Top 10 movies of 2014

2014 was an amazing year filled with movies, there were superhero movies that tingled the inner nerd senses in us, amazing sci-fi movies that related to our current society like never before, surprise hits, bone chattering hilarious comedies, deep philosophical thrillers and many more. Today I am going to compile my list of my favorite movies, of course this is a subjective list and may differ from everyone else’s list. I would name the movies and give a brief description and reason as to why it resonated with me. There were a lot of great movies this year, unfortunately not every one of them reached my top 10. I would acknowledge such movies in my honorable mentions list. Now being human, it was physically impossible to watch every single movie that came out so I would also state my top watch list of 2014 that I have heard great news about and I’m looking forward to watching. I would list my favorite movies in the order that I enjoyed them, please feel free to state your own movies that you enjoyed in the comment section, and if you feel like I skipped a movie please let me know. I would later upload my list of my most anticipated movies of 2015. Let’s get it on.

  •  THE GUEST

A surprise hit for me, this relatively unknown movie that also had a virtually unknown cast(save for maybe Dan Stevens and Lance Reddick) was an entertaining piece of work. I know it may come as a surprise that the movie is on the list but that is mainly due to how flabbergasted I was when I watched the movie. I initially came across it accidentally and was originally hesitant but when I saw that it was produced by the same producers that made You’re Next, I was interested and I must say I wasn’t disappointed. The story follows a man named David Collins who visits a family who are still grieving over the loss of their son Caleb, who was in the Army. David claims to have been a very close friend of Caleb and states that he has a message for the family from Caleb which were his dying words, but not everything is like what it seems. The movie revolves around David’s relationship with the various family members and other people in the neighbouring community. The atmosphere of the movie was perpetually haunting, as the audience was unsure of David’s motive despite being the main character. Overall the movie didn’t fail to deliver, and with a strong unknown cast and good acting, the movie hit the right notes.
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  • CHEF

Indie movies have been the norms in the movie industry for a while now, and they don’t get much recognition as we all know, but once in a while a really good one stands out to an individual. For me last year it was Chef, a brilliant movie from the genius’mind of Jon Favreau(Iron Man). The movie follows a recently demoted professional chef who must embark on a journey of self actualization with his son by opening a food truck. The movie had a lot of perfect moments that were easily relatable to the viewers. The acting was also top notch with a very strong chemistry between Jon Favreau’s character and the little boy’s character. Jon Favreau directs this movie which can also be seen as a throwback to his older movies like Made. Chef is a good movie to kick back and watch, and not to mention the onscreen savoury dishes. It gave me a little Ratatouille vibe.
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  • 22 JUMP STREET

Comedy sequels are usually very difficult to follow up on mostly due to the original novelty and schticks wearing off. As for 22 Jump Street, it played brilliantly on that factor by been a self aware movie on its own. The story still follows Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum’s characters from the first movie as they try to crackdown on a new drug ring in a college. There were a lot of new hilarious characters like the twins and a particularly memorable scene featuring Jonah Hill and Ice Cube. To top it all off, the movie had one of the best post credit scenes in recent history. There is a third movie in the works, but I am a bit wary cause I wonder if they would still capture the comedic gold standard of the previous movies without it getting old.
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  • INTERSTELLAR

Some of you might be surprised that this movie is this low on my list, but irregardless, this is still a gorgeous and amazing movie. As of 2013, it was my number one most anticipated movie of 2014. The movie was cinematic and jaw dropping. Christopher Nolan was able to flawlessly capture the sheer and vast emptiness of space. I did my review on the movie and mentioned my personal pros and cons of the movie cause I did find some really unsatisfying plot-holes, but no movie is perfect. It also showcased one of the most realistic depictions of outer space. The movie also bolstered a very strong cast in the likes of Mathew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and many more. It also brought some really thought provoking existential questions that would leave the viewer pondering and arguing with his or her friends after.
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  • GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

