In all honesty I found it a struggle to come up with this list. This year was lackluster for me in terms of really good movies. Now, the movies on this list I did feel like were the real highlights. Here’s to hoping that 2015 is better in terms of blockbusters and indie films. Some of the films titles will link you to further content, be sure to check it out.
This movie had me thinking and marveling more than any other film of the year. In my original review I said, “Experimental and challenging, Interstellar is beyond, light years beyond anything seen in years. Nolan has made a movie for movie lovers. Inventive, beautiful and something that pushes the boundaries in thought and the craft” and this is still true.
2. The Railway Man
No movie had a better portrayal of grace in the face of unspeakable tragedy and torture than this. Colin Firth and Hiroyuki Sanada play to perfection the horrors of war, the scars it leaves and the forgiveness that is needed to let go and live life to the fullest. It’s an amazing grace at work and the most powerful film of the year.
3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Not only was this my favorite superhero movie of the year, but it was the best Marvel movie for me so far. Marvel finally gets serious and gives us a movie with weight and substance. The issues of domestic spying and what we sacrifice in the name of security hit close to home. Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson crackle onscreen together. Comic book movies have rarely been better.
Bryan Singer’s return to the X-Men franchise was a welcome one. After the disaster of X3 and the triumph of First Class there seemed to be two different franchises. Singer finds a way to connect all the treads and forge a new path for the series by honoring the past, while creating a new timeline. The Quicksilver scene alone is worth the price of admission.
Not only was it the best animated movie of the year, it was just plain fun. The messages of friendship and what make us truly special, our uniqueness, will make this a delight for children and adults for years to come. This film sets the foundation and the bar for the Lego movies that are coming in the future.
6. Gone Girl
Adaptations are difficult, especially to beloved books. Luckily for the film they had author Gillian Flynn as the screen writer and David Fincher as director. The actors are splendidly wicked. Ben Affleck and Rosamond Pike play the despicable characters to perfection and the uneasiness of the ending may leave you breathless. This may be the only time I say reading the book could make the movie less enjoyable for knowing the plot twists beforehand.
This was the best adaptation of half a book this year. Not only was it a good film it was a timely one. The themes of revolution, civil unrest, propaganda and class warfare make this an important movie, beyond it’s connection to the Hunger Games series. I was surprised to find it was a stand out, especially being only half of the finale to The Hunger Games, but they truly made it work.
8. The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
We visit Middle Earth one last time and Peter Jackson does not disappoint. Richard Armitage and Martin Freeman are sublime as Bilbo and Thorin. In the midst of all the spectacle it’s the small character moments that stand out and make this a good movie. Touching on themes of greed, loyalty and true friendship the saga comes to a worthy conclusion.
9. Big Hero 6
One word, Baymax. Honestly this movie is not revolutionary in it’s themes or it’s execution, but is fun. Baymax will have you rolling on the floor laughing with his fist bumps and cat comments and sometimes fun is enough.
10. Edge of Tomorrow
I missed this movie in it’s theatrical run and was slightly turned off by the “Cruise factor”, but the good reviews finally won me over and I gave it a shot on blu-ray. Tom Cruise is actually a great casting choice and Emily Blunt was a fantastic in this sci-fi Groundhog Day. The ending may be a little weak but for the surprise this was, it is worthy of the list.
This movie was good. Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf and Logan Lerman are all well cast in David Aryer’s World War II tank film. This is surprisingly one of the most spiritual movies of the year, while at the same time not shying away from the harsh realities of warfare. Worth renting and grappling with.
This is one of the most honest movies about relationships I’ve seen in a long time. It can be very hard to be just friends, but the reward is also not to be missed. Daniel Radcliffe is astounding and Zoe Kazan will be your new favorite. If you missed this in 2014, see it on 2015
Still to see: Wild, Selma, Unbroken, Big Eyes, American Sniper and Boyhood.
12 thoughts on “Best Films of 2014”
Awesome list! I have not seen The Railway Man, but wondered how good it was. Thanks for mentioning it. Between the two war movies, it seems The Railway will have more substance and deeper themes than Unbroken. At least from what I have heard about the true account and Jolie’s take.
Thank you! I am afraid that Jolie’s omitting the best part of the Unbroken does make The Railway Man an even more important film.
I found it a little ironic yet sad that at the end of his life, Torrance becomes a drunk and struggles with PTS. It is irony in that he does become a broken man and does not find healing until he accepts Christ. The title itself is contradicting to the true historical account.
My top 10, which I’ll put up later tonight looks quite different. But you thought it wasn’t a good year? I had trouble picking only 10 movies and probably should have gone for a top 20. How many movies have you seen in total this past year?
I have seen many, many movies.
I’ve never heard of The Railway Man, but it sounds really good. I’ll be interested in what you think of Unbroken… I haven’t seen it yet but the reviews make it sound like it might not be as impactful as one would hope.
Yeah, I am not expecting much at this point. I could not recommend The Railway Man more!
Ah! What an aggravating list! No birdman? Nighcrawler! Even as far as blockbusters go – john wick was amazing! What about boyhood? That movie took 12 years to make!
This was the year that film took off again and finally took chances! So many interesting risks taken, chances given, and just aghhhh!
Basically I don’t think you’ve seen enough movies, or at least the best ones/the ones worth talking about
Not even guardians of the galaxy?????????????????
You can read my review of Guardians. Was nor worth of the list
I made a list based off of what I saw. I look forward to seeing Boyhood. I may see Birdman, but Nightcrawler just didn’t appeal to me to see in the theater.
And this is my list of what stood out to me. No need to be condescending