Sunday, January 18, 2015

DrogeMiester's Top 10 BEST Movies of 2014

We're in mid-January right now, which means it's time for me to finally reveal my list of favorite of the year! Many have already revealed their Top 10 lists, but I personally held off for a few weeks because there were a few more movies that I wanted to catch up on before I felt comfortable making this list. No, I haven't seen every single movie, but I have seen enough that I feel very comfortable with the ten movies that I have come up with. It's worth noting that when I review movies, I like giving them a grade. However, you'll notice here that some of these movies might seem out of order based on the grade I gave them. This is because when I create my end of year lists, I completely ignore the grade I gave them and focus solely on the movie itself because I'm not comparing the movie to other movies when assigning the grade, but with the end of year lists, it's all about the comparison. Also, I saw a LOT of movies in 2014 and I loved a LOT of those movies. It was a great year. But that means it was very hard to create this list because in keeping myself to ten movies, there were a lot of movies that I loved that I ended up leaving off. It broke my heart. But alas, I didn't want to do a Top 15 or a Top 20 list because that's too much in opinion. So you can call this list the best of the best. Now without further ado, let's jump right in!

10- Kill the Messenger

This spot was probably the hardest spot to pick. Although I struggled with the specific order, I had my top nine movies pretty much set for a while. But there were over ten movies that I seriously considered for this spot. When push came to shove, I couldn't leave Kill the Messenger off the list. This is a movie that hit me pretty hard. The media do a lot of dumb things sometimes. I'll be the first to admit that. However, there are times where people from the media are in fact the victim. This is what this movie shows. Gary Webb was a reporter back in the 1990's who just wanted to inform the world of a situation that he discovered. Doing so ruined his life. This is a sad, yet powerful story that shows a different side of the media that some aren't aware of. Jeremy Renner gives an excellent performance as Gary Webb. If it were up to me, I would've given him an Oscar nomination. He was that good.

9- Captain America: The Winter Soldier

You know that I had to make room for what I feel is the best solo Avengers movie made yet. Don't get me wrong, I loved Guardians of the Galaxy. It was one of the final cuts for this list. I just loved The Winter Soldier more. The greatest thing about it is that it took the character of Captain America and transformed him from a cool character to a totally awesome character. This whole movie was 100 percent pure entertainment. The story was deep and complex compared to other superhero movies. The chemistry between everyone was excellent, especially between Captain America, Black Widow, and Falcon. Speaking of Black Widow, this movie transformed her from a cool side character into one of my favorite Avengers. All the action in the movie was totally awesome, especially when Captain America used his shield. This was Marvel at their best. I was already a huge fan, but this movie paired with Guardians took Marvel to another level.

8- Edge of Tomorrow

Speaking of 100 percent pure entertainment, next on this list is my favorite blockbuster of the summer, which is a bit of a spoiler for the rest of this list. You now know a whole lot of movies that sadly won't show up. And yes, I'm calling this movie Edge of Tomorrow. That's its name. I'm not going to ever call this movie Live Die Repeat because that's the tagline. It's a great tagline. Terrible movie title. Edge of Tomorrow is a great title. Anywho, some were nervous about this movie before it came out. They were tired of Tom Cruise and they weren't interested in him doing yet another sci-fi movie. I was totally down from the very beginning, though. I don't care about Tom's personal life. He's a great actor and I've always enjoyed his movies. And the idea of a sci-fi version of Groundhog Day just sounded like a great idea. But even with my excitement, this movie still caught me by surprise. I expected to have fun with it. I wasn't expecting to get completely blown away by how insanely amazing and awesome this is, but that's exactly what happened.

7- Gone Girl

If you know me well enough, you'll know that I am a huge fan of crime dramas. That's what I thought I was getting myself into as I went in to see this. For a while, that was exactly what was happening. Ben Affleck's wife went missing and most people were convinced he killed his wife. I was enjoying it. But there came a point in this movie where everything changed. This went from a basic crime drama to an insane and crazy thriller with several huge twists and turns that had I did not see coming at all. You've heard people say that their jaw dropped. Most of the time I think this is used in more of a figurative way instead of a literal way. But I kid you not. When I first saw this movie in theaters, my jaw literally dropped. And for the whole second half of the movie, my mouth was wide open in a state of shock with both hands covering it. I don't want to go into too much detail about Rosamund Pike's character, but holy freaking cow! She may very well be the scariest and freakiest female character that I have ever seen in a movie.

6- The LEGO Movie

You might be surprised to see this movie this low. I loved The LEGO Movie. As someone who loved to play with LEGOs growing up, this hit all the right chords for me. Not only is this a laugh out loud movie that definitely has the rewatchability factor, but it also has a surprisingly good, emotional story to go with it. Also, the attention to detail is exceptional. Every scene is loaded with what I have called LEGO-isms. People who have played with LEGOs will notice that everything they ever did with LEGOs growing up is hidden somewhere in this movie. It's fantastic. Topping it all off is an ending that is totally brilliant and completely changes everything you thought of the movie initially and makes it a totally new experience upon a second watch. For a while this was my top movie of the year. And I really thought it would end in the top three. What happened? When push came to shove, I realized that there were five movies that I liked more. That's all. It was an excellent year!

