Wrapping Up 2014: All the New Films I Have Seen this Year
With the year 2014 ending, I thought I would take some time to reflect on this past year of film and even look towards the future at what lies ahead. From the best films of the year to the God-awful bombs we all want to forget, this has been an interesting year for movies. Some of our most anticipated films have met our expectations, exceeded them or have fallen short. So as we approach the next year which will, hopefully, hold an even better year for film, let's think about and remember the best parts of 2014.
In this article, we will be looking back on All the Film's I Have Seen This Year.
-Note: Some of these movies were seen before The Movie Paradise was made, so the films from May on will have links to our reviews we did when they were first seen-
Was it fantastic? No, but I didn't expect it to be. RoboCop was a reboot that had everyone up in arms about. A lot of people hated it. I didn't, and maybe that's because I never saw the original. This film was simply a fun, shooter movie that had some cool gadgets and weapons. It was a fun time at the movies. I didn't go in with a lot of expectations for this movie, and maybe that's why it worked for me. 7.4/10.
This film saw Vanessa Hudgens break free from her High School Musical role and explore a powerful and, in my opinion, Oscar-worthy role. Hudgens plays a girl who is reunited with her birth father, a rich man who soon learns the hardships his illegitimate daughter has endured over the course of her life. I honestly don't understand why there's so much dislike for this movie. I found it to be an inspiring movie with fantastic performances and great execution. Sometimes I can understand when people don't like a movie, but for Gimme Shelter, I just don't understand. 8.4/10.
This is my personal pick for the worst film of 2014. What should have been a fun, shoot-'em-up action thriller with a badass Arnold Schwarzenegger turned out to actually be a laughable piece of garbage. It was advertised as something that it wasn't. In actuality, the movie has two action scenes that weren't even done well. The dialogue is some of the worst I have ever seen, with the highlight line being "Some of us are getting paid, and some of us are getting dead." There is no character development at all and by the end, you're just laughing at how bad it really is. 2.5/10.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Coming off of Captain America: The First Avenger, I wasn't overly interested in this movie. But, as it turned out, this was a great movie. The action was well done with a great spy thriller plot and a spoiler that changed the Marvel Cinematic Universe entirely. While there were some parts I wish were done differently, overall, Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a fun time and really improved on the terrible movie that was The First Avenger. 7.95/10.
This could have been a great science fiction film with Johnny Depp's return to the roles he's so good at. However, what we actually got was a mess of a film that did little to engage its audience. It suffered from a script that wasn't overly interesting to begin with (with telling us how the movie ends at the very beginning) and then proceeds to do so many time jumps that it ruins any kind of character development. It made a lot of basic screenwriting mistakes that a professional Hollywood movie shouldn't have done. And it may have scared Wally Pfister from directing again for a while. 4.56/10.
Tom Hardy in a car driving. That is what Locke is. That is all it is. And it is fantastic. Hardy gives the best performance I've probably ever seen from him, and if the year wasn't so stacked, he would have deserved an Oscar nomination. The camera never leaves Hardy's car as he talks to a bunch of different people on the phone and we learn all about where he's going. Pretty much, when he gets in the car, his life is perfect but when he gets out, it's ruined. It's a great movie. 8.6/10
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 should have been a great movie and it wasn't at all. It was a mess of a film, with drastic tone changes throughout the film, weak and corny characters and was a CGI crapfest. And really, it's only point was to set up The Sinister Six, which we may not even be getting now. It's such a shame that this movie turned out this way. 4.55/10.
I am mixed about Godzilla, and it seems a lot of people are to. 95% of the movie was build up for the ending 10 minutes, and while the last ten minutes was awesome, the rest of the movie wasn't. I wasn't overly invested in the characters and every time a fight between Godzilla and a M.U.T.O. was about to go down, the movie cut away. It must have done that about six times. But, the last ten minutes when the battle really got going was awesome. So while a lot of it was kind of boring, there was some pay off. 6.0/10.
