that, we’ve put together a helpful guide that (we hope) covers every base. Hit the jump for our list of 25 movies to watch this Thanksgiving. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 by Russ Fischer
(Note: this review originally ran in January during the Sundance Film Festival; we’ve republished it now as the film opens in theaters and on VOD this weekend.)
The Babadook is one of the best horror movies in years, a vigorous and hellishly intense story about a family on the edge of sanity. This isn’t a gore showcase, but a wild emotional roller coaster. (If you need a tonal touchstone, look to Polanski films such as Repulsion and The Tenant.) There is a monster of sorts, but the movie would almost be just fine without him — the actors put each other through fire and pain, and writer/director Jennifer Kent drops us right in there with them. Read More »