The Best Movies of 2014
The list you have all been waiting for, the list that makes redundant all those other lists by intellectual snob pussies doting on four hour long plot-less cinematic meditations and visual essays on people misunderstanding each other or, on the other end of the spectrum, lists of guaranteed Oscar winners about people getting on top, despite their speech impediments or sexual preferences. You know what I mean.
This is an authentic list of movies I thoroughly enjoyed the past year and most of it you haven’t probably even heard of. Keep in mind that I’ve not seen everything that was released last year and also I really, really hated the Lego Movie.
First let’s start with a honourable mention:
Honorable Mention: Martin Scorsese ‘The Wolf of Wall Street‘
Yeah I know technically this movie’s from 2013 but it was released in December and anyway, in Holland it was released early this year, I think. Would you believe I watched this movie only recently because EVERY critic, EVERYONE who saw it before me was nagging about how long the movie is and then I watched it and it was over before I realized it and IT IS TOO DAMN SHORT, YOU WHINY KNUCKLE HEADS! This is vintage Scorsese with all the actors acting the shit out of themselves. I didn’t even miss Robert de Niro. Great, great movie. Oh yeah, I seem to remember critics complaining about Scorsese not including a moral message in this film, like ‘Greed is not good for you, kids’. Do piss the fuck off. Pretty please.
10: Kurando Mitsutake ‘Gun Woman‘
A hot Japanese chick sticks a gun up her fanny, has the cartridge sewn into her belly, pretends to be dead in order to get into some sick psychopath necrophile’s secret lair where she has exactly 17 minutes to kill everybody in the house after she’s pulled the gun out of her pussy and ripped the cartridge from her belly before she bleeds to death. Oh, and she’s totally naked during the whole slaughter fest.
Anyone disputing this is not the apex of fun I don’t even want to know because it means you’re just dead inside.
Extra bonuses in this film are the horrible acting, especially by the two American dudes at the beginning and the end, who look like the Beasty Boys in their Sabotage video, with their porn moustaches and their seventies looks, the abominable production value and the plot twist that is so lame it’s rolled into the movie in a crooked wheelchair.
This is the kind of cheesy revenge movie I used to watch on VCR with my best friend from school.
And the best thing: there’ll be a sequel! (Oops, I guess that’s kind of a spoiler)
9: Anthony and Joe Russo ‘Captain America – The Winter Soldier‘
How I could have ever thought a patriotic superhero dressed in the colors of the American flag and with eenie weenie tiny wings on the side of his head was lame, is beyond me. Captain America is the coolest Marvel character on the big screen so far and The Winter Soldier is the epitome of cool, a fast paced paranoia action thriller, a crossing between Three Days of the Condor and Mission Impossible with just the right dose of superhero nonsense to keep it real. Based on a comic series by the great Ed Brubaker, by the way.
8: James Gunn ‘Guardians of the Galaxy‘
The best adaptation of a Marvel comic book so far because this film doesn’t take itself seriously at all while still telling a great, fun and action packed, witty story. Also, I don’t think I remember any of the characters in the film from the books I read as a kid. But admittedly GotG wasn’t one of my favorite comics at all. This is as Marvel as it gets on the big screen and it has a loudmouth badger with a huge gun to boot.
Or is it a raccoon. Whatever.
Watch this movie, George Lucas, because this is how you should have done Star Wars.
7: Dan Gilroy ‘Night Crawler‘
Okay first of all Jake Gyllenhaal does everything with his eyes. Looking like a weirdo, being scary, being sad and huggable, tragedy, comedy, endearment, it’s all in those fantastic blue eyes of his. I have had a man crush on him since Donnie Darko. In this particular film he’s a creep in the way many journalists are creeps, feeding off other people’s misery and just not knowing any bounds, filming dying and seriously wounded, suffering people from up close. Of course he can do this because networks are all too eager to broadcast his snuff. The one journalist bringing op moral objections is immediately put on his place. By a very sexy looking sixty year old René Russo by the way.
First and foremost this is a dark, entertaining and visually pleasing thriller.
6: The Mo Brothers ‘Killers‘
This Indonesian movie is a bit sick. Okay it’s a very sick movie. It’s a nasty piece of shit full of revolting, sadistic violence but damn! It’s very well made and it has Kazuki Kitamura, the very handsome and charismatic star of Takashi Miike’s gorgeous Like a Dragon playing one of the main roles. It’s about two serial killers, one in Indonesia and one in Japan, who upload videos of their murders. Kitamura seeks contact with his Indonesian counterpart and then it all gets out of hand. Everything mounts up to a very bloody conclusion. NOT FOR PUSSIES!
5: Gareth H Evans ‘The Raid 2: Berandal‘
I wrote about this Indonesian action flick on our sister site Aicha Qandisha (in Dutch though). I described it as a ballet of mud and blood, a poem of breaking bones and tearing flesh. All the women in this film are evil bitches but the men, even when they’re enemies, respect each other. They flirt with each other during the fights until death. Very physical film, fast-paced, well choreographed, starring the very elegant art of pencak silat. Also with our main man Kazuki Kitamura from Killers in it.
4: Isao Takahata ‘Kaguya Hime no Monogatari‘
Simply the best animation I’ve seen this year. Japanese animators seem not to care for the Pixar-like CGI animation too much. The Tale of Princess Kaguya seems to be even more hand painted than for instance the Hayao Miyazaki films. What strikes me in these films is the closeness to nature that I have never ever seen in an American animation, however ‘real’ they make a drop of water on Kung Fu Panda’s fur look. Kaguya Hime no Monogatari is like a medieval scroll brought to life. Thoroughly enchanting.
