All Films Screened in 2014

Ratings Guide

Boyhood (Linklater, 2014, B+)
An incredibly difficult film to write about.

Still Life (Shahid Saless, 1974, A+)
A masterpiece of lyrical beauty, indebted to and influenced by the "translucent reality" of Sohrab Sepehri's majestic poetry, and as powerfully effective in its simplicity.

Snowpiercer (Bong, 2014, B-)
An unholy mess of superbly staged action sequences, visionary stylistic flourishes and shallow socio-political insight reduced to hokey metaphors. Snowpiercer is worth watching inasmuch as it is uniquely different from similarly scaled Hollywood genre fare.

22 Jump Street (Lord and Miller, 2014, B)
Consistently hilarious, which is more than can be said about any studio sequel. There is no significant improvement on the original, but Hill and Tatum prove themselves again as genuine stars with great chemistry, while Lord and Miller - following the success of The LEGO Movie - prove themselves as irreverent, fresh voices in Hollywood comedy.

Borgman (van Warmerdam, 2013, B-) (review)
A furiously energetic opening sequence sets the tone for an eerie and hypnotically strange ride. The obviousness of the oft-revisited sociopolitical allegory is grating at times, but the film never loses its sense of mystery.



  1. So glad you watched and liked The Selfish Giant! That blurb sounds like more than a "B," though. If you had more space, what would you single out as less impressive about the film?

    1. Nick - B's are really good in my books and I was tinkering with a fine B/B+ margin and in fact I think I'll update it to that on second thought. The momentum I mention in my blurb builds a little too slowly in my opinion, to the point where Arbor's characterization was beginning to feel a little bit one-note. Everything after Swifty's first horse race is pitch perfect though. The last 20 minutes really shook me. I'm looking forward to seeing it again.