My Top 20 Films of 2014 – Part 2

I covered the first part of my top 20 a few days ago, and so here is part two – numbers 10 to 1 of my top films of 2014. Enjoy!

10. The Lego Movie

The lego Movie

It could have gone so very wrong. Everything about it screamed corporate cash-in but The Lego Movie actually turned out to be bloody fantastic. Poking fun at pop culture at every turn, there really is something for Lego fans young and old to revel in, and the fact that literally everything on screen is made from Lego bricks makes for a visual treat. Full review here.

9. Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the Galaxy

With our cinemas bursting at the seams like Hulk’s shorts with superhero films, Marvel took a massive risk bringing a relatively unknown franchise to the big screen in Guardians of the Galaxy, but it was a risk that paid off. The script was witty, the soundtrack was brilliant and most of all it was damn good fun.

8. The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game

The importance of what Alan Turing did can simply not be underestimated, and neither can the barbaric treatment of him at the hands of the UK government simply because of his sexuality. The Imitation Game gives a ‘for dummies’ guide to Turing’s work and life, which is by no means a criticism, hitting most of the important points and driven by a brilliant central performance by Benedict Cumberbatch. Read a mini review here.

7. 12 Years a Slave

12 Years a Slave

Steve McQueen’s harrowing tale of Solomon Northup being sold into slavery isn’t an easy watch, but is an incredibly important story that is depressingly not as long ago as it should be. Chiwetel Ejiofor gives a brilliant performance as Solomon, whilst the cinematography, as you’d expect from McQueen, is stunning. Read my full review here.

6. The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel couldn’t be more of a Wes Anderson film if it tried. A picture book caper stylised to its limit, it’s glorious fun from start to finish. It might be a little too frenetic and stylised for some, but fans of Anderson will lap this up, whilst it’s also brilliant to see Ralph Fiennes revelling in a comedic central performance. Read my full review.

5. Boyhood

Boyhood

Richard Linklater’s Boyhood took over 12 years to film, following the same characters and cast members as they grow up. It sounds a bit of a gimmick, and it could have well turned into one, but what we got instead was a wonderful study of family and growing up, not just from the viewpoint of Ellar Coltrane’s Mason as the lead, but also of all those around him. There’s something here that almost everyone will relate to. Read my review here.

4. Her

Her

The story artificial intelligence and its sentience is something that outdates cinema (probably) but very few films have covered it like Spike Jonze’s Her. It’s a world of high-waisted trousers and one that sees human interaction dying out in favour of artificial intelligence, something that doesn’t seem to improbable. Joaquin Phoenix is fantastic but it’s Scarlett Johansson as the disembodied Samantha that really steals the show. Read my full review here.

3. Nightcrawler

Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler’s look at the seedy world of crime ‘journalism’ has plenty to say about our modern form of news and how we consume it. We may baulk at what Jake Gyllenhaal’s Lou Bloom does but we lap it up at the same time, feeding his lust for fame and validation. Gyllenhaal’s performance is outstanding, channeling Travis Bickle whilst adding enough of his own style and menace to stand apart from De Niro’s character. Read more of my thoughts here.

2. Pride

Pride

It’s a story that almost sounds too bizarre to be true, but when a group of gay men and lesbians rocked up to a lowly Welsh village in support of the miners’ strikes it showed that we all aren’t so different. Pride tells that story and will warm even the coldest of hearts. Sure, it may be a little stereotypical and cheesy at times, but it does what it does remarkably well and is accentuated by some stellar performances. A crowd pleaser if ever there was one. Read my review here.

1. Frank

Michael Fassbender as Frank

Michael Fassbender wearing a big paper mache head – what’s there not to like?! Frank takes its inspiration from Manchester performer Frank Sidebottom who did indeed used to wear a head just like the one in the above picture. That, however, is where the similarities between the two Franks end and instead we get a fantastical tale of trying to make it big in the music industry, but with something much deeper bubbling under the surface. Michael Fassbender is phenomenal as Frank, especially considering he’s essentially acting with his body and voice, removed of all facial expressions aside from the one painted onto his fake head. It’s quirky and indie and this may put some people off, but it was the film that bewitched me the most in 2014. Read my full review of Frank here.

There we have it – my top 10 films of 2014. Agree? Disagree? Don’t care? Let me know in the comment below! Thanks very much for sticking around even though I haven’t been around as much, and hopefully see you all a bit more in 2015.

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37 thoughts on “My Top 20 Films of 2014 – Part 2

  1. Stu says:

    Great to see Frank feature so highly. I did enjoy it, and enjoyed all of the films here that I’ve seen (10, 8 and 2 I ought to check out).
    It was a good year!

