Alan Partridge
  • Alan Partridge

This week brings our year-in-review issue, including ten-best lists from me, Ben Sachs, and Drew Hunt. When I looked at my own list, it struck me that almost every movie on it was incredibly depressing. Apparently this is a chronic problem for me, because in 2011, when I listed Bridesmaids as my second-favorite movie (the first was about seven Trappist monks being kidnapped and murdered), the paper did everything but have the news skywritten over Lake Michigan. So as not to be a gigantic downer, I’m appending my five favorite comedies of 2014: Alan Partridge, Bad Words, Dumb and Dumber To, Top Five, and . . . actually there are only four. Jesus Christ, I really am a gigantic downer.

  • Mr. Turner

We’re taking a week off on January 1, but online you can check out new reviews of movies opening not only this weekend but next: Big Eyes (opens 12/25), Tim Burton’s biopic of the 60s kitsch artist Margaret Keane; The Gambler (12/25), starring Mark Wahlberg as a college professor with a gambling problem; A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (1/2), a low-budget fantasy about a skateboarding female vampire in Iran; Into the Woods (12/25), a big-screen adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim musical, starring Meryl Streep; Mr. Turner (12/25), Mike Leigh’s movie about the English painter J.M.W. Turner; Pelican Dreams (1/2), a nature documentary by the director of The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill; The Strange Little Cat, an absurdist comedy about a middle-class family in Berlin; Unbroken (12/25), Angelina Jolie’s biopic about Louis Zamperini, who competed in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin and survived two years in a series of Japanese POW camps; The Way He Looks (1/2), about a blind teenager learning to embrace his homosexuality; and Zero Motivation (12/26), an Israeli comedy about women whose military service consists of meaningless secretarial work.

  • Full Metal Jacket

Best bets for repertory include Hiroshi Teshigahara’s Antonio Gaudi (1984) at Gene Siskel Film Center and Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! (2001) on New Year’s Eve at Music Box. But the big tamale is Music Box’s yuletide Stanley Kubrick retrospective, with screenings of: Barry Lyndon (1975), A Clockwork Orange (1971), Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Full Metal Jacket (1987), Killer’s Kiss (1955), The Killing (1956), Lolita (1962), Paths of Glory (1957), The Shining (1980), Spartacus (1960), and 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).