These are my picks for the fifty best films of the year.
2014 was an excellent year for film with outstanding releases across a number of genres. Whether you’re a fan of the Coen Brothers, Christopher Nolan, indy horror, Disney fables, Marvel superheroes, Wes Anderson, sci fi blockbusters, crowd sourced films made in 3 weeks, ambitious slice of life films shot over 12 years, movies about gorillas playing baseball, American films, Australian films, foodie films…there was something for everyone this year.
I’ve included a link to the original review where possible. For the handful I haven’t finished, I’m aiming to have them done by early next year
50. The Interview
The most controversial film of 2014 in which James Franco and Seth Rogen are tasked with assassinating Kim Jong Un.
A dystopian city is thrown into disarray when a talented and rebellious young woman shatters the society’s strict social order by being good at two things.
48. 47 Ronin
A band of outcast Samurai warriors lead by Keanu Reeves (!) set out to restore the honour of a disgraced feudal Japanese village.
47. The Amazing Spider-man 2: Rise of Electro
Spider-man must save New York from a janitor who falls into a tank of electric eels.
46. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Captain America begins to question America’s military industrial complex in the War on Terror.
45. X-Men: Days of Future Past
The X-Men of the future travel to the X-Men of the past to stop an army of Sentinels from wiping out the X-Men of present day.
44. Mr Go
A gorilla joins a Korean baseball league to help save the orphans in his hometown in China.
43. The Fault In Our Stars
Two cancer stricken teenagers fall in love.
42. How To Train Your Dragon 2
Hiccup’s estranged mother returns. His parents try and reconcile their troubled marriage whilst defending the village from an army of dragons.
41. Saving Mr Banks
A true story about the challenge to bring Mary Poppins to the silver screen made difficult thanks to its neurotic author.
40. Veronica Mars
Veronica Mars returns to Neptune to help Logan Echolls who has been accused of a crime he says he didn’t commit.
A woman tries to prove her brother’s innocence by proving the crime was committed by a supernatural phenomenon.
38. These Final Hours
A man and a young girl try to survive the apocalypse when it hits Australia. Home and Away meets The Road.
37. Magic In The Moonlight
A magician who is skeptical of all things supernatural falls in love with a woman who claims to be a psychic.
36. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One
Katniss becomes a propaganda tool in the fight against President Snow by filming vignettes about drone strikes on hospitals in an unlikely metaphor for the conflict in gaza.
35. Captain Phillips
Tom Hanks is attacked by pirates.
A talented chef rediscovers his roots when he starts a food truck business in a town where every single character is a famous Hollywood actor.
33. The Muppets: Most Wanted
The Muppets are tricked into helping crooks who are planning a jewel heist when they take on Dominic Badguy as their new manager.
Scarlett Johansson becomes an all-powerful God, transcending time and space.
Sleeping Beauty told from the perspective of the villain.
30. Sunshine On Leith
A Scottish musical about love and the Iraq War.
29. 22 Jump Street
Schmidt and Jenko’s office moves across the road from 21 Jump Street to 22 Jump Street.
28. The Wolf of Wall Street
The true story of how a corrupt wall street stock-broker makes his fortune.
A man falls in love with his operating system.
A documentary about how keeping orcas in enclosures turns them into manic depressive homicidal killers.
An Irish priest is told during a confession that he will be executed in a week as an act of vengeance on the Catholic church.
24. American Hustle
A con-man, his mistress, his wife and an FBI agent get involved in a crime caper where no knows who they can trust.
23. Gone Girl
A missing persons case in which the husband is the prime suspect and all is not as it seems.
22. The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
A 144 minute long film based on ten pages of text in a childrens book.
Brad Pitt, Shia LeBeouf and the Percy Jackson kid ride in a tank together during the final days of World War II.
Godzilla returns to San Francisco to save mankind from its own hubris.
19. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
The only female ape has a bow on her head so you know she’s a girl.
18. The One I Love
A couple seeking relationship therapy enter a house which has a vortex into a parallel universe
17. Guardians of the Galaxy
Yet another film from the never ending Marvel super hero assembly line. This time the team has a talking tree, a raccoon and pro wrestler Dave Batista.
When a new ice age hits, the last survivors on Earth live on a train that travels nonstop around the world and has a brutal class sytem.
Matthew McConaughey goes into space, becomes obsessed with reconnecting with his daughter, appears to forget he also has a son.
An octogenarian travels from Montana to Nebraska to claim the million dollar prize from a sweepstakes spam letter.
The true story of an elderly woman who goes on a road trip to America to search for her estranged son who was forcibly taken from her by Irish nuns.
12. Mr Turner
The life and times of Britsh artist J.M.W Turner who likes painting, parties and prostitutes.
11. The Babadook
A single mother and her son begin to wonder if there really is a monster under the bed at night. The Babadook is an Australian directorial debut financed on Kickstarter for just $35,000.
10. The Lego Movie
An oddly subversive movie about the pitfalls of capitalism and the dangers of producing toys that are mindlessly segmented into licensed categories instead of allowing children to use their own imagination.
9. Under The Skin
Scarlett Johansson is an alien who travels to Scotland and feasts on the souls of lonely men.
8. Blue Jasmine
A wealthy socialite is brought down to Earth and must start a new life with her working class sister when her husband is arrested and loses their fortune.
7. The Raid 2: Berendal
A bone crunching, ass kicking, take no prisoners sequel to The Raid.
6. Twelve Years A Slave
True story of an educated middle class man who is kidnapped and spends the next twelve years as a slave enduring unimaginable hardship and brutality.
5. Inside Llewyn Davis
The hard luck story of ne’er-do-well folk singer Llewyn Davis.
4. Life, Itself
A documentary about the life and times of legendary film critic Roger Ebert.
A 12 year long film project in which the child actor ages before our eyes from age six to eighteen.
2. Edge of Tomorrow
A sci-fi action thriller in which a man fighting an alien invasion realizes he can die and repeat the same day over and over.
1. Grand Budapest Hotel
The adventures of Gustav H, a famous concierge who likes bedding elderly women, and his lobby boy Zero.