Now that 2014 has come to a close, it’s time to look back on the films that were released during the year, so here below is a list of my favorite movies of 2014. Now, I’m not saying these are the “best” movies of the year, just that these are my favorites. I see a lot of movies each year, but admittedly most of these are viewed on home video. Most of the ones that I selected as my favorites of 2014 were films that I had been anticipating and that I did make a point to watch in the theater, sometimes even more than once. Since many of my selections are already out now on home video, I’ve gotten to watch them several times. And, for someone like me, if I want to repeatedly watch a movie, then that’s a likely candidate to make it to the top of my list of favorites for the year.
With that, here’s a list of my Favorite Movies of 2014.
Avengers star Chris Evans dons a long, large overcoat to hide his massive Captain America physique throughout this dystopian action film that takes place entirely on a moving train. Great action, story, and twists. Snowpiercer was one of the two picks on this 2014 Favorites list that wasn’t on my original “anticipated films of 2014” list (that I had in my mind). This one wasn’t really on my radar and I watched this on Netflix while I was laid up with a broken ankle, so while I was desperate to watch anything to keep my mind off the pain, I also had very little tolerance to sit through something terrible. Snowpiercer not only kept my attention throughout, but piqued my interest as the story unfolded.
Running a site like Geeks Of Doom makes it difficult to go in fresh to movies, but for David Fincher’s Gone Girl, I managed to keep away from spoilers or avoid learning about even the smallest details about the story before heading into the theater. I knew that Fincher was directing the film starring Ben Affleck, who plays a husband who’s blonde wife goes missing. That’s it. I dig Fincher’s directing style and I love me some Ben Affleck, so that was enough to get me to the theater. I was not disappointed. Also, added bonus of Batman-buff Affleck naked in the shower.
Daniel Radcliffe stars in this faithful big-screen adaptation of the Joe Hill dark fantasy novel Horns. The Harry Potter star plays Ig, a young man accused of murdering his girlfriend who awakes one day to find horns growing out of his head. Interestingly enough, the horns seem to make the people he encounters express their true feelings, whether good or bad. The movie is a combination of supernatural horror, dark fantasy, thriller, and mystery with a tinge of dark, twisted humor – basically what should have been a must-see Halloween season movie. Instead, Horns, from director Alexandre Aja, was given only a limited release on Halloween day and was unfortunately overlooked by much of the population. But, I found it to be one of the more interesting, entertaining movies of the year – definitely worth grabbing on DVD/Blu-ray when it’s released this Tuesday.
Everything is awesome!!!!!!! And so is The Lego Movie. I assumed I’d like this computer-animated LEGO-centric feature starring an all-star voice cast — Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, and many more — but I ended up loving it. The addition of characters from the DC and Star Wars universes was a nice touch.
Edge of Tomorrow, or whatever it’s called now, is the second of the two movies that I was surprised to find on my Favorites list. This scifi/alien/action film wasn’t really on my radar and while I’ve always enjoyed Tom Cruise’s work on screen, I feel like his movies are becoming just more of the same. Admittedly, this one kind of is too, but Edge of Tomorrow captured me in the same way Cruise’s Minority Report did. As I mentioned in my intro, for a movie to become a favorite, I have to want to watch it over and over again and be happy doing so, which was the case for Edge of Tomorrow — and that’s with a large portion of the scenes themselves being repeated throughout the film, as Cruise’s character is stuck in a Groundhog Day-esque “live, die, repeat” loop (hence WB’s change of the title to Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow for the home release).
Godzilla has always been a favorite of mine, and I was anticipating Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla ever since seeing the test footage at 2012’s SDCC. The director nailed the spirit and essence of the creature, beautifully bringing the character, which celebrated its 60th birthday in 2014, into the 21 century for new audiences. I’m definitely looking forward to the sequel, coming in 2018 (after Edwards finishes up his work on the first Star Wars standalone film).
I love Disney movies, especially their fairy tale classics, so I was intrigued by the concept of Maleficent, a live-action alternate take on the Sleeping Beauty tale that shows the perspective of Maleficent, who’s seen as the villain in the original story. Angelina Jolie stars as the title character in this origins story and the actress truly dominates the story and screen.
