Top 10 Movies of 2014

2014 Honorable Mentions:

  • Big Eyes
  • What If
  • Begin Again
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • 22 Jump Street
  • Chef
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Foxcatcher
  • American Sniper
  • Selma
  • The Imitation Game

Now, onto the main list

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Whiplash review

Director:
Damien Chazelle
Cast:
Miles Teller
J.K. Simmons
Paul Reiser
Rated: R

Miles Teller plays Andrew in “Whiplash,” a young college student with aspirations of being a highly successful musician, more specifically, a great drummer. Opportunity eventually comes knocking when he is brought into a skilled jazz band taught by a man named Fletcher (Simmons).

Andrew soon finds out, though, that Fletcher is one of the toughest instructors he has ever gone up against and it will take all of his will power and talent to meet the massive expectations placed upon him as a member of the band.

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Still Alice review

Director:
Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland
Cast:
Julianne Moore
Kate Bosworth
Alec Baldwin
Kristen Stewart
Rated: PG-13

Alice Howland (Moore) is a college professor who has just turned 50 and appears completely fine and healthy. Away from her career, she lives in a nice home and has a great family life. Her entire life begins to change, though, when she starts having small lapses in her memory.

After visiting a neurologist on a few occasions, she is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. From there, the film explores her struggle with the disease and the effect it has on her family.

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Boyhood review

Director:
Richard Linklater
Cast:
Ellar Coltrane
Patricia Arquette
Elijah Smith
Lorelei Linklater
Rated: R

The way this film was made was revolutionary, but I doubt many other filmmakers will jump on the bandwagon.

Richard Linklater, who has previously directed the films “Before Sunrise,” “Before Sunset,” “Before Midnight” and the hilarious comedy, “Bernie,” took on a tremendous task with “Boyhood.” Instead of setting up a certain period of time to complete filming over a year or two, Linklater decided to shoot the movie over a 12-year period.

The 12-year story shown in the movie is perfectly summed up by its title. “Boyhood” follows the adolescence of a boy named Mason, played by Ellar Coltrane, as he goes through life from ages 5-18.

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American Sniper review

Director:
Clint Eastwood
Cast:
Bradley Cooper
Sienna Miller
Kyle Gallner
Rated: R

After a few stumbles like “Jersey Boys” and “Hereafter,” Clint Eastwood has once again found his directing groove with “American Sniper.”

Real life Navy SEAL Sniper Chris Kyle’s life is explored in the film, which mainly focuses on Kyle’s four tours of service in the military during the Iraq War. While the movie gives a full look at what Kyle experiences in battle, there is also a view of how it affects him when he goes home.

The movie transitions back and forth between Kyle’s life overseas and how it affects him when he returns to his family in the states and has to deal with post traumatic stress disorder.

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Top 10 Worst Movies of 2014

10. Hercules
Before anyone asks, no, I did not have the, um… pleasure of seeing “The Legend of Hercules,” but this Dwayne Johnson version didn’t have much to offer either. Nothing was memorable and while being over the top, the movie wasn’t very fun.

On top of the film’s story being predictable, the battle scenes came off as boring and uninteresting. The worst part is that the movie throws away an interesting premise. The film tries to explore what it would be like if Hercules wasn’t really a demigod, but does it the wrong way.

This premise could have been clever if it had followed how Hercules and his crew built up this fake legend. Unfortunately, all we have is a lame villain, a poor plot twist and a movie that isn’t worth seeing ever again.

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Into the Woods review

Director:
Rob Marshall
Cast:
Anna Kendrick
Daniel Huttlestone
James Corden
Emily Blunt
Tracey Ullman
Meryl Streep
Rated: PG

Based on a Broadway musical of the same name, “Into the Woods” is a crossover of sorts which features characters from the stories of Cinderella (Kendrick), Jack (Huttlestone) and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood (Crawford) and Repunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy). The stories are all brought together by a couple, the Baker (Corden) and the Baker’s Wife (Blunt), who are trying to lift a curse that was set on them by the local Witch (Streep).

To do so, the couple needs to collect items from all of the famous fairy tales. The film tells the story from multiple angles and much of the plot is told through song.

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Big Eyes review

Director:
Tim Burton
Cast:
Amy Adams
Christoph Waltz
Terence Stamp
Rated: PG-13

Tim Burton’s latest outing as a director is a bit different this time around. Instead of being a movie with fantasy elements, Burton’s “Big Eyes” closely follows the true story of Margaret Keane (Adams), an artist whose work was wrongly credited to her husband Walter Keane (Waltz).

The movie shows how the two met, how the false credit was created and how Walter took advantage of it for financial gain. The movie also shows how Margaret eventually took a stand for her own art work.

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Birdman review

Director:
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Cast:
Michael Keaton
Emma Stone
Zach Galifianakis
Naomi Watts
Edward Norton
Rated: R

“Birdman” was once a famous box-office powerhouse at the movie theaters but lately has fallen out of the public’s eyes in this new film from director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.

The man who played the superhero Birdman, Riggan (Keaton) has fallen out of the eyes of many, too, as he hasn’t made a hit movie in years. To get himself back on top he decides to direct and star in a play in New York City. Problems arise, though, as he has to deal with his daughter Sam (Stone) who has just gotten out of rehab and an actor (Norton) who does things his way or the highway.

Birdman is a film that has a lot of depth in both its story and characters, and both subjects are thoroughly explored. What makes the film great is that not only are the various characters and their subplots interesting, they also make statements on a number of topics.

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Unbroken review

Director:
Angelina Jolie
Cast:
Jack O;Connell
Domhnall Gleeson
Takamasa Ishihara
Rated: PG-13

“Unbroken” tells the true life story of World War II veteran and Olympic athlete Louis Zamperini (O’Connell). Following his competing at the 1936 Olympics, Zamperini joined the war effort and served as part of a bomber crew. On one of the missions Zamperini’s plane fails and only he and two other members of the crew survive. The three are left to survive in the vast Pacific ocean for weeks upon weeks until they are spotted by the Japanese armed forces.

The film then shows Zamperini’s time in a prisoner of war camp in Japan, where he comes into contact with a strict, brutal guard nicknamed “The Bird” (Ishihara).

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