Finally, Here It Is: Ranking the Films of 2014

In time for the Oscars, I am now – finally – going to rank the films I have seen which were theatrically released in 2014. (I snuck one more film in last night, Gone Girl on DVD.) I still have to see many more films from the past year, particularly Oscar nominees like American Sniper, Ida, The Imitation Game, Inherent Vice, Into the Woods, Mr. Turner, Selma, Still Alice, Timbuktu, Unbroken, Whiplash and Wild, but for now here is how I have decided to rank what I have seen. It’s always a difficult process, this attempt to juggle quality and structure and emotional impact and whatnot, but here’s what I came up with. You may also notice that Girlhood and What We Do in the Shadows are not on the list; to be clear, even though those films were made in 2014, they were not theatrically released in the US until more recently in 2015.

  1. 20,000 Days on Earth – dirs. Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard
  2. The Babadook – dir. Jennifer Kent
  3. The Salt of the Earth – dirs. Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and Wim Wenders
  4. Only Lovers Left Alive – dir. Jim Jarmusch
  5. Interstellar – dir. Christopher Nolan
  6. Guardians of the Galaxy – dir. James Gunn
  7. Two Days, One Night – dirs. Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne
  8. Land Ho! – dirs. Aaron Katz and Martha Stephens
  9. Gone Girl – dir. David Fincher
  10. Miss Meadows – dir. Karen Leigh Hopkins
  11. Captain America: The Winter Soldier – dirs. Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
  12. Frank – dir. Lenny Abrahamson
  13. Maleficent – dir. Robert Stromberg
  14. The Grand Budapest Hotel – dir. Wes Anderson
  15. Non-Stop – dir. Jaume Collet-Serra
  16. Boyhood – dir. Richard Linklater
  17. The Theory of Everything – dir. James Marsh
  18. The Lego Movie – dirs. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
  19. Chef – dir. Jon Favreau
  20. Birdman – dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu
  21. St. Vincent – dir. Theodore Melfi
  22. The Rover – dir. David Michôd
  23. Obvious Child – dir. Gillian Robespierre
  24. In Secret – dir. Charlie Stratton
  25. Foxcatcher – dir. Bennett Miller
  26. Snowpiercer – dir. Joon-ho Bong
  27. The Giver – dir. Phillip Noyce
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