I always feel the need to qualify this list, so here is that qualification: This isn't about finding the "best" movie. It's about my favorite movies. Movies that inspire me. Movies that reveal something new every time I watch them. Movies I get lost in. This is not scientific.
After my first full calendar year of being a dad, I've also come up with a new rule. I'm giving myself until January 31st to make changes to this list if I see some of last year's films shortly after the New Year. Even now, living in the suburbs of Los Angeles, it's just too hard to see some films right away. A film like Inherent Vice, that landed in my ten favorite films of the year, was only playing in a few theaters, and only had a few showtimes a day, for the last couple weeks of December. A Most Violent Year (which I haven't been able to see anyway), was released on December 31st. I've also unfortunately not been able to see Foxcatcher.
I don't want to leave films out if I can help it. So thems the rules. For now.
Some movies listed technically show a release date of 2013. I included these films if a wide release was not available until 2014. That might change next year now that I'm in LA. But whatever. There's no way I'm not including Her on this list.
Also, if you're interested in following along or finding out what other movies I love, I track all this throughout the year on Letterboxd.
24. The Retrieval
22. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
21. The One I Love
20. Cheap Thrills
17. Force Majeure
16. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
15. Only Lovers Left Alive
14. The Babadook
13. Edge of Tomorrow
12. The Lego Movie
11. Nymphomaniac: Vol. I
10. Inherent Vice
9. Guardians of the Galaxy
4. Gone Girl
3. The Grand Budapest Hotel
2. Under the Skin