Boyhood (2014)

Boyhood (2014)

Boyhood, which started filming in 2002 and continued off and on for twelve years, is the greatest coming-of-age story ever put to film. Had the film not succeeded, it still would have gone down as a worthy experiment. Since it does work so well, it will go down as a … Continue reading

A Most Violent Year (2014)

A Most Violent Year (2014)

You have to hand it to writer/director J.C. Chandor. He is immensely skilled at taking otherwise mundane topics (the stock market in Margin Call, a disastrous solo sailing adventure in All Is Lost, and the oh-so-glamorous heating oil industry here) and making tense dramas surrounding them. His films are all character-driven, … Continue reading

Two Days, One Night (2014)

Two Days, One Night (2014)

Two Days, One Night is a refreshingly compassionate look at a moral dilemma that no one wants to be at the center of. As written and directed by the Dardenne brothers, the film is a focused, frankly heartbreaking take on personal morals, selfishness, and what we’re willing to sacrifice for … Continue reading

Whiplash (2014)

Whiplash (2014)

There is a moment during Whiplash‘s final fifteen minutes that not only propels the film to unmitigated greatness, but also one of the most accomplished, intense character-driven dramas in years. Writer/director Damien Chazelle, who first made this story into an acclaimed short before getting funding for this feature-length production, has crafted … Continue reading

Nightcrawler (2014)

Nightcrawler (2014)

“I’d like to think if you’re seeing me you’re having the worst day of your life.” So says Louis Bloom, the anti-hero of writer/director Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler. The film is a pitch-black, often satirically so, look at the bloodlust that engulfs local news. Its parallels with reality are only slightly blurred, … Continue reading

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

The Grand Budapest Hotel is a celebration of all things filmmaking. Director Wes Anderson, one of the most creative minds in film history, has crafted an original, witty, and emphatically entertaining experience that belongs in his top tier of work. And his bottom tier is better than most top tiers. … Continue reading

The Babadook (2014)

The Babadook (2014)

The Babadook is a relentless psychological horror film. Made for a modest $2.5 million, this Australian export is about five times as scary and disturbing as its big-budget Hollywood counterparts. With most of the film taking place in the dark corners of a house, writer/director Jennifer Kent, in her feature film debut, … Continue reading

Force Majeure (2014)

Force Majeure (2014)

Force Majeure examines how one split-second decision can shake up the trust between a married couple and the family unit as a whole. That decision also results in what may be the worst family vacation ever. An export from Sweden, the film is an exquisitely filmed, awkward, and challenging drama … Continue reading

Birdman (2014)

Birdman (2014)

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is a true original; a work of technical wizardry, virtuoso acting, and compelling storytelling unlike anything we’ve seen before. Featuring only a few locations and long, single takes of dialogue-driven material, the film never lets up for an instant and always keeps the viewer on … Continue reading