How I Spent My Cinematic Year, 2014 Edition

Critic Roger Ebert has said of Michael Apted’s Up documentary series that it struck him as an, “inspired, even noble use of the film medium … To look at these films, as I have every seven years, is to meditate on the astonishing fact that man is the only animal that knows it lives in time.”

Image from:

Image from:


Director Richard Linklater achieves something similar with the film Boyhood (and he also does in his terrific Before series of movies). Before Midnight was one of my favorite films of 2013, and now Boyhood is my favorite film of 2014. Filmed over the course of twelve years, we watch the titular boy and his family age in real time. Most of the occasions the film focuses on seem like reletively minor life events, but they take on meaning and heft through the accumulation of time. In the end I was deeply touched by this film. Even though it is not particularly sad throughout, I felt like I’d gotten to know the characters so well that I would miss no longer getting to visit them on screen.

While Boyhood takes the #1 spot, I saw quite a few great films in 2014. There are a lot of new movies that I haven’t gotten a chance to see yet (tops on my to-watch list are Whiplash, Birdman, Inherent Vice, Mr. Turner, and CitizenFour.) Even so, I’ve attempted to come up with a list of some of my favorite new movies I saw this past year. Take a gander below, and tell me what I’ve missed in the comments section.


The Grand Budapest Hotel

Another Wes Anderson gem with a touching (and very funny) performance by Ralph Fiennes. This film really grew on me after a second viewing.



The Lego Movie

One of the best times I had at the theater this year (along with directors Phil Lord & Chris Miller’s other great 2014 screwball comedy, 22 Jump Street). This movie is just as fun for adults as it is for kids, and I will continue to check out anything this pair chooses to pursue.


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5 responses to “How I Spent My Cinematic Year, 2014 Edition

  1. Mike

    I almost never go to the Mall to see a new film, but “The Imitation Game” is well worth the time and effort of getting away from Netflix. Although the screenwriter writer took liberties with the facts, it is a powerful film,with superb acting that keeps you riveted. I give it five stars.

  2. bibliotessaria

    We Are The Best!
    Under The Skin
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    The Babadook
    The One I Love,
    Night Moves,
    Only Lovers Left Alive,
    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,
    A Field in England
    A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

    Honorable mentions: Zero Theorem, The Congress, Gone Girl. Jodorowsky’s Dune. Calvary
    Still want to see: Dear White People, Beyond the Lights, Obvious Child, Stranger by the Lake, Song of the Sea.
    Worst movie: Horns

  3. teenisweird

    Gone Girl hit me so damn hard with its plot twist and Rosamund Pike’s performance but I must say that the end angered me.
    Under the skin is a beautiful thought provoking movie which makes you question your whole existence and perception of life and beauty.
    I have also seen Still Alice a beautiful movie about Alzheimer disease with a powerful performance by Julliane Moore.

  4. Tara

    Mike, you’re the second person today to recommend that movie to me!

    @bibliotessaria that is an excellent list! I’m also looking forward to Song of the Sea. And I just saw A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night this weekend–loved it.

  5. Beth L

    Wild would get an honorable mention for me…Reese Witherspoon does a surprisingly decent performance and Laura Dern is fabulous.

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