Germain's Not Quite Top 10 Movies Of 2014

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.

In another twist, we're going to give these to you in order. So let's start with the original top ten and move on from there:

  • Boyhood
  • Inherent Vice
  • Whiplash
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Selma
  • Nightcrawler
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Snowpiercer
  • Birdman
  • The Raid 2

11. Jodorowsky's Dune

If you love movies, sci-fi, criticism or any combination of those things, this documentary is more than a must see. It's the best historical document imaginable for one of the best movies never made and definitely the most influential.

12. Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon

Austin Powers himself, Mike Myers, directed this heartwarming and wholly entertaining documentary about a man who has lived probably one of the most amazing lives you'll ever hear about, intersecting with celebrities from music to movies and more.

13. The Lego Movie

By now, the year's best animated film doesn't need much in the way of selling. It's funny, it's gorgeous, it's infinitely rewatchable and blends Star Wars, DC Comics, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Will Ferrell into everything awesome.

14. The One I Love

An idea that sounds pretty normal on the surface – a married couple struggles with their relationship – takes the year's best plot twist and becomes a genre bending, unpredictable, nearly undefinable wonder. Elizabeth Moss and Mark Duplass absolutely rule.

15. Force Majeure

Imagine an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm with more pathos, emotion, and even more super-duper uncomfortable humor. That's this Swedish delight which blends tones and genres you've never considered together in a way that has to be seen to be believed.

16. Wild

Reese Witherspoon might be the star on screen, but it's director Jean-Marc Vallée who takes this true story of a woman walking away her problems off and makes in into an exciting, invigorating piece of filmmaking.

17. CitizenFour

CitizenFour literally puts you in the room for history as Edward Snowden decides to release classified secrets about the American government. Gripping, frightening and unforgettable, it's hard to imagine we're lucky enough to have this film at all.

18. Edge of Tomorrow

Time travel is hard but Doug Liman's Edge of Tomorrow does it with style. It's a fast-paced, action-packed ride that has enough energy for three lesser movies. Tom Cruise is good in it but Emily Blunt is great. Even on repeat viewings, the fun is still there.

19. Top Five

One of the funniest films of the year is raw around the edges, but features a filmmaker coming into his own. That filmmaker just so happens to be hilarious comedian Chris Rock who has lots to say about celebrity, life, and calls in every favor in the book to make this movie feel incredibly big and bad (the good kind.)

20. 22 Jump Street

The year's second best sequel has the best end credits in the history of movies and a pretty great 100 plus minutes before that too. Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller's other film on the list has more laughs per minute than any other movie this year.

21. Comet

A criminally underrated and under-watched love story starring Emmy Rossum and Justin Long. Think 500 Days of Summer, but with a more dream like quality, as we see a couple's relationship at various points simultaneously.

22. Life Itself

Roger Ebert did so much for not only film criticism, but film itself, that it's only right the movie tribute to his life is such a great one. What director Steve James does best here is not just sugar coat the man, he shows him as he truly was: human but passionate and inspiring too.

23. Only Lovers Left Alive

You've already seen this film on my colleagues' lists, and for good reason. It's one of the coolest vampire movies you've ever seen, mostly because it just has such a distinct, laid-back vibe. Couple that with the genius of Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston and you've got a winner.

24. The Skeleton Twins

You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll be amazed that former Saturday Night Live cast mates Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig have such incredible acting chops. The film includes one of my favorite scenes of the year set to Starship's Nothing Gonna Stop Us Now.

25. The Battered Bastards of Baseball

Hollywood and sports delightfully clash in this fun documentary about Kurt Russell's dad Bing and what happened when he decided to bring an independent baseball team in Portland, Oregon. It's a true story that's almost too crazy to be true.