2014 is finally over, so you can put all those mistakes behind you and look forward to the new mistakes that await you in 2015. Luckily there were a ton of good movies this year, of which I probably haven’t seen all of them. But I’ve seen a lot, so many in fact that I expanded the list to 15 from 10 because I wanted to include more of them. The rank of movies on this list is relatively arbitrary since it’s basically comparing apples and bananas.
People love lists, so I’m going to give you mine. You’re welcome in advance. Otherwise…
Drama based on the story of two championship wrestlers, the Schultz brothers, training for the 1988 Olympic games under the sponsor of an unstable millionaire, John E. du Pont. Thanks to three great performances from the main cast, Foxcatcher is able to be a gripping character drama despite it’s extremely slow-moving plot that takes a while to take off.
Finally, a film for the whole family to enjoy! I’m kidding, this movie is depressing as holy hell. After a preacher is threatened during a confession, he must deal with the animosity of a small Irish town while reconciling with his daughter. Brendan Gleeson may have very well given the performance of the year in this film, though he probably won’t be recognized for it which is a shame. Very philosophical, very moving, and very emotionally draining, Calvary is anything but a date night movie.
13. The Drop
One of those films that you expect to be mediocre, but instead turns out to be pretty damn great. The Drop is a crime-drama that centers around a bar where dirty money is left to be collected, but a robbery puts the bar owners under the gun of the shady underworld that surrounds them. Any movie with Tom Hardy is instantly watchable. If you see Tom Hardy’s name in a movie then you’ll know it’ll be pretty good. James Gandolfini gives his last performance of his career, and is it ever a good one.
12. Edge of Tomorrow
Here we have another film that looks like it should’ve been mediocre at best, but instead this movie kicks ass. A combination of Groundhog’s Day and WWII with aliens, this movie is entertaining for just about every second of screen time. Emly Blunt kicks ass and Tom Cruise plays a character that doesn’t make you think it’s Tom Cruise the whole time. Clever, funny, and action packed, Edge of Tomorrow is some of the best Sci-Fi action you’ve seen in years.
11a. John Wick
When’s the last time an American made action movie made you want to get up and cheer? John Wick is not the action movie America deserves, but the one it needed. I’m not going to bother with plot. Keanu Reeves is an ex-hitman who has to come kick a lot of ass and he does. The movie is awesome, cool, and oozes style that’s been missed for some time. God bless you John Wick.
This is a little awkward…so I forgot to put Nightcrawler on my list initially so here it is and we’re all going to have to deal with it. The movie weighs heavily on Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance as Lou Bloom, a creepy amateur camera man that captures crime that happens after the sun goes down in L.A. Good thing Gyllenhaal is absolutely amazing, and the films final act is so intense you’ll be left shaking in your seat when the credits start to roll.
Are you hyped?!
Okay, sorry I’ll shut up.
When you walk into this movie you kind of already have a firm grasp of what’s probably going to happen. That still doesn’t stop Dawn of the Planet of the Apes from being a large and entertaining film. Caesar is such a fascinating and sympathetic character that it adds a whole other dimension to the apes vs humans we expect to see. If there was ever a film for a CGI character to get nominated for an Oscar, this would be it.
Following a tank division as it delves deeper into Germany towards the end of the war; Fury tells one lesson. War is hell. Every battle scene is tense and amazingly well done. The acting is phenomenal, especially Pitt and LaBeouf. A little too overly melodramatic at times, but this movie is almost good enough to sit up next to Saving Private Ryan for its depiction of war.
A very ambitious movie that’s about nothing…and everything. Filmed over 12 years, Boyhood captures what growing up is like. Moments in the film I was nodding my head along saying, “that happened to me.” All the acting is great, and the soundtrack really gives you a big sense of nostalgia that you can’t help but enjoy. If any of you grew up in Texas, like me, then this movie is pretty much a must watch.
This movie would’ve been higher had I liked the last act as much as the first two, but instead it’s sitting at #7. Filmed to look like one continuous long shot, Birdman is like watching a play within a play. Cinematography is beautiful and amazing and will almost surely win the Oscar. Performances for everyone are exceptional, mainly Edward Norton, who kills it, and Michael Keaton, who is almost as great. This movie is pretty artsy-fartsy so it might not be something everyone will dig, but it’s a beautiful movie that you might enjoy if you give it a chance.
Have you ever watched a movie, and when it was over you looked at the screen and could only say, “What the fu**?” Enemy is one of those movies. Jake Gyllenhaal sees someone who looks exactly like him in a movie…and then shit happens. It’s not the kind of movie that pisses you off though, it’s one of those movies that makes you think for a while and then you browse the internet for 2 hours looking at people’s theories on what was going on. If that doesn’t sound like fun to you well, pfffffttt. A movie that demands to be watched twice, Enemy is pretty fricken fantastic.
“Lego Movie in the top 5? Really?”
Yes, really. The Lego Movie is awesome. Best animated movie of 2014 and some of the most fun I’ve had in a theater all year. Insanely fun, creative, funny, whatever nice adjective you want to use this movie has probably got a use for it. I also have the theme song on my phone, I ain’t even gonna lie.
4. The Raid 2
If you saw The Raid 2 and didn’t put it in your top 10 films of the year, then you don’t like action movies. Straight up. The last act alone will make you shout in the streets to all who can hear, about the glory that is The Raid 2. Not much can prepare you for this movie. It’s extremely violent. It’s extremely action packed. It’s The Raid 2.
3. Gone Girl
I love David Fincher and with Gone Girl he’s almost better than ever. This mystery-thriller is so full of suspense and twists that you’ll be on the edge of your seat almost the entire run time. Rosamund Pike gives a knock out performance that is sure to generate some Oscar buzz, and Gone Girl is a film that won’t leave your mind any time soon.
My favorite cinematic experience of the year. Despite all gripes about story, dialogue, and characters people have. This movie and movies like Interstellar are why we go to the movies. Awe inspiring are some of the shots and visuals that I actually felt like I was experiencing something more than just a movie. Matthew McConaughey is as good as ever and his relationship with his family and daughter carry the film to a personal level that I never expected. Minor gripes aside, Interstellar is an ambitious and wondrous movie that’ll have you going back to the theater to experience it again.
A movie I was dying to see all year, and when I finally did, it still blew me away. Miles Teller plays a jazz drummer who wants to be great and must deal with an almost psychotic music teacher, played by J.K. Simmons. Simmons will no doubt win Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, and the best part is that Miles Teller is almost as good every step of the way. It’s an amazing feat to make a movie so tense and feel so important when it’s just about drumming. This film is personal. You feel every beat, every kick, and every snap. The last act is astounding and such an electrifying force in its own right that I didn’t even know how to feel when it was all over. If you’re a fan of music, great performances, or the art of movies in general. See this one.
Let me know if you agree, disagree, hate me? Tell me what you’re top movies of 2014 are, and if you’re favorite movie didn’t make this list…well…
“They hate us, cause they anus.”