I have to say, 2014 turned out to be quite the year for film lovers. While the film was certainly made up of plenty of reboots, remakes, sequels, and films based on existing IP, there was also a number of original stories (and, spoiler alert, those are the ones that are among the best films this year).
I've been tracking my year in cinema over at the film-focused website Letterboxd and you can get a full look at my year in review by heading over there. However, here's a run-down of some of my favourites of the year (in no real particular order).
(Photo credit: RVwithTito on Flickr)
Interstellar - ✩✩✩✩ ½
Perhaps not the year's "best" but probably my favourite. A film unlike any other I've seen before. More than a film, an experience. True cinema. One that must be seen as big as humanly possible so it can consume you. IMAX is the future of cinema, not 3D. Of this I am certain.
Perhaps not Nolan's best film, but certainly his most remarkable.
GONE GIRL - ✩✩✩✩ ½
Was front runner for my film of the year until Interstellar came along, though it's a close second (if not a dead lock tie). Certainly not Fincher's best, but Fincher at his worst is still better than most directors at their best.
A immaculately crafted thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat, and the very definition of "my kind of movie".
The grand budapest hotel - ✩✩✩✩
I've never been overly fond of Wes Anderson's films. I appreciate them, but never would cite them as favourites. This is the film that changes all that. A Wes Anderson film that I like; one that is beautiful and genuinely hilarious.
BOYHOOD - ✩✩✩✩ ½
A truly remarkable film. "Pure cinema" it is easily the "best" film of the year (ie. film snobs will all cite this among the very best).
Just not my favourite... Again, I think I appreciate it more than I enjoy it.
PRIDE - ✩✩✩✩
One of the most uplifting and charming films of the year, with an outstanding cast, an incredible score, and a truly touching story.
Happy to say our theatre followed suit of those in England and ended with a round of applause.
THE NORMAL HEART - ✩✩✩✩
One of the most powerful films I've seen in some time, though not exactly the most uplifting film I've seen this year.
Shame it didn't get a theatrical release.
EDGE OF TOMORROW - ✩✩✩✩
Groundhog Day meets Pacific Rim.
Way more fun (and way funnier) than I expected, and a genuine surprise.
CHEF - ✩✩✩✩
Favreau grows up. A fantastic (and surprisingly heart warming) comedy that does everything right. Just don't see it on an empty stomach.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY - ✩✩✩✩
Probably the best Marvel movie so far, but make sure you turn off your brain and go along for the non-sensical ride.
BIRDMAN - ✩✩✩✩
A truly unique film, and one that defies categorization. Darkly funny, and beautifully crafted, it will be the darling of art-film fans, but might be a bit too weird for normal film goers.
GODZILLA - ✩✩✩✩
Don't be fooled by the trailers, this is a good old-fashioned summer blockbuster that's best enjoyed as big as possible.
Also wins the award for favourite title sequence of the year (and at the start of the film, no less).
22 JUMP SREET - ✩✩✩✩
Chock full of meta-humour, pop culture references, and most importantly jokes. Just like the first, but turned up to 11.
The most fun, and the most I've laughed at a movie in a long time.
VERONICA MARS - ✩✩✩✩
The most expensive movie ticket I've ever bought, but totally worth the price of admission. The most fun I've had at the movies in some time (well, at least until I saw 22 Jump Street).
Though curious how it would hold up to those not familiar with the series.