The Best Films of 2014

Scarlett Johansson in Under the Skin

Of the 350+ films I saw this year, these are the best ones. Some of them were released last year and I’ve been a bit slow getting round to them. Some of them were released even longer ago. The criteria are – I watched them in 2014 and I liked them. That’s it. The Best Computer Chess (2013, dir: Andrew Bujalski) Andrew Bujalski, inventor of mumblecore, proved there’s life in the old beast yet with this retro-verité drama about geeks meeting in the 1980s to pit their programs against a chess-playing computer. Shooting on original video cameras in fuzzy-edged boxellated black and white, Bujalski catches the moment when the let-it-all-hang-out era died and our … Read more

8 Minutes Idle

Tom Hughes and Ophelia Lovibond in 8 Minutes Idle

Anyone who has ever worked in a dead end job – data mining, stacking shelves, whatever – will get the fierce “we’re all in this together” loyalty on display in 8 Minutes Idle, a refreshingly raunchy and frequently very funny look at life at the bottom of the jobs food chain. Mark Simon Hewis’s rom-com is an adaptation of Matt Thorne’s novel based on his own time working in a call centre and stars the suddenly-everywhere Tom Hughes as Dan. This seasoned call-centre jockey divides his time between palming off angry customers, flirting with fellow headsetters Teri (Ophelia Lovibond) and Adrienne (Antonia Thomas), pranking colleagues and entertaining mild sexual fantasies about his vampish boss … Read more