Russ names his ‘Best Movies of 2014’

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

KANSAS CITY, Mo -- The controversy over "The Interview" and the hack of Sony Pictures was the big movie news story of they year, overshadowing the cinematic product. The box office take was 5.6% below last year's all-time record. While there were few movies to get really excited about, there were a lot of commendable films. Here are my top five of the year. These are not necessarily my favorites, but they're the ones of highest artistic quality.


(R) IFC Films

Yes, it’s a gimmick, but one that works. Filmed over a 12-year period, "Boyhood" allows us to see a young man grow up before our eyes. Writer-director Richard Linklater’s coming-of-age story highlights family life in all its dysfunctional glory.


(R) Sony Pictures Classics

Miles Teller and JK Simmons give snappy performances in the story of a jazz drum student and his abusive professor. It’s beautifully acted and the brilliant editing deserves an Oscar.

  1. DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (PG-13) 20th Century Fox

Yes, I’m surprised it made my list, too. "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" works as both an intelligent and thoughtful sci-fi social commentary as well as a thrilling popcorn movie.


(R) 20th Century Fox

Salacious? Yes. Lurid? You bet. Far fetched? Absolutely. "Gone Girl" is all of those things. And this adaptation of Kansas City native Gillian Flynn's novel is also one of the best and most entertaining movies of the year.


(R) Fox Searchlight

This fantastical story of a washed up actor, a former movie superhero attempting a comeback on Broadway, is easy to dislike. Still, it’s a tour-de-force of acting, writing and directing. It’s funny, profane and arty to a fault, but there’s no denying its cinematic virtuosity. In that respect, “Birdman” soars.

Here's Russ' full Top Ten list:

1) Birdman
2) Gone Girl
3) Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
4) Whiplash
5) Boyhood
6) Locke (R)-
Tom Hardy gives a brilliant performance in what amounts to a one-man show.
7) The Imitation Game (PG-13)-
Benedict Cumberbatch is terrific as the man who broke the 'unbreakable' Nazi Enigma Code, only to be persecuted by the British government for homosexuality. The screenplay was the year's best.
8) Snowpiercer (R)-
The best movie nobody saw, "Snowpiercer" is a wildly imaginative sci-fi opus that is really a social commentary disguised as an action flick.
9) Leviathan (R) -
While depressing, "Leviathan" is a searing portrait of political corruption in modern Russia that is a reworking of the Biblical story of Job.
10) Force Majeure (R)-
A family on a ski vacation survives a near avalanche, but the experience soon puts a strain on their relationships in this observant French entry.


FOX 4 film critics Shawn Edwards and Russ Simmons offer their popcorn bag review of the

Click here to receive weekly emails full of FOX 4′s entertainment news!

What’s our criteria for reviewing a film and awarding the popcorn bag ratings? Click here to find out.

Follow on Twitter: @fox4kc @RussSimmons1 @sedwardskc

Tracking Coronavirus

More Tracking Coronavirus



More News