Big Mike's 2 Cents

Like many of you, I love going to the movies. With the film industry’s annual hackneyed award season upon us, I’m motivated to celebrate some of the fantastic movies I caught this past year. Presented in no particular order, for whatever it might be worth, here’s a list of the films I most enjoyed and/ or delivered the most inspiration to me. These might not be the “best” films or the most diverse list of the year, but they were my favorites and the movies I most readily recommend.


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John Wick

Hands down, the best gun-fight sequences I’ve seen on the big screen. The story is simple. The dialogue is clever. The action is intense.


Gone Girl

Fincher is a master storyteller translating a clever page-turner. Make sure to take note of the visual gags played through scene transitions.


(Continued after the JUMP)


Under The Skin

It’s hard to pick favorites, but this might be my favorite film of the year—engaging, eerie and atmospheric visual storytelling.

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier

I’m a comic-book dork. This was not only a great sequel, surpassing its predecessor, it’s the best damn super-hero movie so far.  And as long as I’m putting my cards on the table, in 2013, I liked Man of Steel and despised Iron Man 3, so there you have it. Glad I got that off my chest. I hope we can still be friends.


The Drop

Subtle performances. Engaging characters. A tense story. While the ending felt telegraphed far in advance, the payoff still delivered.


Blue Ruin

I’m a sucker for well-executed procedural narrative. This bloody revenge tale uses little dialogue and it would probably work pretty well with none.


Edge of Tomorrow

I was concerned about the title change and the trailers had me a little worried it might be another Groundhog Day rehash, but my misgivings were unwarranted, because this was a smart, fun, wholly entertaining ride.

Runners up:

Guardians of the Galaxy– I assume you saw this movie and had as much fun as I had with it.

Snowpiercer – This violent fable set in a hyper-stylized dystopian future tells a beautifully simple story.

Cheap Thrills – It’s a dark comedy with a predicable plot, but it was my type of story and delivered on the escalating tension.

Nightcrawler – After seeing the trailers, I had little interest in seeing this film, but I’m glad I did. It’s a well-crafted character study that offers some memorable performances.

The One I Love – This isn’t a romantic comedy, but it is a fantastic, quirky and surreal relationship movie.


My opinions on film probably don’t quite line up with yours, but if you enjoy False Positive, you would most likely get a kick out of some of these movies. How does my list compare with yours? Did I miss some good ones?


P.S. And if you’re interested in visual storytelling, you might enjoy my new favorite internet thing: Every Frame a Painting.  It’s a fabulous webseries by film editor, Tony Zhou, featuring insightful analysis about filmmaking.