2014 has been a pretty massive year for film. Movie-goers were treated to some epic new blockbuster experiences, along with some groundbreaking indie projects.
Looking at this year’s movies on Metacritic (which aggregates review scores from online gaming publications), we can have a brief overview of which big-screen outings were the best of the best in 2014.
Check out the list below:
Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal), a driven young man desperate for work, discovers the high-speed world of L.A. crime journalism. Finding a group of freelance camera crews who film crashes, fires, murder and other mayhem, Lou muscles into the cut-throat, dangerous realm of nightcrawling — where each police siren wail equals a possible windfall and victims are converted into dollars and cents.
“From a subdued start Nightcrawler unfurls into a ghoulish and wickedly funny satire on journalism, the job market and self-help culture,” said The Guardian’s Henry Barnes.
4. Under the Skin
The premise for Under the Skin is simple: an alien seductress (Scarlett Johansson) preys upon hitchhikers in Scotland, but what it does right, it does in heaps.
“A brave experiment in cinema that richly rewards the demands it makes. The result is an amazement, a film of beauty and shocking gravity”, said Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers.
3. The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Grand Budapest Hotel recounts the adventures of M. Gustave, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune.
“It is safe to say that The Grand Budapest Hotel is one of those breakthrough moments, a movie that is so beautifully realized from start to finish that I almost doubted myself on the way home. Could I really have enjoyed that film that much?” said Hitflix’s Drew McWeeny.
2. Goodbye to Language
Much of the film is built around a young couple at a lake house who do a lot of arguing and also spend a lot of time naked. (Much of this feels like a self-parody of European art cinema tendencies) But these characters one just anchor points for, essentially, a feature length montage, much of it quickly edited, with few shots held longer than three or four seconds.
The style might be irritating in a traditional narrative film. But it seems of a piece in a movie that is partly about the impossibility of focusing, concentrating, and comprehending history, and politics, and the written and spoken word, then making all of it make some kind of sense.
“The greatest movies, the ones that stick with us, are those that hold up a mirror to the human condition and reflect something back at us that we too often manage to overlook. Boyhood is one of those movies, and with it Linklater proves he is among the best practitioners of that art,” wrote Mike Scott of the New Orleans Times-Picayune in his review.
Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, Richard Linklater’s Boyhood is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes.
Which movie was your favourite this year? Let us know in the comments section below: