TOP 10 FILMS OF 2014

In 2014 we saw an avalanche of superheroes, mega robots, reboots, remakes, sequels, and animated films come pouring into theaters alongside new and fresh ideas from some of the best in the biz.  Some charmed us with the likes of the lovable Baymax, others disappointed and made us wish they had left our Turtles alone.  Marvel continued to surprise us with lovable bad guys and a talking tree. We got to see the creepy side of Jake Gyllenhaal, and all the bad sides of Angelina Jolie (did I just hear a rhyme?).  Sony continued to disappoint with another Spider-man and, oh you know, almost sending us to war over The Interview.  But in the end my favorites were safe from Kim Jong-un and were pretty easy to pick. As always I base my picks on “watchability” - if I can watch it over and over, I must have loved it.  So here are my picks for the best movies of 2014, movies I’ll surely watch time and time again.

10. BIG EYES - Mr. Burton’s best movie since Big Fish and one of the years most interesting films.  Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz couldn’t be more perfect in this twisted true story of who painted it?  

9. HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 - I was a blubbering mess after the first one and this was no different (except I think I cried for like 20 minutes this time, yeah I’m a sap).  The franchise is remarkable and groundbreaking, taking us to new heights in animation and storytelling.  I can’t wait for the third film!

8. CHEF - This one surprised me.  If you thought I was a sap watching How To Train Your Dragon 2, you should have seen the emotion mess that was me after watching Chef.  This was the best feel-good movie of 2014 and I’ll surely enjoy it for many years to come.

7. THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL - This was such a wonderful and enchanting adventure.  Wes Anderson is one of my favorites and he has crafted his finest film to date.  If there is a more stylish and crafty filmmaker working out there today then I don’t know who he or she is.

6. EDGE OF TOMORROW (LIVE. DIE. REPEAT.) - Finally, a great original and high concept film executed brilliantly for the summer movie audience.  The Edge of Tomorrow is captivating, haunting, thrilling, and hilarious without ever being over the top, slow, or arrogant in its way.  The clever storytelling and incredible look keep you glued to the screen like none other.

5. THE LEGO MOVIE - Not only is it one of the best-animated movies in years, it’s also one of the most inventive films of the last decade.  To hell with Transformers and Battleship, toy based movies finally have a champion!  LEGO is known for its creative ways, yet this was unexpected and hugely entertaining.  I couldn’t get enough of it.

4. UNDER THE SKIN - Once in a while a movie comes along that takes my breath away.  It gets inside me and flows through my veins like a drug taking hold of my heart and pumping it so hard I could just pass out.  Even though I barely understood a minute of Under the Skin, and I’m not sure I needed to or want to, I absolutely loved it.

3. INTERSTELLAR - Calling Interstellar anything less than extraordinary is erroneous.  The film is a masterpiece and a brilliant work of art, only flawed by it’s own intelligence.  The movie had me feeling like a kid again, like seeing Jurassic Park or Star Wars for the first time.  It’s so grand and unimaginable, you stare up at it and wonder “how did they do it?”

2. INTO THE WOODS - I went in knowing I was in for something special but I had no idea just how magical this film would be.  Beyond the surface of fairytales and Disney flair is a deep and powerful message for young and old.  This is not just my second favorite of the year, it is the best musical I have ever seen.

1. GONE GIRL - That rare moment when a film transcends from being just a movie, to become an experience… Gone Girl is by far the best movie of 2014.  David Fincher, Ben Affleck, and Rosamund Pike all performed at their very best and the film they have crafted is remarkable.  

Runners up included - Nightcrawler, Guardians of the Galaxy, Big Hero 6, Wild, & Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.


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