So after looking at 13 films that I would rate as awful to average in my last article, I now come onto films I actually have good things to talk about and my top ten of 2014. Unlike the previous article, I have actually ranked this from 10 to 1.

Please note that in this article I will be talking about the films and will go into the ending of one or two in detail, so if you want to see any of the below and haven’t yet, don’t be surprised if there is a spoiler in there.

So we’ll start with my 10th favourite film of the year and a film that genuinely took me by surprise…..

10 – As Above, So BelowAs Above, So Below 2014

Directed by John Erick Dowdle

Starring Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, Edwin Hodge and François Civil

When I first saw the poster and trailer for “As Above, So Below” I was convinced that I already knew exactly what would be happening, that it would ultimately turn out to be a poorly made film that didn’t have many scares and would ultimately be a waste of money. I didn’t get. What I got instead was arguably one of the best low-budget horror films I’ve seen in recent years that has had a wide distribution.

AASB follows a group of people who go in search of the philosopher’s stone and in the catacombs underneath Paris, including some locals who claim to know the catacombs very well. Despite a promising start, the group finds themselves being forced to go further and further down as entrances disappear behind them. Eventually they find an inscription over an opening that reads “Abandon all hope ye who enter here,” which is allegedly over the gates to of hell.

Once they crawl through they are all faced with personal demons and the group are killed off one by one before only three are left and they are forced to confront and get over their personal difficulties before they eventually find their way out, although the ending does leave it very open as to whether they have actually escaped hell, or whether they have just gone into a lower level of hell.

For me that questionable ending is excellent as it constantly makes you question as to whether they are actually out or not, and on the IMDB page there is a very large debate going on at the moment about the fate of the characters. That’s what I like in a film, something memorable and it certainly does that.

AASB was a big surprise for me as the horror isn’t done via jump scares but is instead through the psychological terror and panic of the characters as they realise what is happening to them and having to confront their personal demons, and for me the standout performer is Civil, who brilliantly shows his character’s initial self-assured nature transformed into someone who becomes extremely terrified at a very early stage before he is eventually killed off.

AASB is a very enjoyable horror film that isn’t actually that predictable and is one of the more genuinely scary horror films in recent years.

 

 

9 – Maleficent

legal_MALEFICENT_03_720

Directed by Robert Stromberg

Starring Angelina Jolie, Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Rile, Imelda Staunton, Lesley Manville and Juno Temple.

Again, I’m not going to lie, I was expecting “Maleficent” to be absolutely terrible, but I actually found myself engrossed with what was going on and even though it is a massive CGI-fest, filmed in Hollywood’s nicest green screens, I enjoyed it more than any of the other re-imaginings of Disney films in recent years.

In recent years a lot of fairytale style stories have been poorly re-imagined. One such example of this was “Snow White and the Huntsman” and it wasn’t helped by a poor story, but also that Snow White is supposedly the fairest of them all, and they chose the personality vacuum that is Kirsten Stewart to play her. Stewart isn’t a good actress and there are far more attractive young, female actresses around, so it was a bizarre choice, but “Maleficent” doesn’t fall into that trap.

What I liked most about the film was that it gave the character of Maleficent a very human feel to her. You genuinely get pissed off for her when he wings are stolen because of greed and you understand why she becomes so angry and does what she does. If you’ve seen the original “Sleeping Beauty” then you naturally have a hard time adapting to the Maleficent character not being pure evil, afterall, the word does mean evil, but giving her that protagonist element actually works.

Jolie does a delightful job as both protagonist and antagonist throughout the film, almost reveling in playing the character during the time where she is an outright antagonist. She hasn’t played many antagonists during her career and you can tell that she is making the most of it.

The casting of Elle Fanning as Aurora was also a good casting choice. Elle, who is a far, far, far better actress than her sister Dakota, is, for lack of better words, adoreable as the playful Aurora, and the casting director hit a home run with the casting of Sharlto Copley as King Stefan. Copley, who is still riding high from his breakthrough in District 9, has had some suspect film choices in recent years but he excels as the paranoid king, and Sam Riley is equally as convincing in his role as Diaval.

