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

21 July 2014-07-21

Mélanie Thierry on a sofa

Out in the UK This Week The Lego Movie (Warner, cert U, Blu-ray/DVD) Normally I watch a film and take notes as I go. With The Lego Movie I hardly managed any, because there was so little of the film that wasn’t packed to bursting with stuff – action, jokes, new characters, new twists on old characters, yet more awesome blocky Legotastic animation. The Lego Movie doesn’t make the Wreck-It Ralph mistake. Instead it sticks to a simple plot and pursues it to the end. Which is… The Matrix meets Star Wars – the nobody who becomes the somebody who can save the world. The voice work is fun, with Liam Neeson growling away as … Read more