50 Great Films You Should See From 2014

Tye Sheridan and Nicolas Cage in David Gordon Green's Joe

The Master List

Here’s the stripped-down, one-page list of everything that you can print out for friends and family when they talk about what a bad year it has been for movies.

Twenty Essentials

20000 Days on Earth
The Babadook
Jodorowksy’s Dune
Nightcrawler
Only Lovers Left Alive
Under the Skin
We Are the Best!
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Whiplash
Ida
Force Majeure
Boyhood
The Overnighters
Listen Up Philip
Life Itself
Mommy
The Duke of Burgundy
Winter Sleep
The Tribe

Fifteen Great Performances and Stories

Wetlands
Fishing Without Nets
Dear White People
Ping Pong Summer
The Battered Bastards of Baseball
Frank
Obvious Child
The One I Love
Showrunners
The Skeleton Twins
Starred Up
Comet
Locke
Supermench
A Most Wanted Man

Fifteen Unusual and Daring Genre Films

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Coherence
Housebound
I, Origins
The Congress
Enemy
Starry Eyes
Blue Ruin
The Signal
The Rover
Cheap Thrills
The Guest
Cold in July

Appendix: Thirty More Films That Didn’t Fit (or that we forgot)

This set of films is partially drawn from the original extended list we assembled for this piece. Then there are some we just forgot. (How did I not make a place above for David Gordon Green’s Joe?) Of course, there are more we’ve forgotten or haven’t seen or don’t even know about. This list is largely the result of my own tastes and particular POV. While I’ve made an effort to broaden my own viewing experiences, many films fall outside my own tastes, and I’m sometimes not smart or aware enough to give them consideration. That’s not a comment on the films, but on my own limited viewpoint. Expansion on that front is always welcome (but it’s my job to make that happen, not yours).

There are also a couple films here that are festival entries that might already have a release outside the US, but don’t have a date here yet. Then there are a few that were mentioned above, such as Goodbye to Language 3D, It Follows, and Faults, which have been at festivals and/or in super-limited US release, but won’t have regular dates for another few months. But they should absolutely be on your radar.

’71
Alleluia
Bad Turn Worse
Before I Disappear
Bird People
Borgman
Chef
Clouds of Sils Maria
Faults
Fort Bliss
Goodbye to Language 3D
Honeymoon
In Order of Disappearance
It Follows
Joe
Laggies
Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau
Love is Strange
The Lunchbox
Mistaken for Strangers
Mood Indigo
Night Moves
Rosewater
The Sacrament
Shrew’s Nest
Spring
White Bird in a Blizzard
White Shadow
Zero Motivation

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