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2014 was a strong year for television, both at home and abroad, but now is the time to narrow down our favourites to only the choicest cuts.
These are Digital Spy's best TV shows for 2014 - continuing today with 20-16. Check back tomorrow for 15-11.
Additional material by Tom Eames and Alex Fletcher
Digital Spy's best TV shows of the year 2014: 25-21
20. House of Cards
It may not have quite hit the highs of the first season - perhaps lacking a little of the heart provided by Corey Stoll's tragic Peter Russo last year - but House of Cards was still a captivating watch in 2014. Much has been made of the Netflix 'binge-watch' culture, but not every show could hold the viewer's attention across 13 straight episodes - this is one.
Its chief selling point remains Kevin Spacey's turn as the malevolent, magnificent Francis 'Frank' Underwood - by turns »
It sounds like Warner Bros. may have a director attached to Jason Momoa’s standalone Aquaman film that they plan on releasing in 2018. The character is most likely going to make his big screen debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Momoa previously stated that he would like to see Zack Snyder at the helm on Aquaman, but it seems like the studio has a different person in mind to take on the film's development.
According to the Daily Beast, WB may have hired Jeff Nichols to direct Aquaman. Honestly, if this is true, it is one of the best directing decisions that the studio has made for one of their superhero films. Nichols is an incredibly talented director who brought us the films Mud with Matthew McConaughey and Take Shelter with Michael Shannon. Both films were incredibly well made.
The guy is definitely a much more talented storyteller than Snyder is. »
- Joey Paur
If you thought the recent Golden Globes nominations slighted some of the better performances this year, allow the Santa Barbara International Film Festival to shine its spotlight on some of the underdogs (along with a few major contenders we can’t cynically roll our eyes at — they’re just too lovable). Sbiff announced in a press release Friday afternoon that it would continue its tradition of honoring the year’s standout performers by presenting The 2015 Virtuosos Award to Chadwick Boseman ("Get on Up"), Ellar Coltrane ("Boyhood"), Logan Lerman ("Fury"), David Oyelowo ("Selma"), Rosamund Pike ("Gone Girl"), J.K. Simmons ("Whiplash") and Jenny Slate ("Obvious Child"). “These are seven exemplary performers that provide us with undeniable evidence that 2014 was a dynamic year in acting," festival director Roger Durling said in a statement. If you were thinking of contending with Sbiff’s choices, allow them to defend the picks in their own words: »
- Matt Patches
Obviously. Given how the last month's been going, you could probably throw down pretty good odds that sight unseen, any new top ten list will include "Boyhood," and likely in first place. And so it goes with Film Comment, who have unveiled their list of the year's finest films. All the usual suspects are here, but let's point out some surprises. The Cannes buzz title "Stranger By The Lake" comes in at number six, and James Gray's "The Immigrant" rounds out the top ten with some more late season love for his controlled period film. In the category of "Films Without Distribution," we didn't realize Abel Ferrara's "Pasolini" needed a home, so we hope someone gets on that quickly. Same goes for John McNaughton's fucking bonkers "The Harvest" starring Michael Shannon and Samantha Morton (our review) and Tudor Cristian Jurgiu's excellent "The Japanese Dog" (our review). Check out Film Comment's lists. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Remember that awesome bike messenger/crime movie with Joseph Gordon-Levitt called Premium Rush? It also had Michael Shannon in it and followed the best bike messenger in New York as he evaded the cops and criminals using his skills on two wheels? Yeah, that is because it sucked. The concept of a movie about bike messengers should be completely ignored as it is not a subject worth exploring on the big screen. Now, if you throw in parkour, maybe I will watch it. Taylor Lautner, who has been »
- Alex Maidy
We here at Sound On Sight believe horror transcends explicit gore, jump scares or supernatural content, which is why you’ll soon notice our list ranges from independent art films to psychological thrillers to parodies, satire and more. Surprisingly, vampires lead the pack this year, along with found footage flicks, but there are a few comedies, one remake and even some strange love stories as well.
Every other year, I’ve published the list of best horror films based solely on my picks, but this year, Sound On Sight editor Justine Smith and Sos contributor Felix Vasquez Jr. also participated. Since we couldn’t agree with what is the best horror film of 2014, we decided to publish the list in alphabetical order. That said, here are our individual picks:
Ricky D- Under the Skin
Justine Smith – Cybernatural
Felix Vasquez Jr. - The Babadook
This list is in alphabetical order
Whenever I go to the Sundance Film Festival, the movies that I look forward to seeing most are the Park City At Midnight films. Those are the crazy fun genre movies that a lot of you would also enjoy watching. Sundance has announced the movie lineup for those film as well as the films in the Spotlight and New Frontier sections. It looks like there are a lot of cool movies that are going to be worth watching this year. Especially in the Park City At Midnight lineup. I'm really excited about going this year! Check out the Competition movie line-up here.
