I want to start off by saying that there may be a couple of films that I missed because as much as I try I simply haven’t been able to see them all yet. So I haven’t seen 12 Years a Slave, Philomena, Nebraska, or Philomena. There is a chance that one or all of these could have made the list but that will have to wait until I am able to see them all. That said, here is my list of my favorites of the year.
10. The Place Beyond the Pines
The year started off on a high note when I saw this one way back in April. I remember at the time thinking this should have been released in the fall and I still question the release date of it. Strong performances from Gosling and Cooper and some excellent cinematography put this one on the list. A weak 3rd act kept it from moving higher up the list however.
9. Blue Jasmine
If there is one thing Woody Allen loves doing it’s exposing the underbelly of the upper class. While this one is certainly better than his last offering it makes my list for one reason. Cate Blanchett. She will win a much deserved Oscar for her performance in this.
8. Captain Phillips
I was lucky enough to catch an early screening of this one and I was glad I did. Greengrass does an excellent job of ratcheting up the tension and Hanks gives one his best performances in years.
The best thriller of the year by far. Gyllenhaal and Jackman are excellent and Villeneuve channels his inner Fincher to create an creepy atmospheric powerhouse of a movie.
6. American Hustle
While I thought the story was a little bit predictable and some of this could have ended up on the cutting room floor, the performances from Bale and Adams are top notch. Also some of it was filmed in my home city of beautiful Worcester, MA.
5. The Wolf of Wall Street
This one may have slid up the list a little higher than I intended but it has the advantage of being the last movie on the list that I saw so it is still pretty fresh in my head. Scorsese’s take on 90′s debauchery is both hysterical and appalling at the same time. DiCaprio is excellent as the drug crazed Belfort and Jonah Hill turns in a nice performance as well.
Visually this was easily the most impressive film of the year. It is a rare time when I tell people that should go see a movie in imax but this film warrants being seen on the largest screen possible. I know a lot of people got caught up in the science of this one and they lost sight of the fact that it just a movie. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.
3. The Hunt
Mads Mikkelsen continues to impress as kindergarten teacher who is wrongly accused of molesting a child. If you haven’t seen this film I recommend checking it out.
This is another film that I saw early on in the year and it remained my favorite throughout all of the Oscar buzz films released in the fall. That is until I saw my number one film of the year. McConaughey is great and there are some terrific performances from newcomers Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland.
No movie I saw this year impressed me more than Jonze’s ambitious Her. Jonze takes a somewhat ridiculous premise and turns it into a truly believable and emotional love story on the back of the most impressive performance of Phoenix’s career.
Well that’s it. I am sure I missed some great ones that I hope to catch in the near future but based on what I was able to see these were highlights for me.