  2. Nostra says:

    Nice top 10 with some similarities to mine. If I had created a top 20 a lot of them would probably feature 🙂

    The Imitation Game was just released over here, so will have to check that one out.

  3. Keith says:

    Solid top 10. Some interesting picks. Never saw Frank coming at #1, but I love the pick. Turned out to be a pretty rich movie year.

  4. Brittani says:

    I wish I would’ve enjoyed Frank as much as you did. I had such high expectations for it. Great list!

  5. Mark Walker says:

    Frank as #1? A bit of a surprise, Chris but I won’t split hairs. Frank is a fabulous film and it’s definitely one of my favourites of the year too. Nice list bud!

  6. Dan Heaton says:

    I enjoyed Frank (especially the finale), though I’m a bit surprised to find it at the top of your list. Still, it does have a real charm, and I totally agree about Fassbender. It’s nice to see Guardians get a mention, and Her is a stunning film. I also enjoyed Grand Budapest and will be finishing Boyhood tonight. It will definitely make an appearance on my list.

  7. I need to watch Frank. Your number 1? Wow. I liked Grand Budapest Hotel best. You’ve got some fine choices on your list.

  8. Boyhood’s number one for me but that’s a very strong list mate. It’s been a strong year hasn’t it?

  9. Abbi says:

    So glad to see Pride and Frank on someone else’s lists. Pride was an absolute gem that I wish everyone would see.

  10. Thrilled that Boyhood makes the Top 5. But so cool to see such a spirited pick for number 1. I thought Frank was excellent. I had no idea what to expect going in, and it really floored me. Those final scenes were perfect.

    • Yeah Boyhood was too good to leave out of the top 5 purely for its ambition. And I totally agree about the final scenes of Frank. I read some people really didn’t like them because the real Frank Sidebottom never really took off the head, but I thought it really added something deeper to the film.

  11. Great picks, a couple of them I have to add to my watch list. Nice to see Nightcrawler make it so high on your top picks, great story and the lead performance is excellent. 🙂

  12. Zoë says:

    Excellent work here Chris! I must say, I was one of those people who was not swept away by Frank. Hoping to see The Imitation Game soon, too!

  13. sati says:

    Well, I guess I gotta see Pride now 🙂

  14. Great list Chris. Frank didn’t quite do it for me but there’s no denying just how good Fassbender is in a tough, tough role. Still need to see Boyhood and Nightcrawler!

    Adam.

  15. jackdeth72 says:

    Hi, Terry:

    When I was a kid, it was Erector Sets, Lincoln Logs and Kenner construction systems. Which also make decent space ships with a little imagination. But the Lego film looks great!

    Nice to see “Guardians…” getting love. Looking forward to seeing Amy Pond as a kick ass mercenary, Big fan of Cumberbatch, so ‘The Imitation Game’ is high on my list. Especially after BBC’s ‘The Bletchley Circle’.

    Can’t argue with ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’. While ‘Nightcrawler’ looks intriguing as Helll!

    • Hello! Glad you agree with some of my choices! I have never heard of any of those construction sets, I can only assume they’re an American thing. It was Lego all the way for us!

      Oh and definitely try and catch Nightcrawler at some point!

  16. ruth says:

    Hey, we have The LEGO Movie on our #10 spot! HER was on my Top 10 2013 list, I so adore that film! Haven’t seen your Top 3 yet but super excited to see Nightcrawler!

  17. Victor De Leon says:

    Great movies, all! Just added Frank to my Netflix queue. Stoked for that one. Nice job!

  18. Tom says:

    Well then. That settles it. I must see ‘Frank.’ Wow, at the #1 spot eh? Love it!

    I’m also glad to see you make mention of Spike Jonze’s love story, ‘Her.’ It is going to sound a little sensational, but with each time I watch that thing on DVD now I am confirming the notion that it might be among my top five favorites of all time. It’s a stunningly realized narrative coupled with some of the coolest visuals I’ve seen in a reality-based film. Such an achievement, and I found the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay 100% warranted.

    This is also a very inspired list, so that’s why I have to single out ‘Her’ so much. I have nothing but very high praise for a lot of these films you’ve selected here

  19. Dan says:

    Many of my faves right here too. Frank was a really left field treat. But I think my favourite from 2014 has to be Budapest Hotel – such a fun film and one of few movies to make me want to watch it again straight after first viewing. Still need to catch up with Her though.

  20. James says:

    Only Boyhood I don’t watch it yet in the list. The Lego Movie is my favorite.

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