2014 was a good year for new ideas and indie flicks, with such titles as Birdman and Nightcrawler taking everyone by surprise. However, like most other cinephiles, I did not get to see every movie that came out. Therefore, if there’s a movie not on this list that you thought should be, it’s probably because I didn’t see it.
First I’d like to name a few honorable mentions; some that I thought were good, but not quite good enough. What We Do in the Shadows, Whiplash, John Wick, Big Hero 6, Interstellar, Boyhood, and Selma. These movies were incredible, but did not end up making the cut.
Coming in at number 10 for me was X-Men: Days of Future Past. This is a movie I loved, but no one seemed to love it quite as much as I did. I’ve always been an X-Men fan from the comics to the big screen, but even I have to say this one lacked. Sure, it brought in a bunch of new characters that deserved to be brought in, but it forgot some even existed — Nightcrawler, for example. It was still a solid movie with a good feel to it, which is why it’s in my Top 10.
Coming in at number 9 is another superhero movie, Captain America the Winter Soldier. This movie is every bit a solid action film and also a moral lesson. This movie has everything that 2012’s The Avengers had except with espionage reminiscent of the cold war era movies. This movie dropped a bombshell at the end with a huge twist. I won’t spoil it, but go see it if you haven’t already.
At number 8 is The Raid 2. This is a great foreign film about an undercover cop going to disassemble the biggest triad in Indonesia. This movie is brutally violent — people’s faces being burned and shotgun-to-face action. This movie is also dubbed with really bad voice acting that nearly ruined it for me, but the fighting choreography is the best I’ve ever seen. One-shot-takes like Enter the Dragon with full-contact like Jackie Chan. The Raid 2 is an excellent film for anybody who enjoys excellent choreography and gore; this movie would be higher if it wasn’t incredibly long and tedious at times, but still a good movie.
Coming in at number 7 is Guardians of the Galaxy. I had never heard of these characters from this series before, and I hadn’t given it more than a thought of, “Well a new Marvel movie is out, I should probably go see that.” But I was quickly entertained; this movie was spectacular. My only complaint would be that it followed the cliches that Marvel uses in almost all of their movies. At times, it feel like it was following the track that all other Marvel movies have been on.
At number 6 we have Fury. This movie makes The Raid 2 seem tame and innocent in comparison. Fury had me physically shaking at parts and leaving me horrified. Some of this movie feels like it should be illegal for how bare and brutal it is, but the story is incredibly well-written up for a majority of the movie. Overall, Fury was attention-grabbing and interesting.
At number 5 we have Nightcrawler. This movie got my attention just from the trailer, which frames the movie as “found footage” , with violence that can seem incredibly real at times. Set in the beautiful city of Los Angeles, I knew I was going to love it. This movie shines with the character evolution of Louis Bloom, played by Jake Gyllenhaal. His story-arc drastically changes throughout from low-time thief to sociopathic killer making him an the best anti-hero since Taxi Driver.
Coming in at number 4, we have The Lego Movie. This movie took me completely by surprise by how good it was. I initially perceived it as one of those poorly-made movies that cashes in on a big franchise in order to sell merchandise; obviously, the LEGO company was a good opportunity to do so. Instead, The Lego Movie ended up on this top ten list. With an all-star cast and fast paced comedy, this is a great movie for anyone.
Coming in at number 3, we have 22 Jump Street. This movie is by far the best comedy I have seen in a very long time. Every point in which something shouldn’t be funny, they make it funny. Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the writers of both The Lego Movie and 22 Jump Street are able to make both movies hilarious, regardless that they’re complete opposites.
Coming in at number 2 is The Muppets: Most Wanted. Personally, the movie brought back so much nostalgia for me, given that I grew up watching The Muppets. This comedy had an incredible cast with many big-name celebrities, which was nice to see.
At number 1, we have The Grand Budapest Hotel. Wes Anderson is one of my favorite directors, so already I knew I would love this movie. Anderson’s movies are extremely fun to watch. The cinematography defies the industry standards at every turn, but he makes it work. His attention to colors, which contrast, yet match the surroundings, make it extremely visually appealing. The dialogue is also a great display of wit.
There it is; my top ten movies of 2014. If you haven’t seen these movies, I recommend you do so as soon as possible. Hopefully you will enjoyed them as much as I did!