I’m a fan of the X-Men movies and even the ones I don’t like — X-Men: The Last Stand — I have watched repeatedly, so any addition to the X franchise is going to get my attention. X-Men: Days Of Future Past has A LOT going on as it merges the cast of the original X-Men with the one from the X-Men Origins: First Class prequel in a time travel tale. Lots of details and action and general badassery.
Captain America is a favorite Marvel character and Chris Evans has done the superhero justice on the big screen in the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While some of the MCU sequels have fallen flat (Iron Man 2, I’m looking at you), Captain America: The Winter Soldier manages to top the first film, 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger, which was an origins story. Not only does the Captain America superhero character really shine, but The Winter Solider is really a Captain America/Black Widow team-up film. And if it wasn’t obvious already, Black Widow is one of the most awesome characters of the MCU and would likely put her male counterparts to shame if given a standalone film.
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies Blu-ray | DVD
I’m a crazy Tolkien universe fan and I’m really only one step away from Hobbit ears and feet cosplay, so you can imagine that I really wanted and NEEDED to see The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, Peter Jackson’s third and final installment in his Hobbit film trilogy (and sixth film of the Tolkien film universe he created). I had eagerly been anticipating visiting Middle-Earth #OneLastTime. The trilogy is really just one huge movie, so since I loved the first two movies (especially Smaug), I knew I’d love this final one. And I did. While Five Armies wasn’t my favorite of the trilogy (with trilogies, the second movie always tends to be my fav), it was one of the more enjoyable movie viewings of the year for me.
Hands down, Guardians Of The Galaxy is my favorite movie of 2014. Director James Gunn knocks it out the park on this one, crafting a unique and fun story about this ragtag group of misfits within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This movie was in the works for a while, yet initially there was no hype for it. Guardians is not one of Marvel Comics’ more well-known teams, so this big-screen adaptation wasn’t really on the tips of everyone’s tongues and those comics fans who were aware of the premise couldn’t fathom how a talking raccoon and a walking tree were going to work in a live-action setting. But soon before the film’s August 1, 2014 release, audiences began to catch on, as more and more footage was revealed. Upon release, Guardians Of The Galaxy took the box office by storm and deservedly so. The movie is a mix of superhero action, humor, and science fiction accompanied by an unlikely soundtrack of “70s AM Gold” hits, all of which, when combined, managed to appeal to people of all ages. James Gunn and company truly captured lightning in a bottle with Guardians Of The Galaxy.
We can’t let a feature about the movies of 2014 end without mentioning the most surprisingly controversial film of the year, The Interview. Oh yes, the lowbrow comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco caused quite a stir, and prompted the hacking of its studio Sony by North Korea, which was offended by the premise of the movie. The premise? The starring goofball characters go on a bumbling mission to assassinate current North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The film was slated to hit theaters on Christmas Day 2014, but after the hackers threatened 9/11-style attacks on any theater that screened the film, theater chains bailed and Sony pulled the film. But then America united behind the studio and a Christmas Eve miracle occurred – Sony released The Interview on streaming platforms like YouTube and Google Play that night and freedom reigned! Now, had all this hacking business NOT happened, I’d have waited for The Interview to hit cable and check it out then. But, like my fellow Americans, I could not “let the terrorists” win — plus, I just had to see for myself what the big deal was — so I watched the movie as soon as it was released, and a new Christmas tradition was born! Yes, the premise is silly, the characters are over the top, the humor is lowbrow, but man, I was laughing my ass off. I’m a fan of Seth Rogen and his comedy and even if I don’t love a movie he’s in (e.g., This Is The End), I always like his performance. In The Interview, Rogen is the one who brings all the ridiculousness back to earth. For all this, The Interview gets an honorable mention in my list of favorite movies of 2014.
There were several titles on my anticipated movies list that I didn’t get to see, so I just wanted to give them a quick mention here to be fair: The Imitation Game, The Book Of Life, Big Hero 6, St. Vincent.