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Our favorite movies of 2014 [Was: Best of 2014 So Far]


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A hesitant attempt:

 

1. Strange Little Cat
2. Norte, The End of History
3. Grand Budapest Hotel
4. Two Days, One Night
5. Trip to Italy
6. Stray Dogs
7. Listen Up, Philip
8. Last of the Unjust
9. Mr. Turner
10. Only Lovers Left Alive

 

Unreleased:

 

Jauja

Voile L'Enchainement

Grigris

Stations of the Cross

Edited by M. Leary

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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I selfishly define 2014 films by when they reach my neck of the woods (East TN/Western NC). 

 

In order of when I saw them:

 

Her

Philomena

The Great Beauty

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Particle Fever

Begin Again

The Broken Circle Breakdown

Boyhood

Love Is Strange

Pride

1000 Times Good Night

Whiplash

Force Majeure

Glen Campbell:  I'll Be Me

Wild

 

Just a notch below:

 

Gloria

Interstellar

Ilo Ilo

We Are the Best!

Edited by Andrew

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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  • 4 weeks later...

There's still a good many 2014 films I am yet to catch, so as I have said in previous years, the list is very much in flux, and it is likely to be edited at least a few times over the next couple of weeks. Also, I need to give you all the standard disclaimer that I am going off Australian release dates, so there will be a number of titles that a lot of you will associate with 2013.....

My favourites (in order of preference):

1. TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT
2. BOYHOOD
3. IDA
4. 12 YEARS A SLAVE

5. LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
6. CALVARY
7. DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

Runners-up (alphabetical):

1. ALL IS LOST
2. CHEF

3. ERNEST & CELESTINE
4. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
5. THE PAST
6. WINTER SLEEP
7. X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

Honourable mentions (alphabetical):

1. THE BABADOOK
2. BEGIN AGAIN
3. BIG HERO 6
4. CHILD'S POSE
5. INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
6. THE LEGO MOVIE
7. LOCKE
8. NOAH
9. THE SELFISH GIANT
10. STILL LIFE

Others worth mentioning (alphabetical):

1. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER
2. DELIVER US FROM EVIL
3. THE DOUBLE
4. THE DROP
5. EDGE OF TOMORROW
6. THE FAULT IN OUR STARS
7. FORCE MAJEURE
8. LONE SURVIVOR
9. A MOST WANTED MAN
10. OMAR
11. PADDINGTON
12. SNOWPIERCER
13. WADJDA

Edited by Benchwarmer
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Here's my woefully inadequate list.

 

I have a feeling that five or more of my top ten will be new titles within the next 60 days, based on reviews I've read of movies that haven't played in Seattle yet. (National Gallery, Two Days One Night, Selma, Song of the Sea, Episode of the Sea, etc.)

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Favorite Theatrical Releases

Favorite films that had a one-week run in NYC during 2014. In order of preference. (The complete list can be found at Letterboxd.)

  1. The Immigrant (James Gray)
  2. The Strange Little Cat (Ramon Zurcher)
  3. Jealousy (Philippe Garrel)
  4. What Now? Remind Me (Joaquim Pinto)
  5. Norte, The End of History (Lav Diaz)
  6. Goodbye to Language (Jean-Luc Godard)
  7. Night Moves (Kelly Reichardt)
  8. Stray Dogs (Tsai Ming-liang)
  9. The Last of the Unjust (Claude Lanzmann)
  10. Closed Curtain (Jafar Panahi)
Favorite As-Yet Undistributed Features

Hopefully at least half of these will make their way into theaters in 2015. In order of preference.

  1. Horse Money (Pedro Costa)
  2. Phoenix (Christian Petzold)
  3. Amour Fou (Jessica Housner)
  4. Episode of the Sea (Siebren de Haan and Lonnie van Brummelen)
  5. Tu dors Nicole (Stéphane LaFleur)
  6. De la musique ou La jota de Rosset (Jean-Charles Fitoussi)
  7. Sentimental Education (Julio Bressane)
  8. Pasolini (Abel Ferrara)
  9. How to Disappear Completely (Raya Martin)
  10. Approaching the Elephant (Amanda Wilder)
Favorite New Experimental Shorts

Putting these lists together has made me realize that I need to make a habit of going to Rotterdam. In alphabetical order.

  • Deorbit (Makino Takashi & Telecosystems)
  • Dot Matrix (Richard Tuohy)
  • The Innocents (Jean-Paul Kelly)
  • Konrad & Kurfurst (Esther Urlus)
  • New Fancy Foils (Jodie Mack)
  • Photooxidation (Pablo Mazzolo)
  • Red Capriccio (Blake Williams)
  • Sea Series #9, 11, 12, 13, 14 (John Price)
  • A Study in Natural Magic (Charlotte Pryce)
  • Sun Song (Joel Wanek)
Favorite Discoveries

Older films I saw for the first time this year, limited to one film per director. In alphabetical order.

  • D’Annunzios Höhle (Heinz Emigholz, 2005)
  • Gideon of Scotland Yard (John Ford, 1958)
  • The Goddess (Yonggang Wu, 1934)
  • The Great Flamarion (Anthony Mann, 1945)
  • Lars Ole 5.C (Nils Malmros, 1973)
  • Love Streams (John Cassavetes, 1984)
  • Rivette – The Night Watchman (Claire Denis, 1990)
  • The Spy in Black (Michael Powell, 1939)
  • Tchoupitoulas (Bill Ross and Turner Ross, 2012)
  • Twentieth Century (Howard Hawks, 1934)
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List of favorite movies I saw in theaters in 2014, in alphabetical order:

 

12 Years a Slave

Begin Again

Big Hero Six

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Guardians of the Galaxy

The Lego Movie

The Lunchbox

St. Vincent

 

Apparently only eight movies made the cut. There's a long list of "have yet to see" that would probably make this list longer.

