TC Candler

The Top 10 Films of 2014

1. Under the Skin

I am not sure there has been a more unnerving or uncomfortable film made in the past decade.  Scarlet Johansson is an other-worldly being driving around Scotland in a white van, picking up men surreptitiously, and disposing of them in her lair.  It is creepy and austere.  The visuals are distinctly memorable and the soundscape is eerie.  Everything about this film is strange and wonderful.  You should go out of your way to find and watch this gem. 

9.6 / 10

2. Life Itself

Roger Ebert was one of my favorite people.  His writing and passion for film, art, politics and entertainment was second to none.  He helped to cultivate my love for the cinema.  One of my most treasured moments in life was when he quoted me after visiting my movie reviews.  This beautiful documentary is filled with the treasures of his life.  It moved me to tears and ranks as one of the best films of 2014.  Roger will forever be missed.

9.5 / 10

3. The Drop

I wasn’t expecting much from this film.  It seemed to get lost in the whirlwind of major releases.  However, “The Drop” is intense and surprising around every turn.  Tom Hardy is ridiculously good in the lead role.  If this film eluded you, make sure to double-back and catch it at home.  You won’t regret it.

9.4 / 10

4. Interstellar

I don’t worship at the teat of Christopher Nolan like 99% of the “Batman” fanboys out there.  He has been hit and miss for me.  That being said, he does do epic drama better than most.  He is able to capture the enormity of a situation very well… and what can be more enormous than the end of the world and the fate of humanity?  “Interstellar” is a trove of magnificent scenes — most notably a breathtaking sequence involving a rotating docking sequence.

9.4 / 10

5. Force Majeure (SWE)

This is a devilishly dark comedy about a family on vacation at a ski resort.  As they have a quiet lunch by the mountains, an avalanche explodes down the mountainside, approaching the restaurant at a terrifying pace.  In the chaos and panic, the husband and father abandons his family to save himself and his ski boots.  The rest of the film plays out in the painfully awkward aftermath of that decision — exploring the guilt, the blame, the morality and the dynamics of marriage and fatherhood.  This is brilliant and insightful.

9.3 / 10

6. Boyhood

No one writes authentic dialogue quite like Richard Linklater.  Once again, the director teams up with Ethan Hawke on a 12-year project to film a boy at the center of a dysfunctional family.  The gimmick pays off amazingly well, giving the audience a superb overview of what feels like an actual life.  This film is ambitious and lovely.  The project could have fallen apart at any time over the 12 years… but Linklater keeps it together and delivers a powerful story.

9.3 / 10

7. Gone Girl

Ben Affleck pulls every cat out of the bag and manages not to screw up this thrilling movie.  This classic old-school murder mystery is brilliantly directed by David Fincher, who gets a towering performance out of Rosamund Pike as the missing wife in question.  It is slick, fast-paced, well written and, despite not quite hiding the twist as well as hoped, “Gone Girl” is one of the better entries in the genre.

9.2 / 10

8. Whiplash

Damien Chazelle masterfully coaxes A+ performances from both Miles Teller and JK Simmons in this tale of obsession and genius and the cultivation of talent.  The film has relentless energy and a rhythm that matches the music on offer.  I also felt that the premise could have led to a million crappy endings — but it found the one possible ending that avoided all the cliches and tropes that we might expect.

9.2 / 10

9. The Two Faces of January

Here is a film than I am betting 95% of readers will have completely overlooked.  “Two Faces” is a gloriously entertaining Hitchcockian thriller starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac.  Murder, betrayal, lust, love, twists and turns — this film is filled with intrigue from credits to credits.  All three leads deliver great characters.  Every step of the plot is believable and exciting.  This is a fantastic hidden gem.

9.2 / 10

10. Wild Tales (ARG)

This Argentinian production is a compilation of six short films, all dealing with the subject of revenge and the thin line between civilization and barbarism.  It is equal parts funny and scary.  It starts off with an 8-minute gem… and each film gets gradually longer.  The finale is a 30-minute wedding reception that goes absolutely ballistic.  My personal favorite was the desert road dual.  Loved this film.

