Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get around to playing many games throughout 2014, due to financial issues, having to get rid of consoles and various other priorities that just put gaming on the back burner.
But while I enjoy gaming, films have always been my bigger passion and so I still made sure to find time to watch what I could when I could. 2014 was a pretty great year for movies, from animated to superhero to the dark and twisted, so lets check out what grabbed my attention the most.
“Jeff’s Top 10 Films of 2014”
Don’t mess with a man’s dog. John Wick is a true return to form film for Keanu. Its action packed and genuinely a ton of fun. Most surprising is that the film also manages to create a world that’s surprisingly deep and original. A hit man hotel? Sign me up!
9. How to Train your Dragon 2
The best animated film of the year, and easily one of, if not my favorite, animated film of all time. How to Train your Dragon 2 was damn near perfect for an animated adventure. Fun, mature and featuring great animation the only reason this one isn’t lower on the list is I tend to enjoy non animated films more due to the visual performances.
8. The Raid 2
Easily one of the best action films of 2014. You’ll walk out of this one bruised and broken, much like the main character Rama. Taking what worked in the first film and combining it with elements from The Godfather, The Raid 2 becomes an instant action masterpiece. The film is a tad too long but its final act is nearly 100% straight up action and its some of the best action you can see in theaters.
A great unsettling little thriller. Nightcrawler features a breakthrough performance from star Jake Gyllenhaa, that while he was not nominated, deserves an oscar for his incredible performance here. Tense, original concept, amazing acting; Nightcrawler is easily one of the best films of the year.
6. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Just missing my top five movies of the year Captain America was a great action adventure film that finally made the character interesting. A Marvel movie that mixes the regular super hero antics with smart plot and (finally) a great villain. It’s story, while still being a superhero tale, was believable and just a whole lot of fun.
5. Gone Girl
David Fincher hits another one out of the park. Gone Girl was an intriguing thriller that was perfectly crafted with great attention to detail and skill and love. Gone Girl had one of the best plots of the year and its antagonist was the most surprising. Absolutely fantastic acting, casting, musical score and a plot that pulls you in and doesn’t let go.
Who would have guessed that a film about drumming could be the most intense film of the year? Not this guy, that’s for sure. Whiplash was simply great and features an Oscar worthy performance by supporting actor J.k. Simmons. The lead Miles Teller does a fantastic job as well as Andrew who shows some incredible chops as a drummer. I saw this one most recently and I would seriously love to see it walk away with a couple Oscars.
So technically this is cheating a little bit, but go with me here. Officially this film released in 2013 in the UK but saw its DVD and on demand debut in 2014 here in the US. So it came out here in 2014. Filth features my favorite performance of the year from James McAvoy who plays a detective named Bruce who may be one of the biggest pricks in the world but McAvoy manages to provide this performance with many layers. I loved this film and have since watched it multiple times and thanks to the many great performances, some funny moments and a lot more heart than expected, Filth was a great Dramedy and one of the best films of the year. Even if it technically came out in 2013…
2. X-Men: Days of Future Past
Bryan Singer makes his return to the X-men universe and he does so with a bang by making both a great film and a fun ride. The performances by all of the cast are top notch and the chemistry between James McAvoy and Micheal Fassbender is electric and truly holds the film together. Days of Future Past was a fun experience and one that was not only a great X-men film but one of the better Sci-fi films of the last few years.
1. Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy is the best comic movie of 2014, and looking at how fantastic comic films have become, that is saying something. But Guardians didn’t only outshine comic based films, but it beat out all films of 2014 to me. James Gunn managed to put together the most fun ride I have had in theaters in a long time. Funny, heartfelt, imaginative, action packed, I can’t say anymore than everyone else has already said about this movie except that I loved every crazy moment of this film and it easily makes the #1 spot on my list of best films of 2014.
Jeff is a contributing writer to Counter Attack and an occasional guest on the podcast CA! Radio.