Edited by BethR

There is this difference between the growth of some human beings and that of others: in the one case it is a continuous dying, in the other a continuous resurrection. (George MacDonald, The Princess and Curdie)

Isn't narrative structure enough of an ideology for art? (Greg Wright)

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By no means a definitive list, there are still so many I need to see, but my highlights so far. First three are the only ones in order.
 

Grand Budapest Hotel -

The Lego Movie

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Young Ones

Wish I Was Here

Noah

Godzilla

The Rover

Guardians of the Galaxy

Fury

Big Hero 6

Snowpiercer

The Double

The Babadook

Blue Ruin
A Birder's Guide To Everything
dangit, almost forgot Journey To the West!

 

 

Biggest Disappointments -

Interstellar

Boyhood
How To Train Your Dragon 2

Seeing some movies even today that might disrupt the list. Chef, The One I Love, Skeleton Twins and Frank

Edited by Justin Hanvey

"The truth is you're the weak, and I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin Ringo, I'm tryin real hard to be the shepherd." Pulp Fiction

Justin's Blog twitter Facebook Life Is Story

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"Sorry, this page is currently unavailable."

Ah, that link is missing "blogs/" between ".com/" and "1morefilmblog/"

 

Try this: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/1morefilmblog/my-15-favorite-films-of-2014/

"Anyway, in general I love tragic artists, especially classical ones."

"Even the forms for expressing truth can be multiform, and this is indeed necessary for the transmission of the Gospel in its timeless meaning."

- Pope Francis, August 2013 interview with Antonio Spadaro

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By no means a definitive list, there are still so many I need to see, but my highlights so far. First three are the only ones in order.

 

Grand Budapest Hotel -

The Lego Movie

...

 

 

Biggest Disappointments -

...

Boyhood

Seeing some movies even today that might disrupt the list. Chef, The One I Love, Skeleton Twins and Frank

 

Some of your list closely matches my own.

Nick Alexander

Keynote, Worship Leader, Comedian, Parodyist

Host of the Prayer Meeting Podcast - your virtual worship oasis. (Subscribe)

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Here's my list again, this time with trailers and notes on each film, as well as my first full review of my #1 movie. (I hope to revise that review eventually, as I've only scratched the surface of the film.)

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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My writeup: top ten, with five runners up and five honorable mentions.

 

Sorry about #15, Christian.

"Anyway, in general I love tragic artists, especially classical ones."

"Even the forms for expressing truth can be multiform, and this is indeed necessary for the transmission of the Gospel in its timeless meaning."

- Pope Francis, August 2013 interview with Antonio Spadaro

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Sorry about #15, Christian.

I get that you're probably being cheeky, but just in case, no need to apologize! Ann Hornaday, with whom I almost always agree, at least in terms of postive/negative if not precise star-rating, gave IV a 4-star review in yesterday's Washington Post. That so many critics I respect like this movie means it's possible I missed something. But I also know enough critics who disliked it to feel comfortable with my own response to the film. 

 

I will say, though, that when several of the critics write in their positive reviews things like "you need to see this film three times to really 'get it'" -- and I've seen that sort of thing in more than one positive review -- I view that as big red flag.

 

Also: Map props for your bold #1 choice!

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Sorry about #15, Christian.

I get that you're probably being cheeky, but just in case, no need to apologize! Ann Hornaday, with whom I almost always agree, at least in terms of postive/negative if not precise star-rating, gave IV a 4-star review in yesterday's Washington Post. That so many critics I respect like this movie means it's possible I missed something. But I also know enough critics who disliked it to feel comfortable with my own response to the film. 

 

I will say, though, that when several of the critics write in their positive reviews things like "you need to see this film three times to really 'get it'" -- and I've seen that sort of thing in more than one positive review -- I view that as big red flag.

 

Also: Map props for your bold #1 choice!

 

Oh, don't worry, I wasn't being serious.

 

Thanks regarding Into the Woods; I've seen it three times,* and it's more enjoyable each time. Sure, there are little things that could be better, but the parts it gets right (which are many) are just magical.

 

 

*With various friends who ask me if I want to see it with them, and I say, "of course."

"Anyway, in general I love tragic artists, especially classical ones."

"Even the forms for expressing truth can be multiform, and this is indeed necessary for the transmission of the Gospel in its timeless meaning."

- Pope Francis, August 2013 interview with Antonio Spadaro

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My 2014 write-up and top films list.
 
The top 10:

  1. Two Days, One Night
  2. Selma
  3. The Overnighters
  4. Like Father, Like Son
  5. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  6. Ida
  7. Song of the Sea
  8. Noah
  9. Boyhood
  10. Chef

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Hmmm, seeing Selma today. Waiting for a chance to watch Ida on Netflix. Have no idea when Song of the Sea will come my way.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Glad you mentioned The Jewish Cardinal.

 

I was delighted with that discovery. What a nifty little film. 

Has this ever happened before, SDG? I haven't seen half of those movies.

 

Heh. I appreciate you giving such a positive interpretation on Facebook to my annual tardiness in filing my top films list so late in January. I think I'm really just afraid of missing something, of being wrong. 

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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  • 1 month later...

I'm trying to put together (somewhat belatedly, post Oscars, due to the Decent Films redesign) my annual round-up of top 10 lists from friends and peers who are Christians and who write at least semi-regularly about film somewhere other than here. If you have a list that isn't documented here, or if you haven't linked to your blog, website or publication, let me know.

Edited by SDG

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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