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SilentDawn has written 99 reviews for films rated ★★★★★ during 2014.

  • The Evil Dead

    The Evil Dead


    Unanimously a horror masterpiece and one of the great works of surrealism, The Evil Dead is a film of shocking gore and unabashed macabre beauty. Filmed on a meager budget around $350,000; Sam Raimi and company set out to make a simple film about a terrifying night set in a cabin in the woods. Both remarkably scary and ferociously paced, The Evil Dead is 85 minutes of splatter, foggy atmosphere, solid acting, and tremendous visual storytelling. While not as comedic…

  • Scarface



    Brian De Palma's Scarface is unquestionably one of the great gangster epics, mainly because of its incredible vibrancy and hyper realism in regards to both the style and the main character tapestry. The feeling of the film is simply suffocating, clashing sound and image in a concussive fashion that bears a shocking resemblance to a train-wreck. In a good way of course. Yet, under all the neon and the constant blaring of a wonderful Giorgio Moroder soundtrack is a character…

  • A Christmas Story

    A Christmas Story


    Part Twenty-two of A Very Merry Christmas Challenge.

    Simultaneously a glistening piece of nostalgia and a free-wheeling work of Christmastime charm and cheer; A Christmas Story is an utter masterpiece that explores the life of a child named Ralphie as well as visualizing a period of vibrant happiness and Rockwellian beauty.

    Directed by Bob Clark, the film flows like a constant stream of memories. Some good, some embarrassing, some bad, and some venturing into the surreal and the fantastical; the…

  • A Charlie Brown Christmas

    A Charlie Brown Christmas


    Part Twenty one of A Very Merry Christmas Challenge.

    Absolutely perfect. Like "this is so good, no other Christmas film needs to exist" type of perfect. There are a few that I like more, but if I never need to get in the Christmas spirit, I'll watch this.


  • Eyes Wide Shut

    Eyes Wide Shut


    Part Seventeen of A Very Merry Christmas Challenge

    Eyes Wide Shut is the equivalent of an immensely layered and thick sandwich. Jam-packed with different meats, cheeses, vegetables, sauces, and topped with a particularly tasty bread; The sandwich is intimidating at first, and your first couple bites are overreaching and full of different combinations of food that interact with each other in terms of contrasting taste. However, you're still enjoying it, and by the end, you're full and satisfied, even though…

  • There Will Be Blood

    There Will Be Blood


    Part Four of Preparing (As Much As Humanly Possible) For Inherent Vice


    There Will Be Blood.

    How can one describe such a film? Vibrant, exceptional, terrifying, comic, potent, and layered beyond belief; Paul Thomas Anderson’s masterpiece is both a mesmerizing character study as well as a commentary on the dying age of the ‘old west’. In my eyes, every scene, performance and shot is utter perfection on every level. However, in spite of all that brilliance, the…

  • North by Northwest

    North by Northwest


    Part Three of Preparing (As Much As Humanly Possible) For Inherent Vice

    Imagine this:

    You wake up from the blackness. Like a stark wake-up call or a sudden exit from a tunnel into a bright day, the change is undoubtedly jarring. You're on a rollercoaster. You don't know how you got there or why you're on it. You look around; no other riders. You're all alone, and the coaster is reaching the top of the first hill. In the midst…

  • Gremlins



    Part Twelve of A Very Merry Christmas Challenge

    Christmas lights twinkling, fire-place crackling, snow is falling, hot cocoa is bubbling, warmth is radiating; the only thing that's missing is a Christmas classic filling the TV. But which one will fit such a perfect and wonderfully picturesque setting?

    Rudolph: The Red-Nosed Reindeer?


    Christmas Vacation?



    Not quite.


    Hell yes.

  • Boogie Nights

    Boogie Nights


    Part One of Preparing (As Much As Humanly Possible) For Inherent Vice

    Thinking about your favorite film is really hard. What is my favorite? Why is it my favorite? But what about this film? But what about that film? I've always grappled with my decision, but I always come back to Paul Thomas Anderson's epic Boogie Nights. It's a film of exceptional character, vibrancy, poetry, and tragedy; and yet, It's also one of the funniest films ever made. I remember…

  • Interstellar



    My third viewing of Interstellar was the most important viewing. For starters, I would be seeing it on an average movie-theater screen. No 70mm IMAX. No UltraScreen. That alone was troubling, but it was also the screening that I would be noticing things. I picked up on annoying flaws regarding exposition on the second viewing, but the third viewing would be the deciding factor on whether they were cringe-worthy enough to actually make the film falter.

    It'll be really interesting…

  • Die Hard

    Die Hard


    Part Eight of A Very Merry Christmas Challenge

    A Recipe For The Perfect Action Film:

    Step 1:

    -Get Bruce Willis.

    Step 2:

    -Write a cracking and streamlined script full of character and variation.

    Step 3:

    -Provide a setting that's memorable and visually interesting.

    Step 4:

    -Find exceptional supporting performers including Severus Snape and Reginald VelJohnson.

    Step 5:

    -Allow ample time for build-up, character details, and the increasing of tension.

    Step 6:

    -When shit hits the fan, don't let up until…

  • The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans

    The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans


    The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans isn't dreadfully dull or sloppily disjointed like its title suggests; Instead, It's one of the most truly extraordinary films to ever fall into a sense of obscurity or opaqueness. While getting critical acclaim, audiences were divided. I just don't think they knew what hit them.

    Simultaneously being Werner Herzog's and Nicolas Cage's finest work, The Bad Lieutenant is a story of self-hatred and disillusion set against a landscape of both physical…