The Best Movies of 2014

An Unranked List of Movies Under Consideration for My 2014 Top Ten

We're approaching the end of the year and there are still a lot of movies left to see, and I may have recently seen a movie worthy of topping Boyhood as the best movie of the year... going to need to see a lot of these again before making the final list though.

Last Updated: October 27, 2014

The Top Ten


Birdman (2014)

Directed by

Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance is a black comedy that tells the story of an actor (Michael Keaton) - famous for portraying an iconic superhero - as he struggles to mount a Broadway play. In the days leading up to opening night, he battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career, and himself.

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Boyhood (2014)

Directed by

Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, Richard Linklater's Boyhood is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (a breakthrough performance by Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. Starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason's parents and newcomer Lorelei Linklater as his sister Samantha, Boyhood charts the rocky terrain of childhood like no other film has before. Snapshots of adolescence from road trips and family dinners to birthdays and graduations and all the moments in between become transcendent, set to a soundtrack spanning the years from Coldplay's "Yellow" to Arcade Fire's "Deep Blue". Boyhood is both a nostalgic time capsule of the recent past and an ode to growing up and parenting. It's impossible not to watch Mason and his family without thinking about our own journey.

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Chef (2014)

Directed by

Chef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) suddenly quits his job at a prominent Los Angeles restaurant after refusing to compromise his creative integrity for its controlling owner (Dustin Hoffman), he is left to figure out what's next. Finding himself in Miami, he teams up with his ex-wife (Sofia Vergara), his friend (John Leguizamo) and his son to launch a food truck. Taking to the road, Chef Carl goes back to his roots to reignite his passion for the kitchen -- and zest for life and love.

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The Drop

The Drop (2014)

Directed by

Directed by Michael Roskam, The Drop was written by Dennis Lehane (based upon his short story "Animal Rescue"), and produced by Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and Mike Larocca. The Drop takes an inside look at Organized crime's use of local New York City bars as money-laundering 'drops'. When lonely Brooklyn bartender Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) uncovers a drop of a different sort in the form of a battered pit bull puppy that he rescues from certain death, he comes into contact with Nadia (Noomi Rapace), a mysterious woman hiding a dark past.

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Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Directed by

Lt. Col. Bill Cage (Cruise) is an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously demoted and then dropped into combat. Cage is killed within minutes, managing to take an alpha alien down with him. But he awakens back at the beginning of the same day and is forced to fight and die again... and again - as physical contact with the alien has thrown him into a time loop.

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Foxcatcher (2014)

Directed by

Foxcatcher tells the gripping, true story of Olympic Wrestling Champion brothers Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) and Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo) and their relationship with the eccentric John du Pont (Steve Carell), heir to the du Pont Chemical fortune that led to murder.

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Fury (2014)

Directed by

Fury is set at the very end of World War II, in April 1945. As the Allies make their final push in the European Theater, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) commands a Sherman tank and her five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Outnumbered and outgunned, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.

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Gone Girl

Gone Girl (2014)

Directed by

Gone Girl - directed by David Fincher and based upon the global bestseller by Gillian Flynn - unearths the secrets at the heart of a modern marriage. On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) reports that his beautiful wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick's portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife?

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The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

Directed by

The Grand Budapest Hotel tells of a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars and his friendship with a young employee who becomes his trusted protégé. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting, the battle for an enormous family fortune and the slow and then sudden upheavals that transformed Europe during the first half of the 20th century.

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The Imitation Game

The Imitation Game (2014)

Directed by

In The Imitation Game, Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Alan Turing, the genius British mathematician, logician, cryptologist and computer scientist who led the charge to crack the German Enigma Code that helped the Allies win WWII. Turing went on to assist with the development of computers at the University of Manchester after the war, but was prosecuted by the UK government in 1952 for homosexual acts which the country deemed illegal.

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Locke (2014)

Directed by

Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) has the perfect family and a dream job, but a phone call forces him to make a decision that will put it all on the line.

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Mommy (2014)

Directed by

A widowed single mother (Dorval), raising her violent son (Pilon) alone, finds new hope when a mysterious neighbor (Clement) inserts herself into the mother and son's household, providing the mother with needed support.

