2014: The Year in Film
It’s been quite a year. I got married. My wife and I put together a little home together. I directed one play, I’m currently in rehearsals for another. I wrote a new book that — God willing — will be available relatively early in 2015. And in the meantime, I managed to see a few movies.
Not all the movies, mind you. There are still several 2014 releases I haven’t seen yet, often because the aforementioned activities got in the way of my movie time. I still haven’t seen Boyhood, for instance, and I’m dying to. I’m delinquent in keeping up with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, and despite all my efforts to the contrary, I’ve yet to get around to The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
So consider this list highly incomplete. These are all the films from 2014 that I have seen, in order of my favorite to my least favorite. This includes direct-to-video and made-for-TV movies. I’ll leave comments for the ones where I have comments to leave.
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Marvel has had a good year — a good couple of years, actually — but this to me was the movie that really elevated their universe beyond simple superhero action into something with greater depth and meaning.
- Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Similar to Captain America, this film took what Rise of the Planet of the Apes began and ran with it, creating a larger world and a highly intelligent, powerful science fiction film.
- Guardians of the Galaxy. This was just pure fun.
- X-Men: Days of Future Past. Easily the best X-Men film to date, and so good that it actually erases some of the sins of the previous films.
- The LEGO Movie. Again, pure fun, but with a surprising amount of heart to it.
- Gone Girl. Incredibly tense and engaging.
- Interstellar. One of the most engaging, entertaining pure sci-fi films in years
- Godzilla. Fantastic reboot of the franchise.
- Edge of Tomorrow. Great movie hurt by atrocious marketing.
- Big Hero 6.
- Stripped. Fine documentary about the comic strip form.
- I Am Santa Claus.
- St. Vincent.
- Doc of the Dead. Interesting documentary about zombie fiction.
- Stage Fright. Little seen but actually entertaining musical horror comedy about a slasher killer attacking a theater camp. It’s on Netflix streaming right now. Meatloaf is in it.
- A Merry Friggin’ Christmas. One of Robin Williams’s final performances, alongside Community‘s Joel McHale.
- Son of Batman.
- Justice League: War.
- Mr. Peabody and Sherman.
- Big Driver.
- Chilling Visions: 5 States of Fear. Okay anthology, but the premise holding the segments together is paper-thin.
- JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time.
- Maleficent. Could have been a great remake from the villain’s perspective, but a horribly invasive voice over and some poor performances really hurt.
- Print the Legend.
- Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.
- Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. The original remains one of my favorites. This film seems like further proof that Frank Miller has lost his mind.
- Robocop. Unnecessary, lifeless remake.
- Lucky Duck. Treacle-filled animated kiddie film I watched with my niece. Just because a movie is targeted for children is no excuse for making it bad.
- The Amazing Spider-Man 2. After a first movie that I thought was just as good as — maybe better than — the Toby Maguire films, I couldn’t believe how utterly this one fell apart.
- I, Frankenstein.
- Happy Christmas. “Hey, you know all those dull, unscripted movies about obnoxious people who can’t get their lives together? Let’s make one at Christmas. And put Lena Dunham in it.”
- Sharknado 2: The Second One. In fairness, they weren’t trying to make a good movie. They succeeded.
- Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever. All I can say is that the title was accurate.
Posted on December 31, 2014, in Lists and tagged Batman, Big Hero 6, Captain America, Christmas, Disney, Godzilla, Guardians of the Galaxy, Justice League, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, Planet of the Apes, Robocop, Sin City, Spider-Man, The LEGO Movie, X-Men, zombies. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.