2014 Ten Best List


     Many have spoken about how 2014 was a down year for feature films in both the fact the box office dropped 5.2% from the previous year and that there never really seemed to be an established group of awards front runners as there was in years past.  I reviewed over 100 films in 2014 and awarded an “A” grade to 14 films, down significantly from the 19 films I gave that grade to in 2013.  While the overall quality may have faltered when considering the overall crop of 2014 films, there were still a number of outstanding entries which I believe over time will be looked back upon as the high point of several of these filmmaker’s careers.

     Of the notable films this year, if one thing stood out more than anything else, it was the high level of creativity and originality that seemed to set the best films apart from the pack.  We saw a film in which director Chris Nolan transported us through a worm hole and into another dimension where we learned another more advanced version of ourselves may be what shapes our being in the present.  A father and son team up and learn plenty about one another as they tour the country in a food truck, successfully creating a bond between themselves while serving up Cuban sandwiches to the hungry masses who await their arrival each day thanks to the son’s social media wizardry and the father’s passion for cooking.  Even the most unlikely of stories unfolded into, perhaps, the year’s most thrilling film when an upcoming jazz student at a prestigious New York music school runs head first into a teacher who strives to bring the best out of him using teaching methods which, lets just say, are unconventional. 

     These are just some examples of what stood out to me, as each film in this Top 10 contain an important message and meaning, but most importantly, are able to effectively convey that message on a thoroughly emotional level.  This is done through achievement primarily in direction, but supported with an exceptional effort in acting, screenwriting, production design, and the successful ability to carry out this vision in a way that maintains the standards set by the great films of the past and maybe even exceeding those standards and creating new ones. The following list contains the 10 films I consider to be the best of 2014 in numerical order.  Each film is linked with my original review.

  1.    Snowpiercer - My Review

  1.    Birdman - My Review

  1.    American Sniper - My Review

  1.    Gone Girl - My Review

  1.     Chef - My Review

  1.     Selma - My Review

  1.     Interstellar - My Review

  1.     Whiplash - My Review

  1.     Nightcrawler - My Review

   1.      Boyhood - My Review