I saw about 30 movies in theaters in 2014. Some are getting tons of attention during awards season, and rightfully so. Others have disappeared seemingly without a sound, not rightfully so. Following are my 10 Most Overlooked and Eight Most Overpraised for 2014, in no particular order.
10 Most Overlooked
The One I Love: Trippy and intriguing relationship dramedy with Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass
Rosewater: Serious, scary but ultimately uplifting directing debut by Jon Stewart
Top Five: Super-timely comedy from truth-teller extraordinaire Chris Rock
Life of Crime: Dumb criminals are always funny, plus a fine Jennifer Aniston performance
Venus in Fur: Say what you like about Roman Polanski, he gets every bit of mileage out of his scripts
Two Faces of January: Sexy trio of Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac make this slow thriller worth a look
Black Coal, Thin Ice: Chinese language noir thriller gives good shock value
Skeleton Twins: Why isn’t Bill Hader in the running for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar?
Chef: Heartfelt if predictable comedy from Jon Favreau, great cast
St. Vincent: Bill Murray could coast the rest of his career but he’s still in there pitching
Eight Most Overpraised
Boyhood: An amazing achievement but this movie is BORING – on purpose
Love is Strange: I’m happy to see a gay love story treated with dignity but this one moves like a glacier
The Hundred Foot Journey: Eagerly anticipated and almost immediately forgotten
To Be Takei: Charming documentary but not enough conflict
Gone Girl: Can someone explain that ending to me?
Tusk: Kevin Smith’s much ado about nothing and Johnny Depp slumming
5 to 7: Ridiculous attempt to make a sophisticated rom-com drowns in its own sweetness
My Old Lady: How can Kevin Kline and Maggie Smith make a movie so maddeningly dull?