What do a green female alien, an anthropomorphic raccoon and a talking tree have in common…absolutely nothing in a practical sense. But in the Marvel Universe, that seems to differ. Guardians of the Galaxy was one of Marvel’s riskiest projects, but it eventually yielded a lot of space fruits. I was also originally very skeptical of the movie cause I barely knew anything concerning the source material. The story follows a ragtag group of criminals who decide to save the galaxy. Cue the hilarity and action. Marvel has proven that they can work with virtually any source material now, and I am now looking forward to other Marvel materials like Doctor Strange and the Inhumans. The movie was a nice blend of action and comedy with a tantalizing 80’s theme to it. It was a truly perfect space opera for the modern age. Each of the guardians had enough screen time to display their characteristics with Drax the Destroyer been a very pleasant surprise.
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  • EDGE OF TOMORROW

Nothing hurts a movie’s sale worse than a bad trailer and that was what plagued this fantastic sci-fi action flick. I was also very cynical about the movie but I was nevertheless intrigued by the concept as it resounded with me as an avid videogamer which is the idea of dying time over time while trying to accomplish a task but getting better and better upon each return. Tom Cruise played the main protagonist and didn’t fail to capture the surrealism of what he was experiencing. Emily Blunt wowed me with her performance as a woman not to be messed with. The story was compelling and the visuals were stunning to say the least. It was unfortunate that the movie didn’t perform wonderfully at the box office, but that didn’t deter the movie from being an awesome take on sci-fi that we have seen in a long while.
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  • CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER

Captain America: The First Avenger wasn’t my favorite Marvel movie, but the sequel improved magnificently on the flaws of the first one. Showing the more versatile part of Captain America and his shield with a beautiful opening scene. The movie also had a really cool 70’s cold war espionage setting similar to movies like The Hunt for Red October. The action sequences were also brilliantly executed with the likes of the ship and elevator sequences. It also had an engaging story with an electrifying plot twist. I cannot wait for the Captain America: Civil War movie cause its also still going to be directed by Anthony and Joe Russo who both directed this second movie.
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  • X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

A lot of movies get second chances in the form of reboots or remakes, but none does it has inventive as Bryan Singer did with this movie, Probably still peeved from the colossal mess of X-Men 3, Bryan Singer utilized the popular comic story and used it as a tool to reinvent the X-Men. The movie scores higher for me mostly because of how they were able to appropriate the various numbers of characters and give them a decent amount of screen time. It was cool to see most of the old cast and new cast interact, especially with James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart as both young and old Professor Xavier. It was able to explain a rather complex story plot in a very simple and interesting way. I am looking forward to the X-Men: Apocalypse movie.
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  • DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

When I saw the apes riding the horses in the trailer, I already lost my mind cause I was such a huge fan of the Rise of the Planet of the Apes movie, as I thought it was a very strong reboot for the franchise washing away the 2001 neanderthal abomination featuring Mark Wahlberg(ok that was a bit too harsh). But this movie showcased a deeper and more emotional side to the apes, I was able to connect more with their plight much like with the prawns in District 9. It was also an allegory to humankind as the apes also had their own form of civil dispute. The movie takes place a few years after the events of the first one where a plague known as the Simian Flu that kills off most of the human population and the apes have become more evolved. I’m looking forward to the sequel.
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  • GONE GIRL

Now the reason this was my favorite movie of 2014, was the realistic approach that David Fincher employed in tackling modern issues like unfaithfulness, media influence, childhood pressure amongst others. Most of this themes were similar to my personal life and experiences, so it was easier for me to relate with the characters in the movie. It also had a very impressive cast with Rosamund Pike displaying her best performance yet. I did a review on the movie previously in which I went deeper into the pros and cons of the movie. Ben Affleck also gave a very esoteric performance that kept me wondering about his motives. The movie was beautifully executed in my opinion and the suspense and thrill kept me at the edge of my seat. This was a worthy adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s original novel.
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These were my top ten favorite movies of 2014, but there were many more that couldn’t make it to my final list, so I decided to make a honourable mentions list.

