Your Top Three is a series here at Movies.com where we choose a topic and you give us your top three picks.
At the midpoint of every year, we like to ask everyone for their favorite movies released so far. A lot of the best films that come out through the year are done so in limited release and maybe don’t even expand to your neck of the woods. And then you forget about them and possibly don’t even notice when they’ve dropped on DVD or VOD. Clearly today’s poll is all about providing a crowd-sourced service to movie lovers.
First, to put things into perspective, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Lego Movie are currently the two top-grossing movies in the U.S. Interestingly enough, they’re also among the best of the year according to many of you. The Lego Movie is also the best movie of the year according to ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, not that it has the highest score of all but for how many critics have chimed in on it, it’s the champ. Going by highest scores, the picks would be documentaries Jodorowsky’s Dune, The Missing Picture and Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, the Chilean film Gloria and the Laotian film The Rocket.
Admittedly, I still have to catch up with the following buzz titles: The Grand Budapest Hotel, We Are the Best!, Snowpiercer, The Immigrant, Blue Ruin, Obvious Child, Only Lovers Left Alive, Night Moves, Palo Alto, Bears, Locke, Chef, 22 Jump Street, The Raid 2 and How to Train Your Dragon 2.
My Top Three 2014 Movies:
1. Under the Skin
The only movie to really stun me in the way I expect from cinema, this bleak sci-fi flick by Jonathan Glazer and starring Scarlett Johansson as a predatory alien looks and sounds like nothing else this or any year. I really love the contrast between the near-documentary exterior scenes and the shining production design of the spaceship (?) interiors. Under the Skin is so far and away my favorite of 2014 that it’s almost not even fair to give it two companions.
2. The Double
It’s not often that an actor gets to show his “range” in a movie the way Jesse Eisenberg does in the sophomore effort from Richard Ayoade. That is, not in terms of emotion but just seemingly simple character type. It’s almost self-parody of Eisenberg’s two kinds of roles, the awkward shy guy and the confident con man. It’s a wonderful performance, and also the rest of the movie is weirdly and wickedly wonderful, too.
3. The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz
Brian Knappenberger’s documentary about the late Internet pioneer, who took his life last year as he faced prison time, is a biography that transcends its own subject by ultimately being about major issues for all Americans. Yet the film never loses focus on Swartz and what he meant and what it means to lose him, made especially poignant in some highly emotional moments where his family and friends are interviewed fairly soon following his death. I’ve seen it twice, cried each time.
Your Top Three 2014 Movies (the top three of which are Nymphomaniac followed by a tie for second of The Lego Movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Under the Skin):
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