By Dennis D. McDonald
Thank goodness for streaming Netflix and Amazon Prime. I’ve seen many movies this past year that I would not have seen otherwise. Many were from previous years but were still new to me.
These are the best movies I’ve seen in 2014; links are to the movie review section of my blog:
- Christopher Nolan’s INTERSTELLAR. The most emotionally engaging film I’ve seen since Malik’s Tree of Life.
- Toa Fraser’s DEAN SPANLEY. A shaggy dog story told from a unique and emotionally engaging perspective.
- Todd Robinson’s PHANTOM. A terrific Cold War era submarine picture.
- Akiva Goldsman’s WINTER’S TALE. A gorgeous romantic time travel tale.
- Francis Ford Coppola’s TWIXT. Francis Ford Coppola’s outlandishly produced but human scaled ghost story.
- Ari Folman’s THE CONGRESS. A unique tale of Robin Wright’s digitized persona in the future. Unusual.
- Sandra Nettelbeck’s LAST LOVE. Sensitive, touching, and a tour de force performance by Michael Caine.
- Bong Joon-ho’s SNOWPIERCER. Finally, something different on the dystopian front!
- Disney’s FROZEN. Is this movie’s quality evidence that the influence of Pixar management techniques have taken hold at Disney?
- Doug Liman’s EDGE OF TOMORROW. Best damn military sci-fi since Aliens. Great character arc from Tom Cruise.
- David Ayer’s END OF WATCH. Intense buddy movie in the wilds of Los Angeles.
- Bille August’s NIGHT TRAIN TO LISBON. A haunting reconstruction of past loves and revolution.
- Eric Khoo’s TATSUMI. A gritty adult cartoon about post-WWII Japan.
- Alexa Gajic’s TECHNOTISE: EDIT & I. Best evocation of future tech via incredible animation.
- Jon Wright’s GRABBERS. This funny horror movie makes me want to return to Ireland.
- Jake Schreier’s ROBOT AND FRANK. An exploration of dementia, robotics, and robbery.
These are the most disappointing movies I’ve seen in 2014:
- Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, & Lana Wachowski’s CLOUD ATLAS. Waste of money and talent spoiled by annoying makeup.
- Shinji Aramaki’s SPACE PIRATE CAPTAIN HARLOCK. Gorgeous but dumb.
- Gavin Hood’s ENDER’S GAME. Gorgeous but boring
- Bryan Singer’s X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. Just plain boring.
- Tommy Wirkola’s HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS . Stupid with nice costumes and credits.
- Matt Reeves’ DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES. A fantastically produced and acted downer.