Not that many. My wife works nights and Saturdays (and sometimes Sundays) and I tend to wait for her to watch films, except for those things I know will have no appeal to her. Anyway, to refresh my memory I used this list from Wikipedia.
I’d say this was a pretty godawful year for films, or maybe I just watched the wrong ones. In previous years there was always something I never heard of that came out of left field that would become my favorite film of the year – Holy Motors in 2012, The Great Beauty in 2013. I guess that from what I saw so far this year, I’d have to pick Grand Budapest Hotel as my top film, yet I wouldn’t rank it as high as either of those two films. Still, I’ve watched it three times now and loved it more each time.
It strikes me as more than a little bit odd that I watched so few films this year. In no small part that’s because there were fewer films that interest me. And much of my time was spent with TV series – True Detective, Fargo, Justified, Walking Dead, Boardwalk Empire, House of Cards, The Leftovers, Ray Donovan, Sherlock. Is there any doubt that we’re in a new golden age of TV?
So, those few I did see, in order of release date:
Jack Ryan – Shadow Recruit. I really do not understand how Kenneth Branagh has sunk to this level.
The Raid 2. I know this and the first Raid film have their fans. For me they’re both kind of meh.
Robocop. Like the first but with better special effects and a worse script and worse acting.
The Lego Movie. People love this! I made it halfway through.
The Monuments Men. A star-studded disaster from George Clooney.
3 Days to Kill. With a screenplay by Luc Besson and directed by McG, I should have known better, except that Kevin Costner still is capable of some interesting work.
Grand Budapest Hotel. My favorite film of the year so far. Funny, smart, sad, unique.
Chef. While this is slight and sit-commy, I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. I suppose it’s the emphasis on the love of food combined with a terrific soundtrack.
Neighbors. I am a Seth Rogen fan but this wore out its welcome long before it got to the end.
Noah. I really don’t know what to think about this one. I didn’t hate it. I didn’t love it. I just felt kind of lost.
Muppets Most Wanted. I loved the Jason Segel reboot but couldn’t make it all the way through this sequel.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Both of the Captain America films are far better than they have any right to be. I’ll watch the next one too.
Godzilla. Another movie that I have (so far) not been able to watch to the end.
X-Men: Days of Future Past. Getting a bit tiresome at this stage.
Edge of Tomorrow. Tom Cruise’s first decent movie (not counting the Mission: Impossible series) in years.
A Million Ways to Die in the West. Horrible beyond belief.
22 Jump Street. Consistently entertaining, Shadoe Stevens’ daughter is gorgeous, the best part is the end credit sequence.
Jersey Boys. Clint Eastwood sucks all the life out of the Four Seasons story.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. I wanted to like it since I liked the last one. This one’s a step down.
Sex Tape. No where near as god awful as the reviews suggested, but not very good either.
Guardians of the Galaxy. The top grossing film of the year so far in the U.S. (Transformers is #1 globally). I liked it!
Lucy. More Luc Besson nonsense. Stupid stupid stupid.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. I expected to hate it. I didn’t. But it doesn’t really offer anything beyond the first film.
The Equalizer. Denzel Washington is consistently watchable. There’s nothing really new here but as far as brainless entertainment goes, this is one of the best.
Gone Girl. Very well done, as David Fincher films always are. I just have this feeling that now that I know all of the plot twists, it wouldn’t hold up to repeated viewings the way films like Social Network and Zodiac Killer do.
Interstellar. I loved it, but I don’t think it was entirely successful. Let’s say I loved it for being a $200 million non-franchise film that tried to be about ideas and not just things blowing up.
In total, that’s just 27 films. And out of those 27, just 9 that I liked. Pretty shabby.
Special Mention: The Trip to Italy. I haven’t seen this. But I watched the TV series – which was amazing and even better than The Trip – and this is just the 6 episodes edited down for international consumption. So I have little doubt that I love this. I hope they’ll do a third one.
Special Mention 2: Only Lovers Left Alive. A late 2013 release that I didn’t see until 2014. Always loved Jim Jarmusch and this languid vampire tale ranks up there with his best.
Planning to watch: Frank, Boyhood, Magic in the Moonlight, God Help the Girl, Get On Up, Birdman, Top Five, Rosewater, The Theory of Everything, Inherent Vice, Fury, A Most Violent Year, American Sniper, The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, Unbroken.
So what’s not on my list that I need to check out? What did you love this year? What have I missed?