This year was truly a wonderful one for cinema. We all like to complain that there is no art left in the movies, but anyone who looks at the award contenders this year has to bite their tongue.
So many great films came out this year that I simply didn’t have time to see them all. (Confession: I haven’t seen 12 Years a Slave yet. I know, it’s unforgivable.) But of the films that I have had a chance to see, the following are my favorites:
1. Her — Truly wonderful. If you haven’t seen it yet, you must. Spike Jonze’s story and dialogue are smart and eloquent. Some critics have complained that the dialogue is a bit too good (not anything like how people really talk), but those people are dumb. The dialogue is a revelation, and the story is magic. This film really makes you think about the world we’ve created for ourselves, the future of technology, and the nature of existence and love. You must see it.
2. The Spectacular Now — A lot of films try to show what it’s like to be a teenager, but this is one of the only films I’ve ever seen that gets it right. Check out my interview with co-screenwriter Scott Neustadter (who also wrote 500 Days of Summer) for more on this exceptional film.
3. Dallas Buyers Club — Heart wrenching and terribly depressing, but somehow this film also managed to feel uplifting and hopeful. I have serious moral qualms with the extents that actors decimate their bodies for roles like these, but setting that aside for a minute, Jared Leto is astounding in this film.
4. August: Osage County — This is one of those movies that you can really tell was a play first, but that doesn’t take away from the agony and raw emotional force of this film.
5. Gravity — Yeah, it’s a ridiculous story, but if you allow yourself to suspend disbelief and be immersed in the world, I don’t think there was any film as visually beautiful or tonally primal as Gravity this year.
And the top movies that I am dying to see (with their scripts)
- 12 Years a Slave
- Lone Survivor
- Fruitvale Station
- Kill Your Darlings
- The Wolf of Wall Street
- Enough Said