Room, directed by Lenny Abrahamson is a touching little film pulls you in to a small little word and slowly lets you witness it expand through the eyes of a 5 year old boy. Keeping you safe and removed from the unsettling realities of life – Room is a film that tugs at your heart strings and makes you aware of the wonders of the world. Read more
Creed, directed by Ryan Coogler, is a film that is perfectly balanced on every aspect of consideration. This is a film that is tasked with honouring the original Rocky films, while also beginning a new franchise of films. Amazingly with the inclusion of multiple new aspects to the franchise, Creed is a film that sets up a whole new generation to the beloved boxing films, and also delivers something that by itself it truly special. If you were to have never seen the previous films from the timeline, Creed would be a film that could almost stand on its own as an undeniably brilliant piece of cinema. Read more
Joy, directed by David O. Russell is a manic film that feels incoherent and at times a little heavy handed with its attempts and genuine emotion. A lack of strong or memorable characters and a cast of actors who at some points seemed to forget they were in a film with cameras recording them, left me drained and disappointed. Read more
The Hateful Eight, directed by Quentin Tarantino, is a film that as always, comes filled with the rich and engrossing dialogue that is now anticipated by many a film fan (and even a general everyday viewer). But this is a Tarantino film that I feel never really reaches the same levels of joy and film lover-ship that his past ones more than have. It’s difficult to explain right now, but there just feels like there’s an element (something greater) missing from The Hateful Eight. Read more
Foxcatcher directed by Bennett Miller is a film of remarkable performances and chill inducing storytelling, all which goes towards creating a captivating film that leaves you enchanted and at the same time uncomfortable from the films content. Read more
Boyhood directed Richard Linklater is conceptually a very ambitious and unique film but it is a film that is let down slightly by its content. This certainly isn’t a film that should be over looked but with the issues that it comes with, may not be one that has the last ability of some other films in 2014. Read more
The Theory of Everything directed by James Marsh is a beautiful little film that chronicles the life and times of Professor Stephen Hawking. This film puts its best foot forward by having the performances be its crowning glory but also takes the time to pay great attention and care to the telling story of Professor Stephen Hawking and his then wife Jane Hawking. Read more
Big Eyes directed by Tim Burton is a film that starts off with such promise. It captures the look and feel of 1950’s America perfectly, it a has a simple yet sweet little story of a women trying to rediscover her place in the world and wanting to share her art with it, but unfortunately the films quickly descends into a clunky, poorly paced film with some uncomfortably bad and at times over the top acting. I left the film bored and completely disinterested in anything more it had to say, which is a shame. Read more
Birdman directed by Alejandro Gonzalez is a film that has a lot to say about not just the landscape of modern film but also how it is consumed and how people express their opinion after that consumption. At the heart of the film though is the story of a troubled man and his search for his true identity. This film absolutely succeeds in expressing those themes and though it may be a struggle for some cinema goers it is a film that I think tells an important message and in a very fulfilling way. Read more
Disclaimer: Before reading this list of the five Films that stood out to me in 2014 I feel it important to state that I am not saying that the Films on this list are the absolute best ones of 2014 and that everything else was subpar in comparison. These are simply the Films that grabbed my attention and held onto it for dear life, these Films demanded my attention and they certainly got it. Finally this list is in no particular order because it didn’t feel fair to pick favourites.
Before I start I want to clear some things up about certain films that won’t be able to appear on this list. Some of those films are Birdman, Whiplash and Foxcatcher etc. Despite the love and acclaim these films are receiving I cannot consider them for this list for two straight forward reasons. Number one is that I haven’t seen any of them at the point of writing this piece and that leads into my second reason. All three of these films and some other ones release here in the UK in 2015 and so cannot be considered for the 2014 list. So just in case there was any confusion, that is why those films won’t appear on my list of standout films in 2014. So now onto the films that stood out to me in 2014.
Wow, wow is the word that I have to use when describing the year in film that 2014. There have be some absolutely incredible films this year, starting off the year strong with some films that I at first had no idea about but quickly became some of my favourites of the year, you may even see some popping up on this list. Then we went into the summer and I’m just going to say it, this was one of the strongest summer blockbuster seasons I’ve had the pleasure of sitting through, and then we capped of the year with some great award season contender films, some once again may pop up on this list somewhere. I love how great a year for films it has been and I’m excited to talk about some of them here on this list. Read more
Unbroken, directed by Angelina Jolie is a film that takes a while to find its footing but once it does it becomes a compelling and heart filled story, though one that does miss some beats. Read more
‘The Imitation Game’ directed by Morten Tyldum is a story that certainly more people should be aware of and with the backing of Benedict Cumberbatch’s performance as ‘Alan Turing’ this film does a competent job of doing so but ultimately the film is a little bland and never reaches the heights that Cumberbatch’s tour de force performance does. Read more
Nightcrawler directed by Dan Gilroy and starring Jake Gyllenhaal is an intense and unsettling film that takes us into the competitive world of the TV news cameraman. This is a film that I wasn’t sure of where it was going to go or if the concept would be engaging enough for its 2 hour running time but after seeing it I can without a doubt say that this is a film that deserves to be on your upcoming film watch list, it is sublime. Read more
Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar is one of the most stunning cinematic experiences he has ever graced the big screen with and though it does get bogged down in some shaky character development and a plot that if you’re not fully willing to get invested in you might find a bit silly, despite this when I left the cinema I was completely on board with the unmatchable experience that Nolan had just given to me. Read more
David Ayer’s ‘Fury’ is a tense, thrilling ride that takes its time in settling you into the understandably rough environment of 1945 Nazi Germany. Moving the film along is a cast of actors/characters that are brilliantly used and are easily pulling at your heart strings by the films end. Read more
Disclaimer: Due to the nature of this film it is going to be difficult to review it without some mild spoilers. I will of course mark them out so you can avoid them, or if you just wish to see the film knowing nothing then bookmark this review and feel free to return to it once you’ve seen the film.
‘Gone Girl’ is another brilliant example of how David Fincher can take almost any subject and make it an engaging, tense-filled experience and does it with the technical mastery of film making that I do so very much love from him. Read more
I’m torn when it comes to condensing my thoughts on Guardians of the Galaxy (GotG). In one respect the film is fun, exciting and has what is probably one of the most interesting array of characters to grace a Marvel film ever but on the other hand it has a dumb, frustrating plot and too many of the tropes that make a Marvel film tedious and at times unwatchable. In this review I am going to do my best to dissect the different highs and lows of the film and hopefully come to a suitable conclusion on whether this is a film that is actually as good as people say it to be or if it is just another bloated, stupid super hero film. Read more
Continuing on the trend of actual competent and enjoyable summer blockbusters, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has finally made its way onto screens and I’m happy to say that the film very much lives up to the quality of the previous film and in many ways surpasses it in what it tried to do with a Planet of the Apes franchise. Read more
Edge of Tomorrow is film that I went into not expecting much and came out pleasantly surprised with how good and well done the film actually is. Read more
X-Men Days of Future Past (DOFP) is a fun, smart film that kept me entertained throughout. So after a rocky road for the X-Men films with such disasters like ‘X-Men The Last Stand’ and X-‘Men Origins Wolverine’ the franchise seems to be back on a path of having solid films that are certainly worth seeing (The Wolverine, X-Men First Class) and Days of Future Past is certainly one of those X-men films. Read more