Now this year was probably one of the best cinema has offered in a long time. There were great movies in every genre and compiling this list was more difficult than it has been over the last few years. Now, a few movies haven’t made it to my country’s theatres yet so movies like Nightcrawler, Foxcatcher, Birdmad etc, which have received a plethora of positive reviews and probably would have made this list are going to be left out (downsides of living in a third world country) but anyway, here’s my list.
Before I get to the list let me put in a special mention for the film that didn’t get a place on the list but deserved one: Edge of Tomorrow. It had a really bad trailer but it was definitely a great film. Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt really put in great performances and it narrowly loses out on cracking my top 5.
Honestly one of the most entertaining movies of the year. I read a review that said it’s refreshing to see an action hero who doesn’t have to be overly-muscular to kick ass. I really liked seeing Denzel in this role (but hell, I enjoy seeing Denzel in everything). It has shades of his earlier hit, Man On Fire, and of the action is reminiscent of Taken in many ways. Definitely worth a watch.
If you liked the original then you’re going to love this movie. 2014 was a year a great movies and also great sequels and this is movie fits into both categories. I like how grown up the movie is in terms of character development and also tone and style. It’s a little bit darker but still has the cheer and humour of the first. This movie is a great watch even if you have no kids.
3. Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
I know a lot of people were quite upset that the last film of this series was being split into two parts. I can understand the frustration but Hollywood is a business and more product = more revenue. I was annoyed by the finale split but only because I’m desperate to see how this great story concludes. Catching Fire was one of the surprise packages of 2013 for me. I had loved the first Hunger Games movie but the second just absolutely blew my mind. The things I liked about the second, however, were the things that most hated about it. It shifted focus from the action and violence of the games and became more political in nature which I loved. Mockingjay Part I takes an even deeper political stance, which I really enjoyed. Were some scenes drawn out? Yes. Could they have fit the entire story into this one film? Probably. But I still really enjoyed this movie and Jennifer Lawrence is a gem (still don’t know if she deserved an Oscar but that’s a debate for another post)
2. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Now this is where things became difficult. Honestly, this movie is probably my favourite movie of the year and more than deserves to be number 1 on this list. Its commentary on social issues; the way the conflict between humans and apes and the conflict within the groups themselves, perfectly mimics the way the world works is astounding. This movie delivers on so many fronts from the writing to the direction to the technical aspects of the motion capture technology. This movie isn’t just a way forward in terms of technology in film but also a way forward in terms of humanity and reconciling our differences. It’s a masterpiece and don’t think it received the acclaim it deserves.
Now the battle for top spot, on my list, was a 15 round, heavyweight battle. This movie narrowly beats Planet of the Apes in my view and was the only movie – this year – that got a perfect score. I hadn’t seen the trailer for this movie, had no idea what the plot was about and only went to see it because I wanted to see if Ben Affleck was worthy to play Batman. Affleck does a great job here and I’m actually optimisic about Batfleck now but the real star of this, is Rosamund Pike. I think there is Oscar success in her very near future. But besides the superb acting in this movie, the plot is the real reason to see this movie. It shocked me and I never knew where it was going. Some movies have one twist, maybe two, Gone Girl has more twists that a contortionist. Your eyes cannot and will not be able to be pulled away from the screen. It’s another David Fincher classic and I think the fact that the writer of the book was the one who wrote the screenplay really helped translate the quality of the book onto film. If you only see one movie this year, make it this one.
Well that’s my top 5, did your favourite movie not make the list, did a movie that wasn’t supposed to be here make the list. Let me know.
P.S. Happy New Year