5- Whiplash

Remember how it was to be a part of high school band? I do. Those were great times! Now if you do remember, take that and imagine you have the high school band teacher from Hell who will yell at you, swear at you, and throw chairs at your if you are even off tune by the slightest bit. Not so fun anymore, right? This band teacher I am describing is what JK Simmons is like in Whiplash, except this is a college, not high school. It will only take 20 minutes or so before you realize why Simmons is getting so much awards attention. But him alone doesn't make Whiplash what it is. Miles Teller is a student that is dead set on being one of the best drummers ever and in order to do so, he goes head to head with JK Simmons in what turns out to be one of the most intense movies of the year. There was a moment when I thought this movie was going to end and I was going to be happy with that. But then it took a turn and upped that and I was really impressed. When I thought it was going to end again, it took yet another turn and got even better. I swear it did this four or five times and by the actual end I was completely blown away. This movie got almost completely ignored at the box office, which means that many of you reading this may not have seen it. Go fix that!

4- The Babadook

A horror movie in my top five? Unheard of, right? I really am not a fan of horror movies at all, but that's because there have been an endless stream of extremely stupid horror movies that rely completely on stupid characters doing stupid things with stupid villains that usually leads to a whole bunch of gory slash scenes and jump scare after jump scare after jump scare after jump scare. Most of these movies have terrible acting and terrible writing, but because they cost only a few dollars and are really easy to make, the second one of these movies gets even the slightest of profits, you get ten of them in ten years. That's why I don't like horror movies and that's why I just choose to skip most of them. But holy cow is The Babadook an excellent movie. Not only is this an insanely scary movie that had me in a weird position at the end of the movie, but this had great writing and great acting to go along with it. It's an amazing story that deals with a lot of serious, real issues that many people face such as depression, the loss of a loved one, and how to raise a rambunctious child all by yourself. This isn't a horror movie about a monster, a demon, a ghost, or a serial killer haunting a woman and her child. This is a very psychological horror movie that sticks with you long after you finish.

3- Nightcrawler

This here is what I called a Journalism thriller. If you noticed, this would be the second journalism-related movie in my Top 10. The fact that I am a Journalism student right now could have an effect on that. While Kill the Messenger shows that sometimes people in the media are actually the victim, Nightcrawler definitely paints the exact opposite picture. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a freelance crime journalist that will literally do anything and everything to get the crime footage he wants. At first you feel for him. He's just a poor guy wanting a job, but as you get further into the movie you realize that this guy is a creep. He is a vermin. He is a menace. He has no soul. But for some weird reason, you are almost sadistically rooting for him to succeed, which in turn makes you wonder if you actually have a soul. It was weird. But holy cow does Jake Gyllenhaal knock it out of the park in this. While Rosumand Pike pulls off my favorite performance from an actress this year, Jake Gyllenhaal pulls off my favorite from an actor. I've always liked Gyllenhaal as an actor. He's done many great things. But this is the best performance of his career. This movie is also very relevant to society right now and I'm not just talking in the journalism field. How far will some people go to get fame and/or recognition? Where's the line? It doesn't exist for some people.

2- Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

I really like the full title of this movie. That second part really tells a lot about the movie. But for the sake of time and space, I will just refer to this as Birdman. No this is not a superhero movie. This is about a washed up actor who used to play the lead role in a superhero movie called Birdman and is trying to make a comeback by writing, directing, and starring in a Broadway play. The fact that Michael Keaton stars is really cool because, while I wouldn't call him washed up, he is definitely a forgotten actor in many circles who used to play the lead role in a superhero movie also named after a flying animal (Batman). With all the influx of superhero movies today, if you were to name off all the actors who have played superheroes, Keaton is a name that many would probably forget to mention. But that's just one cool thing about the movie. This movie has so many themes in it, that I could sit here for hours talking about all of them. Every character in this movie has their own issues and problems that make this movie really interesting. Every actor playing those characters also gives stellar performances. In the end, it's also a very psychological movie, which of course is a plus for me. And on top of all of that, there was some serious editing magic with this combined with some long shots that gave this movie the appearance of being done in one shot. That blew me away. I honestly think that this is a movie that will be studied in film history classes for years to come. Not that that's how I judge a movie, but still.

1- Boyhood

I saw Boyhood  back in July and the second I walked out, I knew that this was going to be my top movie of the year. I didn't know how any movie would come close and nothing did. When I heard of this 12-year project, I was super excited to see it, especially since it came from a director in Richard Linklater that I've learned to trust. What's the storyline of this movie, some have asked? Life. That's my answer. Life isn't just one story. It's a series of smaller stories and experiences. That's exactly what this movie is. Yes there have been movies that have chronicled the life of an individual. But there's never been a movie where we've literally watched a family grow up on screen. However, the concept of this movie isn't the only reason why I loved it. Every part of this movie was perfect in every way from the acting to the directing to the story to the editing to the cinematography. Everything. This was a long movie, but I was fully invested in every single second of the film. In fact, when the three hours were over, I was ready to go on and watch the next three hours of this family's life. It was beautiful. No other movie has affected me like this movie did. As I was literally watching this family grow up in front of me, I reflected on my own life. What have I done? Who are the friends and family that have affected me? What are the experiences that I've had? What are my goals and aspirations for the rest of my life? What am I going to do moving forward? It was a very emotional and very unique experience for me. This isn't just the best movie of the year. This is one of the best movies I've ever seen. In fact, ten years from now when someone asks me what my all-time favorite movie is, my answer could be Boyhood. I'm not ready to make that commitment yet. Too soon. But it's possible.

No comments:

Post a Comment