Matt’s 2014: The Best Dozen

Best of 2014

Best of lists are hard. Choosing the films I liked best isn’t hard, but keeping it to a reasonable number and ranking them is. One thing that’s not so much hard as it is annoying: coming up with something to say other than “I loved this and you should watch it”.

I saw a lot of films this year but there are plenty I missed. I didn’t see Birdman, Whiplash, or Mommy, all of which are on many other best of lists for the year (and in the case of Whiplash I can guess it would have made mine) but I also did see Boyhood, Gone Girl, 22 Jump Street, and a host of others that didn’t make my list.

All in all I saw over 75 of the movies released in 2014. Not a huge percentage when you think about it but certainly more than the average person.

So with all that in mind here are my favourite dozen movies from 2014.

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Review: Under The Skin

Under the skin poster

You can put it away now: the idea that the unnervingly attractive Scarlett Johansson only became a superstar due to the fact that she is the human embodiment of a 1940’s bomber girl. It’s easy to decide on obvious categories – something that she has undoubtedly had to fight herself – and she could have effortlessly made her career as The Pretty Girl in all kinds of meaningless rom-coms and action flicks. But then you look at her filmography and you see a ridiculously diverse selection – from *The Girl With The Pearl Earring* and *Lost In Translation* to her deliciously deadly stints as Black Widow in the various *Avengers*, *Iron Man* and *Captain America* blockbusters.

And now, with director Jonathan Glazer’s adaptation of *Under The Skin* from [Michael Faber’s novel](http://www.amazon.ca/Under-The-Skin-Michel-Faber/dp/0006393721), she can finally draw a line under the stereotype. In a movie that contains enough twists and horrors to keep you thinking for weeks, she carries the whole narrative while barely saying a word in a stunning, revelatory performance that is a career best to date.

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