3: Wes Anderson ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel‘
I just love Wes Anderson and also I watch every movie with Jeff Goldblum in it, who is, small as his part is, absolutely perfect in The Grand Budapest Hotel (I mean that face when Dafoe throws his cat out of the window – priceless! The film would have been more perfect if it had been a dog thrown out of the window, because I love films with dogs dying in it), as is Willem Dafoe and everybody else for that matter. Anderson’s films remind me of those cruel picture books I used to read as a child and which gave me nightmares, but good ones. Sheer beauty.
2: Naomi Kawase ‘Still the Water‘
I’ve seen Kawase’s previous films and found them boring mostly but this one totally gripped me. It’s a tale about love and death and the place of humans in the grander scheme of Mother Nature. A goat gets slaughtered in this film and I think it’s a real goat really getting it’s throat slit and slowly bleeding to death. It’s somehow a very merciful thing, very poetic, very natural, very calm, very holy, with a stillness that inspires the viewer with awe.
During the film, about a girl reconciling herself with the announced death of her mother and discovering her own sexuality, every human emotion somehow gets immersed in the vast surrounding land- and seascape of the tropical Japanese Amami islands. This is very consoling in a powerful, overwhelming way.
Beautiful, beautiful movie and this has been my number one favorite during the whole year until I saw the number 1 of this list.
1: Sion Sono ‘Tokyo Tribe‘
After I saw this movie for the first time I quickly watched it another time, and then another time and I will see it many more times. I mean WOW, what a monument of a movie, the visual bombast, the outrageousness of it all, the fluent camera work, the hysterical overacting, the Tom & Jerry violence and the FANTASTIC music! Tokyo has a very authentic, lively hiphop scene and Sion Sono uses all the talent in this film, based on a manga about warring tribes in Tokyo.
Tokyo Tribe is West End Story meets the Iliad with a hooded young rapper as Homer, leading us through Tokyo (which is a highly imaginary, brilliantly designed version of the city, of course) and through the story with its colorful characters and it gets crazier and crazier until it explodes in an orgy of sheer madness.
This is unlike any movie you’ve ever seen. You have to see this to believe it. I mean the main villain Buppa alone, a big demon-like guy in an outrageous yellow suit, gnawing on human fingers, rolling his eyes like he’s having the mother of all orgasms. The actor playing him (Riki Takeuchi; I’ve seen in him in so many Takashi Miike movies) must have had the time of his life.
I am a big fan of Sion Sono and he has never been the man to, you know, tone it down in his films. It’s always crazy, surreal, over the top but THIS! I thought he was laying it on thick in his 2013 movie ‘Why don’t you play in Hell?!‘
One can’t help but wonder what he is going to do next to top Tokyo Tribe. He has no choice but to make Naomi Kawase-like, introverted little films about small human emotions I guess.
Okay thank you for reading, folks. Do also read my list of best music of 2014 and soon I will present to you the best TV series of 2014 and my son will guide you through the world of computer games in his 2014 list.
op 14 02 2015 at 20:25 schreef Maarten:
Ok, alleen de laatste 17 minuten van Gun Woman zijn leuk, maar de rest is toch echt ruk.
De Raid 2 vond ik ook tegenvallen, daar waar de eerste nog vernieuwing gaf, is deel 2 toch een zoveelste afrekenfilm.
De rest is dan wel prima, of ik ga ze in mijn download lijstje zetten. Dank je wel!
Hier nog een aanvulling:
Fargo (de serie, maar goed hij is zo goed dat ie erbij moet)
The Rover (lekker nihilistisch)
Voor de rest wordt ook erg hoog gesproken over:
Whiplash, Boyhood, Interstellar en Locke. Die moet ik ook nog kijken…. te weinig tijd…
op 18 02 2015 at 18:47 schreef machiel:
You missed “Enemy” from Villeneuve. Came out in 2013, but in most countries only got released in 2014.
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enemy_%282013_film%29 )
I didn’t see Hotel Budapest. I liked the Tennenbaums, but I got tired of Wes Anderson with Moonlight Kingdom, just as I got tired of Gondry with his last film (I don’t even remember the title, something with a mouse in a house in Paris, and people dancing weirdly). I find the problem with these “surrealist” colourful, excentric films, is that they’re very self-conscious “look at me being weird”.
Anyway, “Enemy” really is worth to watch. And it’s got Jake Gyllenhaal in it.
op 18 02 2015 at 20:07 schreef Rena:
Dogs, there should be more movies with dogs in it ;) I peed my pants in There’s something about Mary.
Agree on Jake Gyllenhaal and The Wolf of Wall Street. Leonardo di Caprio is getting better every year.
No Interstellar on your list?
btw I adore the prints above!
op 19 02 2015 at 08:22 schreef Peter:
Thank you. I didn’t miss Enemy. I saw it, as I saw lots of other great movies that didn’t make it in my Top-10.
Missed Interstellar though. Mainly because of Sondra Bullock, whom I have allergy against.
op 19 02 2015 at 10:08 schreef machiel:
Sandra Bullock is in Gravity, which indeed isn’t worth watching. Interstellar is much better although it has some weak points too.
op 19 02 2015 at 22:21 schreef Rena:
Gravity (2013) had George Clooney in it ;) Many women have a crush on him. Might explain the 7,9 on IMDB? It wasn’t to bad imho. George isn’t even my type.