A couple of months ago I wrote an article explaining why I believed 2014 was the best year for film. After careful deliberation, I have more proof of this. I won’t stop until I have convinced everyone that it was the best year for film of all time. Because to be quite honest, after looking back over my first list (which you can read here.) I definitely left a lot off. So, without further ado, why 2014 was the best year of film.
As a guarantee that I have in fact got many more films to go through, here are four more films from 2014 that are without a doubt some brilliant bits of film. Now personally, I have rated all four of these films at least four stars. One of these films is quite honestly one of my favourite films of all time. So, let’s see if you can guess which one that is.
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Rotten Tomatoes: 74%
Personal Rating: 4/5
The glaringly obvious mockery of the James Bond and spy series as a whole was enough for me to watch this film several times. With an ensemble cast and a competent director, Kingsman: The Secret Service was an extremely fresh idea. At least it was better than Quantum of Solace (2008). Although the Roger Ebert website gave it a fairly low score, that’s honestly nothing to worry about.
As far as films go this may be some of the most fun you’ll have in a long while. The cinematography is stellar, although some people don’t seem to think so. It was accused of being a very conservative film but I honestly just don’t see that. The action is top notch and Samuel L. Jackson plays a great villainous role.
I’m not exactly sure why I gave this film less than five stars, because to be quite honest it really is fantastic. Colin Firth works well with the up and coming Taron Egerton, and once again we get to see Mark Strong thrive in a fantastic role. It’s flashy, funny and above all one of the best spy spoofs the 21st Century will ever have the pleasure of enjoying.
Rotten Tomatoes: 77%
Ewan Gleadow: 4/5
This may be a film you missed on the initial release. Released by The Weinstein Company (bit awkward) it was sort of like Bill Murray’s last pitch at an Academy Award. Unfortunately it didn’t bag him that well deserved Oscar, but he still gives a great performance. He got one nomination for a Golden Globe, and that was it. I think this film has resonated a bit better with audiences as the years have gone by though.
So far this is the only film to feature a Melissa McCarthy performance I have enjoyed to any degree. Aside from that though it’s a very moving film and one that is quite honestly one of the best 2014 had to offer. As far as emotionally powerful movies go, this is definitely up there as one of the best.
To be fair it does go for a few cliche heavy hitters in that emotional regard. That’s not to say this film is bad though, not at all. All I’m thinking is that, if you are going to make an emotional comedy, it’s best to avoid the cliches. Still, you can’t deny that Bill Murray gives a truly stunning performance.
Before I Go To Sleep
Rotten Tomatoes: 36%
Personal Rating: 4/5
Another film I reviewed not so long ago and I soon realised it’s a bloody classic. Drama films have been a film genre I’ve only just started getting into. Colin Firth, Mark Strong and the starring Nicole Kidman are apparently all you need to make a damn good drama. Set on the idea that Kidman can’t remember anything, sort of like 50 First Dates (2004), but more of a mystery than anything.
Sure, the film didn’t do all that well in regard to critical reception. But for some reason I just really like this film on the whole. Something about the acting throughout was one of the main reasons I was hooked on this film. It’s not an awful film, which is what Rotten Tomatoes would have you believed. Personally, I loved it.
It’s a film that is simple enough in concept that it works extremely well. As far as I’m concerned it’s simple enough to work extremely well. Colin Firth does some outstanding work, hell, he’s in half of the films on this list so far. Oh, this film is based off of a book, apparently? I’m not too sure if that matters or not, but to be fair I haven’t read it to be fair.
Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
Personal Rating: 5/5
Possibly one of the best films I have ever had the pleasure of reviewing. Birdman as I am now going to call it was a true pleasure to sit through. It has some amazing performances, beautiful cinematography and above all Michael Keaton gives one of the best performances he will ever give. He works extremely well with everyone else throughout the film. More specifically he works brilliantly with Edward Norton who honestly does some of the best work he will ever do right here.
Hell, Edward Norton is another guy that is in a lot of fantastic films from 2014. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) being the other film I am thinking of in that regard. Emma Stone is also in this film and she became a future star in La La Land (2016), a film I have yet to see.
Regardless of that though, this film is just a genuinely magnificent spectacle to watch. It’s all due to the cinematography of the film of course, which is just genuinely stunning the whole way through. Every time I write about Birdman I feel like I want to watch it one more time. You know, I think that’s exactly what I’m going to do right now.