Alright! So now it comes time for me to list off my favorite films (that I’ve currently seen) in 2014. It may be true that the film Mommy is getting all the attention of it being incredible, but unfortunately it did not come out in my location so films like that will not count. Having said that, lets start off with my honorable mentions!
20. The Wind Rises
19. 22 Jump Street
17. Guardians of the Galaxy
16. Big Hero 6
13. Edge of Tomorrow
12. The Raid 2
11. Cheap Thrills
10. Under the Skin
“I just…wanted to get away from it all.”
At my number ten spot I have a film that I’m still trying to wrap my head around. Under the Skin is simply about Scarlett Johansson as an alien like person and her first experiences with the human race. Much more of an experience than an actual plot heavy film, Under the Skin is a film that I find myself coming back to in a similar fashion to last year’s Spring Breakers. There’s certainly much more to see and find in the many layers that this film. Sorry for the pun, but there is more underneath the skin.
9. The Grand Budapest Hotel
“Did he just throw my cat out of the window?”
I may quite possibly be the only one who likes Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Andersons previous film) better than this one, but The Grand Budapest Hotel is more than just grand, its damn wonderful. With Wes Andersons beautiful, children’s book like style crossed with witty hilarious dialogue Grand Budapest really is a film that has the style and substance equally mixed to where it really is a film everyone should see.
“Do you know what fear stands for? False Evidence Appearing Real.”
Where the hell did this movie come from, and why didn’t I see it when it came out? Jake Gyllenhaal gives a performance that will long be remembered in a film that could easily define his career in a film that made me want to take a shower after viewing it. I’m very glad I didn’t see any trailers before seeing this, cause it left me going where this film would go and to what depths of depravity the main character would sink to. I don’t want to give much away other than see this film.
7. The Lego Movie
“Everything is awesome!”
This was the first real surprise to come out this year, with marketing basically selling it as either this is going to ‘Rock into Mordor’ or fail miserably. Luckily for us it was the first. The Lego Movie is, simply put, awesome. With laugh a minute joke and brilliant animation that had me seriously guessing wither it was real or computerized, The Lego Movie is a film that I will be watching and singing for years to come.
6. Birdman [or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance]
“ Sixty is the new thirty motherf**ker!”
Never has there been quite a film to where upon walking out, I really thought I had just seen a perfect film. 2014 was one helluva year that really has library titles for the future and this is certainly one of them. Michael Keaton is back and better than ever playing one of his best roles that I just want more of. Cinematography is stunning making the entire film play out like one long take and, well I’m honestly trying to think of a single bad thing about the film. Its that good.
5. The Babadook
Ok, full disclosure: I happened to see this at a 12 hour horror film marathon, and this film was a “special sneak screening”. Did that affect the film at all? Maybe, with my audience being much more into the film than my 2nd time viewing it (thanks Dwayne! D< ) but I still found The Babadook to be one of the best horror films in the last seven years, with the previous winner being “[REC.]”. But the Babadook simply isn’t a film about a horrible monster that haunts, its much more about depression, madness and being able to overcome the loss of life of a significant other. You have litterly no excuse not to see this one.
“Cooper, this is no time for caution.”
Readers of the site might find this spot to be a surprise, since in my original review I kinda trashed this film and really didn’t like it. After giving it some time, and listening to people’s interpretation of the film, and listening to the soundtrack a bunch at work (which is an amazing score) I decided to give the film a second shot, seeing it again in 70MM IMAX. The result was stunning. All the issues I had once had were wiped away in a film that completely rocks into Mordor. If it was still playing in IMAX, near me, I’d certainly go again a third time, but since its not, I’ll buy that blu ray right now.
3. How to Train Your Dragon 2
“You’re as beautiful as the day I lost you.”
Refer to my review for my full opinion. Im lazy like that. http://culturesmash.tv/2014/06/17/film-review-how-to-train-your-dragon-2/
2. Gone Girl
“You think I’d let him destroy me and end up happier than ever? No f**king way.”
Gone Girl isn’t just your typical mystery Lifetime thriller. It’s a film that defies expectation and really gives a haunting look at the ideas of marriage and a relationship that actually made me question wither I wanted to be in a relationship. David Fincher is at the top of his game in this razor sharp directed film that is not only a taught thriller, but a highly intellectual film that had me more scared than anything in the Babadook. Just a bit of warning, if you’re on the first date with a chick, do not watch this film under any circumstances.
“I’ve never loved anyone the way I loved you.”
I must give a very special honorable mention to this film from Spike Jonze about a man falling in love with his OS, Samantha. It’s a film that not only had me in tears at the end but completely defines our generation and the possibilities of what we could become with technology. I only put it on here as 1.5 due to it having a soft release in 2013 and a full release in 2014. But damnit it’s my list and I can put this here if I want to. Lets just say its now under my “favorite romance films” list, behind Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
“There are no two words in the English language more harmful than good job.”
Really, I could honestly switch my choice for #1 and #1.5 any day of the week and be happy with the results of this list, but unfortunately ‘there can be only one.’ Whiplash is a film that I can not only personally relate to, having been in band for well over nine years, but is the first film about bands to where the shots and atmosphere fully show what its like to be in band, from a students point of view. Editing is the sharpest and best I’ve seen in years and performances from J.K Simmons and Milles Teller are mind blowing. This is the only film this year, to where the sides of the screen melted away and I was fully enveloped into the plot of the film. I know that most people have this experience every day, but for hardcore film people it’s a feat that very rarely happens. It simply is, the best film of 2014.
And of course…I couldn’t resist my worst of’s
(In Alphabetical order)
Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For