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 … Read more

2 June 2014-06-02

Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club

    Out in the UK This Week     Dallas Buyers Club (E One, cert 15, Blu-ray/DVD) He literally rides bulls, the hero of this refreshingly unsentimental Aids drama – comedy? – about a rampantly heterosexual Texas guy who discovers he’s HIV+. That’ll be the meth and hookers parties we see him indulging in. The hero of this film is its script – a taut, tight example of economical writing that arrives in each scene as late as possible, tells us just enough of what we need to know, before moving on. There’s no backstories either – bane of so many films these days. So notice how many characters in this film, people with … Read more