Alrighty, I know this list is a little late to the party. If I don’t post this now and keep waiting for the other films, this list is never going to happen – as is it is late as hell! I must say there are a few titles that I didn’t get to and still want to, but from what I saw last year, these were the favourites!
10. The Great Gatsby
This was a film that I was really looking forward to, reading the book in advance, researching and then getting there to it. I had a lot of fun with this movie. Leonardo DiCaprio was again just in his element with his role of Jay Gatsby, and worked wonders. Carey Mulligan was a joy to watch, though slightly underused. The biggest problem that I had with this film was the soundtrack (actually, I hated it), though I did like everything else Baz Luhrmann brought to the table.
Another slow burner on the list, but wow, I was impressed with this. I had no idea what was coming, though some fellow bloggers I highly respect were raving, so what the hell? I checked it out and I was so impressed. Bill Sage just stole that entire show for me, but Ambyr Childers was excellent to watch, too. The whole family was done right, and I loved the way the film and plot progressed. It was nice, slow and deliberate, revealing bits and pieces as it went along and it was backed by stunning camera work. This is one that I would highly recommend, it was well worth it!
This was just such a beautiful piece of film. The acting was great and I loved the progression and layout of the story, basically three chapters. After Gosling was gone, I was a little confused, wondering how the hell the story was going to progress from there, but the ball was not dropped. In actual fact, Derek Cianfrance ran with it. This was a stunningly woven drama that kept itself interesting and entertaining from the get go, and kept me with it until the end. I truly enjoyed it, and was surprised by it, too. The Place Beyond The Pines had a fantastic cast that brought stunning renderings of their characters to the screen. Gosling, with his desperation to fix his life and be there for his child, Cooper for playing the good cop caught up in bad things, losing himself, and DeHaan delivered a great performance as Gosling’s son. What a great film!
I was not really expecting much going into this. Not because I have no faith in James Wan, but because Insidious sucked and this movie was so hyped up I was sure it was going to be another colossal let down. However, that was not the case. The Conjuring just snuck up on me, demanding my attention, building the perfect horror atmosphere and giving me goosebumps at times. It was the first horror to actually get me on that list in years, and I would like to commend Wan for that. While the film brought nothing new to the table, its style and implementation was just perfect, and it was definitely one of the movies that I enjoyed the most this year.
This movie… just loved it. I know some people griped and others praised it, but I really enjoyed it. There was some freaking amazing acting going on here, and Christian Bale once again stepped in and stole the show. The cast was talented, it had the right Affleck in it (just to remind you Tom), and the pacing was awesome. It was deliberate, slow and it looked great. Everything had such a depressing and washed out look going for it but it worked for this. I know some people will probably be expecting a fast paced action revenge, but this was a slow burner and packed a bigger punch at the end of it. I highly recommend looking into this one if you have not done so already!
This movie was powerful and gripping and intensely dramatic. I was superbly impressed with the portrayal that Hugh Jackman delivered for his character, but I would also like to draw special mention to Jake Gyllenhaal, who really was just too entertaining to watch. The premise of Prisoners is heavy, and not once does it slow down or hold back on anything. It is dark, gritty and brutal, giving you a whole new look at the things people will do when they are afraid and pushed into a corner, as well as how utterly disgusting human beings can be.
I read so many rave reviews about this flick and had no idea what I was getting myself into, and didn’t think it would be that great. Not really a coming of age film fan, I had low expectations. Instead I got a cracking smart film with hilarious dialogue, heartfelt moments and simply superb acting. I thought it was one of the most lovely films I had seen in a long time and I felt really good at the end of it. It is an incredibly entertaining journey to undertake with Duncan, and to watch him grow, but truly well worth it. Sam Rockwell was just genius in this.
3. The Hunt
I am a huge fan of Mads Mikkelsen, I really am. He is a bloody brilliant actor and can do so many things. Then there was The Hunt, that was so highly recommended everywhere. A foreign film? In Danish? Subtitled? A drama? I was on this. I was riveted for the duration of the film, my mind did not wander once. It touches on some good societal issues, and just had a brilliant cast carry the story. Lovely camera work, raw performances and strong directing, this film was truly well executed. Mads Mikkelsen was just amazing to watch on screen, and he did not disappoint in this one either. It is a pity that many people will not watch this movie seeing as it is not in English and they refuse to read subtitles because they really will be missing a beautiful piece of cinema.
I was so excited for this. I loved the books, I enjoyed the first movie, and was really eager to see this one. I was astounded by how well made and executed this movie was. It was so loyal to the novel, the actors were finely chosen for the roles they were required to play, Jennifer Lawrence gave a solid performance, the effects were great and I loved the pacing. Philip Seymour Hoffman was excellent as Plutarch, Woody Harrelson just owned the Haymitch thing again, what was not to love? There were some terrific action sequences, the pacing was right and it was laid out so well! I was just blown away with the film that was pulled together for this, and walked out of the theatre feeling exhilarated. This is how you bring a book to the screen!
This should really not come as a shock to anyone… This movie just blew me out the water and I cannot gush enough about it. I loved it. Filled with stellar performances, hilarious humour that was just wrong in so many instances and directed fantastically, The Wolf of Wall Street left my expectations behind and surpassed them to a whole new level. There was nothing that didn’t work for me here, and I was blown away. Scorsese is evidently not slowing down in his life, and DiCaprio, as always, never ceases to impress. This movie is truly worth the watch and just absolutely amazing.