I decided to challenge myself this year and compile this list in order of preference. Although the further down you go, the looser the hierarchy of preference becomes, if you follow my meaning.
As always, thank you for reading.
1) Inside Llewyn Davis, Joel and Ethan Coen. Or, The Story of My Life,With Added Impregnation And Musical Talent. Reviewed here. More before year's end.
2) Apres Mai, Olivier Assayas. Or, The Story of My Life, With Added Radical Politics, Frenchness, House Fires.
3) The Wolf of Wall Street, Martin Scorsese. More when the embargo lifts. One thing: it is really not a GoodFellas retread.
4) You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, Alain Resnais. Written about here.
5) Upstream Color, Shane Carruth. Reviewed here. I was amused by the way some of the skeptics reacted to this: "Yes, we want more radical narrative cinema, but not this."
6) Nebraska, Alexander Payne. One line: "No one around to whip me now, I guess." I'm paraphrasing. But that's the movie.
7) The World’s End, Edgar Wright. With Inside Llewyn Davis, the most beautifully and audaciously constructed narrative mainstream picture of the year. And ceaselessly funny. Reviewed here.
8) 12 Years A Slave, Steve McQueen. Written about here.
9) Post Tenebras Lux, Carlos Reygadas. As with Upstream Color, this got a lot of "We want more films of personal vision, but not like this." Why not?
10) Like Someone In Love, Abbas Kiarostami. Reviewed here.
11) Beyond the Hills, Christian Mingiu. Reviewed here. Sorry about the headline.
12) Before Midnight, Richard Linklater. Reviewed here.
13) Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón. Written about here.
14) The Bling Ring, Sofia Coppola.
15) To The Wonder, Terrence Malick. Reviewed here.
16) Greetings From Tim Buckley, Dan Algrant. Written about here.
17) Spring Breakers, Harmony Korine. Reviewed here.
18) Her, Spike Jonze. Review to come.
19) Bastards, Claire Denis. "Why would anybody wanna listen to music that makes you hate...when you can listen to music that makes you love?" Jack Klugman as Quincey, M.E., "Next Stop Nowhere," 1982. Anyway, this is why.
20) Prince Avalanche, David Gordon Green.
21) Short Term 12, Destin Cretton.
22) The Grandmaster (U.S. cut), Wong Kar Wai. Reviewed here.
23) Pain and Gain, Michael Bay. Reviewed here.
24) Frances Ha, Noah Baumbach. Reviewed here.
25) Pacific Rim, Guillermo Del Toro. Reviewed here.
27) Room 237, Rodney Ascher.
28) Fruitvale Station, Ryan Coogler. Reviewed here.
29) The Purge, James DeMonaco. That's right. Reviewed here.
30) Rush, Ron Howard. That's right again. Reviewed here.
Some may find American Hustle conspicuous in its absence here. I am not even sure the movie honored as best of the year by the New York Film Critic's Circle would make my top 50, let alone top 40. This shall be discussed further tomorrow.