Best of 2014: Movies

Best-of-2014I am a huge film buff, and so naturally find a great deal of joy in recommending good movies every year. I never see all the films I want to see in a year, and I will inevitably see more of this year’s best as the next year progresses. Also, you can tell by my list that I have young kids. Nonetheless, here are my five favorite films, from those that I saw, in 2014:

5. The Lego Movie

What an unexpected delight this film turned out to be. With real wit and charm this film won my appreciation. The plot might have been somewhat predictable, but the writers took a familiar motif and breathed new life into it. The Lego Movie was far more than a commercial for a toy, it was a fun film.

4. Maleficint

With an intriguing twist on a classic tale, Disney turns this familiar story into a dark and hauntingly beautiful movie. I loved Angelina Jolie’s performance and the unexpected love that saves the day. Like Frozen, this film turned the tables on our expectations.

3. Big Hero 6

Another surprise for me was this adaptation of a Marvel comic book. In fact, the adaptation was so different that it might as well be said not to be based on the comic at all. The story of Hiro and Beymax was heartwarming, funny, and just plain fun. The Pixar animation was beautiful, the characters warm and inviting, and the story simple with hints of complexity. The emotion of the film was also compelling. This was a good movie, despite some criticisms of the storyline.

2. Guardians of the Galaxy

As a comic book fan I love most of the new Marvel films, but Guardians had a totally different feel to it. Anchored by a surprising cast choice, Chris Pratt, and based off of a rather esoteric comic, the film felt less like a comic book movie and more like simply great product. Witty writing, excellent acting, and a compelling plot the movie excelled in every way. I loved this film, loved Pratt, and loved these characters. I can’t wait for the sequel!

1. Snowpiecer

Post-apocalyptic stories are all the rage these days, but there increasingly harder to pull off with out redundancy and predictability. This film was an exception to that rule. It’s a disturbing film in some ways, no doubt, violent and even absurd – a true sci-fi epic – but it is brilliant in ways that are hard to describe without revealing too much of the plot. It’s not for everyone, but it was my choice for best film of the year (based on my limited viewing choices).

 

Movies that I suspect would have made my list had I had time to see them this year:

1. Interstellar

2. Grand Budapest Hotel

3. Into the Woods

 

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