"You shall ride eternal. Shiny, and chrome!" Looking back at 2015, it was an exceptional year for movies and if you don't feel the same way, you probably didn't see enough movies. I always struggle to put together a year end Top 10 list, mostly because there's so much I need to watch/rewatch and it's just not possible. This year I came up with a list of 12 movies from 2015, the last two added because I felt like they deserved a spot even though it was already full. These are the movies that I genuinely love the most, that connected with me and stayed with me throughout the entire year. Many of my favorites from 2015 are movies that, if you asked me about them at the beginning of the year, I would've admitted it's unlikely they'd end up here.
Another year comes to a close, another opportunity arises to reflect back on the best in film. As with any space of time, there were ups and downs in the film world throughout 2015. Many films brought with them huge levels of anticipation only to disappoint, some had small amounts of anticipation and completely blew us away. No one ever expects to make a bad film, and the best audience members never go into a film expecting – or wanting – to hate it. We all love movies. The varying levels with which we admire certain, specific films is what makes the entire art form as exciting as it is. The passion we all have for cinema is what keeps us scouring the theaters for the best the artists whose work we're experiencing have to offer.
"Ladies and gentlemen, come and dream with me." Just yesterday we featured a montage from the American Film Institute looking back at 120 years of film history. In fact, this year it will have been exactly 120 years since the Lumiérè brothers screened the first commercial film images. And since this year marks another decade milestone in filmmaking and cinema itself, the folks at Tandem Entertainment put together a little tribute to cinema, running through the magic of movies. What makes this a wonderful retrospective is the cutting back and forth between films and footage of characters in movie theaters. Watch!
Yes, we're done with our own year-end lists counting down our favorite films amongst other things as part of our yearly Looking Back series, but director James Gunn has chimed in with a late edition of his own favorite films of 2014. We'll cut him some slack since he was busy finishing and promoting Guardians of the Galaxy (#4 on my own Top 10 Films of 2014) to get his list in before the end of the year. The social media active Gunn took to Facebook to give fans a list of his top 12 Favorite Films of 2014. They include some of our favorites like Whiplash and The LEGO Movie, and a couple that we were surprised by too.
While there's no denying that 2014 was a good year for great filmmaking, it was also a little bit harder than recent years as we lost some monstrous talents from the big screen. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Williams both passed tragically and far too soon. The retired Bob Hoskins left this planet not long after he stepped away from acting, and Harold Ramis joined all the ghosts he busted 25 years ago. Though there will be tributes to those we lost at both the Golden Globes and Academy Awards coming up, we already have a fantastic tribute to some of the talents we lost last year who made cinema so wonderful.
Even though we're in 2015 now, there's still plenty to look back at in 2014. Another year end video that we just stumbled upon and wanted to feature is one called "2014: How We Used Slow Motion" made by The Nerdwriter YouTube channel. The video is simply a showcase of some of the best slow motion moments from movies of 2014, including some music videos and TV shows like "Sherlock" and "True Detective". Of course, there was a lot of impressive cinematography in 2014 (A Most Violent Year, Interstellar, Birdman) and it's invigorating to see so much talent out there. That said, slow motion moments are always fun, and it's cool to see the technique used in different ways. The real winner is the Quicksilver scene from X-Men.
Just earlier today, we ran out last retrospective video looking back at the films of 2014, and today I'm chiming in with my final year-end list with my Top 10 Films of 2014. This year I had a hard time narrowing down my list, and I almost broke down and decided to do a Top 15, but I promised myself to be a little more disciplined to pick my absolute favorite films of the year. You can see how hard it was just by taking a glimpse at all the honorable mentions that could have made the list, and the ones that made the cut are a hodgepodge of indies, blockbusters, comedies, dramas and a couple more. So let's get to the actual list.
Yes, we know it's 2015 already, but since the New Year fell in the middle of the week this time, we figured ending the week with one more retrospective video wouldn't hurt anyone (especially since my Top 10 Films of 2014 is still coming later today). This time it's editor Ben Zuk rounding up just under 150 films from the year into the impressively edited 2014 Salute to Cinema, using some of the year's best soundtrack music to fuel the video. This mostly seems to be a collection of the better known films of 2014, along with the buzzed about indies and awards contenders, but it's certainly a fine look back at the year in film. Watch it!
The end of 2014 is upon us, and tomorrow begins a whole near year of cinema to soak in. We've been posting some of our favorite movies from this past year, with FS.net chief Alex Billington listing his Top 10 Documentaries and also his Top 10 Movies of the year, and our Golden Briefcase boys chimed in as well with Jeremy Kirk listing his Top 10 Movies of 2014 and Tim Buel getting a little more specific with his Top 8 Horror Movies of the year. My final year-end list is coming before the week is out, but for now, I wanted to focus on the big laughs with my Top 7 Favorite Comedies of 2014. So what made me laugh this year?
Not my tempo. It all began at Sundance 2014, with the opening night film, a little breakout indie called Whiplash starring Miles Teller & J.K. Simmons. Now, 12 months later, we're at the end of the year and I'm ready to reveal my Top 10 list for 2014 - which includes Whiplash. It was the first film I saw the festival and I was floored, I kept thinking, there's no way but maybe this is one film that might remain my favorite all year long. The little film that could, and indeed, it lasted the whole year because it's a perfect example of what I love in cinema - exhilarating films that leave you in a total state of awe at the end, impressed by the potential of cinema. The rest of these 10 films on my list also had that same kind of effect, the experience being a key component in my connection to the films I genuinely love. Take a look at my 2014 picks below.
Another insane year of film draws to a close and the time comes to reflect on the selections that stood out the most. This year was especially good to the horror community and I am here today to let you know about eight films that I thought were truly special this year! I'm still playing catch up on a few notable titles such as The Canal, Honeymoon, Late Phases and a few others, but I think I’ve seen most of the goodies from this year. I've tried not to delve too much into plot or anything with my picks, and opted just praise the films themselves. So without any further adieu, here's my list of Top 8 Favorite Horror Films of 2014!
One of the most hyperbolic film critics working today is Peter Travers of the long-running Rolling Stone magazine. You're almost guaranteed to see a pull quote from him for every blockbuster that hits theaters, but he likes powerful dramas and awards contenders too. Therefore, we're surprised that when Travers unveiled his Top 10 Films of 2014 that there was very little to argue with. He doesn't go for much beyond the major awards contenders likely to be in play at the Oscars, except with one surprising pick, but it's certainly not what we would have expected from Travers. So what movie made the top of his list? Read on!