X-Men: Days of Future Past
This was a good, fun movie. It united the cast of X-Men: First Class and the original X-Men Trilogy. This could have been a mess of a film, but it was actually a well crafted story with some of the best acting in a comic book movie to date. The action was well done and not over-the-top. This has also became, in my opinion, the best X-Men film to date. 8.6/10. (Read our full review here)
Maleficent could have been a cool fantasy movie, but it wasn't. Instead, we could an underdeveloped story with mediocre special effects. Many who don't like the movie still praise Angelina Jolie's performance, but I didn't think she was even that good. The film advertised itself as being from the "villain's perspective", but it just made Maleficent a hero. It wasn't structured well at all and over all it was just a waste of time. 4.5/10. (Read our full review here)
Edge of Tomorrow
The trailers made this movie look like it was going to be complete garbage. However, when I saw how much the critics were praising this movie, I thought I'd check it out. It was the most fun I've had at the theaters not just this year, but in a long time. It's pretty much Groundhog Day with aliens, but it works. The action was probably the best action I've seen all year and it was just overall a really fun, enjoyable movie. 8.5/10. (Read our full review here)
How to Train Your Dragon 2
I never saw the first How to Train Your Dragon, so I wasn't expecting much from this movie. However, it really delivered. While it times it was a bit cutesy, it overall was really dark for a children's animated film, which is more my taste. When there was humor, it was well done and the characters for the most part were well developed. There were some great dramatic elements in this movie that could have been part of any drama if not for it being animated. It was mature for what it was, and so maybe that's why it appealed to me more. 8.0/10. (Read our full review here)
I had heard really good things about Snowpiercer before. So I went and checked it out. It is an awesome movie. It utilizes great action with metaphors to create this movie that speaks so much to our society today. A great movie won't hit you over the head with metaphors. It can be its own movie for those who don't want to think of it in a deeper sense, but is so much more enriching when people do. That is something Snowpiercer accomplishes well. This may be the best performance I've seen from Chris Evans as well. 8.6/10.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a movie that really blew me away. I love that movie and I see it as a brilliant film with so many different messages and meanings, with, in my opinion, an Oscar-worthy performance from Andy Serkis. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was my most anticipated film of 2014. I was so excited for it. While it didn't entirely meet my expectations, it got pretty damn close. It is still an awesome movie without a doubt, and is one of favorites of the year. I just think, overall, Rise is still a better movie. However, the animation for the apes in this movie was breathtaking. This movie has some of the most realistic CGI I have ever seen. For some parts, I forgot I was watching an animation. This is a really good movie. 8.75/10. (Read our full review here)
It was a summer afternoon. I was bored. So I decided to go see Hercules with my friend. I didn't have high expectations. I mainly just wanted to see Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson kick some ass and some cool sword fights. That's pretty much what I got. The story wasn't well developed and sometimes it lingered too much on developing an underdeveloped story, but when it delved into straight up battles, that's when the film was at its best. I wasn't expecting Lord of the Rings and I didn't get it. Could things have been better? Absolutely, but for what it was, it was engaging enough. 7/10. (Read our full review here)
Guardians of the Galaxy
I think I have said this about a billion times by now. When I first heard Guardians of the Galaxy announced as part of Marvel's Phase Two, I said what everyone else in the world was saying: "Who the f*ck are the Guardians of the Galaxy??". Well, now we know. Despite having everything against it- being directed by an indie director who had not done a big budget film, having a lead that had only been a supporting actor before, being a property no one had heard of, having a talking raccoon and a walking tree as main characters. But despite that, not only was it a brilliant and fantastic movie, but it went on to be one of the highest grossing movies of the year, which no one, not even Marvel, expected. 9/10. (Read our full review here)
Someone suggested watching the trailer for this film about a week before it opened. I had never heard of it, but I really like Tom Hardy and it was James Gandolfini's last film. So I watched the trailer and it looked really good. I had seen a lot of the summer blockbusters so I thought it was time to see some of the lower budget, indie, Oscar contender films. So I went and checked out The Drop. I'm so glad I did because it is a great movie. While it's driven by fantastic performances, it was a cool movie to experience and see how this unique side of the mob works. It's a movie that I highly recommend for anyone who likes dramas. 8/10. (Read our full review here)