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A Most Wanted Man

A Most Wanted Man (2014)

Directed by

A Most Wanted Man is based on master story-teller John le Carré's worldwide bestselling book. Anton Corbijn (The American) directs this modern day thriller with Academy Award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright and two-time Academy Award nominee Willem Dafoe toplining an ensemble cast. Hamburg, Germany: 2012. A mysterious, tortured and near-dead half-Chechen, half-Russian man on the run (Grigoriy Dobrygin) arrives in the city's Islamic community desperate for help and looking to recover his late Russian father's ill-gotten fortune. Nothing about this young man seems to add up; is he a victim or a thief or, worse still, an extremist intent on destruction? Drawn into this web of intrigue are a banker (Dafoe) and a young female lawyer (McAdams) who is determined to defend the defenseless. All the while, they are being watched by the brilliant, roguish chief of a covert German spy unit (Hoffman), who fights to put the pieces together as the clock ticks. In an adrenaline laced and heart-rending escalation of tension and collision, it's not long before he becomes everyone's most wanted man. A Most Wanted Man, a cerebral tale of intrigue in the vein of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, is also contemporary and deeply human, touching themes in love, rivalry and politics we live with every day.

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Only Lovers Left Alive

Only Lovers Left Alive (2014)

Directed by

Set against the romantic desolation of Detroit and Tangier, an underground musician, deeply depressed by the direction of human activities, reunites with his resilient and enigmatic lover. Their love story has already endured several centuries at least, but their debauched idyll is soon disrupted by her wild and uncontrollable younger sister. Can these wise but fragile outsiders continue to survive as the modern world collapses around them?

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The Raid 2

The Raid 2 (2014)

Directed by

He thought it was over. After fighting his way out of a building filled with gangsters and madmen - a fight that left the bodies of police and gangsters alike piled in the halls - rookie Jakarta cop Rama thought it was done and he could resume a normal life. He couldn't have been more wrong. Formidable though they may have been, Rama's opponents in that fateful building were nothing more than small fish swimming in a pond much larger than he ever dreamed possible. And his triumph over the small fry has attracted the attention of the predators farther up the food chain. His family at risk, Rama has only one choice to protect his infant son and wife: He must go undercover to enter the criminal underworld himself and climb through the hierarchy of competing forces until it leads him to the corrupt politicians and police pulling the strings at the top of the heap. And so Rama begins a new odyssey of violence, a journey that will force him to set aside his own life and history and take on a new identity as the violent offender "Yuda." In prison he must gain the confidence of Uco - the son of a prominent gang kingpin - to join the gang himself, laying his own life on the line in a desperate all-or-nothing gambit to bring the whole rotten enterprise to an end.

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The Rover

The Rover (2014)

Directed by

Set in the Australian desert, in a dangerous and dysfunctional near future. Eric has left everything and every semblance of human kindness behind him. When his last possession, his car, is stolen by a gang of dangerous criminals, Eric sets off to track them down and is forced along the way to enlist the help of Reynolds, the naive member of the gang left behind in the bloody chaos of the gang's most recent escape.

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Starred Up

Starred Up (2014)

Directed by

19-year-old Eric (Jack O'Connell), arrogant and ultra-violent, is prematurely transferred to the same adult prison facility as his estranged father (Ben Mendelsohn). As his explosive temper quickly finds him enemies in both prison authorities and fellow inmates -- and his already volatile relationship with his father is pushed past breaking point -- Eric is approached by a volunteer psychotherapist (Rupert Friend), who runs an anger management group for prisoners. Torn between gang politics, prison corruption, and a glimmer of something better, Eric finds himself in a fight for his own life, unsure if his own father is there to protect him or join in punishing him. Written by prison system therapist Jonathan Asser, Starred Up is a merciless, uncompromising portrayal of a dehumanizing life behind bars, and the most accomplished film of David Mackenzie's career; as father and son, Mendelsohn and O'Connell give extraordinary performances, charting a path that resembles Greek tragedy.

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Venus In Fur

Venus In Fur (2014)

Directed by

Alone in a Paris theater after a long day of auditioning actresses for the lead role in his new play, writer-director Thomas (Mathieu Amalric) complains about the poor caliber of talent he has seen. As Thomas is about to leave the theater, Vanda (Emmanuelle Seigner) bursts in, a whirlwind of erratic--and, it turns out, erotic--energy. When Thomas agrees, reluctantly, to let her try out for the part, he is stunned and captivated by her transformation. Not only is Vanda a perfect fit (even sharing the character's name), but she apparently has researched the role exhaustively--down to buying props, reading source materials and learning every line by heart. The likeness proves to be much more than skin-deep. As the extended "audition" builds momentum, Thomas moves from attraction to obsession... Adapted from the Tony Award-winning play by David Ives.