Park City At Midnight
From horror flicks to comedies to works that defy any genre, these unruly films will keep you edge-seated and wide awake.
- Joey Paur
Following yesterday’s announcement of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival’s In-Competition films, the festival has released its lineup of Spotlight, Park City At Midnight and New Frontier Films.
Among the lineup is 99 Homes, Ramin Bahrani’s Middle-America drama on foreclosures starring Michael Shannon and Andrew Garfield. The film premiered at Toronto and Venice earlier this year and will finally get a release early in 2015. Joining it are the British Independent Film Award-nominated ’71, and the much hyped Eden from Mia Hansen-Løve and Girlhood from Céline Sciamma.
Also included in this announcement is a lineup of New Frontier art installations that will be visible across Park City, including one called Way to Go by artist Vincent Morisset, a big collaborator with Arcade Fire. »
- Brian Welk
We’ve been appreciating the clearly defined, distributor friendly, solid eight Spotlight section since it’s inception a couple of years back. In 2014 we had sugary, critic darlings from the world film festival circuit in films from Pawel Pawlikowski, Steven Knight and a solid foursome from Cannes from the likes of Jeremy Saulnier, Ritesh Batra, Jim Jarmusch and Alain Guiraudie. This year we have a pair from Berlin (Aloft, ’71), four films from Cannes (Girlhood, The Tribe, White Dog, Wild Tales), one from Venice (99 Homes), one from Tiff (Eden) and Mark Cousins’ London BFI preemed, 6 Desires: Dh Lawrence and Sardinia. This really is a cinephile’s wetdream.
6 Desires: Dh Lawrence and Sardinia/ United Kingdom, Italy (Director: Mark Cousins) — In winter 1921, Dh Lawrence and his wife journeyed to Sardinia, and he chronicled their experiences in Sea and Sardinia. Now, Mark Cousins retraces Lawrence’s footsteps. The film is conceived partly as a »
- Eric Lavallee
Kevin Bacon, Keanu Reeves and Eli Roth are among the bigger names aiming to generate buzz and raise gooseflesh in the Park City at Midnight sidebar at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, the lineup of which was announced today alongside those of the festival’s Spotlight and New Frontier sections.
Fresh off his turn in “John Wick,” Reeves stars in the Roth-directed “Knock Knock,” a psychological horror film about a married man who is paid a fateful visit one weekend by two beautiful girls. The thriller, which marks Roth’s first trip to Sundance, will screen in Park City at Midnight, along with Jon Watts’ “Cop Car,” starring Bacon as a corrupt police officer chasing the kids who took his vehicle for a joyride; Corin Hardy’s “The Hallow,” a shocker set in a mysterious Irish forest; and “Hellions,” Bruce McDonald’s thriller about a teenager terrorized by trick-or-treaters on Halloween. »
- Justin Chang
It’s less than two months until the streets and theaters of Park City are going to be packed with filmmakers, film fans and buyers attending the 2015 Sundance Film Festival from January 22 to February 1. Yesterday the Robert Redford-founded fest announced its U.S. and World Cinema dramatic and documentary competition selections along with the pics in its Next section. Today, with some Andrew Garfield, Keanu Reeves, Greta Gerwig, Kevin Bacon and Charlotte Rampling starrers among them, Sundance revealed its non-competitive Spotlight and Park City At Midnight slates along with the films and installations of the New Frontier category - see the full list below.
Like yesterday’s slate announcements there are some big, big screen names appearing at Sundance this year. Garfield, who has that other gig as certain webslinger, is in the Ramin Bahrani-directed 99 Homes with Michael Shannon and Laura Dern. Having played at Tiff and Venice, »
- Dominic Patten
One day after announcing the World and Us Drama and Documentary Competition entries for both, Sundance revealed the films in the Spotlight and Park City at Midnight programs, as well as the films and art installations that will be part of the New Frontiers program at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Drew McWeeny will be handling the Park City at Midnight announcement, just as he'll be handling our coverage of the Midnight slate from Sundance. The Spotlight program is set aside for films that may have played in festivals around the world or even domestically, but have support amidst the Sundance selectors. The high profile entries in the Spotlight program include Kornél Mundruczó's "White God," which won the Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes last summer. It's the story of a girl who has to give up her mixed-breed dog and the journey girl and dog take to be reunited. »
- Daniel Fienberg
Among the Midnight films are Rodney Ascher’s sleep paralysis documentary The Nightmare, Bruce McDonald’s Hellions from Canada, Cop Car from the Us starring Kevin Bacon and Irish-uk forest-set The Hallow from Corin Hardy.
Spotlight selections also feature Yann Demange’s feted UK thriller ‘71, Kornél Mundruczó’s Hungarian drama White God and Mia Hansen-Løve’s Eden from France. Canadian auteur Guy Maddin is back withThe Forbidden Room, which he co-directed with Evan Johnson, in New Frontier »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
Middle East distributor Front Row Filmed Entertainment has finalized deals for 26 films from the Afm, including Oliver Stone’s Untitled Snowden Project starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Shailene Woodley, action-thriller Blood Father with Mel Gibson and Studio Ghibli’s When Marnie Was There, all from Wild Bunch.