I missed the period of time when the book Gone Girl was all the rage. Then, when I heard it was going to be a movie starring Ben Affleck and directed by David Fincher, I decided to pick up the book and read it. Damn, that was a great book and a great experience reading it. So, needless to say, I was excited to see what the movie would do, especially since the book's author, Gillian Flynn, wrote the screenplay for the film. It was a very good movie. I think I prefer the book, but this is probably the closest book-to-movie adaptation I've ever seen. There are a few, small differences, but other than that, it is pretty much a direct adaptation. However, it was a different experience reading the book than seeing the movie. Maybe it was simply the reveal of the twist. Overall, though, Gone Girl was a really good film. 8.5/10. (Read our full review here)
Before the film came out, I didn't have much interest in seeing Fury. The trailers didn't really blow me away, and I still had a sour taste in my mouth from David Ayer's previous directing "effort", Sabotage. However, one thing led to another and I ended up seeing it, and I'm really glad I did. Fury is a really good movie. There are some really good performances, and it gave me faith that Ayer was a good fit to direct Suicide Squad. It also showed me a side of Logan Lerman that was beyond, you know, Percy Jackson. Everything in this movie worked for me, and if you haven't seen it yet, you should see it. 8.3/10. (Read our full review here)
I have been wanting to see Nightcrawler for a while. It opened on Halloween and it seemed like a great movie to see then. I had always liked Jake Gyllenhaal but after seeing him in Prisoners and then this, he has become one of my favorite actors. And this could have been a performance of a life-time for any other actor, but Gyllenhaal has been so good that his performance in Nightcrawler is simply added to the pantheon of fantastic performances from him. It has a really cool concept of exploring free-lance news filming and how this world works. And seeing Gyllenhaal play this really creepy sociopath is fantastic. 8.3/10. (Read our full review here)
Christopher Nolan has long been not just one of my favorite directors, but my absolute favorite. Every single one of his movies are thought-provoking and brilliant in many aspects. So Interstellar was one of my most anticipated films of the year. Did it entirely deliver? No, but it was still a really good movie. It was ambitious as anything and, for the most part, that worked. The direction was top-notch and the acting was great. It may not be one of Nolan's best, but it is definitely one of his greatest efforts. 8.75/10. (Read our full review here)
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
When looking at movies, my first love is comic book films. My second is Middle-earth. I grew up reading the books, watching the animated movies and watching Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings. While The Hobbit movies haven't even come close to touching the brilliance and the masterpieces that is Jackson's original trilogy, they have always still been very enjoyable films. So The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies was one of my most anticipated for this year. While it did end up being my favorite of the Hobbit movies, it was far from perfect. The battle (which is pretty much the entire movie) is shot very well even though it drags from time-to-time as a result of the stretch from two Hobbit movies to three. So while it does have its problems, it is still an enjoyable, solid end to Middle-earth, for now anyways. 8.65/10. (Read our full review here)
Foxcatcher was a movie I was wanting to see for a while. I have always liked Steve Carell as a comedian, but this film looked as it it took him to a whole different level. And the story behind the movie sounded really interesting. I'm glad I got to see it, because it was really good. It's a slowly paced film which works in its favor as it takes its time to build tension. The movie is also very quiet, which is a contrast to the very end when it turns really loud. You'll understand what I mean when you see it. And do go see it. It is a very good film. 8.4/10. (Read our full review here)
I didn't originally plan to see this movie. But, my friend was going to see it so I decided to give it a shot, and I'm glad I did. It's not a brilliant movie, but it is very entertaining. It shows how addiction can slowly corrupt your life and distance yourself from the ones you love. While Mark Wahlberg played a very despicable character, you still ultimately root for him. But while Wahlberg is good, the supporting cast is better. It's not a film you'll remember for years to come, but it is a solid way to end 2014. 7.6/10. (Read our full review here)
So those are all the new films I got to see in 2014. Next year, I'll hopefully be able to catch up on some of the other ones I didn't get a chance to see, like Boyhood, Chef, The Imitation Game, Whiplash and Birdman. But, it's been a pretty good year for film. It's had its ups and downs like all years, but, overall, we've gotten some films that will stay with me for a long time.
What do you think? What new movies did you see this year? How did you like them? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
Written by: Nate
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