Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Top Ten Films in 2014

Once again, it's the time to compose a list of a year's best films. As always, I stay with the plain and simple format: I select ten (no more, no less) films from the almost three hundred feature films (including documentaries) I saw during the calendar year of 2014, no matter if the film is released in the US in 2014, because it's almost impossible to define the term "a film in 2014."

Here are the top ten best feature films I saw in 2014.

  1. Boyhood (USA 2014 | 164 min. | My review)

    The renowned writer/director Richard Linklater unprecedentedly created an insightful and delightful epic over twelve years.

    Boyhood Official Site

  2. Foxcatcher (USA 2014 | 134 min. | My review)

    Steve Carell is anything but repeating himself when playing millionaire John du Pont in this masterfully composed and outstandingly performed character-driven drama.

    Foxcatcher Official Site

  3. Bauyr (Little Brother) (Бауыр | Kazakhstan 2013 | in Kazakh| 97 min. | My review)

    With an observant and affectionate lens, Kazakh writer/director Serik Aprimov (Серік Апрымовтың) humorously tells a heartbroken story about an innocent boy's survival and his longing for love.

    Bauyr at the Festival Site

  4. The Overnighters (USA 2014 | 100 min. | Documentary | My capsule)

    In this director Jesse Moss's compelling documentary, charismatic Pastor Jay Reinke opens his church's door to migrant workers, newcomers, and anyone in need to stay overnight. In return, he pays a heavy price.

    The Overnighters Official Site

  5. The Fault in Our Stars (USA 2014 | 126 min. | My review)

    While the film is not shy away for being sentimental about its subject matter of dying young, it does surprises us with its uplifting life-affirming attitude toward the love journey traveled briefly by its protagonists that are fantastically played by Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort.

    The Fault in Our Stars Official Site

  6. The Way He Looks (Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho | Brazil 2014 | in Portuguese | 95 min. | My review)

    Brazilian writer/director Daniel Ribeiro beautifully captures his adolescent protagonist's subtle feelings in dealing with love and friendship.

    The Way He Looks Official Site

  7. At Berkeley (USA 2013 | 244 min. | Documentary)

    Captivating, thought provoking and eye-opening.

    At Berkeley Official Site

  8. Club Sandwich (Club sándwich | Mexico 2013 | in Spanish | 82 min. | My review)

    The director Fernando Eimbcke pitch perfectly positions his lens to capture the subtlety among a trio's intriguing relationship.

    Club Sandwich at Festival Site

  9. Red Army (USA 2014 | in Russian/English | 85 min. | Documentary | My review)

    Just like a fast moving ice-hockey game, the directory Gabe Polsky sleekly tells an engrossing story about charismatic formal Soviet Union's hockey players.

    Red Army Official Site

  10. Harmony Lessons (сабақтары | Kazakhstan/Germany/France 2013 | 114 min. | My review)

    The director Emir Baigazin confidently crafts his film with memorable characters and striking images.

    Harmony Lessons Official Site

Until next year...

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