Here I am again to list out my favorite movies of the last year. This time it’s for 2014. *Insert jokes/comments about how quickly time has passed.*
Today, I’m not only judging movies that I watched that opened last year, but ALL movies I watched for the first time in 2014.
I think I’m going to split this list into two categories. I’ll start off with a list of my favorite movies that were released in 2014 and I’ll finish up with movies that were released in other years but I only saw for the first time last year.
It’s amazing how good 2014 was for movies. I had a hard time picking, so I think I’m going to extend my usual five picks to eight. Here they are:
John Wick – Wow. Just…WOW. This movie is balls out intense and action packed. Keanu crushes it. I can’t recommend this movie enough. Wall to wall action and gunfights. Brutal. GREAT.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier – I loved the first Cap movie, but this one blew that one out of the water. In this movie, you see why Cap is a BAD ASS. Great, great movie with lots of amazing action and a great cast. I also love that it turns out to be a conspiracy plot that changes up the makeup of the Marvel Movie-verse a bit and not just Cap defeating some super baddie. We also get a pretty great scene of Nick Fury being bad ass Nick Fury. Something we don’t get to see enough of. And now I want to see a Captain America and Falcon movie. Right now.
Draft Day – I love the sh*t out of this movie. And it’s a testament to how good it is that it’s the only movie in this list that I’ve seen THREE times. And I love it every time I watch it. Kevin Costner is awesome and I’ll watch him in most anything. Plus, there’s some gratuitous Jacksonville love at the end.
The Equalizer – OMFG this movie is balls out awesome. Denzel is a MAN in this. I really hope this turns into a series of movies where we see Denzel helping out people in need. So. Fu**king. Good. Intense. Smart. Great action scenes. In many ways this is as brutal as John Wick, but it also has a lot more to think about.
X-Men: Days of Future Past – I’m a big fan of the original X-Men movies (as you heard on the Nerd Lunch Podcast) plus I’m a huge fan of X-Men: First Class. Combine those franchises and I was ALL IN. And it turned out pretty great. I was very happy with this movie and watching Jackman, Fassbender, McAvoy and Lawrence tear it up was just awesome.
Guardians of the Galaxy – Against all odds this movie turned out pretty great. The eclectic cast and sly humor completely won me over. Not to mention the awesome sci-fi set pieces and I am 100% in love. And I’m glad it caught on with everyone else because now we’ll get more of their adventures sooner rather than later.
Maleficent – Here we are again with Disney. I love these reimagining/retelling from a different point of view type stories. I thought this movie was going to be good but it was SO GOOD. Angelina is great as Maleficent and you really get a sense of her character in the movie. It’s a great companion piece to Sleeping Beauty. And the movie looks just unbelievable. Such great visuals.
Into the Woods – Jeez, Disney again. Obviously I’d seen the trailer for this but knew nothing else about it going in. Not even that it was originally a Broadway show. And it blew me away. I’m a big fan of Broadway shows anyway, so having this be an actual interpretation of a Broadway show didn’t bother me at all. And I hadn’t seen the original show so I didn’t really know what I was missing. I’d love to see the show now. This movie is awesome and fun with great songs and a fun way to intertwine several different fairy tales into one long form story. And Meryl Streep kills the witch. She is so good. As is Emily Blunt as the Baker’s wife and Chris Pine as one of the princes even has a few great moments. So good, especially if you’re a fan of musicals to begin with.
Now those are the best movies I saw that were released last year. Now, let’s look at the best of all the other movies I watched for the first time in 2014 that weren’t released that year.
Frozen (2013) – As you can probably guess, since I’ve mentioned it once or twice, I’m a big Disney musical fan. Plus I have kids. Both my son and daughter LOVE this movie and all of the songs. I’ve probably watched this movie upwards of 50 times but I still like it. And all the songs (except the troll song). Both the movie’s story and the songs are written so well and all of the voice cast is amazing. Is it overexposed? Yes, but deservedly so. It’s still a great movie.
Blackfish (2013) – I had read about this documentary online so I gave it a shot on Netflix streaming. WOW. Horrific. Sad. Scary. It’s a tough one to watch but it’s totally worth it.
Saving Mr. Banks (2013) – Wow, 2013 must have been a great year for movies as well. Look how many showed up in my list this year that I didn’t even watch. Like I said, I love Disney, the movies and the whole atmosphere of the man and the company. And Mary Poppins is one of my favorite Disney movies. So combine all of that and give us the “behind the scenes” story of how that movie was created? YES. Hanks and Thompson knock it out of the park. This is such a great movie.
Somm (2012) – This was another documentary I loved this year. Recommended to me by my good friend Stephen Dupuy. My wife and I love all things wine. So this was right up our alley. It follows several people who are studying and preparing to take the Master Sommelier test. A test that is so all encompassing and so difficult that in the last 40 years of its history less than 200 people have passed. A look into the mind of why someone would want to do that.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) – The sequel came out in 2014 and I saw it in the theater. But I hadn’t watched the first one at the time so I watched it the day before I went to see the sequel. I had very little expectations. I don’t love Planet of the Apes and have no particular nostalgia for the franchise so I wasn’t really looking forward to watching it. But I was wrong. The movie is pretty great. It’s amazing the performance you get out of Ceasar. Kudos to Andy Serkis for that. This is truly a great movie. The sequel is good too. Not as good as the first one, but it’s definitely a worthy sequel to this movie (It just missed making the list above). I look forward to more Caesar movies.