Maleficent may use a lot of special effects, but it has what you need to keep it watchable and that is a good storyline and decent acting. I’ve seen a lot of films down the years where they have relied on too much special effects and the film/acting has been terrible (Sucker Punch comes straight to mind), but this isn’t one of them and at just over 90 minutes long, it doesn’t overstay it’s welcome.

 

 

8 – Black Sea

Directed by Kevin MacDonaldBS-003-Key-Art-One-Sheet_FINAL2

Starring Jude Law, Scoot McNairy, Karl Davies and Ben Mendelsohn

I have actually already reviewed this film recently on this site and the fact it’s the only previously reviewed film in this list shows how much I liked this low budget film. This film hasn’t actually been released in America yet and won’t be until January, so I would urge anyone in America to watch this as it as very enjoyable.

The story focuses around Robinson (Law), a former submarine captain for a salvage company, has just been made redundant but because he never had a contract, his compensation package is significantly lower than he expected and because of this he is enraged. He soon hears of a sunken submarine from World War Two that is rumoured to hold around £180 million worth of gold bars that can’t be brought up by his former company, even though they know about it (due political unrest of the Black Sea between Georgia and Russia) and he decides to get it himself.

He enlists the help of 11 other men, 5 British and 6 Russian, however, they are accompanied by a representative of the expedition’s financial backer, Daniels (McNairy). Although all seems fine at first, some members of the crew feel that evenly distributing the bounty of unfair, mainly Fraser (Mendelsohn), who enrages the Russian half of the crew when he kills one of them.

In the ensuing fights, the sub sinks to the ocean bed and devoid of energy, and now they have to hope that the Nazi submarine is somewhere nearby. Despite getting the gold and making it back to their own submarine, a dangerous maneuver to escape through a deep sea cavern sees the submarine eventually sink to the bottom of the black sea and it eventually floods with only two of the characters managing to escape.

Again, as I’ve already reviewed this film recently I don’t want to repeat myself too much, so here is the link to that review – BLACK SEA -. I would seriously recommend watching Black Sea when you get the chance, you will love it.

 

 

7 – Horns

Directed by Alexandre AjaHorns_Official_Movie_Poster

Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Max Minghella, Joe Anderson, Juno Temple, Kelli Garner and James Remar

It’s safe to say that out of the three main child stars from the Harry Potter franchise, Daniel Radcliffe has had the most successful and varied follow up career and it continues with yet another unique role in the rather unusual “Horns”.

Radcliffe plays Ig, a man who’s girlfriend (Temple) has been found dead and everyone is blaming him for her dead, that despite not evidence to support blaming him. Despite his pleas of innocence, no-one is listening to him and one more he wakes to find a pair of horns have grown on his head.

Ig soon finds himself surrounded by people who are wanting to confess their deepest secrets to him, and he also develops the ability to influence the behaviour of others as attempts to find out what happened to his girlfriend.

Eventually Ig discovers that it was his friend and lawyer (Minghella) that murdered his girlfriend and Ig soon transforms into a full demon to get his revenge, all before dying himself.

In one of the more unique films that I have ever seen, Radcliffe really shines as Ig and is about as far as he can possibly get from his role as Harry Potter. Even though the character is adamant that he didn’t murder his girlfriend, you’re never entirely sure if he is being truthful or not. He portrays the man who is claiming to be innocent but not entirely knowing himself exceptionally well.

His interactions with his family, especially the conversations with his father (Remar) bring you truly into his world and the honesty with which Ig finds out his true relationships with people is both intriguing and heartbreaking at the same time. Even Ig’s brother, played by the immensely under-rated Joe Anderson, isn’t entirely sure and that conflict with within his character is delicately shown. I’ve been a fan of Anderson for several years following his varied roles in Creep, The Crazies and The Grey and he is an expert on not letting his standards drop in any role.