Front Row continued to cement its long-standing relationships with the likes of Protagonist Pictures and HanWay Films, acquiring the former’s upcoming Ben Wheatley action film Free Fire, Rob Zombie’s 31, David Farr-directed horror The Ones Below and the untitled Joshua Marston drama with Rachel Weisz and Michael Shannon.
From HanWay, Front Row secured Thai Boxing action film A Prayer Before Dawn, set to star Charlie Hunnam, The Limehouse Golem, written by Jane Goldman and the Kinks’ biopic You Really Got Me, produced by Jeremy Thomas.
From Embankment »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
The great editors at ComicBookMovie.com and myself have put our heads together to create a "Top Ten" list of Christmas gifts, not necessarily in that order, to share with the community. Take note significant others, family and friends - These are gifts that We would like to find under the tree this year! I think I've mentioned this previously, but in case you didn't know, or couldn't tell (look at our Cbm logo!), I'm a Big Superman fan. I couldn't pass up the Superman Light Wood Segment Bracelet when I ran across it on SuperheroStuff.com! Happen to be a fan of the Dark Knight? They have a Batman bracelet on their site as well! Superman Light Wood Segment Bracelet Measuring 9 inches long, the Superman Light Wood Segment Bracelet will protect your wrist from attacks by Michael Shannon. You really don't wanna mess with him...or stand close to »
1. It's been six and a half years since Heath Ledger was the Joker in The Dark Knight. There hasn't been a supervillain half as good. Not even close. You can stump for Loki in Avengers and the Thors, but as a character, he's trapped in a muddle of incoherent motivation (He hates Asgard! He loves his mom! He hates his brother! He's mad, mad he tells you!). Tom Hiddleston is a scenery-chewer of the first order—but the Marvel movies are made of greenscreen, and he's chewing on vapor. 2. What other supervillains linger, in six-plus years of superhero cinema? Kevin Bacon »
- Darren Franich
Question. What do The Skeleton Twins, The Better Angels and actor Miles Teller have in common? There’ll always be some head-scratcher surprises and snubs and the 2015 Indie Spirit award nominations are no different. It goes with the territory. As we tend to some wounds, we access those that were criminally overlooked in the key categories. Here is a glance at some of the shoulda, woulda and coulda.
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Falling below the 21 million mark set by the Indie Spirit folks, it is indeed an odd year when a major studio release figures among the fives noms. Considering that Ava DuVernay is an indie talent, I didn’t think her film would be part of the equation. That said, it was a given that Boyhood and the more deserving Birdman and Whiplash would all face off. In »
- Eric Lavallee
The New Yorker Anthony Lane on Mike Nichols
Playbill congratulations to Chicago which became the 2nd longest running Broadway show of all time tonight surpassing Cats
Screen Crush bitches about the long uneventful Part 1s of modern franchise culture as I've been bitching about forever. But as long as audiences keep buying tickets, why should Hollywood stop? They make double the money this way.
Critic Wire the terrifying children's book in The Babadook (opening Friday!) is now a real book you can buy
Vanity Fair since I officially stopped watching How To Get Away With Murder I said goodbye by reading / enjoying / giggling through this post on the "who killed Sam" episode
Empire more new projects for Channing Tatum and »
- NATHANIEL R
Beverly Hills — It's that time of year, when studios reunite cast and crew from some of their earlier releases to attract a little awards season spotlight. Today, 20th Century Fox had a swanky afternoon lunch at Craft to celebrate "The Fault in Our Stars." The film's premier awards player in the Best Actress race, Shailene Woodley, was on hand as was Ansel Elgort, screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, Laura Dern, producer Wyck Godfrey and the novel's author John Green. Most notably, you realize how important this film is to the studio and how proud they are of it when Jim Gianopulos, the Chairman and CEO, takes time out of his busy day to sit down for lunch with the cast and press on hand. "Fault" was a box office phenomenon earning over $304 million worldwide off a budget of just $12 million. Green joked with me that he felt almost »
- Gregory Ellwood
Trevor Hogg chats with Bobby Bukowski about a busy year of collaborating with four different filmmakers who each had a separate cinematic project…
One cannot accuse Bobby Bukowski of having a boring life as he went from studying Biochemistry with the intention of pursuing a medical career to a photographer’s assistant in Paris which resulted in him documenting a pilgrimage of sacred sites led by the Dalai Lama to being a bike messenger while obtaining his Master of Fine Arts degree to a cinematographer. “It’s been a good life,” observes the native of New York City who has also taught at New York University TishAsia campus located in Singapore. “The question that always arises from curious minds is, ‘Why do you do it that way?’ The academic query is a pertinent one. “It’s good to remind oneself to throw everything up in the air and say, ‘What »
- Trevor Hogg
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