  • HONOURABLE MENTIONS
  1. The Lego Movie
  2. Neighbours
  3. Noah
  4. How to Train your Dragon 2
  5. The Purge Anarchy
  6. The Maze Runner
  7. The Equalizer
  8. Fury
  9. The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1
  10. The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
  11. Horrible Bosses 2
  12. Stonehearst Asylum
  • WATCHLIST

These are the movies that I have heard about but have not gotten the chance to watch. I am still looking forward to checking them out

  1. The Raid 2
  2. The Grand Budapest Hotel
  3. Foxcatcher
  4. Birdman
  5. The Two Faces of January
  6. Nightcrawler
  7. Top Five
  8. The Drop
  9. The Imitation Game
  10. Inherent Vice
  • RECOMMENDATION

Predestination is my shoutout  movie for 2014, it was a very interesting concept dealing with the predestination paradox. The movie is very complicated and confusing and required double viewings for me to understand. Ethan Hawke delivers an awesome performance as usual but the main star in the movie to me had to be Sarah Snook, her performance was top notch and really demanded a lot, but she still managed to pull it off Jodie Foster-style. This is a movie I would highly recommend for those into hard scifi.
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Please feel free to mention some of your favorite movies of 2014 and don’t forget to like and subscribe for more entertaining news. Till next time. Szia

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Cinema Corner: Gone Girl

Still recovering from the epicness of the Video Games Live concert, I decided to treat myself to David Fincher’s new psychological drama title Gone Girl, which stars Ben Affleck as a young husband who searches for his recently missing wife. The movie looks plain at first, like a regular mystery but then the movie delves deeper and gets more twisted and brilliant, this has to be one of my favorite movies of this year. Today I would be giving my review of the movie, I would highlight my pros and cons and try as much to be spoiler free.

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The movie’s atmosphere brimmed with Fincher’s signature all over it. The foreboding unrest in the characters were present from the very beginning. Ben Affleck plays a nonchalant husband who doesn’t seem to affected with the disappearance of his wife as much as the media would expect him to be. Rosamund Pike delivers a riveting performance worthy of an Oscar nomination as I would originally hesitant on her casting, I was not a big fan of her from her previous works in movies like Wrath of the Titans and The World’s End. Another really strong aspect of this movie where the supporting cast, Carrie Coon who is known for her tremendous work on The Leftovers plays the sister to Ben Affleck’s character. Neil Patrick Harris unhooks his Dougie Howser persona to reveal a creepy character which he played to the teeth. A pleasant surprise for me was Tyler Perry, his role as a sharp talking lawyer caught me by surprise and really left me jaw dropped as I had never seen him portray such a character before. The movie was also able to tap into the moral streams of the audience as most of the issues that were addressed are very relatable to issues in the real world like marriage problems, media coverage and manipulation.

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Like I said previously, this was a David Fincher movie, so he was never hesitant in showcasing some really graphic and dark scenes which helped in conveying the message more to the screen, like a particularly gruesome box cutter scene which I won’t spoil. The movie also delves deep into media perception and how the media can be used as a weapon for and against an individual just like we are experiencing on a daily basis. It shows how easily swayed the media can be simply based on the appearance of a story. It also reflects on the beauty as well as the frailty of a marriage if it’s not properly tended to by both partners. The movie also shows the psychological toll that high expectations can cause on a young child as shown with the children books that were written based on Rosamund Pike’s character by her parents, setting an unrealistic bar for one’s kids can be very dangerous as it could push the kid to extreme mental stress. The movie paints a very detailed mental picture of the things we go through normally in our lives. It was very relatable and parallels most of the common issues around, that’s what makes this movie one of my best movies this year. I just had a little problem with the ending which was pretty abrupt in my opinion. But that’s just me, some others liked it, that’s the beauty of movies, it’s very subjective.

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PROS
-Strong leading actors: Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike delivered one of the best performances this year.
-Impressive supporting cast: Carrie Coon, Tyler Perry and Neil Patrick Harris provided well appreciated supporting roles.
-Moral themes: The movie dealt well with everyday activities that happen in the real world without beating you over the head with it.
-Justifiable dark scenes: The violent scenes were well executed and not gratuitous.

CONS
-Abrupt ending: A rather sharp and ambiguous ending that left me wanting

Overall I would give this movie a solid 9 out of 10, I was engaged from the beginning to the end, and it left me thinking about the parallel ordeals in the movie that mirror current events in our world. I strongly recommend this movie to any one who hasn’t seen it. For those worried about Ben Affleck as the new Batman, he looked buff as hell in this movie, combined with his acting, I have no doubt that he would portray a very convincing Batman. Let me know your thoughts for those who have seen it. Feel free to air your thoughts on the comments section below. Please don’t forget to like and subscribe for more entertaining news. Till next time. Szia.