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

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. Locke

I have a thing for films all set in one location.  If the director can pull it off, it is a minor miracle.  Here is an example of one of those miracles.  Tom Hardy takes phone calls while driving in his car for 90 minutes.  That’s it.  That is the plot.  And it is more exciting and riveting than all the Marvel movies combined.  Hardy gives an exquisite turn as the only face on screen.  The other actors are all distant voices over the phone.  It is all so much grander and more exciting than the premise might seem. 

9.1 / 10

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

10 Best Actors

1. XXX
2. XXX
3. XXX
4. XXX
5. XXX
6. XXX
7. XXX
8. XXX
9. XXX
10. XXX

10 Best Actresses

1. XXX
2. XXX
3. XXX
4. XXX
5. XXX
6. XXX
7. XXX
8. XXX
9. XXX
10. XXX

The GOOD

(Other Good Films Released This Year)

XXX

9.0 / 10

XXX

XXX

9.0 / 10

XXX

XXX

9.0 / 10

XXX

XXX

9.0 / 10

XXX

XXX

9.0 / 10

XXX

XXX

9.0 / 10

XXX

XXX

9.0 / 10

XXX

XXX

9.0 / 10

XXX

XXX

9.0 / 10

XXX

XXX

6.0 / 10

XXX

The Average

(Forgettable Films in the Middle of the Pack)

XXX

5.9 / 10

XXX

XXX

5.9 / 10

XXX

XXX

5.9 / 10

XXX

XXX

5.9 / 10

XXX

XXX

5.9 / 10

XXX

XXX

5.9 / 10

XXX

XXX

5.9 / 10

XXX

XXX

5.9 / 10

XXX

XXX

5.9 / 10

XXX

XXX

4.0 / 10

XXX

The BAD

(Movies That Just Didn’t Work on Any Level)

XXX

3.9 / 10

XXX

XXX

3.9 / 10

XXX

XXX

3.9 / 10

XXX

XXX

3.9 / 10

XXX

XXX

2.0 / 10

XXX

The Worst of the year

(Hate-Filled Pieces of Crap)

XXX

1.9 / 10

XXX

XXX

1.9 / 10

XXX

XXX

1.9 / 10

XXX

XXX

1.9 / 10

XXX

XXX

0.0 / 10

XXX

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).

“XXX”
XXX

“XXX”
XXX

“XXX”
XXX

Please Visit TC Candler’s Faces Site

Please Visit TC’s Social Media