Ten Best Movies of 2014

Technically, these are the ten best 2014 movies that I saw. If your favorite isn’t on the list, I probably didn’t see it.

Or maybe I just thought it sucked.

10. Maleficent

With everyone getting on the Rewrite a Fairy Tale bandwagon that Wicked started, this idea seems a bit played. Still, an entertaining, if predictable, movie.

9. The Equalizer

Yes, the pacing is off at times, and the final battle is a bit inane, but the scenes between Denzel Washington and Marton Csokas are gold.

8. The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies

I had to go see this, if only to see the world of Middle Earth one last time, but the titular battle was a confusing mess.

The fight between Galadrial and Sauron was top shelf, however.

7. The Lego Movie

Entertaining, but I saw the big twist at the end coming. Of course, I had heard there was one, so I was looking for it.

6. X-Men: Days of Future Past

I’ve been a bit down on the mutant superhero franchise the last few years. First Class was ok, but X-Men 3 was awful, and the two Wolverine movies were weak.

But Days of Future Past was solid. And it reconned out all the continuity errors that have plagued the franchise.

They could learn a few things from the MCU in avoiding such problems in the first place.

5. Thor: The Dark World

Speaking of which, here’s the first of several MCU movies in the list.

Really enjoyed the second Thor movie. It’s arguably better than the first.

The dynamic between Thor and Loki was complex, and had some real twists and turns that I didn’t see coming.

4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Great movie, that brought major developments to the MCU. The elevator scene was worth the price of admission, and it was nice to have Natasha along for the ride.

3. Interstellar

Very entertaining movie, with wonderful explorations of interpersonal issues.

It would have landed higher on the list, if it weren’t for the dues ex machina resolution at the end. Totally unacceptable for a hard science fiction movie.

2. The Imitation Game

I plays hookey from work Monday afternoon just so I could get this in during 2014. I’m a bit of an intelligence junkie, so I’ve been looking forward to seeing the Bletchley Park story.

It’s a gripping movie, and gets the atmosphere of the time and place down well. The ending will likely leave you angry that a man as great as Alan Turing could be treated so shoddily.

If not for a large number of historical inaccuracies, it might have won for the year.

1. Guardians of the Galaxy

Historical accuracy wasn’t really an expectation for this movie. In fact, I didn’t expect much at all.

I mean, a cyborg raccoon? What the heck?

But, Guardians of the Galaxy is amazing from start to finish. It opens with a gut wrenching scene with Starlord as a child with his dying mother, then jumps directly to a hysterical scene of Star Lord stealing some valuable object.

This mood whiplashing continues throughout, accompanied with tight pacing, witty dialogue, and strong plot.

It doesn’t matter that one of the characters is a walking tree who only says three words. Go see it. Now.

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