2014 has been a massive year for film with so many releases each and every week, while many of them were mediocre and can be skipped there are still a few decent films to check out. For our top 5 films for 2014 you can take a look at both Petey’s picks and Bryan’s picks below with regards to what was the best this year.
Petey’s Top 5 Films Of 2014
1. X-Men: Days of Future Past
Remember when I said that Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a gamechanger for the superhero genre? What that movie did with SHIELD (the homebase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe) has the potential to change every movie in that franchise. Will it, who knows?
Well here’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, a movie where we don’t have to wait for future installments in the franchise to see if it really turned everything around. Not only does this movie go back and fix the problems with the previous films in the franchise (something I’ve never seen done before), it’s just a damn good movie. From the performances, to the story, to the action, to the dialogue, to every aspect of this film, X-Men: Days of Future Past is a masterpiece that is 100% an early contender for movie of the year.
Dealing with time travel in a franchise with prequels and sequels galore is a challenge, but screenwriter Simon Kinberg made it look easy. Wolverine is brought from the “old” X-Men (Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, etc.) to the “new” X-Men (James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, etc.) in order to save the world…..
After a great trailer and enough awards buzz for three movies, Birdman became one of the must-see films of the Oscar season. Living up to the hype, Birdman flies into theaters with career-defining performances, excellent cinematography, and a delightful screenplay. To put it plain and simple, Birdman deserves your time and money.
Michael Keaton plays Riggan Thomson, an actor who left the superhero role that made him a star in favor of more dramatic material. 20 years go by and he is still being recognized solely as the guy behind the mask. He decides to write and direct an adaption of Raymond Carver’s short story “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” in hopes of getting the respect he feels he deserves. Problem after problem will make this production one of the most horrific experiences of his life.
3. The LEGO Movie
Not much was expected from The LEGO Movie. Some chuckles, fun animation, and solid voice acting was all somebody over the age of 12 was expecting from The LEGO Movie. But in a hugely surprising turn of fate, The LEGO Movie is one of the best animated films of the decade. Not only is the movie gut-bustingly hilarious with really slick animation, it has a lot of heart and tells a great message. Don’t pass by The LEGO Movie because it’s for kids. Be a kid and buy a ticket right now for what’s already going to be one of 2014’s finest.
Emmet is your generic construction worker LEGO character. One day after work he comes across a mysterious figure and asks it to leave the construction site. Once he sees it’s a beautiful LEGO lady, he follows her and ends up coming across a mysterious LEGO piece. That LEGO piece is the key to stopping a plan that will pretty much end all LEGO life. It’s up to Emmet and a bunch of other LEGO figures to save LEGO freedom…..
4. Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is a sequel to the Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (2011) and follows Caesar as the central character and now leader of the apes. The movie comes from director Matt Reeves who some may know for his work with Cloverfield (2008). The Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes stars Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman and Keri Russel.
I don’t really want to go into the plot too much for this film but it is quite consistent. What’s basically going on in this movie is that Caesar and the apes have established a settlement where they live, but not far from this settlement is also a human city. Relations are tense between the two and we sort of go from there. There is a chance for peace between the two species but I don’t want to go too much into it. For me the plot of Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes is quite solid, easy to follow and has some great emotional points and ideas. Probably one of the better put together storylines in science fiction films this year….
5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
If you’re one of those people that looks down at superhero movies because you think there’s no depth, no character development, no excitement, and no intensity; throw your copy of Citizen Kane out the window, kiss my ass, and buy a ticket to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It has its problems, but this is not just a damn good big budget superhero movie, it’s a fantastic movie all around. It’s full of absurd un-realistic action sure, but this movie really impresses with its complex and twisty-turny screenplay. It’s unlike any superhero movie I’ve ever seen, and I can’t recommend it enough.
Talking about the plot of Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a waste of time. This Winter Soldier fellow shows up, starts wrecking havoc, and Captain America has to take him down. That’s all you should know going into this film.
The movie’s greatest strength is its story. I have never seen a single film turn a whole franchise on its head like this. It takes everything we’re comfortable with and shakes it up. If you scoffed at the people that said this movie is going to change the whole franchise like me, then get ready.
Bryan’s Top 5 Films Of 2014
1. The LEGO Movie
So a Lego Movie got made and you might be thinking, oh what a Lego Movie now? I don’t know about that really…. Well if that’s you, then you’re wrong completely, so clear your mind of those thoughts. Actually The Lego Movie is pretty awesome! The story is smart, the animations are great and the characters are so funny that many children and even some adults will be left with nothing but tears of laughter after they’ve watched this film.
The Lego Movie follows Emmett (Chris Pratt) who is an ordinary builder following the instructions of how to construct various Lego buildings. However not all is right in the world as Lord Business (Will Ferrell) seeks to glue the entire Lego world together, only a special Lego master builder can stop Lord Business and his plans and that master builder turns out to be Emmett. The most special and most wonderfully intelligent person in all of Lego land.
