Unless we reach the unlikely crossroads wherein TRANSFORMERS embodies its title, here are my favorite films of the first half of 2014 (with some chronological license for very tail end of 2013 movies that didn't make it outside LA or NYC til the world rotated once more):
9: LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
8: TIM'S VERMEER
7: 20,000 DAYS ON EARTH
5: THE PAST
4: THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
3: THE LEGO MOVIE
2: THE IMMIGRANT
1: THE GREAT BEAUTY.
Bubblin' under: THE WIND RISES, ENEMY, THE CASE AGAINST 8, UNDER THE SKIN, XMEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, 22 JUMP STREET, GODZILLA, JOE
Pretty good except for that one thing ... : COLD IN JULY, MALEFICENT, CAPTAIN IN AMERICA, CHEF
Most fun I had without really expecting it: MUPPETS MOST WANTED
Didn't work out: TRANSCENDENCE, JERSEY BOYS, BELLE
Best rediscovery: THE SWIMMER on Bluray
Best nights at the cinema thus far this year: LOCKE and THE GREAT BEAUTY were startling and moving experiences, but most memorable was seeing SORCERER accompanied by Jett Loe at the Cinefamily with a sound system so loud I wondered if Tangerine Dream were hiding under the seats. And William Friedkin was kind enough to reply to a question I asked on Twitter about the ambiguous ending. It's a magnificent, stirring, haunting, angry, sad, passionate, crazy film about (possibly failed) initiation into emotional adulthood.