All of the cast do a great job, regardless of how small the role actually is. Heather Graham is her ever delightful self and Minghella, despite having a very mixed history in film, plays the bastard very well,.

The soundtrack for “Horns” is delightful and the location helps make the film what it is. I would go as far as saying that this is arguably the best high-budget film with a low budget feel to it.

Once you get past the accent that Radcliffe is using then you can sit back, enjoy and be amazed at what is an excellent indie style film that isn’t indie at all. Despite being a heavy plot element, the relationship between Ig and his girlfriend isn’t overly used, which sometimes feels like a major turn-off in films of a similar style or storyline.

 

 

 

6 – Non-Stop

Directed by Jaume Collet-SerraNST_31_5_Promo_4C_4F.indd

Starring Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Scoot McNairy, Corey Stoll, Michelle Dockery and Nate Park

If there is one thing that there isn’t enough of in Hollywood, it’s a classic “who-did-it” style murder-mystery films. Back in the early days of cinema there were plenty of examples of this type of film, such as a character getting killed on a train and the other characters have to figure it out, and I love that style of film, so I was delighted when they made a modern version in “Non-Stop”.

Liam Neeson plays Bill, a US Federal Marshall who receives a text message in the middle of a flight to London that says that unless they are paid a random, someone will be killed every 20 minutes. Bill tries to discover who is responsible as it becomes obvious that whoever it is is actually on the flight with him, and so he begins investigating the issue. He takes even the smallest coincidence as a clue but meanwhile the news is reporting that Bill has actually hijacked the plane himself.

As tension mounts of the plane with regards to Bill’s history and alcoholism, he eventually discovers that the person sending the messages was a teacher by the name of Tom (McNairy), a man who’s family died in the 9/11 attacks. He say that he wants to show that despite what everyone claims, security in America is no better than before 9/11.  After a long scuffle, Bowen is eventually killed and Bill is hailed as a hero in the media.

Again, much like Horns, you’re never entirely sure who did it until it’s revealed. Each character is questionable for various reasons, such as Jen (Moore) asking everyone she sits next to if she can sit next to the window, and many other minor clues such as that as to who the killer was. Unlike a lot of other films where the main character doesn’t know who the killer is, you are not told before the eventual reveal and I love that.

There are too many instances of films where you see the antagonists plotting in a secret compartment somewhere and you know all the way through, and it spoils it because whilst the mystery is there for the character, it’s not there for the audience and it takes away from the tension. I don’t want to know who the killer is until the main character finds out.

With a good cast as supporting characters, this film was the ONLY film during the entire year where I felt truly tense throughout. You are kept on the edge of your seat and you never know what it going to happen. Scoot (I always feel like I’m misspelling that) McNairy plays the sympathetic antagonist beautifully and although you think “bastard” for what he is doing, the way that McNairy plays his conflicted nature is very gratifying.

Whilst Neeson’s list of action films is growing significantly as time goes on, this for me is the most enjoyable in terms of an actual overall film that I have seen him in for some time.

 

 

5 : X-Men : Days of Future Past

Directed by Bryan SingerX-Men_Days_of_Future_Past_poster

Starring Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Patrick Stewart, Sir Ian McKellen, Nick Hoult, Peter Dinklage and Ellen Page.

For a time this was my number one film of the year but it has ended up at number five, that despite coming out after what I will be putting at number two, but don’t let that put you off DOFP is still a very well made film and would have made a good stand-alone film had it not been part of the X-Men franchise.

The film initially starts in the future when mutants have been hunted down and largely killed by sentinels, but the surviving mutants, which is conveniently consisting of all of the main cast members from previous films, has come up with a plan to send Wolverine (Jackman) back to the 1970s to prevent Mystique (Lawrence) from murdering Bolivar Trask (Dinklage).

