The 2014 film season has finally come to a close – roughly two months later than it probably should have. For better or for worse, the Oscars have always kept us reflecting on the previous year in cinema. That is, until that Best Picture statue is given to a movie half the internetz believes isn’t worthy. And then we start the process all over again!
Unless you’re a self-professed cinephile (or an ornithologist who succumbed to misleading marketing), I’m willing to bet you normal people didn’t get the chance watch Birdman. Or Boyhood. Or Selma… And no Nightcrawler is not an X-Men spin-off. Don’t get me wrong, they’re all great movies – and deserve to be dubbed ‘the best of 2014’ – but where was the love for the films the general audience actually did watch? Cause they weren’t half bad…
Check out a list of my favourite blockbusters from last year. And then I’ll shut up about 2014 forever. I promise…?
Honourable Mentions: Big Hero 6, Bad Neighbours, Godzilla, Non-Stop
10) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, Lionsgate
Director: Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend)
It may not have been as impressive as 2013’s Catching Fire, or as action-packed as either of its two predecessors, but the penultimate instalment in the Hunger Games franchise still offered plenty of drama, tension and succint political commentary. Director Francis Lawrence crafted a ‘slow-burner’ of a blockbuster, choosing to rely on the characters and the strength of the acting ensemble to drive the movie’s somewhat uneventful storyline. Ultimately, it built towards a climactic finale, leaving us excited for more next November.
9) How To Train Your Dragon 2, 20th Century Fox/DreamWorks
Director: Dean DeBlois (Lilo & Stitch)
Set four years after the first How To Train You Dragon movie stole our hearts back in 2010, this animated/adventure sequel reunites the audience with Hiccup and Toothless – all grown-up as (somewhat) mature young adults. Dean DeBlois returned to deliver a darker, more emotionally heavy follow-up, dealing with themes of loss in particular. The introduction of new characters like Cate Blanchett‘s Valka and Kit Harington‘s Eret (son of Eret) helped shake things up from the original, making this a worthy successor.
8) Edge Of Tomorrow, Warner Bros
Director: Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity)
Everyone’s surprise hit of the summer, Edge Of Tomorrow ended up overcoming so-so box office takings and terrible marketing to become one of 2014’s most loved movies. Criminally underrated at first, the film has since found a loving audience through the power of word-of-mouth. Tom Cruise delivered another fantastic performance that showcased his versatility as a leading man. Emily Blunt was equally impressive, and was arguably the highlight of this wonderfully subversive and intelligent action/thriller.
7) Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, 20th Century Fox
Director: Matt Reeves (Cloverfield)
“Apes! Together! Strong!” Easily one of the most quotable films of the year, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes also managed to join that exclusive club of sequels that top their predecessors. Director Matt Reeves brought a darker, more action-packed tone to the follow-up, crafting a visually iconic film through some fantastic motion-capture and cinematography. Yet the real stars were the Apes themselves. Andy Serkis and Toby Kebbell delivered top-draw performances that ranked amongst the best of the year.
6) Guardians Of The Galaxy, Walt Disney/Marvel
Director: James Gunn (Slither)
The world’s first space opera/superhero movie, this bunch of A-Holes took the world by storm back in August to become of the highest grossing movies of the year. Marvel Studio’s most ambitious movie yet, Guardians Of The Galaxy provided thrills, laughs and plenty of heart too with a fun-filled adventure and a kick-ass soundtrack. Chris Pratt oozed charisma as Star Lord (“Ya know… Legendary outlaw? Ah forget it!”) – and was ably supported by a whole host of wonderfully entertaining and diverse supporting characters.
5) X-Men: Days Of Future Past, 20th Century Fox
Director: Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects)
Boasting a unique mixture of time-travel, 70s politics and superpowered mutants, Days Of Future Past was easily the most ambitious X-Men movie to date. Bryan Singer returned to the franchise he began fourteen years before to unite his much-loved classic cast with the incredibly talented stars of X-Men: First Class – consequently assembling the most impressive ensemble of the year. Featuring just the right amount of action, visuals and nostalgia, the movie culminated in a thrilling yet incredibly emotional climax.
4) Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Walt Disney/Marvel
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo (Community)
Despite demonstrating real heart and ingenuity, Captain America: The First Avenger was found somewhat lacking in the action department. That all changed when the Russo Brothers boarded The Winter Soldier‘s production – combining with Marvel to deliver their most action-packed movie yet. A tense political thriller disguised as a superhero movie, this sequel reaped the rewards of its all-star cast, ‘Cap’-ped off by a pair of fantastic leading performances from Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson. (Sorry.)
3) 22 Jump Street, Columbia/MGM
Director(s): Phil Lord, Chris Miller (21 Jump Street)
After defying all expectations with 21 Jump Street, dynamic directing duo Phil Lord & Chris Miller set about eclipsing their success with their 2012 comedy-reboot. And boy did they succeed. 22 Jump Street was not only the funniest movie of the year, it also ranks amongst the best sequels in recent memory. Stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum once again demonstrated their phenomenal chemistry, but it was Lord & Miller’s hilariously self-referential script that made this sequel an instant comedy classic.
2) Interstellar, Paramount/Warner Bros/Legendary
Director: Christopher Nolan (Inception)
Bold, beautiful and endearingly emotional, Interstellar was truly immense in both scale and scope. Technically complex and visually stunning, the film’s greatest strength still always came from the heart in its central storyline: the bond between father and daughter. Matthew McConaughey delivered a powerful yet touching leading turn as Cooper – ably supported by a colourful cast of both human and robotic characters. Yet above all else, Christopher Nolan made his audience look up to the stars and hope once again.
1) The Lego Movie, Warner Bros
Director: Phil Lord, Chris Miller (Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs)
What a year it was for Phil Lord & Chris Miller. Before delivering one of the best comedy sequels of all-time, the dynamic directing duo produced an animated comedy that simply blew away the competition (it wasn’t even close, Oscars). Chris Pratt added an incredible likability to the wonderfully clueless Emmett, with a performance that perhaps even eclipsed his work on Guardians Of The Galaxy. Joining him was another fantastic supporting cast, featuring some truly hilarious work from Liam Neeson in particular.
Well there you have it! My favourite, best-est, most awesome blockbuster movies of 2014. Looking back, I genuinely believe 2014 was one of the best years for blockbuster cinema… ever. From sci-fi, to comedy, to drama, to animation – it was a real corker! Obviously this list is 100% correct and your opinion means nothing to me, but just in case I do take my head out of my arse, leave a comment down below and let me know what you thought 🙂