Sam Woolf’s 10 Best Films Of 2014

10) Edge Of Tomorrow

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While it’s certainly fitting that the year’s best, most confusingly-branded action movie only gets better with each rewatching, it’s not as though the virtues of Edge of Tomorrow aren’t all present the first run through. Tom Cruise remains as eminently watchable a movie star as still exists. The assured direction of Doug Liman offers setpieces cut into diamonds instead of ribbons, and Christopher McQuarrie’s ingeniously structured script features some of the darkest laughs all year. But there’s a philosophy, a tao guiding every component of Edge of Tomorrow that makes it not just a superior blockbuster, but a future classic of the action genre.

The film draws a line in the sand between those aspiring to be the best of their class, and those striving to be better than its limitations. Edge of Tomorrow, as standard-bearer for the latter, delivers world-threatening stakes free of needless destruction porn, a male-female partnership built on respect instead of romance, and a fully developed character arc around which to center the whole affair. Edge of Tomorrow makes good on the promise of being to sci-fi action films what Groundhog Day was to comedy by blowing up the template and building it back up better than ever. When blockbuster after blockbuster gets what it means to be entertaining wrong, it’s all the more satisfying for one like Edge of Tomorrow to come along, and get it so, so right.