In Theaters

Daniel Barnes @ the SN&R – 12/25 issue

maxresdefault*In this week’s SN&R, me and Jim Lane offer our picks for the 10 best films of 2014 (it’s not clear in the online version, but my contribution ends after the list of best performances).

Here are my picks for the top 10 films:

1) Under the Skin; 2) Inherent Vice; 3) Listen Up Philip; 4) Boyhood; 5) Mr. Turner; 6) Stranger by the Lake; 7) We Are the Best!; 8) Snowpiercer; 9) Foxcatcher; 10) The Grand Budapest Hotel

And my top 5 documentaries:

1) Visitors; 2) The Overnighters; 3) Happy Valley; 4) Mistaken for Strangers; 5) Rich Hill


*Helped by intensely physical performances from Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, and Mark Ruffalo, director Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher has the teeming, sweat-lodge claustrophobia of a wrestling room.


*The musically monotonous Into the Woods combines the worst of Stephen Sondheim with the worst of hack director Rob Marshall.

*Angelina Jolie’s soulless WWII biopic Unbroken plays like softcore torture porn.

3-the-hobbit-3-the-battle-of-the-5-armies-what-to-look-forward-to-the-hobbit-3-the-battle-of-the-five-armies-review*If director Rupert Wyatt really knew when to fold ’em, he would have done it when someone suggested that Mark Wahlberg play the self-destructive, nihilistic, university professor protagonist in The Gambler.

*The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, the final (fingers crossed!) chapter in Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth wank-a-thon, is another long and dismal cartoon.