An American Film Geek's Top & Bottom 10 for 2014

Featured Critic; St. Louis, MO

Boyhood is not my best movie of the year.

So, you may be asking, just what is it doing at #1 on this list? Good question. I, like many others, am unable to deny filmmaker Richard Linklater's sprawling yet quiet twelve year odyssey of growing up its many achievements. By which I mean the go-for-the-gusto twelve year shoot, the unwavering commitment of all involved (special notice to Patricia Arquette, who secretly owns this movie), and expertly sustained of tone and vibe in that longest of long intentional production schedule. The film, particular its first hour, which focuses on young Mason's (Ellar Coltrane) the harsh exodus from childhood, is full of deeply moving small moments. (Just you try not to well up when young Mason is asked to paint over the height markers on the door frame!) Although it's two hours and forty minutes long, it's thoroughly engaging throughout. Even when it meanders, there's no compulsion to look away. And yet, Boyhood isn't a 100% slam dunk with me. The list of films leading up to this one are dear 2014 favorites of mine, one and all. This one narrowly outshines them... on the day I typed this. It's all indicative of a movie year that's been full of stand outs that are on the brink of outstanding. And, that's okay. We have nothing to complain about. Boyhood might not be the best, but at the moment at least, it's my favorite.

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