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Whiplash (2014)

Directed by

In Whiplash, Andrew Neyman (Miles Teller) is an ambitious young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit to rise to the top of his elite east coast music conservatory. Plagued by the failed writing career of his father, Andrew hungers day and night to become one of the greats. Terence Fletcher, an instructor equally known for his teaching talents as for his terrifying methods, leads the top jazz ensemble in the school. Fletcher discovers Andrew and transfers the aspiring drummer into his band, forever changing the young man's life. Andrew's passion to achieve perfection quickly spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher continues to push him to the brink of both his ability -- and his sanity.

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Wild Tales

Wild Tales (2014)

Directed by

A story about love deception, the return of the past, a tragedy, or even the violence contained in an everyday detail, appear themselves to push them towards the abyss, into the undeniable pleasure of losing control.

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X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

Directed by

X-Men: Days of Future Past brings together X-Men cast members, past and present, as a war for the survival of the mutant species breaks out across two time periods. Members of the original X-Men film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from X-Men: First Class, in a battle that must change the past - to save our future.

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  • Ivan

    I can only discuss which movies seems to have potential for top 10 this time next year. Monuments men, Gone girl, Interstellar, Inherent vice, Fox catcher,....

    • Guest

      Cool, I see I'm not the only one who actually liked Monuments Men. Even though I think it's too mediocre for a best of the year list personally...

  • cen0bite

    Cheap Thrills, Run & Jump and Someone Marry Barry are the best 2014 releases I've seen so far.

  • swb

    ton site a retenu toute mon attention. .

  • MADvillz

    where can I find a list of the best movies of all time? accurate

  • Oren Carstensen

    i like the first one Locke (2014), i think it's a good story. Film Streaming

  • Frank

    I guess you don't share the same love for The Lego Movie as most people did.

    That is still my favorite 2014 movie so far. I also really liked Grand Budapest and Captain America 2.

  • andyluvsfilms

    Can't wait to see Venus In Fur, i hear it's great. Only Lovers Left Alive is my current No.1, such a class act.

  • Silga

    Calvary is the best film I've seen this year. Heavenly Shift is my #2.

  • Heath Cowart

    So far, I have (in alphabetical order) Boyhood, Captain America 2, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Lego Movie and The Raid 2.

  • Steve Crobie

    I think the only two films that are top 10 worthy for me so far are Under The Skin and Budapest Hotel.
    Boyhood, Only Lovers Left Alive and The Double are at the top of the must-see list!

  • Carlos.

    Saw Grand Budapest Hotel last night and love it. Thought it was vastly superior to anything that has come out so far this year. A++

  • Trevor Phillips

    This list is invalid until THE RAID 2 is on it.

    • Max

      Then I guess it's gonna be invalid for all eternity.

    • maja

      Looks like it just got validated.

  • robinthemind

    I'm so glad to see DoFP in there. Probably won't remain in the actual top 10, but still.

    Finally saw Budapest and though I liked it and the he has perfected his style to outright eerie levels, Royal Tenenbaums is still far and away his strongest film imo.

    FFS I really have to watch Linklater's stuff.

  • crapo

    Informative and
    relevant as always. Look forward to reading more related post Caribbean

  • Oren Carstensen

    j'ai vu tous ces films, ils sont vraiment les meilleurs dans cet année 2014. Film Streaming

  • disqus_eClptFS30L

    "Edge of Tomorrow" and "Locke" are great, "Only Lovers Left Alive" was good, I found The Rover interesting but that was it.

  • laragenille

    Amazing Streaming movies you are sharing!

  • KQ

    Brad, You did not review "A Most Wanted Man" it comes in this list....???

    • Burt Mizaki

      I'm pretty sure I read an A- review of it on the page, but hey I could be wrong.

      • KQ

        Review came online right when i was commenting :-)

  • Shane Burke

    "and I may have recently seen a movie worthy of topping Boyhood as the best movie of the year..."
    If it's Interstellar than you've restored all my hope.

    • Chris138

      I don't believe he has seen it yet, so I assumed he was talking about Birdman. That would make sense since he gave it an A+.

