14 Great Movies You May Have Missed In 2014

By  · Published on December 19th, 2014


As I said in the intro for our list of the year’s best films, 2014 has been a fantastic year at the movies.There was a lot to love, and that means there were a lot of films that simply didn’t make the cut on our other “Best of 2014” lists.

The fourteen movies below didn’t get much love during the year and failed to make much of a dent at the box-office, but they’re very much worth seeking out on Blu-ray, DVD, Netflix, iTunes or anywhere else unloved movies go to rest.

Adult World

IFC Films

An idealistic twenty-something and a bitter, washed-up mentor find each other in director Scott Coffey’s funny and heartfelt ode to the begrudging acceptance of adulthood’s responsibilities. There’s something of a lesser- Wonder Boys feeling to it, but that’s still compliment enough to mark this as a sweet and wise little film. Emma Roberts gives a wonderfully energetic performance, and John Cusack takes a break from dull, direct-to-DVD thrillers to inject sarcastic life back into his career. It might have worked too if more people had seen it. – Rob Hunter

Bad Words

Universal Pictures

Jason Bateman’s debut behind the camera sees him tackling a character very familiar to his onscreen resume, but even if he doesn’t stray far from what he already knows the result is still a success – a caustically funny success. It seems mean-spirited at first, but watching Bateman berate kids never grows old, and as the character’s motivation comes clear so does its bitter, bitter heart. The film doesn’t bite off more than it needs narratively-speaking, but even though the movie doesn’t reach high it still delivers the laughs. – RH

Begin Again

The Weinstein Company

I’m no fan of John Carney’s highly acclaimed Once, but his follow-up is far more enjoyable affair. It also comes with the added bonus of much better songs and two delightful performances from Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo. The story is simple and avoids falling into the trap of requiring a fairy tale ending, and while it risks feeling too slight the joy (and singing talent) on display from Knightley makes it a catchy, endearing watch. – RH

Dom Hemingway

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Jude Law is one of those actors who’s probably overlooked because of his fame, but he’s given a wide-range of fantastic performances over the course of his career including his work here. He’s a funny, foul and charming mess of a man in Richard Shepard’s dramedy. His performance and Shepard’s script work to anchor the laughs with a genuine emotional backbone. – Jack Giroux

The Drop

20th Century Fox

Michaël R. Roskam’s latest is a familiar but riveting crime film. Dennis Lehane’s story makes for an entertaining yarn about characters running from or returning to their past. There’s nothing showy about the film – just good old-fashioned storytelling, controlled film-making and compelling performances from Tom Hardy, James Gandolfini and Noomi Rapace. – JG


Magnolia Pictures

Irvine Welsh made his mark on the cultural landscape with Trainspotting, but follow-up adaptations haven’t managed to deliver even a small percentage of that film’s audacity, character and laughs. Filth comes damn close though thanks in large part to a ferociously funny and haunted performance by James McAvoy. He takes the idea of a “bad cop” to a whole new level, and as the story plays out he finds the character’s heart beneath layers of sadness and rage. But yeah, it’s still damn funny too. – RH

The Guest


The Guest is a more successful film than You’re Next, and yet it didn’t even make half as much money at the box-office. That’s a shame as director Adam Wingard’s follow-up to his home invasion picture is an energetic horror-comedy with a hugely charismatic performance from Dan Stevens. With any luck though its Halloween time-setting will mark this as a film to be rediscovered next October. – JG



A heartfelt and often honest film from director Lynn Shelton and screenwriter Andrea Seigel, this deconstruction of a modern woman-child, played by Keira Knightley, is both empathetic and funny. The ending is a bit too easy, but up until then this is a very charming movie with endearingly real and flawed characters. – JG

The Retrieval

Variance Films

As the Civil War approaches its conclusion a young boy works against his own people in the service of a bounty hunter searching for runaway slaves, and if that tragic setup isn’t enough of a draw writer/director Chris Eska’s is also gorgeously photographed and strongly acted by all involved. It’s a low-key dramatic thriller to be sure, but it’s never less than engaging. – RH



Writer/director Joe Carnahan’s riff on After Hours is dirty, silly and sweet, and while it has a bit of a rough start it doesn’t let up once things kick into gear. Carnahan blends sorrow and anarchy better than he ever has before, and it has an absolutely bonkers performance from Chris Pine. Pine is clearly more of a character actor than a movie star, as proven by his performance here, in Horrible Bosses 2 and in the upcoming Into the Woods. Hopefully he continues that trend. – JG

A Walk Among the Tombstones

Universal Pictures

Scott Frank’s long overdue followup to his directorial debut, The Lookout, was well worth the wait. He brings Lawrence Block’s Matthew Scudder (Liam Neeson) to life in a patient, darkly funny and unsettling detective story. Neeson does a lot more than kick some ass here, but sadly the film didn’t perform nearly as well as the more cartoonish Taken or Non-Stop. Frank may not got to tell another Scudder story, but let’s hope the screenwriter continues to work behind the camera. – JG

What If

CBS Films

Hollywood’s been looking for another When Harry Met Sally for twenty five years now, but it’s this sweet, funny and smart little film that comes the closest. Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan are pitch perfect as a pair who meet at the wrong time for love but the right time for friendship, and the honesty on display is a refreshing change of pace from the rom-com norm. – RH

Winter’s Tale

Warner Bros.

I won’t pretend this is a great movie – because it isn’t – but it’s worth seeing all the same for its complete and utter insanity. It’s the only movie we graded with a “?” for a reason (my review) as it’s a failure in all the typical ways we judge films but a huge success as purely ridiculous entertainment. – RH

Young Ones

Bifrost Pictures

Ever since Young Ones premiered at Sundance Jake Paltrow’s film has been flying way under-the-radar. It’s a sparse western that happens to be set in the future, but it’s not the action-packed movie the trailers sold it as and instead is an impressive and often emotional film about family. The few touches of science-fiction and futuristic tech only helps make the film standout more. – JG

An author similar to Hydra. Its articles have many authors. It has many heads. Please don’t cut off any of its heads, we’re trying to work here.