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Updated by Guy Gordon on Sep 21, 2017
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10 Favorite Films Of 2014

Going back through recent years to single out my 10 favorite films for each year. Here are my choices for 2014. BTW, honorable mention goes to Interstellar.

The LEGO Movie

Everything is awesome! (sorry, couldn't resist). Like many people did, I loved this movie. It's silly, insane, hugely action-packed, surprisingly touching and loads upon loads of fun. There's no way this movie should have worked as well as it does. But alas, it's a classic.

Guardians Of The Galaxy

OK, so 2014 was the year of Chris Pratt. No complaints there. And who knew? A Marvel franchise I'd never previously heard of (I'm a nerd, but somehow not a comic book nerd). Not only that, but it's a rather weird one, and it works spectacularly. Unlike most of the modern comic films, this one is less interested in trying to ground itself in reality. It's layers of sci-fi with wonderful characters, fantastic production and a witty & fully satisfying script. Easily one of the best comic-based movies in recent decades and probably my favorite Marvel film at the time of its release (who knows what the future holds).

Veronica Mars

My placement of this movie on the list is unfair and hard for me to do. I'm a rabid fanatic of the series. I was a more-than-trivial Kickstarter backer. I'd feel guilty giving it my top spot on this list since I figure I'm overly biased and can't objectively rank it. Perhaps some day I'll be able to objectively do so. Put simply, I loved it.

Gone Girl

David Fincher is my favorite active director, and this is the kind of movie at which he excels. The plot and characters are very well drawn out and structured. The production is spot-on perfection. Not surprisingly, it's one of my favorites of the year.

Birdman

This wildly ambitious and nutty dramedy is a heck of a wild and amusing ride. A fantastic cast, led by Michael Keaton at the top of his game, takes the fluid and top-notch production to the next level.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Speaking of my favorite active directors, Wes Anderson would also be right near the top of the list. It should come as little surprise that I loved this goofy, eclectic and oddly charming movie.

22 Jump Street

Like The LEGO Movie, and 21 Jump Street, this one works way more than it should. It seems that directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord, the director of both of the previously mentioned films, and this one, have a talent for making just about anything far more fun and entertaining than it could have been. And, as before, the cast is having an absolute ball with the material. The end credit montage of sequels is absolutely hilarious. This is definitely the year of Lord & Miller. Well, and of Chris Pratt, of course.

Snowpiercer

The best action movie of the year? Yup. Well, depending how you count The LEGO Movie, anyway. This one flew under my RADAR, supposedly because the director wouldn't cave to the demands of the Weinstein brothers to make changes to make the film more "accessible" to domestic audiences. He was right to not make the changes, but as a result the Weinsteins seemingly ignored the movie and tossed it out in release with pretty much zero effort or advertising.

Edge Of Tomorrow

Probably the biggest surprise of the year. This one comes at many sci-fi genre stereotypes from wonderfully fun new angles. Central to the film are Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, who work perfectly. Starting off Tom Cruise's character as a self-professed coward is a particularly great touch. The ending is problematic, though apparently that was something that was understood well enough for them to do different versions. Overall, the best sci-fi movie of the year.

John Wick

Speaking of poorly promoted movies, I'd not even heard of this movie until the day I saw an advanced preview screening. Overall, a big thumbs up. While the movie is a very typical assassin/revenge genre movie in broad strokes and plot structure, it finds all sorts of ways to come at it from a fresh angle. It builds a surprisingly well constructed world to inhabit, with all sorts of fun rules and concepts. It looks absolutely fantastic (and deserves high praise for eschewing the modern obsession with horrific shaky-cam cinematography, which I utterly loathe). It has a marvelously dry and fatalistic sense of humor. It also features a very well rounded cast, and one of Keanu Reeves' best performances. It has a couple weak scenes (including a brief one at the end I absolutely hated). But overall, tons of fun.