Once he is there he recruits the young Charles Xavier (McAvoy) to help and through a variety of circumstances they, combined with several other mutants, try and stop Mystique by playing on what remains of her human side. Ultimately they succeed and rewrite the future, with all of the principle cast of the initial trilogy that had died now fully resurrected and a seemingly happy ending.

DOFP seemed like a more genuine threat to the future of the franchise due to the sentinels. Normally when a film advertises something or someone as being unstoppable, they usually aren’t, or anywhere close to being unstoppable, but the sentinels are. On at least two occasions we see them destroy (literally) surviving mutants despite the best efforts of those mutants to survive. They truly are an unstoppable force and that makes the threat very real.

The action throughout DOFP is very enjoyable and the opening battle is one of the better I have seen in recent years as you can get involved without knowing a lot about some of the new characters. Seriously, particularly nothing is revealed about the new characters, such as Bishop, Blink, Sunspot or Warhammer other than what their powers are, and yet you are routing for them. Even when Wolverine travels back into the past you remain emotionally invested in what’s happening in the timeline where the mutants are being hunted down by the sentinels.

Charles and Erik continue their difficult relationship from the end of the first film and whilst you have no doubt that they still have a respect for each other, they, as is said at the beginning of the film “couldn’t be further apart” and it builds nicely to the beginning of the first film in the original trilogy where they are sort of friends, but they’re not at the same time, if that makes sense.

The 1970s section of the film is very enjoyable and as I say, for a while this was my favourite film of the year but then I rewatched it and there were were two things that really bugged me to the point where it only barely survives in my Top 5.

Firstly, Halle Berry is advertised as one of the main stars in the film. No, just no. She is barely in the film and isn’t a good enough actress to demand star billing unless she is actually in the film for the majority. Her screen time totals less than five minutes and there is not a chance in hell I am going to consider someone isn’t that good at acting to be a main star when they’re barely in it.

The second point is that I’m kind of sick of the Wolverine character. This was the SEVENTH X-Men film (out of seven) where he has been in it and the SIXTH where he has been the main focus of the film. Ok, I get it, the initial trilogy he is the main character and I get that, then they started with the prequels, one of which was dedicated to him, and then the incredibly tepid “Wolverine” that came out in 2013. I’m not even going to get into how incredibly crap that film was. I’m sick of every X-Men film being about Wolverine, he isn’t even the most interesting character and that is one of the main reasons why, even at the last minute, I demoted this from fourth to fifth. I sincerely hope that if they are going to release another X-Men film, which I’m sure they are, that they don’t just focus on the Wolverine character.

X-Men DOFP is still a very enjoyable film and is worth the watch.

 

 

4 – Gone Girl

Directed by David FincherGone_Girl_Poster

Starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon, Scoot McNairy and Kim Dickens.

I’ve mentioned on this blog previously that one of my favourite films is “Fight Club”, directed by David Fincher. Fincher is an excellent director and rarely puts out a bad film and whilst I was initially completely disinterested in watching “Gone Girl” it was a combination of the directing of Fincher and some saying that even Affleck is decent that convinced me to give it a try.

I’m going to come straight out with it, I’m not a fan of Affleck, although I’ve seen films with him in that I liked, such as Dogma, I have never once watched a film and thought to myself that he was good. That’s not to say he’s not a good actor,afterall, he has been nominated for 72 awards during his career and has won 50 of them, so there’s obviously something there, but he just does nothing for me.

Anyway, I disgress, Affleck plays Nick, a man who returns home one day to find his wife, Amy (Pike) missing. Despite everything initially appearing to be rosey in their relationship, a secret diary is soon found that reveals that Amy was deeply unhappy with the relationship, fearing for her life. Nick becomes suspect number one and must prove his innocence.

Meanwhile, it turns out that Amy has set Nick up and she is actually living in a trailer park. Nick eventually meets up with several people who have also come under Amy’s wrath down the years, such as claiming that they raped for when nothing actually happened, tearing their life apart.

