My 10 Favorite Movies of 2014

Before you delve into my top movies of 2014, be sure to check out the latest episode of Joy Sandwich, wherein Jessica, Justin, and I each list our Top 5 Movies of 2014! Plus lots more joy!

1. Birdman

1. Birdman

Mesmerizing, impressive, fantastical, and superbly acted story about the creation of art, mental illness, and the ego. The pacing is hypnotic, the music is beautifully integrated, the world is magical.

2. Whiplash

2. Whiplash

A thoughtful, hopeful, and devastating story about an aspiring jazz drummer makes sense to be inclusive of a perfect tempo. Damian Chazelle's writing is brilliant. J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller are amazing. The best final scene of a movie I've seen in a decade.

3. The Wind Rises

3. The Wind Rises

The importance of pursuit and the importance of dreams beautifully animated from the master Hayao Miyazaki. Breathtaking animation and emotionally complex juxtaposition between horrors of war and the pursuit of love and passion. I wept like a baby.

4. Under the Skin

4. Under the Skin

Like nothing I've seen before, except maybe in a Kubrick movie. Experimental, atmospheric, haunting, and gorgeous story about humanity's capacity for kindness and cruelty. Scarlett Johansson is wonderful. One of my most anticipated. I was right to include it!

5. Guardians of the Galaxy

5. Guardians of the Galaxy

It was like seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark or Star Wars for the first time. Just so much damn fun. Hilarious and hearfelt. Likable characters. Awesome use of music. Gargantuan grin on my mug the entire time.

6. Blue Ruin

6. Blue Ruin

A revenge tale that harkens back to the brilliance of the Coen Brothers' Blood Simple. Stark, grim, beautifully shot. Masterfully acted. Intense.

7. Snowpiercer

7. Snowpiercer

Another one of those on my most anticipated list. I loved Joon-ho Bong's The Host. This was equally as fun. Such a beatiful world he created. Perfect melange of sci-fi, action, political/philosophical allegory.

8. Interstellar

8. Interstellar

While I did have some issues with certain aspects of this film (namely the character motivations, some of the writing), I had to include it for its ambition. It's magnificent. A sci-fi space epic. The docking scene is something to behold.

9. The LEGO Movie

9. The LEGO Movie

Everything is awesome! It's true. Everything is awesome about this movie. It's so unabashedly joyful and fun and silly. Plus, it has an emotional center to it that is realistic and contagious.

10. Edge of Tomorrow (or Live. Die. Repeat.)

10. Edge of Tomorrow (or Live. Die. Repeat.)

Groundhog Dog meets Starship Troopers. Fantastic action. Hilarious. Other than the mildly failed ending, it's a perfect sci-fi film.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • Ida
  • Force Majeure