Top 20 Remaining Movies of 2014 | Part 2: #15 - #10

#15 Nightcrawler | In the seedy underworld of a nocturnal Los Angeles, Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) has his sights set for success as a crime reporter. He soon begins walking a tightrope as both an observer and contributor to his lurid stories. Between losing 20 pounds and injuring his hand when a scene became too method, Gyllenhaal dedicated a lot to this role and just based off the trailer, it shows. He’s been building an impressive filmography full of diverse performances throughout his career and this could prove a crowning achievement, a chance to disappear a bit more.

The directing debut of screenwriter Dan Gilroy, “Nightcrawler” offers a jaunt into the scarcely explored world of tabloid journalism. Who are the people behind the salacious storylines of the media’s dark corner? There is an interesting commentary to be culled from that angle alone. As a character study on a guy who slips down the rabbit hole of ambition, it’s just as intriguing. Release Date: Oct 31
#14 Before I Go to Sleep | Based on the best-selling novel of the same name, this adaptation stars Nicole Kidman as the survivor of an accident that caused her to suffer from anterograde amnesia. Unable to create new memories ever since, she faces a 24-hour reset and is left to fully trust and depend on the word of a man who claims to be her husband (Colin Firth).

When an incident occurs that causes her to question everything, she sets out to answer the questions that plague her with the help of her doctor (Mark Strong). “50 First Dates” meets “Momento” in this psychological thriller and the cast gives credence to it being a promising watch. As previously mentioned, suspense dramas are a rare breed these days and indulging in them when they’re made is worthwhile. Release Date: Oct 31
#13 Laggies | Movies about adults who refuse to grow up seem to be all the rage in Indies these days. “The Lifeguard” was a banal attempt to cover this topic and for those who find it a tediously boring subset of hipster drama, this might not hold much interest. Keira Knightley stars as a 20-something who runs away from her life after her boyfriend proposes, hiding out with a teenager (Chloe Grace Moretz) she recently befriended and the girl’s dad (Sam Rockwell).

Directed by Lynn Shelton, the writer/helmer of the spectacular Indie “Your Sister’s Sister”, this has potential if properly executed. Among the hopeful aspects is Knightly starring opposite Rockwell. Her prim demeanor juxtaposed with his charming modernity could make for a strong screen pairing. Release Date: Oct 24
#12 St. Vincent | What do you get when you mix the movies “Bad Santa”, “Bad Words” and “Unhook the Stars” together? The answer is a movie that looks a lot like Billy Murray’s latest; “St. Vincent”. You’ve got the raunchy older male ruffians of both “Bad” movies and the caretaking plotline of “Unhook the Stars” with a gender reversal. While, it might not be breaking any new ground story wise, it is a tale that given its repetitive appearance in movies, still has its appeal.

Murray stars as a curmudgeonly slacker who agrees to babysit his neighbor’s (Melissa McCarthy) son for extra money. Watching a comic legend such as Murray share the screen with McCarthy, the reigning queen of comedy is worth the price of admission alone. Not to mention, Naomi Watts co-stars. Release Date: Oct 24
#11 Interstellar | Christopher Nolan’s latest epic has already ventured into theaters and the reaction was easily the most divisive and controversial of the year. Coming off of his Oscar win, Matthew McConaughey continues the “McConaissance” with a voyage into space, playing an engineer who leaves his young children in a quest to save humanity.

The story is classic Nolan (i.e. “Inception”, “The Prestige”), a single dad surmounting huge obstacles to reunite with his children. As a filmmaker Nolan can sometimes lose sight of character development in a bid for grand effects and stunning visuals. Caring about these characters is crucial, especially with a 3 hour run time. 

Boosting the scientific pedigree of the script is the input of revered theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, who served as a scientific consultant and executive producer on the project. His expertise on wormholes and relativity is tantamount to the basis of the film. “Interstellar” has the potential to fall into three camps; the emotional power of Ron Howard’s “Apollo 13”, the wacky narrative of “Mr. Nobody” or the overrated space opera “Gravity”. Release Date: Nov 7

Click here for Part 1: #20 - #15
Click here for Part 3: #10 - #5 

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