Here it is! 2014 was a beautiful year of movies. It was also an incredibly surprising year. Only three films on this list were on my top ten most anticipated movies for 2014 coming out of 2013. Indie films seemed to dominate the day this past year, but there is a couple big budget films, you're likely to recognize. More so than not, it was those small surprises that made 2014 so great. Let it be known, that this is not a top ten BEST films of the year list. I'll let you know what I think are the best later on, probably around Oscars. This is all personal enjoyment. Of course, if a movie is well made, I am likely to enjoy it. There is also masterpieces/perfect films that I don't enjoy (#Godfather). I hope and pray you enjoy the list. There may just be film on this list you haven't seen that you might love. If anything, if you find one movie to enjoy off of this that you haven't seen, I have done my job. Enjoy! 10. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
Last year, Catching Fire was my number one favorite film. The fact that this film got this low on my list is a little sad. That being said, it is nevertheless an incredibly entertaining film, if you are invested in this universe. If you are not invested in this universe, I could understand not giving a crap. I, however, am a die-hard, unwavering fan. I have got caught in the whirlwind of the beautiful series, and its emotionally uplifting depth and deep, penetrating sorrow. The next film will truly be telling of whether this film completely works or not. Either way, you'll catch me in a front row seat for Mockingjay - Part 2
It's not a perfect film, evidenced by its place on this list, but for what it is - Fury is completely compelling, great war movie. Shia Labeauf, Logan Lerman, and The Pitt make this film all the more compelling with their performances. Fury is nothing less than perfect when it stays on track. When it doesn't stay on track it starts to lag, become redundant and contrived. I'll focus on the great moments in Fury to be truly satisfied.
The start of the year, this wouldn't have made the list. As the year progressed though, this one snuck its way up and continued to impress over repeat viewings. Tom Cruise and especially Emily Blunt deliver terrific performances; but above all, it is the brilliant execution of Edge of Tomorrow's premise that makes the film. Repeating the day over and over again could have been incredibly laborious and borderline frustrating. The movie however, is somehow able to make it entertaining, hilarious, and completely captivating.
This doesn't hit everybody's funny-bone. For me though, I cracked up. British humor doesn't always get me, as it is incredibly sly and doesn't overly pay attention to itself. Twenty jokes can pass, without realizing there was a joke. Maybe Alan Partridge was dumb enough for me to get it, or intelligent enough for me to think it was hilarious. Either way, I loved it.
This is by far the most underrated film of the year. Elijah Wood is fantastic, the pacing is perfect, the thriller premise is completely engaging, and the cinematography is - if not award worthy - some of the best I have seen this year. Why everyone hates it so much, is sort of a mystery to me. I can understand some not completely buying some of the logic of the plot, which isn't utterly perfect. I also can understand some not loving the very end - which I was fine with - but beyond that, this is a fantastic film! Of course, come to your own opinion of Grand Piano, just don't be influenced by any low audience rating (I'm talking to you, IMDb!).
If I Could Save Time in a Bottle will be permanently ingrained in my mind as being associated with the Quicksilver scene in the film. Yes, Days of Future Past is dark and gritty, but its not without its brilliant action and hilarity. This is showcased not only in that scene, but throughout the entire movie. That is one of the many reasons I love the X-Men. It is only made a million, billion times better that there is eight actors nominated for the academy awards within the cast. I still love X-Men: First Class more, but this is a near perfect film.
Guardians of the Galaxy is one of those films that I could play over and over again, regardless if it isn't a completely perfect. It is such a fun, character driven film. Rocket Racoon and Groot are crazy awesome, but it is Star-Lord that rightfully steals the spotlight. Chris Pratt, very much like Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man, has infused his personality so much into his character that Star-Lord and him are inseparably phenomenal together. This is played out brilliantly with James Gunn's direction for the film. It is so quirky, warm, charming, action packed, and hilarious. It is these things and more that help make Guardians of the Galaxy simply irresistible for lunatic like myself.
Yes, this film is dark, perverted, and off-balance (it is not for everybody). It is also genuinely honest of our culture. It is a bleak, morally challenging look into a character so refreshingly different from what we see today in cinema, but really lies in the center of all of us. That is why I love it. I want to step back philosophically and look a little deeper at my dark idiosyncrasies and moral issues in my own life. Whether we like it or not, I feel as if we all can relate to the bloody brilliant Jake Gyllenhaal's character Lou's dark nature, even if it is in the smallest way. Whether or not he can overcome his dark thought patterns is an answer you can only get by seeing the film (unless you read spoilers online, but why?!). Long story short, if you're like me and enjoy "philosophically deep" thrillers, check Nightcrawler out!
This is the best film I saw in 2014, no doubt about it. It's not my favorite though (You'll see that in a bit! DUN, DUN, DUN! . . . ) This is art at its best. Michael Keaton's performance in Birdman is special. . .The supporting performances are special. . . The cinematography is special. . . The philosophical / psychological depth is special. . . Everything about this film screams SPECIAL!!!!! Sadly, this film may not be for everyone due to its intensely dramatic, quirky, and meta/self-referential style. However, if you're a "film buff" and have to see the best of the best, this is where you'll want to start.
No film could beat it. I simply love this film. I love that it takes such a twisted, off-beat premise and gets it to work. I love that the action is so gritty, dark and entertaining, yet beautiful in a sad, transformative type of way. I love that it is honest - it doesn't try to mask darker thoughts on a desperate and dying culture. I love that the performances in the film are perfect puzzle pieces for the bigger picture. I love that the bigger picture is thought out and is not so easily seen the first time around, and that it is explained by action, rather than cheap words. I love Snowpiercer. You might to. . . so, yeah. . . check it out.
The Lego Movie
The Grand Budapest Hotel
**Whiplash, Guest, and Enemy would have been on the list if I would have seen them in 2014.