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Tired of summer movies and going the multiplex? Have I got a list for you! Or, rather, lists.

Enemy, directed by Denis Villeneuve

Enemy, directed by Denis Villeneuve

As part of this year’s Oscar Blitz, I put together a list of 2014 films I wanted to see (yes, there were spreadsheets involved) that had made one or more “best of” lists of the podcast reviewers I listen to. Needless to say, between my Oscar viewing, 2015 films, and my recent Pixar project, I’m just getting around to posting about these now.

2014 was a very good year for motion pictures and many films didn’t get the recognition they deserve (including from me in my year-end film roundup). So, if you are looking for a good movie to watch at home, here are some recommendations of lesser-known or underrated films released in 2014.*

Top Ten Personal Favorites:
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Blue Ruin
Enemy
Finding Vivian Maier
Ida
Obvious Child
Snowpiercer
Two Days, One Night
Under the Skin
Whiplash

If You Have a Cinematographer’s Eye:
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Ida
The Immigrant
John Wick
Only Lovers Left Alive

Only Lovers Left Alive, directed by Jim Jarmusch

Only Lovers Left Alive, directed by Jim Jarmusch

If You Know That a Good Editor is Hard to Find:
Edge of Tomorrow
Snowpiercer
Whiplash

If You Want to Warm the Cockles of Your Heart:
Begin Again
Chef
St. Vincent

If You Think Revenge Is a Dish Best Served Cold:
Blue Ruin
Cold in July
John Wick

If You Need to Remind Yourself Why You Are Single:
Enemy
Force Majeure
Gone Girl

If You Are Looking for Love:
Begin Again
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Obvious Child

If You Are Caffeine-Deprived and Need More Tension in Your Life:
Grand Piano
Lucy
A Most Violent Year

If You Don’t Mind Something Disturbing:
Enemy
L’Inconnu du lac (Stranger by the Lake)
Under the Skin

If You Are Greedy and Want a Science Fiction Triple Feature:
Edge of Tomorrow
Snowpiercer
Under the Skin

If You Think Truth Is Stranger Than Science Fiction:
CitizenFour
Finding Vivian Maier
Virunga

If You Want a Film that Crushes the Bechdel Test:
Belle
Ida
Maleficent
Obvious Child
We Are the Best!

Belle, directed by Amma Asante

Belle, directed by Amma Asante

If You Admire Gritty Cityscapes:
Enemy
John Wick
A Most Violent Year
Nightcrawler
Only Lovers Left Alive

If You Are Musically Inclined:
Begin Again
Frank
Grand Piano
We Are the Best!
Whiplash

If You Want a Soundtrack to Set Your Toes a Tapping:
Boyhood
Chef
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

If You Are All Ears and Looking to at Score:
Cold in July
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Grand Piano
Snowpiercer
Under the Skin

The Say Anything Award for Best Use of a Song: Blue Ruin for “No Regrets”

The Breakfast Club Award for Best Closing Credits Song: Edge of Tomorrow for “Love Me Again”

The Ewan McGregor Special Recognition Award for Most Penises: L’Inconnu du lac (Stranger by the Lake)

Top Five 2014 Movies I Haven’t Yet Seen But Want To:
The Babadook
Beyond the Lights
Diplomacy
Tracks
Yves Saint Laurent

A big thanks to some of my favorite film podcasts (Movie Geeks United, Sound on Sight, and Wrong Opinions About Movies) for calling my attention to many of these films, especially Blue Ruin, Cold in July, Enemy, Obvious Child, and Under the Skin.


*In the end, I managed to see forty-eight feature-length films from 2014. These films are:
Begin Again; Belle; Birdman, or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance; Blue Ruin; Boyhood; Captain America: The Winter Soldier; Chef; CitizenFour; Cold in July; La danza de la realidad; Dawn of the Planet of the Apes; Divergent; Edge of Tomorrow; Enemy; Finding Vivian Maier; Force Majeure; Frank; A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night; Gone Girl; The Grand Budapest Hotel; Grand Piano; Guardians of the Galaxy; Ida; The Imitation Game; The Immigrant; L’Inconnu du lac (Stranger by the Lake); Inherent Vice; John Wick; The Lego Movie; Listen Up Philip; Lucy; Maleficent; A Most Violent Year; Muppets Most Wanted; Nightcrawler; Obvious Child; Only Lovers Left Alive; St. Vincent; Snowpiercer; The Theory of Everything; 300: Rise of an Empire; Two Days, One Night; Under the Skin; Veronica Mars; Virunga; We Are the Best!; Whiplash; Wild

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