Eventually Amy has to return to Nick but it is clear that both hate each other, but they are now forced to put on an act for the media.

What I loved about Gone Girl is that neither character is truly likable, and even through he is a protagonist for most of the film, you are constantly juggling with whether you actually like Nick or not. You’re not sure whether to believe what Amy is saying about him and you’re never truly behind him as a good guy. As the film progresses, whilst you feel sorry for the situation he has now found himself in, you begin to learn that his character isn’t as squeaky clean as all may appear, but for me this film is all about Amy.

Amy, playing magnificently by Pike, is quite possibly the best antagonist I have ever seen in a film. She is just out and out evil and you can’t help but be transfixed on what she is doing because you never know when she is being genuine or whether she is plotted. You find out throughout the film that she is setting up Nick in the same way that she set up a former boyfriend to ruin his life, and you real get a sense for how truly evil this character is and it is a delight to watch. It’s just incredible. Even at the end you are just in awe of her as a character because not only is she still ruining Nick’s life, she also tries to ruin the life of Desi, played by Neil Patrick Harris.

She is truly one of the truly great antagonists in cinema history because of how she manipulates, plans and executes everything to near perfection, it is unbelievable just how purely evil she is as a character and yet you somehow find yourself wanting more of the same. There is no question that she is the film’s antagonist, no question about it, she is an evil mastermind, it is just incredible viewing.

The only negative about this film was the casting of Neil Patrick Harris. Now, NPH is a great actor, he has great charisma and is one of the funnest people to watch in Hollywood, but he was so incredibly miscast in this film that you begin to wonder what the casting director was thinking of. NPH does his best but I don’t think he makes a convincing dark character.Whilst Desi is a good character, he’s too dark for NPH to really pull off.

I was really debating whether to put this down as four or five. My top three has been sealed for a long time, but this ultimately secured it over X-Men because of it’s superior story.

Other than the miscasting of NPH, this film is brilliant. In any other year this would possibly have been my number one film, that’s how good it was.

 

 

 

3 – Guardians of the Galaxy

Directed by James GunnGOTG-poster

Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker and Lee Pace

In 2014 there was no doubt as to the funnest movie of the year, the first that you could just go in, sit back and enjoy, and that was arguably the surprise hit the year, “Guardians of the Galaxy”. I knew nothing of GOTG before this film came out and I was definitely surprised and for a long time this was my favourite film of the year.

The film follows Peter Quill (Pratt), aka Star Lord, as he retrieves an orb from a planet. He is soon captured along with Gamora (Saldana), Drax (Bautista), Groot (Diesel) and Rocket (Cooper). Despite their initial antagonism towards each other, they work together to break out of prison and eventually onto a collector to buy the orb. The only problem is that they are being tracked by Ronan (Pace), Gamora’s former leader.

Ronan eventually tracks them down and make light work of the initial encounter, but with the help of the people of the planet Xander, as well as the relevation that contained within the orb is an infinity stone (an object of immense power), the group are eventually able to defeat Ronan and are free to travel the universe together.

GOTG is one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had at the cinema in recent years. It was just two hours or sitting back and having fun. Unlike the other Marvel films, you feel that you can relate to all of the characters rather than just a select few. None of them are as egotistical as Tony Stark, none are as heroic/bratty as Thor, none are as never-say-die as Steve Evans and the less said about the Hulk, the better. They’re just a group of relateable and well developed characters.

I found myself laughing on a regular basis and enthralled by all of the battles. Serious arguments between characters interrupted by cries of “I am Groot” just had me in stitches all throughout and even Rocket wasn’t annoying, whereas in a lot of films featuring a CGI character, they offer little and yet annoy so much (Jar Jar Binks and Dobby come to mind).

