As 2014 draws to a close we look back at a stellar year for cinema. Thankfully film-fans have been spoilt for choice during the last 12 months with a great year full of quality entertainment hitting the big screen.
We can look forward to a strong awards season next year too, thanks to a diverse and involving selection of cinematic treats which cater for all demographics and tastes. Early front-runners include January releases Birdman, The Theory of Everything and Whiplash.
But before that, EF’s Film Editor Jason Palmer has taken a look back at the year and picked our top movie choices. We’ve previously announced our Films of the Year Jan-Jun. This countdown focuses on July to December 2014. Click on their respective posters for the full review.
EF Films of the Year 2014 (Jul-Dec)
10. Gone Girl ★★★★
David Fincher’s keen direction does Gillian Flynn’s absorbing, dark and frequently humorous story justice in this bizarre but compelling drama. Throw in amazing central performances from Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike along with Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor’s haunting score and you have a gorgeous project that oozes quality from every pore.
9. Paddington ★★★★
Paddington is a great family movie – full of wonderful comedy, sweet sentiment and lashings of marmalade. With a brilliant ensemble and an astute sense of humour, Paddington is the perfect way to spend a winter’s night.
8. The Guest ★★★★
The Guest is an utter delight from start to finish. With a devilish charm and bags of style, it’s not only a gripping thriller but a hilarious black comedy to boot. With great homage paid to 80s cult classics and a mesmerising soundtrack, The Guest is a complete success.
7. Guardians of the Galaxy ★★★★
Guardians of the Galaxy has done the impossible and come in as a space adventure with heart, mind and spirit. Director and co-writer James Gunn has excelled at giving mass audiences a brand new franchise to fall in love with whilst doing the source material justice.
6. Deliver Us From Evil ★★★★
Deliver Us From Evil is a very effective chiller that expertly merges conventional horror with a taunt crime-thriller. It consistently holds your attention in a palpable, uneasy bliss. Throw in a clever back-story and a predictable but very effective ending and you have one of 2014’s best horrors.
5. Dracula Untold ★★★★
Another unexpected but superb blockbuster that manages to hit every one of its marks. A beautiful marriage of striking environments and amazing effects join the stark and scary atmosphere that blankets the entire film. Luke Evans is in star-making form too.
4. Boyhood ★★★★
For sheer endeavour alone, Boyhood should be number 1. Writer/Director Richard Linklater has delivered a remarkable project, shot over a twelve year period, that frequently amazes and always enthrals. An amazing ensemble helps but narratively speaking, this still doesn’t surpass Linklater’s Before trilogy.
3. Begin Again ★★★★
John Carney’s new project is wonderfully feel-good – a film that progresses his love for music on film with a keen eye for romantic drama. A textured tapestry of melody and regret peppers this involving storyline and gives us a worthy underdog story to champion. Faded in with delicate situation comedy and some amazing music, this is the perfect date movie.
2. The Imitation Game ★★★★
The Imitation Game is the best British film of 2014. Full of standout performances and a story that’s engaging, informative and utterly compelling, it’s sure to take awards season gold next year. Simply put, The Imitation Game is an unmissable, superior and very important drama, with Benedict Cumberbatch on truly remarkable form.
1. Interstellar ★★★★★
Interstellar is ground-breaking, spectacular film-making of the highest order. Full of breathtaking effects, a clever, epic story that isn’t afraid to tackle life’s big questions and a truly magnificent cast, it’s Nolan’s opus. It’s also the most immersive experience you’ll have in a cinema this year. But it’s the emotional story that grabs you the most and never lets you go. Blended together, Interstellar provides a unique theatrical experience and cements Christopher Nolan as a true auteur of modern cinema.