9.2 / 10

(Please Scroll Down the Page for More — Acting Awards / All Movie Ratings / The Worst 10 List… etc.)

10 Best Actors

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10 Best Actresses

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The REST

Locke ………. 9.1
Blue Ruin ………. 9.1
A Most Wanted Man ………. 9.0
Two Days, One Night (FRA) ………. 9.0
Hello Ladies: The Movie ………. 9.0
Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her ………. 8.9
Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him ………. 8.9
Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them ………. 8.9
Skeleton Twins ………. 8.9
Nightcrawler ………. 8.9
Enemy ………. 8.9
The Immigrant ………. 8.9
Jeune et Jolie ………. 8.8
The Trip to Italy ………. 8.8
Calvary ………. 8.7
Lucy ………. 8.5
The Equalizer ………. 8.5
Fury ………. 8.4
The Double ………. 8.3
Citizenfour ………. 8.3
These Final Hours ………. 8.2
Copenhagen (DEN) ………. 8.1
The Admiral: Roaring Currents (KOR) ………. 8.0
Night Moves ………. 8.0
John Wick ………. 7.8
A Long Way Down ………. 7.6
The Grand Budapest Hotel ………. 7.4
Edge of Tomorrow ………. 7.3
A Walk Among the Tombstones ………. 7.1
Cold Comes the Night ………. 7.1
The November Man ………. 7.0
Horns ………. 7.0
Stranger By The Lake ………. 6.8
Laggies ………. 6.6
The Gambler ………. 6.5
Magic in the Moonlight ………. 6.5
Godzilla ………. 6.3
Goodbye to All That ………. 6.2
A Most Violent Year ………. 6.2
The Signal ………. 6.1
Secret Sharer ………. 6.0
Red Knot ………. 5.9
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit ………. 5.8
The Hundred-Foot Journey ………. 5.7
Sea Fog (KOR) ………. 5.5
Walk of Shame ………. 5.4
The One I Love ………. 5.3
The Imitation Game ………. 5.2
The Longest Week ………. 5.1
The Captive ………. 5.1
Blood Ties ………. 5.0
Kite ………. 5.0
Penthouse North ………. 4.8
Non-Stop ………. 4.8
Noah ………. 4.6
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ………. 4.5
St Vincent ………. 4.4
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (IRN) ………. 4.2
The Unknown Known ………. 4.0
Bad Words ………. 3.9
The Purge: Anarchy ………. 3.8
The Maze Runner ………. 3.8
The Other Woman ………. 3.7
Divergent ………. 3.5
Inherent Vice ………. 3.4
Adult World ………. 3.3
Pompeii ………. 3.2
Amapola ………. 3.1
Transcendence ………. 2.7
Joe ………. 2.5
RoboCop ………. 2.1
American Sniper ………. 2.0
Guardians of the Galaxy ………. 2.0
The Bag Man ………. 1.9
Dumb and Dumber To ………. 1.8
The New Girlfriend (FRA) ………. 1.7
The Expendables 3 ………. 1.7

The Worst of the year

3 Days to Kill

(Review Coming Soon)

1.6 / 10

Cake

(Review Coming Soon)

1.6 / 10

22 Jump Street

(Review Coming Soon)

1.5 / 10

Frank

(Review Coming Soon)

1.4 / 10

Welcome to the Jungle

(Review Coming Soon)

1.0 / 10

Sabotage

(Review Coming Soon)

0.5 / 10

Stretch

(Review Coming Soon)

0.3 / 10

Rage

(Review Coming Soon)

0.3 / 10

Grand Piano

(Review Coming Soon)

0.3 / 10

A Million Ways to Die in the West

(Review Coming Soon)

0.1 / 10

Yes… There is a Section Lower than the Worst Movies of the Year!
I Present a List of Films That I Absolutely Refuse to Watch… (Because I am a Pretentious Film Snob).

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