SO HERE WE ARE . . .
The best (or better) ones of this mediocre year. My criteria mainly focused on the ones that surprised, intrigued and entertained me. And boy, it was tough. Many have been watchable. Okay at best. What was harder was condensing my 20 WORST films. BUT there were diamonds in the rough sea of bilge that polluted the movie screens this year.
I have had to endure endless entries of mindless drivel regurgitating the same old plot, clichéd characters (even in their 3D wrapped foils) and excruciating acting or dreadful dialogue and to be honest, it’s killed my enthusiasm a little bit.
Now some entries you may question and unfortunately release dates are always different. My argument is films I’ve seen this year. Some may have been released at the end of 2013 but I didn’t see them until early January BUT that sums up my argument if they’re in here.
I won’t go on too much about each film. That’s what the other posts are for but a quick two cents if you like. Some I hope you will nod in approval. Others you may scroll back and forth hoping that this is a joke. BUT my criteria is based on surprise, entertainment and engagement. So God knows what lies in store.
1. The Dallas Buyers Club
What? Let’s not forget this wasn’t released in the UK until February. A film that certainly surprised me. I went in not knowing what to expect and was rewarded with a different story and engaging characters that were done to justice by two actors that had seemed to be pushed into the movie wilderness. McConaughey was launched back into the limelight and rightly so, beating Ejiofor to the Oscar. I still couldn’t believe Jared Leto’s supporting role. More to him than just a singer from an emo-rock-pop band.
2. Gone Girl
I went in expecting the worst and was rewarded with a brilliantly acted and well written piece of drama. I may have called the twist but the unravelling changed everything and made this an unexpected treat. A film with enough going on to justify it’s three hour length. Peter Jackson, I’m looking at you. The cast were superb. But the main scene stealer was Rosamund Pike. Remarkable. *Cough* Oscar *Cough*. Can Fincher do no wrong? (No, Alien 3 is awesome!)
3. 12 Years A Slave
A visceral and haunting film that delves into the human condition of one man’s plight into slavery. Steve McQueen certainly delivered one of his most ambitious, if slightly overhyped, projects to date. A harrowing story expertly acted by a fantastic cast. Ejiofor was unlucky not to win but he has certainly proved he can handle the leading role. This was all helped by an Oscar-winning supporting turn from newcomer Lupita Nyong’o and a sinister one from Michael Fassbender.
4. August: Osage County
An underrated drama. A perfect showcase in acting. Meryl Streep proving yet again why she keeps getting those Oscar nods. A simple story revolving a family feud. But with a family of well written characters with a huge ensemble of talented characters made this one to watch for me. Its abrupt ending may have lost marks but it didn’t ruin great performances. Shame none of the contenders won this time round.
5. The Book Thief
Now I will admit that I haven’t read the book but if the film is anything to go by, then I really want to read it. An endearing, if slow burning war drama that is shown through the eyes of a little girl who finds solace in stealing books. A great performance by Sophie Nelisse. It’s always a gamble with kid actors, especially when they are the main characters. But a great performance that is aided by a fantastic supporting cast consisting of Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson made this an engaging and highly watchable affair with an inevitable but emotional ending.
6. The Imitation Game
Fantastic. A suspenseful and intriguing look into the troubled genius that was Alan Turing as he helps crack the Enigma code during the Second World War. Benedict Cucumber Batch was outstanding. *Cough* Oscar *Cough*. A powerhouse performance. It helped being assisted by a stellar British supporting cast consisting of the likes of Charles “Game of Thrones” Dance, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode and that chauffeur guy from Downton Abbey. Compelling, enthralling and sombre viewing by the closing moments.
7. The Guardians of The Galaxy
Another Marvel movie is unleashed. But what a film. James Gunn manages to make an enjoyable romp of a space opera with the same old predictable guff of intergalactic rogues turned superheroes spiel. However, I actually cared about these rogues and cannot wait for another inevitable sequel. This is all helped with a great script, fantastic cast and an awesome soundtrack. So good I saw it twice.
8. 22 Jump Street
My name is Jeff! Yes, conforming to the masses but if when a blockbuster is this funny, who cares? Hill and Tatum are back pretty much doing the same thing which worked the first time round to better and bigger results. I laughed from start to finish. The very purpose of a comedy for me. It’s big, dumb and stupid but so funny. Invest.
9. The Inbetweeners 2
Speaking of dumb and stupid. The boys are back but this time they’re going down under. If you’re a fan then expect the same old dirty smut that still manages to have you heaving and laughing all the way. They may be reaching their thirties but the cast were still very much on form, making this installment surpass the first movie but falls first of the iconic TV series. Get on it, my movie fwends. Fwend, aww.
10. X-Men: Days of Future Past
Bryan came back! And brought with him another relentless X-Men sequel that restored my faith in the franchise. A little plot device allowed the director to do a little spring cleaning. A fusion of the old with the new made something completely different and very entertaining. Even the introduction of more new faces helped rather than hindered this time round. Evan Peters’ Quicksilver, I’m looking at you. There were numerous things I wanted to see more of as the film drew to a close. But all little teasers for a resurgence that I for one cannot wait to see. Plus McStewart vs. McBender in an act-off. Who can do deliver the best Magneto/Xavier? You decide.
13 thoughts on “THE 20 BEST FILMS OF 2014 * PART ONE”
Good picks. Release dates complicated my list too. I only decided in the past couple of months that going forward I’ll stick solely with UK release dates whereas before I was very inconsistent. I didn’t consider “Her”, “American Hustle”, “12 Years A Slave” or “Dallas Buyers Club” which I saw this year, at the time of their release.
I included Dallas and 12 Years because I have found it difficult to pick a top 20. I wanted to choose ones I actually enjoyed or at least kept my attention. Not just jumping on the bandwagon or going with the hype. Wait until I publish the second part (11-20) of the list. Got some strange selections in there. Hopefully this year will bring less duds. “He says crossing his fingers”.
Great list, man. Agreed – Rosamund Pike deserves that Oscar.
Hey, thanks for the follow. Great list by the way. Loved most of the movie you’ve picked. Nice to meet another cinema blogger.
Nice to meet you too. Thank you for the comment. Most? Not bad. I’ll take that haha.
Great list. I did something similar on a smaller scale on my blog – only the top 5 films of the year!
I’ll have to take a gander. I thought I would do more of a challenge with 20. Still picking 11-20. Trying to think outside the normal criteria. Watch this space haha!
The Book Thief is a brilliant book, you should definitely read it. I agree with most but I think the Hobbit: battle of the 5 armies definitely deserves a spot in the top 10/20! I’ve still not seen the imitation game so I might give it a watch.
Excellent. I will definitely check out the book. I’m still working on the 10-20 of 2014 so watch this space 😉 There were a few things that I didn’t like about the 5 Armies. Not just the way it was filmed. I would seriously recommend The Imitation Game! Let me know what you think when you get round to seeing it!
I would add Fury and The Grand Budapest Hotel in that list too.
I didn’t mind those two entries but I felt the hype hindered my expectations a little. Grand Budapest – Ralph Fiennes was exceptional. I couldn’t stop watching him. Hilarious but a bit too Wes Anderson for me. If that makes sense. Both were still good entries and stood out. Fury was good but I wanted more of the tank warfare and a little more depth into the characters. Brad Pitt was very good. But who knows I might change my 11-20 possibly 😉
Then again, the release dates are confusing. The movies release one, two or three months later in India.
Yeah I know what you mean the release dates throw you off a little bit plus it makes things a little more interesting on your selections. There are so many top lists. Helps to spice it up a bit or get people talking. Still working on the 11-20 best and top 20 worst.
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