Like the previous list, here I'm featuring movies that didn't make it into wide release, so chances are good that they've slipped under your radar, or fell just out of reach. The difference? I got my hands on these ones, and I loved them.
A documentary examination of what might be the greatest movie that never was, 'Jodorowsky's Dune' is an ode, not just to a marvelous, captivating, and perplexing creative mind, but to all creativity. This may be a movie about one movie, but it's really a movie about all movies.
What amounts to watching Tom Hardy through the windows of his car as he commutes to London for 80 minutes might not sound appealing on paper, but make no mistake: this is one of the most singularly compelling performances of 2014, and a testament to the variety of the modern cinematic era.
If you're already a fan of Wes Anderson, chances are you found a way to see this film before the year was through (or have already rented or purchased it in the months since its home release). But, if you're not a fan of the director's, may I suggest you give him one more chance? 'Grand Budapest Hotel' is funny, heartfelt, surprising, and a wholly magical cinematic experience. I'd call it the best of what we had to offer... if there weren't two more entries on my list.
From one divisive director to the next, here we have Jim Jarmusch's latest—the last vampire film anyone ever needs to make. Seriously, they're all done, folks. And who better to show them the door than Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton. I mean, come on: could there ever be more perfect casting than that? And it's not just for show; they are the lifeblood that flows through this film's pulsing veins.
To be honest, any of these last three films could have ended up in the #1 spot, so why Snowpiercer? Maybe because it's the weirdest of the bunch: the first English-language film by a Korean director based on a French graphic novel starring Captain America. And boy, does it ever work. If you ever had any doubts about Chris Evans—or, for that matter, Bong Joon-ho, or the French—'Snowpierer' will bury them.