However, GOTG has the same problem that has plagued a lot of other Marvel films in recent times, the bad guy just isn’t believable and is underdeveloped. Don’t get me wrong, Lee Pace does an excellent job as Ronan and is enjoyable in the role, but did I once genuinely feel like Ronan was going to win? No, not really. It’s a problem that encompasses all of the Marvel films, with the exception of Days of Future Past. The only bad guy in the recent new Marvel franchises (i/e Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, etc) that was believable and you thought posed a genuine threat was Loki, and for me Ronan doesn’t come close to that same level of threat.

If it hadn’t been for that then this would have retained it’s place in my top two. Infact, it was in my top two up until a few hours ago when I realised that the film I actually have at number two only came out in the UK in 2014, meaning I only saw it this year.

 

 

2 – The Wolf of Wall Street

Directed by Martin Scorsesewolf-of-wall-street-poster2-610x903

Starring Leonardo Dicaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Kyle Chandler and Rob Reiner

As I alluded to in the Guardians of the Galaxy bit above, I had completely forgotten that “The Wolf of Wall Street” came out in the UK in 2014. I didn’t even realise until I was browsing through my Facebook from earlier in the year that it only came out in mid-January, and therefore qualifies for this review. Up until that point Guardians and the Galaxy was still my number two pick.

TWOWS follows the true story of Jordan Belfort (Dicaprio) as he rises from the bottom of the ladder to the top of the pile in the financial world, all by using underhanded and heavily illegal tactics.

Selling penny-stocks under false pretences to his clients, Belfort, Donnie Azoff (Hill) and several others become overnight millionaires, gorging themselves on drugs, prostitutes and decadence to previously unseen levels. Jordan even leaves his wife after falling in love with Naomi (Robbie) at a high profile party that he throws.

The illegal activities soon catch up to Jordan though as he is watched by the FBI and is eventually convicted for his activities.

TWOWS is an incredible film, absolutely amazing. At a near three hour run time (which I didn’t know going in) you’d think it would drag but it surprisingly doesn’t. At not one point do you get bored at what is on screen and even long, drawn out business discussions, are intriguing to the point where you feel like you’re actually there.

Dicaprio provides an Oscar worth performance as Belfort. A few years ago I had no opinion either way on his acting ability, but he is now one of my favourite actors. He was unbelievably good in films such as Shutter Island, Inception, Gangs of New York and many others are he marches towards the top of Hollywood’s A-list. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen him put in a poor performance and this arguably tops off that long list.

The cast all put in an epic performance and Jonah Hill puts in a stunning portrayal of Donnie Azoff, based on the real life Danny Porush, and he makes considerable strides away from his typecast as a fat guy in a comedy film by playing the funny, fat guy in a serious film. As an actor in a drama films he is surprisingly great to watch, although I did prefer him in Moneyball.

What makes this film for me is that it’s actually a true story. The vast majority of this stuff actually happened and that brings it a sense of realism that you don’t get with a lot of films. These characters aren’t unbelievable, regardless of what they do (such as Donnie eating a live goldfish) because they are real, and that’s what makes the film more engrossing.

So why didn’t this make number one? To be honest there isn’t a single reason why this is just number two other than how good the film at number one is. I’ve watched WOWS numerous times and still love it now as much as I did the first time I was watching it, and I’ve read the book. It’s a fascinating read and much like “Gone Girl”, had this been released in any other year then this would have romped it’s way to the top of my favourite films of the year.

So, I saw 23 films at the cinema this year, some were excellent, some were downright awful, others I was neither here nor there about. There were a few times where I got exactly what I was expecting and then there were others where I was completely surprised by it and my favourite film of 2014 was just that.

After seeing the trailer, I had no intention whatsoever of seeing this film. I am not a particularly great fan of the actor, the storyline didn’t look interesting and to be honest, the only reason I went to see this film was because I had time to kill before the showing of a film I wanted to see was on. I had no intention of seeing this film but I’m glad that I did.

Ladies and gentleman, and those in between, I give to you my favourite film of 2014, “Nightcrawler”.

