Top 10 best movies 2014
222 8 8.31. Boyhood (2014)
Notes: I already heard about this movie 6 or 8 years ago and, of course, I was really intrigued but I didn’t expect it to be so amazing. I mean, sure, it is a very nice gimmick (shooting a movie over a period of 12 years starting with a boy at 6 years old until he reaches 18 years old) but a gimmick remains a gimmick unless you manage to do something great with it and Richard Linklater certainly did something quite amazing here. Indeed, a traditional movie would give you a nice story, a great story if you’re lucky, but here they gave us a genuine slice of life. Of course, you could argue that they could have shot a documentary and you would have ended up with the same results but I highly doubt it. Indeed, for almost 3 hours, you spend more than a decade with these characters and even though nothing hugely dramatic happens, the whole thing was just spellbinding to behold.
275 8.1 8.92. Interstellar (2014)
Notes: It seems that Nolan's ambition is pretty much limitless as he decided to tackle this time an epic science-fiction feature reaching out for a seminal masterpiece like '2001: A Space Odyssey' and the guy almost pulled it off. I say almost because even though the whole thing was really entertaining, emotional and gorgeous to look at, the story was actually rather shaky and half of it didn't make much sense whatsoever. Above all, with this movie, you finally got a glimpse of Nolan's actual limitations. By now, we all pretty much agree that he is one of the most talented directors at work today but if you want to go all the way and make a really awesome masterpiece like his example Stanley Kubrick, he has to stop to please the average movie watcher by throwing some random action scenes here and there. It didn’t bother me with 'Inception' but, here, it was really obvious and rather annoying. Still, you get here some rather deep thoughts about life, death, love, the relativity of time and space and it was just exhilariting to see a blockbuster at least trying to tackle such ideas.
789 8 8.13. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Notes: Personally, I always had a hard time with Wes Anderson. I mean, I always admired his work and his movies have always been visually impressive but I was missing something in his stories and I usually didn’t connect with them very well. Anyway, at last, with this movie, he finally nailed it. Indeed, he finally managed to mix his whimsical visual style and his hilarious characters with a very entertaining plot. To be honest, I still think I prefer ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’ but this movie is definitely not far behind.
576 7.8 8.24. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Notes: Wow! That’s what you can call a fun movie. I have to be honest, when I heard that Marvel was planning to release 2 or 3 super-hero flicks every year for the coming decade, I was pretty sure that they would saturate the market and end up with some major flops but if they keep reinventing themselves like that, it might take longer then I thought before they mess up, in fact, it might never happen at all after all. Indeed, this movie actually had basically the same usual ingredients but they managed to give it just the right flavour to make it really tasty. First of all, it is a gorgeous SF feature, one of the most interesting futuristic world I have seen for a while, full of interesting details. Then, you had those awesome hilarious characters far more entertaining than your usual powerful and righteous super beings. So, I really enjoyed it, it is one of the best super-hero flicks out there and the best movie produced by Marvel so far.
239 7.9 8.35. Gone Girl (2014)
Notes: Well, once again, Fincher came with a really original work and I'm actually surprised that it is actually so popular since it is far from being a maintream feature. Indeed, it is probably his weirdest movie since 'Fight Club' with so many layers that I will probably keep thinking about it for many days. The first layer is obviously a thriller about a man who might have killed his wife. Than, the second layer is a really pitch black comedy about an average guy who gets involved in this very weird media circus. This combination was already pure genius and like 'The Wolf of Wall Street', it was rather unexpected but very much welcome. Obviously, it goes even further and it becomes this really weird study about how married life can make you think and or do the weirdest thing, even if in this case, it becomes pretty extreme but it was obviously all on purpose. To be honest, I'm not sure that everything really did work but it was still a really good flick.
556 6 5.96. Noah (2014)
Notes: At last, Darron Aronofsky was allowed to make a big blockbuster and, of course, I was really eager to check the end-result. Eventually, he didn’t go for the easy path and decided to go all the way and direct a massive biblical epic. To be honest, even though I was quite impressed, I’m still not quite sure what to make of the whole thing and I will probably re-watch it at some point in the future to make up my mind for good. First of all, it was visuallly impressive but it wasn't the biggest appeal of this feature. I have to admit it, I’m not a religious person, in the contrary, and I'm not sure I actually really cared about this ancient tale but I have always been fascinated by the concept of religion and this movie definitely gave some food for thought. Indeed, even though the scale was huge, the whole thing is basically about Noah himself and the struggles he has to face and it was quite intriguing to behold.
376 7.2 7.77. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
Notes: At last, we are done with Middle-Earth. I know, it might sound as if I didn't like the damned thing but the point is I definitely had some mixed feelings about it. Indeed, 2 years ago, when we went to see the first installment of this new trilogy, I was really excited. Unfortunately, it became clear at some point that this new tale would never reach the same level of awesomness. The main issue is that this story was never meant to be so epic, it was supposed to be a cute children tale, a warm-up, before the massive 'The Lord of the Rings' but Peter Jackson really insisted that these prequels would reach the same level so he stretched them as much as possible. And yet, I still really enjoyed the damned thing. Indeed, I thought it really looked gorgeous and even though many complained about the 3D HFR, I thought it worked really well and I think it actually enhanced the fairy tale quality of this flick.
885 7.7 8.18. X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
Notes: While the Spider-Man franchise is getting more and more disappointing after each installment, here we have a super-hero franchise which has been incredibly rejuvenated and it’s getting better each time around. Indeed, I thought that ‘X-Men: First Class’ was pretty good, better than the original trilogy but I still thought it was rather overrated. This time, they gave us a stronger story, the best story so far involving those mutants and I was above all fascinated by how conflicted their relationships were. Still, somehow, I wasn't entirely convinced. I mean, it was really close to be really amazing but they were not there yet, in my opinion. For example, they pulled the same trick as in ‘Star Trek’ with this time travel storyline which basically obliterates everything that happened in the first trilogy. Honestly, as a viewer, the result is that I felt tricked since all the emotions I invested in the previous movies became rather meaningless. Still, it was a very enjoyable super-hero feature.
9 7.8 89. Leviathan (2014)
Notes: Since I was a little bit familiar with Andrey Zvyagintsev's work, I was expecting something actually even bleaker. I mean, it was still hardly a picnic, you don't really get a positive image of Russia as it seems that all the governemental workers are either incompent or corrupt and most of the adult population seems to be half of their life completely drunk. Still, it was quite bearable and Zvyagintsev managed again to give some gorgeous shots and I thought that the directing was really solid. The actors did a fine job but, in my opinion, the wife's character was too ambiguous and eventually, you never really get the opportunity to understand her motivation behind her actions. I also had a hard time to get what the director was eventually getting at (apparently, it was a modern reworking of the Book of Job but since my knowledge of the bible is rather limited, I kinda of missed that). Still, it was definitely an interesting watch and I thought it was pretty good.
21 7.5 6.910. Love Is Strange (2014)
Notes: It was what you could call a nice little movie. Indeed, it is nothing really life changing but there was something really sweet about this love story about 2 guys who have been together for 40 years. One of the biggest pleasures while watching this flick was that those two men were not played by the usual big Hollywood stars but 2 great character actors : John Lithgow and Alfred Molina. All the cast did a fine job but they were just great, giving many interesting layers to those interesting characters. Concerning the story itself, I wasn’t really sure though. I mean, they make a big deal of the fact that they loose their cherished apartment but, eventually, they find a new one in the most random way possible. Still, even though it might not be a masterpiece, I really enjoyed it a lot.
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