Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is a metafictional biography
of Michael Keaton, modern art and commerce.
The Homesman is a Tommy Lee Jones-directed bloody genius Western novel adaptation
with indelible Hilary Swank and Jones roles.
Boyhood is Richard Linklater's real-time growing up of Ellar Coltrane's
character and family, subtle, remarkable and powerful.
Whiplash (2014) is a J.K. Simmons/Miles Teller duel of talent, ambition
and hate, ratchets dramatic tension like crazy.
The Theory of Everything is a wise drama of Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne
in a knockout performance), light on physics.
Nightcrawler is a nighttime L.A. romp starring Jake Gyllenhaal as a Dale Carnegie
or John Wooden of media ghouliganism.
Foxcatcher is Bennett Miller's brilliant jutted-jaw true crime/sports/wealth drama
with great Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Steve Carell.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is a strong end to a trilogy
which started well but had an awkward middle.
Interstellar is Christopher Nolan's absorbing and thought-provoking, slightly
corny and derivative deep space adventure.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1. It's striking how each new
installment is less cheesy, like an anti-Twilight.
Fury (2014) is a U.S. Army WWII tank crew smashing up the final remaining
Nazi military resistance in Germany, effective.
Big Hero 6 is an entertaining animated Marvel robot comic book adaptation
with some deftly handled big ideas, from Disney.
St. Vincent is a funny Bill Murray Grumpy Old Man, avoids traps
of sentimentality until the ending, which drags a bit.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is a non-adaptation
of the children's classic, with chuckles.
Wild (2014) is Reese Witherspoon going so in a movie (mostly for non-hikers)
about the transformative power of hiking.
Top Five is a Chris Rock showbiz day in the life with laughs, ideas but
weak story, awkward characters and performances.
Exodus: Gods and Kings is a slow, unfocused Ridley Scott Moses story,
not great in an already hurting year cinebiblically.
John Wick is a clumsy, sodden, simple revenger with little rhythm and
a heightened realism which mostly plays as silly.
Gone Girl is a well-acted misogynistic parody? essay or some kind of
horses---. Look at me! I'm Gone Girl! I'm so clever!
Guardians of the Galaxy is a smart, hugely enjoyable comic book movie
which avoids a lot of common comic book movie b.s.
The Skeleton Twins is an amazing acting tour-de-force starring Kristen Wiig
and Bill Hader as quite believable siblings.
Magic in the Moonlight is a pleasant but not compelling romantic opposition
of faith versus reason, for whatever reason.
Calvary is a slightly too flippant John Michael McDonagh comedy/drama
of a priest (Brendan Gleeson, great) and his flock.
The Maze Runner is one of the longest book trailers in history, suspenseful
yet ultimately unsatisfying even as prologue.
I Origins is Mike Cahill's dumb sci-fried sophomore slipup after all-four-star
Another Earth, poorly conceived, staged and shot. NO STARS
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) is a lazy, boring TMNT movie and
undoubtedly the worst CGI Chipmunks squeakquel ever. NO STARS
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