10.The Trip to Italy – Smart and funny with some dark notes thrown in for good measure. Coogan and Brydon are best friends in real life, right? Sure feels like it.
9.Gone Girl – Favorite scene: Ben Affleck hilariously walk/runs away from a mob at his missing wife’s candlelight vigil. Fincher, like Michael Mann can not compose an uninteresting shot.
8.Nightcrawler – In lieu of a Micheal Mann LA crime movie in 2014 we get this great, dark and seedy work by screenwriter turned director Dan Gilroy and actor Jake Gyllenhaall (who’s never been better).
7.Birdman – Large egos abound! Propulsive filmmaking at its best (aided by the Antonio Sanchez score). Beautifully shot by cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, the technical brilliance of the filmmakers is the star here. Great turn by Norton as Mike Shiner, serious Broadway actor.
6.Interstellar – If not Nolan, who? The Sci-Fi genre badly needs Nolan around. Interstellar has more heart than all three Dark Knight movies combined.
5.Starred Up – Wanted to look away but couldn’t. This is as tense a time I had watching a movie all year. O’Connell and Mendelsohn are just terrifyingly great. As prison movies go, this one is as tough as they come. No Joke.
4.Obvious Child – More please! Best song title as movie title of the year. Also, debut of the year (dir. Gillian Robespierre). Also, Jenny Slate! Bonus: Gaby Hoffmann!
3.The Grand Budapest Hotel: Major Anderson. Line of the year: “Take your hands off my lobby boy!” Runner up: “…Oh Fuck it.” He-who-must-not-be-overlooked: Ralph Fiennes.
2.Under the Skin – Haunting, mysterious. From the nearly dialogue free, abstract first 10 minutes you know you’re in for something unusual and special. A tour de force work by Glazer who seems incapable of making anything but great films. Great interview with Glazer here:
1.Boyhood – Filmed over 12 years we follow the life of Mason (Ellar Coltrane) and family. Joins the pantheon of great Texas movies. An epic that is made great by Linklater’s unembellished depiction of one family’s experience.