2. Edge Of Tomorrow
Edge Of Tomorrow is one of this years biggest blockbuster action films. The film comes from director Doug Liman who you might know for his work with the Bourne Identity (2002), Mr. & Mrs Smith (2005) and Jumper (2008). The film brings with it one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Tom Cruise and also Emily Blunt for its main cast. Edge Of Tomorrow is a science fiction action film in which Cage (Tom Cruise) and Rita (Emily Blunt) go up against an unstoppable alien force that is more than a match for the world’s modern military. They must do everything they can to convince those around them to help them stop it.
Edge Of Tomorrow is actually based on a book from Hiroshi Sakurazaka of Japan called All You Need Is Kill and is adapted from the books story. The plot of Edge Of Tomorrow is sort of like Ground Hog Day meets a first person shooter video game. Cage (Tom Cruise) lives out every day over and over again. It’s the day he goes into battle and that battle is impossible to win. Each day he is killed and has to start over, at the start Cage has no idea how to even fire his weapon but he slowly gets better as the film progresses. Emily Blunts character, Rita, is there to help him out and help him understand the world around him. I don’t really want to talk too much about the plot because I don’t really like giving it away, you can surmise it from the trailer. It’s not a hard to follow film and actually the plot is a big plus as there aren’t many inconsistencies with the storyline. It’s just “Live, Die, Repeat” and that’s easy to follow!
3. The Wolf Of Wall Street
The Wolf Of Wall Street is a film directed by Martin Scorsese and stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort, Margot Robbie as Naomi Lapaglia, Jonah Hill as Donnie Azoff and Matthew McConaughey as Mark Hanna. The Wolf Of Wall Street is a film based on the true story of Jordan Belfort who was a wealthy stockbroker and business owner during the 1980’s who became obsessed with money, drugs and sex.
The plot of The Wolf Of Wall Street follows mainly the character of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) from a young age where he starts as stockbroker working with Mark Hanna (Matthew McConaughey) but Belfort quickly finds himself unemployed. Eventually Belfort finds new work where he notices an easy way to make money (through the sale of penny stocks). Belfort quickly starts exploiting all those he can into buying these stocks so that he can increase his wealth. As more money is obtained and gathered Belfort quickly falls for the attractions of drugs, sex (lot’s of hookers) and corrupts himself further and further. His lifestyle quickly attracts the attention of the FBI who launch investigations which threaten to ruin all Belfort has in this hedonistic lifestyle he has managed to create.
Interstellar is a brand new film which comes directed by Christopher Nolan who many know as the director of The Dark Knight (2008) and Inception (2010). Interstellar stars Matthew McConaughey, Wes Bentley, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Elyes Gabel, Bill Irwin and Michael Caine. It follows the story of Cooper who is played by Matthew McConaughey. Cooper is asked to pilot a spaceship on a dangerous mission through a worm whole near Saturn which will take him to a new galaxy and hopefully a new planet for the people of Earth to live on in the future, as the current Earth won’t survive for long and all hope now rests with Cooper and his team.
In terms of the plot, it could be said by some to be kind of all over the place, particularly if they didn’t understand all the time distortions that characters face when travelling at fast speeds. But while the movie does constantly twist and turn its plot to keep you guessing. I found it to be quite easy to follow once I left the cinema and thought about it for an hour and chatted to my friend about it, that’s when we figured it all out. Interstellar is kind of similar to Inception (2010) in the sense that it leaves a lot of questions open in the end for you to chat about and I like that about the film.
5. A Most Wanted Man
Apart from the first few minutes where the film was sort trying to establish itself, I found that I was very drawn into the world that Anton Corbijin was showing us in the film. Some of the acting performances in A Most Wanted Man were very entertaining and possibly some of the better performances I’ve seen in a film so far this year. This is quite likely the last film you will see Phillip Seymour Hoffman in a lead role and on the big screen sadly because of his recent passing, except for maybe his role in The Hunger Games later this year. But his work here was really something that was great. I have not seen many of his films so I don’t want to say it was his best work, but I would say it was definitely very good work from the actor. I thought that he really became the character he was playing and was very real and authentic….
Other Notable Mentions
Want to watch a movie about some college kid who wants to be the best drummer in the world? Of course not. Want to watch J.K. Simmons scream and push that college kid till his hands bleed? Yes please! What if the movie was from one of the writers of The Last Exorcism Part II? Wait! This movie is awesome! Don’t leave!
John Wick is a new action film which is directed by Chad Stahelski and stars Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Willem Dafoe, Dean Winters and Adrianne Palicki. It follows the story of John Wick who is a retired hitman that has just suffered the loss of his wife and is going through the grieving process only to have it all interrupted by some very bad men who steal his car and kill his pet dog, which was a final parting gift from his wife. But the bad men don’t know who they’re messing with…
What were your favourite films of 2014?