Top 25 must-see movies of 2014

January 10, 2021 – 10:26 am

This much-publicised remake has plenty going against it, not least the weight of history: Paul Verhoeven's RoboCop is rightly regarded by many as being among the best films of the 1980s, with its heady cocktail of graphic violence, black comedy and corporate satire. Now, we certainly don't expect next year's Robo remake to better the original, but there's at least one reason to look forward to it with some sense of optimism: the track record of Brazilian director Jose Padilha.

If you haven't heard of him, Padhila began his career with the documentary Bus 174, which told the remarkable true story of a man who took a busload of passengers hostage and ended up in the middle of a media circus. His next two feature films, Elite Squad and its sequel The Enemy Within, mixed action and suspense with a thought-provoking account of life and death in the slums of Rio de Janeiro.

Whether Padilha can (or will even be allowed) to bring the sense of realism and intensity of Elite Squad to his RoboCop remake remains to be seen, but we await the results with cautious enthusiasm.

24. Noah

Truth be told, we're a bit torn on Noah. There are two biblical epics arriving in cinemas next year, with Ridley Scott's Exodus the other, and we're in two minds about both of them. Noah in particular has been in the news due to apparent disagreements between its director and Paramount over the final cut. That director? Darren Aronofsky, and it's his name that sneaks Noah onto our countdown.

Darren Aronofsky is comfortably one of the most interesting directors working in America right now, and Noah marks his belated move into big budget filmmaking (after he pulled out of making The Wolverine). His cast features Russell Crowe, Emma Watson, Jennifer Connelly, Logan Lerman and Anthony Hopkins, and the scale of the story - and presumably the film - suggests that we're going to get a big screen spectacle at the very least. However, if Aronofsky gets his cut, then it's going to be quite something to see what the man behind Pi, Black Swan and The Fountain can do with an awful lot more money to spend.

23. Calvary

The last time John Michael McDonagh made a film, we got the exceptional - and very funny - The Guard. His follow-up, Calvary, reunites him with the star of that movie, Brendan Gleeson, but we're getting a very different movie here. This one seems a lot darker for a start, although it's still being described in some quarters as a comedy/drama.

Gleeson headlines as a priest who's threatened while taking a confession. The crux of the film is that said priest is a good man, who finds himself in the midst of not so good things. In fact, the character's arguably a reversal of the The Guard's Gerry Boyle.

The cast is rounded out by Aidan Gillen, Kelly Reilly and Chris O'Down, amongst others. We'd by lying if we said that it wasn't the reunion of Gleeson and McDonagh that sold us on the movie, though...

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