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The Films of 2014: Ranked and Reviewed

The Films of 2014: Ranked and Reviewed header

Page 4: #50-1

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Worst Movies of 2014 | Below Average (#150-101) | Above Average (#100-51) | Top 50 Movies of 2014

The Top 50

"Inherent Vice" stars Joaquin Phoenix as Larry "Doc" Sportello, a hippie private eye in 1970 Gordita Beach, California.

50. God's Pocket - Seedy, flavorful drama compels
with its depiction of a time and place.

49. Enemy - An intriguing, atmospheric, and slightly bewildering mystery.

48. The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them - Raw, gloomy romance is slow, but well-acted and absorbing. Full Film Review

47. Inherent Vice - Paul Thomas Anderson may be incapable of making a bad movie, but this messy noir is far less coherent and compelling than you'd like. Full Blu-ray + DVD Review

46. Leviathan - A complex character study and compelling slice of Russian culture. Full Blu-ray Review

"St. Vincent" stars Bill Murray as Vincent MacKenna, a hard-drinking Brooklynite who becomes an unlikely babysitter to the boy next door.

45. The Good Lie - Appealing feel-good cinema. Full Blu-ray + DVD Review

44. Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me - A life-long showwoman's refusal to slow down in her twilight makes for a fascinating documentary.

43. St. Vincent - An excellent Bill Murray elevates the film from formula and sells some truly touching material. Full Blu-ray Review

42. The Hundred-Foot Journey - Predictable yet appealing feel-good cinema. Full Blu-ray Review

41. Unbroken - Olympian/bombadier/POW's tale is appropriately harrowing, though not much more than that.

"The Imitation Game" stars Benedict Cumberbatch as gifted World War II cryptanalyst Alan Turing.

40. Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance - An uneven but interesting movie that owes much of its power to Michael Keaton's acting and career. Full Film Review

39. The Babadook - An involving and unsettling little Australian horror film.

38. Still Alice - This Alzheimer's drama is simple yet remarkably effective. Full Blu-ray Review

37. The Imitation Game - An involving, polished, and purposeful biopic. Full Blu-ray Review

36. The One I Love - A creative study of a fatigued married couple. Full Blu-ray Review

Chris Kyle's (Bradley Cooper) harried phone calls from the action amidst gunfire do not put his wife at ease in "American Sniper."

35. Calvary - Rich, powerful, and full of personality, but also bleak and tonally all over the place.

34. The Giver - Disappointing perhaps to those who love the YA novel, this dystopian human drama stands strong on its own merits. Full Blu-ray + DVD Review

33. American Sniper - Neither as good as its admirers claim nor as bad as detractors argue, this surprise blockbuster is important enough for all to see. Full Blu-ray + DVD Review

32. Ida - Nicely shot, tastefully understated Polish drama.

31. The Trip to Italy - Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon serve up delicious seconds of their European cuisine, culture, and comedy routine. Full Film Review

Bruno Weiss (Joaquin Phoenix) has his eye caught by Ewa Cybulska (Marion Cotillard), but the feeling is not mutual in James Gray's "The Immigrant."

30. Wild Tales - Creative and well-composed Argentine anthology consistently captivates. Full Blu-ray Review

29. The Immigrant - Curiously dumped in limited release, this sumptuous New York period drama deserves better. Full Blu-ray Review

28. How to Train Your Dragon 2 - Nearly as original, adventuresome, and likable as its predecessor.

27. Chef - Jon Favreau's crowd-pleasing culinary indie hits mostly right notes.

26. The Lunchbox - Indian drama turns a far-fetched romantic comedy premise into something meaningful and appealing. Full Blu-ray Review

In the powerful finale to "Citizenfour", Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald resort to writing notes on paper back and forth to avoid being recorded.

25. Alan Partridge - While it doesn't quite capture the full comic spirit of this rich Steve Coogan character, it does more than enough to consistently entertain.

24. Locke - Compels thoroughly with a limited design that could have been a gimmick.

23. Citizenfour - A close and exciting look at journalism history in the making. Full Blu-ray Review

22. Two Days, One Night - A Belgian human drama with universal appeal. Full Blu-ray Review

21. Life Itself - A worthwhile and comprehensive celebration of one of film's greatest critics and champions.

William Cage (Tom Cruise) and Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) pool their efforts to try to defeat an alien slaughter with day-resetting in "Edge of Tomorrow."

20. Edge of Tomorrow - Though the previews didn't convey it,
this sci-fi action application of Groundhog Day's premise is actually a lot of fun. Full Blu-ray + DVD Review

19. Selma - A well-made history lesson that could use greater clarity or power, but which engages thoroughly as is. Full Blu-ray + DVD Review

18. They Came Together - This send-up of romantic comedy tropes makes for the funniest romcom and spoof movie in ages. How did this barely get theatrical release?!

17. Ernest & Celestine - Oscar-nominated French animated story of unlikely friends is utterly charming and sweet.

16. The Boxtrolls - A charming and clever stop-motion fable.

Anna (Jessica Chastain) and Abel (Oscar Isaac) have a tense conversation after their daughter finds a loaded gun on their lawn in "A Most Violent Year."

15. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 - A step down from its predecessors, this penultimate installment suffers from a commerce-minded decision to split the last book. Despite minimal action and an inconclusive structure, it still engages thoroughly. Full Film Review

14. The Fault in Our Stars - As intelligent and moving as YA romance gets.

13. The Drop - Another gripping Dennis Lehane story, this one the first adapted by Lehane himself. Full Film Review

12. Boyhood - Not quite the all-time masterpiece many proclaim, this admirable, ambitious project doesn't fully sustain the immense promise of its first hour. Full Blu-ray + DVD Review

11. A Most Violent Year - A compelling, atmospheric study which evokes the past but largely discards the crime drama playbook. Full Blu-ray Review

Baymax and Hiro take a scenic flight over San Fransokyo in "Big Hero 6."

10. Big Hero 6 - Enjoyable animated adventure matches the excitement of the better live-action superhero movies out there. Full Blu-ray + DVD Review

9. Foxcatcher - Arresting, discomforting, and unlike any other "sports movie." Full Blu-ray Review

8. Snowpiercer - Highly creative science fiction offers a winning blend of style and substance. Full Blu-ray Review

The Guardians of the Galaxy -- Rocket, Groot, Star-Lord, Drax, and Gamora -- discuss the part of a plan they've formulated.

7. Guardians of the Galaxy - Highly entertaining space adventure injects welcome, refreshing originality into the superhero film. Full Blu-ray Review

6. X-Men: Days of Future Past - Drawing upon the best aspects of both incarnations, this time-traveling adventure provides a wealth of fun and sharp, character-driven storytelling. Full Film Review

5. Whiplash - Taut, focused story of passion is impossible to resist.

Lord Business shares part of his evil plan with Bad Cop in "The LEGO Movie."

4. The LEGO Movie - Probably the best animated film to come from outside Pixar since Pixar began, this funny, exciting and inventive comedy delights thoroughly. Full Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray + DVD Review

3. Gone Girl - Another absorbing mystery from the masterful David Fincher. Full Film Review

2. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - Dark, gripping sequel distances itself from its surprisingly great predecessor and somehow bests it. Full Film Review

Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) visits an unexpectedly familiar place in the climax of "Interstellar."

1. Interstellar - A stunning, thoughtful, original film that could only be the work of Christopher Nolan. Full Blu-ray + DVD Review

Related Articles:
The Films of 2013: Ranked and Reviewed | The Films of 2012: Ranked and Reviewed | The Films of 2011: Ranked and Reviewed

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Posted August 11, 2016.

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