In spite of North Korea-sponsored hacks and Hollywood's subsequent self-censorship, constant doomsday talk of box office decline and much ink spilt about The End of Movies, it was a terrific year for cinema. It's always difficult in years like this to narrow down to ten favorites, but below is my attempt. These are films that moved me, astonished me, taught me, and focused my attention more clearly than any others this year. I heartily recommend them all to you:
We're midway through 2014 and so, as I do every summer, I've compiled my list of favorite films so far this year. I have yet to see Richard Linklater's Boyhood(which doesn't come out until July 11 anyway), which I assume will make my year-end list. I love Linklater and last year at this time I already knew his Before Midnight would be one of my top films of the year. In general it's been a fairly standard first half of the cinematic year: a few great films but not a lot of memorable ones. I'm excited to see what's to come this fall. Here's what's stayed with me so far in 2014.
There have been quite a few "faith" oriented films to come out this year, including the excellent Noah but also quite a few terrible Christian films: God's Not Dead, Heaven is For Real, Mom's Night Out, Son of God. And coming this fall: Left Behind, Nicolas Cage style. Thankfully there have been several really excellent "secular" films that have either directly or indirectly explored Christianity, God, faith and morality, and I've had the pleasure of reviewing several of them for Christianity Today
Does Noah take liberties with the biblical account? Does it embellish and expand upon what’s there in the text? Yes and yes. And it must. The Noah account in the Bible covers four chapters in Genesis for a grand total of about 2,500 words. Everything that happened is surely not recorded. Furthermore, the film’s setting — a mere ten generations removed from Eden — is so unknown to history and so charged with mystery and the miraculous; it’s difficult to tell any sort of story in this context without lots of educated guesses as to what it was like.