 

 

1 – Nightcrawler

Directed by Dan GilroyNightcrawlerfilm

Starring Jake Gyllenhall, Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed and Bill Paxton.

I don’t use this phrase often when I talk about films, I don’t like using it because not many films meet the standard of what I am about to say, but for the first time in a long while, I saw say that I have seen a film that is a perfect 10 out of 10.

For a film that I have no intention of seeing whatsoever, I was found myself loving “Nightcrawler”, it was the greatest mistake I ever made turning up to the cinema to watch another film several hours early. It is just an incredible piece of cinema, I can’t even begin putting into words just how good Nightcrawler is and it would have taken something absolutely incredible to beat this film to my number one spot.

Gyllenhaal plays Lou, a sociopath who steals things, such as fence wiring, to sell and earn money but no-one will hire him. One night he suddenly comes across a car wreckage and a film crew suddenly surrounds it. Lou observes what happens, asking the question about what they do with the footage and discovers that they sell it for money. Lou instantly sells his bike for a camera and a radio scanner. He himself then films the aftermath of an accident and sells it to news director, Nina (Russo), who is impressed by what she has seen.

Lou soon hires Rick (Ahmed) to help him but he is less than impressed when the only crime scenes are graphic enough, so he starts altering them to get better footage, including moving corpses and evidence. Lou soon finds himself as the go-to guy for footage and he uses this to his advantage, including trying to force Nina into having sex before he will sell her more footage.

Breaking law after law to get better footage, Lou soon finds himself having to be more cunning with his methods of filming and he eventually manages to track down  members of a local gang and reports it to the police as just a casual misdemeanor. When the cops show up Lou films the ensuing gun fight and the subsequent chase. This ends with the vehicle of the gang members upside down and Lou goes to check, he asks Rick to film the dead gang member but much to Rick’s surprise, he is shot. Lou films Rick dying before revealing that he can’t work with people that he doesn’t trust, revealing that he knew all along that the gang member was still alive and that he would kill Rick.

The film ends with Lou successfully negotiating a police interrogation after Nina broadcasts the footage.

Let me start off by saying that Gyllenhaal, an actor who I’ve never really had an opinion about, completely won me over as Lou. He was just immense as the sociopath and it was the best performance I have seen from an individual actor this year. It was just an incredible tour-de-force of a performance and I was left stunned at the end of what I had just seen.

Lou is just an incredible character because he is willing to kill other characters to get what he wants and it just makes him incredibly dangerous, and yet you find yourself wanting him to succeed because you are transfixed by his character. Must like Amy in “Gone Girl”, the character is nearly pure evil and yet you find yourself wanting him to succeed. I can’t praise the acting or the character enough.

Everything in this film, right from the characters to the music, the setting, the plot, the atmosphere is so incredibly well laid of that it’s almost impossible not to get engulfed and entranced in the story line, and the tension throughout, especially towards the end when Lou is trying to get the footage and you can hear the police sirens in the background just has your heart racing as fast as it will go because you don’t know what’s going to happen.

I can’t think of a single negative of this film. Nightcrawler, for me, is comfortably the best film of the last 12 months and is the only film from the last two or three years that I can give a perfect 10 to, that’s how good it is.

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Comments
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  3. […] have been reading my site for a while will remember me talking about this film during my look at my Top 10 films of 2014 and how I ranked it as Number One, and by quite a long way. In particular I said that it was the […]

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  4. […] that everyone else reviews. Whilst I will occasionally write about mainstream films, such as in my Top 10 Films of 2014 , I didn’t want to viewed as just another review site. I wanted to be different and […]

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  5. […] notice when I eventually get around to my Top 10 of 2016, or indeed the top tens I produced in 2014 and 2015, that not only do I not place many comedies highly, but that I don’t watch many at […]

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  6. […] Click on the below links for the full run downs of the top tens from these years. 2014 – Nightcrawler 2015 – No Escape 2016 – Captain Fantastic 2017 – […]

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