Best of 2014: Movies

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All the best movies in 2014 that Sinekdoks loved.

That year, 2014, had long gone; so had the award seasons—Golden Globes, BAFTA, and Oscars. Some names came as the best movies in those awards, yet, Sinekdoks had personal victors: 25 best movies in 2014 listed from 25-1.

Without further ado, I present you Sinekdoks’ personal best movies of 2014.

25. The Skeleton Twins (Craig Johnson) | As a dark comedy that exploits human’s weakness, The Skeleton Twins offers no new insight, but it effectively exploits everything to make this tragedy celebrate-able by stellar performances of Kirsten Wiig and Bill Hader.

24. The Babadook (Jennifer Kent) | It is is a delightful experiences for those who long for the atmospheric horror. It doesn’t try to scare the audiences with some worn-off jump scares, yet, it ‘mind-tortures’ with emotion and nuance, with unique story telling and family issues.

23. Locke (Steven Knight) |  A well-experimented road drama paved with brilliant script and direction defines what makes the most emotional one-man show in 2014.

22. Ida (Pawel Pawlikowski) | This monochromatic piece is not just a plain road film (and a part-time mumblecore); it’s a timeless and cinematic spiritual journey packed with one of the most beautiful cinematography of 2014.

21. Only Lovers Left Alive (Jim Jarmusch) | An indie undead film (or undying indie film?) about a couple of vampires that suck art, music, literature, and mostly culture, instead of blood is a perfect showcase for Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddlestone.

20. Edge of Tomorrow (Doug Liman) | A mash-up of modern sci-fi invasion with massive rampage and clever, playful plot with infinite restart button deserves to be 2014’s sleeper-hit.

19. Begin Again (John Carney) | A musical film that sings the story out with an album of ear-candies gets a great angle to escalate emotions.

18. The Imitation Game (Morten Tyldum) | A glorified, blatant, carefully-crafted biopic fueled mostly by Cumberbatch’s vibrant performance goes stingy in capturing the irony—but stingy is good.

17. How To Train Your Dragon 2 (Dean DeBlois) | This vast animated feature is an incredible example of how a sequel of an unpredictably successful film should be.

16. The Raid 2 (Gareth Evans) | This sequel of the 2011 hit is simply the greatest, the most complex, a standing ovation worth martial art movie ever made. It has topped the expectation and become a real “face breaking, ass kicking, neck twisting, hammer hitting, bone shattering film I have ever experienced.”

15. Foxcatcher (Bennett Miller) | This triangular character study in a mostly silent, bleak picture of power and ambition using a slow-burned unorthodox approach is mostly provocative and vivid because of the stellar performance by Tatum, Ruffalo, and Carell respectively.

14. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (Matt Reeves) | Surpassing the emotional and witty performance of the predecessor, Dawn questions humanity through apes. The emotional script surprisingly equals the astonishing CGI and the visceral direction. This brings a new definition for summer blockbuster.

13. Enemy (Dennis Villeneuve) | Another puzzles from Villeneuve, as for me, it is a Mulholland Drive of this year.

12. The LEGO Movie (Christopher Miller & Phil Lord) | Everything is AWESOME!

11. Guardians of the Galaxy (James Gunn) | Marvel’s biggest gamble that hits as fantastic as the beat of Awesome Mix Vol. 1. It’s all about the fanboys.

10. Under the Skin (Jonathan Glazer) | ELUSIVE! BAFFLING! CONFUSING! It has the Kubrickian elements but doesn’t have answers to any 5W+1H questions. Only innocent pedestrians with awesome accent and a so “called” alien with her amazement.

09. Nightcrawler (Dan Gilroy) | It’s nothing but a very dark and thought-provoking L.A. thriller embroiled with intriguing, sleazy set-pieces to blatantly satirize and criticize the modern sensation-driven mass media, especially the controversy-laden news programs aired in televisions. Jake Gyllenhaal with his monstrous performance tries to dismantle news capitalism with big thriller and big, black humor.

08. Frank (Lenny Abrahamson) | This indie gem is a witty black comedy that embraces absurdity and creativity to journey behind the back of an internet-era avant-garde band with convincing performance from Gleeson jr. and Fassbender.

07. Interstellar (Christopher Nolan) | It might be the most divisive movie in 2014. Some people call it too ambitious, but for me, it is an “out-of-the-comfort-zone” answer from the master-class director to the questions whether Nolan’s works are structurally mind-blowing or emotionally mind-blowing.

06. Calvary (John Michael McDonagh) | It’s a seemingly out-of-place entry to this top list. Yet, Calvary is a masterpiece as it goes beyond a classic whodunit style into a more elegant examination of ‘what good faith is’ among secular society. The film blends breath-taking dark humors reflected in dialogues between each character and serious questions about faith and doubt.

05. Boyhood (Richard Linklater) | Filmed over 45 days within 12 years—from 2002 to 2013—with exactly the same casts in only 143 scenes, Boyhood is a real proof that Richard Linklater is not just an artist, but an ambitious auteur with pretentious work. It’s all about being consistent and persistent the way no other director ever did.

04. Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance (Alejandro González Iñárritu) | This Oscar darlings (and other awards’ as well) is a complex character study of people among fame and ambition. What makes it great is, it enhances itself with all cinematic experiences you might probably never see before; and more, the juxtaposition of the character with the actor is as incredible.

03. Gone Girl (David Fincher) | Maybe it’s not Fincher’s best, but it obviously the most talked movie in 2014. David Fincher manifests the haunting, insecure feeling from the book into a visual sickness that haunts so terrible it becomes a pitch-black comedy of “reality”. Gone Girl nails it with powerful story-telling, one of the finest ensemble of casts, and perfect manifestation of modern day satire.

02. The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson) | As usual, Wes Anderson’s talent in world-building is undeniable. Picturesque like the portrayed establishment and witty as the main concierge of this film, it’s a NEW EXPERIENCE to a vintage beauty of the cinema. All the hipsters cheered to this and I don’t mind being among them.

01. Whiplash (Damien Chazelle) | It is incerdibly loud, jazzy, never been easy, and simply the BEST DRUM MOVIE I ever seen. With good drama, exceptional acting, groundbreaking cinematography, and thrilling music performance, it’s a literally new cinematic experience. No more words could define the thrill of it; Whiplash is a drum of the cinema, that’s a wrap.


Finally! What a wonderful year of cinema! Again, 2014 had long gone and now it’s time for 2015 to shine (with all the hype!)… and so, that’s a wrap.

Don’t forget to check Sinekdoks’ top films from other years below:

10 responses

  1. Nice list! Dari daftar ini gue belum nyelesaiin nonton Locke nih, hehe.

    1. Locke emang sialan kok, bisa-bisanya gw suka Lol

  2. We have many of the same in our top 10. No argument about Whiplash as #1, that film did basically everything well, the performances, the music, the editing, the edge of your seat suspense, the subtext, great movie.

    1. Whiplash deserves it, eh? #1

  3. Andrew Avatar

    There are still a lot from this list that I have yet to see, but I love seeing Gone Girl, Under the Skin, Birdman and Calvary in your Top Ten!

    1. They’re shining bright! Glad you liked the entry!

  4. Awesome list, we share so many favorites! Great to see Begin Again and Skeleton Twins here

    1. So glad to hear that! Both films deserve an acknowledgement, yes?

  5. So, so happy to see Skeleton Twins just make your list 🙂 We both share Whiplash in common at number 1! Check out my top 10!

    1. Wow! Great to hear that. Gotta check your top list soon!

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