(credit: TOM MIHALEK/AFP/Getty Images)
2014 was an exciting year for movies. From flicks that inspired cyber attacks to those that took us into the upper reaches of space, Hollywood showed us that it’s done it again. We collected the best that 2014 has to offer and came up with a list of the ones that really stood out this year.
It turns out that one of the quietest films of 2014 also is the year’s best and most popular one. The coming-of-age drama, written and directed by Richard Linklater, stars Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette and others, was shot over a eleven-year period from 2002 to 2013 showing the growth of a young boy to adulthood. What follows is a story of growing up as seen through the eyes of the main character, a child named Mason, who grows up before the viewers eyes.
Steve Carrell gives a performance of a lifetime in Foxcatcher. In fact, you might watch all 134 minutes of the movie not even realizing you’re watching the funny man. That is how believable Carrell is as he plays the wealthy John du Pont. The movie, which is based on true events, follows the unlikely and tragic relationship of the eccentric du Pont as he helps to form a wrestling team with Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum).
Along with a mesmerizing soundtrack and graphics, Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway and others tell the story of a group of astronauts who travel throughout the far galaxies to search for a new home for humanity. Devastated by drought and famine, earth has become a scarce environment leading to the expedition. The movie might be over 2 hours long, but make it to the end, and your view of things will forever be changed. And, you’ll be even more convinced that McConaughey has become an actor to take notice with.
4.) Gone Girl:
Directed by David Fincher and adapted by Gillian Flynn from her 2012 novel of the same name, Gone Girl tells the story of a man (Ben Affleck) whose wife has gone missing. The plot unfolds as we see Affleck accused of murder and an examination of marriage ensues.
5.) Selma: Based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches led by Martin Luther King, Jr. and others, Selma is not just another MLK movie. Chronicling the tumultuous three-month period when MLK led a campaign to secure equal voking rights, the film highlights one of the most significant advancements to voting rights for the civil rights movement and the struggles they faced to achieve it.
6.) The Grand Budapest Hotel:
One thing is for sure: Wes Anderson is as unique as can be and no one makes movies like him. Recounting the adventures of a concierge at a famous European hotel between the two world wars, the story follows the hotel’s concierge (Ralph Fiennes) and a lobby boy.
7.) American Sniper: At this point, you know when Clint Eastwood is behind a film, it’s going to be good. Starring Bradley Cooper as the most lethal sniper in the U.S. military, this biographical action flick is based off a true story and definitely delivers the goods. The film follows Cooper (as Chris Kyle) in his tour of duty in Iraq and the struggles he endures from deployment.
8.) The Interview:
SONY’s ‘The Interview’ might just be the biggest and most important movie of 2014 just for the simple fact that it brought to light the value of free speech in our country and around the world. In fact, the cyber attack, brought on by North Korea in order to thwart the film’s release, has brought up larger issues than just the plot of the movie. The Interview, which follows a producer (Seth Rogen) and interviewer (James Franco) as they are invited to North Korea to do an interview with the president, and then hired by the CIA to assassinate president Kim Jong-Un, might not have been seen by most, but it’s pure Rogen/Franco comedy.
Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s cinematic masterpiece about a Hollywood superhero who tries to get respect on Broadway might seem like the sort of movie you might want to take a pass on, but you’d be doing yourself a disservice. Michael Kheaton gives the performance of a lifetime with comedic prowess and laughs laughs laughs.
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal with Rene Russo and Bill Paxton, Nightcrawler follows Gyllenhaal as a young man driven to success. Gyllenhaal, who begins shooting footage of accidents, and crimes around Los Angeles in order to sell to news outlets, gives a thrilling performance worthy of praise.