2014 was another hit or miss year at the multiplex. Sequels ruled the landscape yet again, while original flicks were few and far within and usually got lost amidst the sea of sequels. But I’m happy to say there were some surprises in 2014. For example:
Last year only one comic book movie made my list, this year three made the cut. Also in 2014 I enjoyed my first Transformers, Spider-Man, and Hobbit movies. I liked a lot of movies this year. In fact, this year I had trouble choosing just 10 movies. And sadly, a few just missed the cut.
And now it’s time for my top 10 movies of 2014. But as always, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:
1. I ranked the movies after seeing them multiple times. Meaning my earlier reviews may not always apply.
2. There are some movies I haven’t seen, so don’t be shocked if “Unbroken,” “Into the Woods” and other big names are missing.
I think that’s about it. And away we go…
10. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
In my opinion, “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” is one of the year’s most underrated movies. Shadow Recruit had everything a spy movie should have, a solid story, plenty of action, humor and more. And the whole thing was topped off with a solid (and funny) performance from Kevin Costner.
9. Draft Day
Holy moley! Another Kevin Costner movie, what is this, 1990?
This is not just another Costner movie however, it’s also another underrated movie of 2014. “Draft Day” is one of those movies with a poor marketing campaign that torpedoed what is one of the best football movies in years.
Bottom line: Any movie backed by the NFL should have better trailers and tv spots.
8. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
While a lot of people were disappointed in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1,” I thought it was better than the first Hunger Games movie. I’ve seen “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” twice, and the second time was better than the first.
This movie introduced a bunch of new characters and setting, and has top-notch performances from Jennifer Lawrence and Philip Seymour Hoffman, and its the perfect appetizer to what is to come in the final chapter of the Hunger Games saga.
7. The Hundred-Foot Journey
True, “The Hundred-Foot Journey” is about the Kadam family leaving India for France where they open a restaurant directly across the road from Madame Mallory’s Michelin-starred eatery.
It’s a great story, and there’s plenty of delicious food to look at. But its the amazing performances by Helen Mirren and Om Puri that are worth the price of admission.
6. The Monuments Men
A thrilling, funny, charming, and emotional wartime drama. plus come on, it stars George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville, and Cate Blanchett. What more do you want?
5. X-Men: Days of Future Past
It took several years to right the wrongs of “X-Men: The last Stand,” but by golly Bryan Singer pulled it off. The original X-Men director gave us the best movie in the series, and a great jumping off point for what is yet to come.
And good riddance to The Last Stand.
4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
A sequel being better than the original movie does not happen often, but Winter Soldier crushed all expectations. This movie erased any memory of “Captain America: The First Avenger,” and simply started over. The result?
One of Marvel’s best movies to date.
3. Edge of Tomorrow
I’ll keep this short: “Edge of Tomorrow is one of the best sc-fi movies I’ve ever seen.
2. Guardians of the Galaxy
We’re just like Kevin Bacon. I’d say the Guardians are even better than Kevin Bacon. “Guardians of the Galaxy” was by far the most fun flick of the summer movie season.
Drum roll please.
And my number one movie of 2014 is…
Sure I expected a few laughs from Jon Favreau’s “Chef.” But what I wasn’t expecting this little movie would become my favorite of the year and (are you ready for this?) my favorite movie, period.
You heard right, after nearly 17 years at the top of my favorites list, “Fierce creatures” has been toppled by a movie about a food truck. If you haven’t seen “Chef,” what the hell are you waiting for?