      • Burt Mizaki

        There were a lot of screeners of Interstellar for critics lately, so who knows? Maybe it takes time to write down your thoughts on a movie that I hope it is. But you're right, he probably did mean Birdman.

  • Alex Thomas

    Awesome list, I can't wait to catch a few of these.

    My top 10 at this stage (in somewhat of an order): Enemy, Whiplash, Gone Girl, What We Do In The Shadows, Mommy, Neighbours, Wish I Was Here, Obvious Child, The Raid 2 and It Follows.

    4 of the next 5 are all on your list though (Edge of Tomorrow, The Grand Budapest Hotel, X-Men, Boyhood)

  • Silga

    My Top 10

    1. The Imitation Game
    2. The Grand Budapest Hotel
    3. Calvary
    4. Mr. Turner
    5. Winter Sleep
    6. Marshland
    7. Chef
    8. The Turning
    9. Sea Fog
    10. God's Pocket

    I think Edge of Tomorrow is one of the most overrated blockbusters. Mommy was also a disappointment. And Gone Girl.. well, it was just terrible.

    • Abstractual

      What happened to Life Itself?

      • Silga

        What do you mean "what happened"?

        • Abstractual

          I went and looked at your ranked list on Letterboxd after I saw your post, and I saw Life Itself listed as one of the 5's. I realize now that you saw Life Itself after you posted the list above.

          • Silga

            Oh, yes. I saw Life Itself after I posted this. And it was an amazing documentary about my favorite film critic. I credit Roger Ebert for inspiring my love for film through his wonderful reviews and books that I own.

  • JN Films

    My Top Ten so far:

    1. Boyhood (A+)
    2. Gone Girl (A)
    3. Life Itself (A)
    4. The Normal Heart (A-)
    5. How to Train Your Dragon (A-)
    6. Noah (A-)
    7. The Lego Movie (A-)
    8. The Fault in Our Stars (A-)
    9. X-Men: Days of Future’s Past (A-)
    10. The Grand Budapest Hotel (B+)

    • Michael

      Glad I'm not the only person who liked Noah.

      • JN Films

        In the same boat. It's quite a stellar movie and I had it at an A for awhile.

  • Abstractual

    I'll bite, dynamic top ten:
    1. Two Days, One Night (A)
    2. The Double (A)
    3. Ilo Ilo (A)
    4. Coherence (A-)
    5. Stray Dogs (B+)
    6. X-Men: Days of Future Past (B+)
    7. Whiplash (B+)
    8. Only Lovers Left Alive (B+)
    9. Like Father, Like Son (B)
    10. Manakamana (B)

    I expect this to potentially change a lot very soon, as I'll be seeing Goodbye to Language, Winter Sleep, Birdman and Force Majeure within the next 3 days, perhaps some others as well.

  • Amanda

    Wild Tales is the best film !!

  • Nicky Odujirin

    My top ten so far is:
    1. Boyhood
    2. Birdman
    3. Whiplash
    4. The Grand Budapest Hotel
    5. Interstellar
    6. A Second Chance
    7. Calvary
    8. Nightcrawler
    9. Only Lovers Left Alive
    10. Clouds of Sils Maria

    Oh boy, the last to spots were especially difficult to fill.

  • Xarnis

    currently my top 10...

    1. Foxcatcher
    2. Gone Girl
    3. Whiplash
    4. Nightcrawler
    5. The Grand Budapest Hotel
    6. Night Moves
    7. Only Lovers Left Alive
    8. Under the Skin
    9. Calvary
    10. Interstellar

  • Michael

    Let's see if I can make a current top ten...

    1. Nightcrawler
    2. Boyhood
    3. Locke
    4. Calvary
    5. Whiplash

    That seems like a pretty clear top five for now, after that it gets more hazy and subject to change

    6. Birdman
    7. Noah
    8. The Raid 2
    9. Edge of Tomorrow
    10. Only Lovers Left Alive (or maybe Interstellar or Gone Girl, it's a fight for that 10 spot)

    Still need to see some notable movies that aren't in wide release yet as of 12/11.

  • Corbin

    My current Top 10:

    1. Whiplash
    2. Birdman
    3. Gone Girl
    4. Fury (it really hit, what can I say?)
    5. The Grand Budapest Hotel
    6. Nightcrawler
    7. Interstellar
    8. The Drop
    9. Boyhood
    10. Edge of Tomorrow