Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

My Top Ten Movies of 2014

10. Boyhood

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Richard Linklater’s 12-year opus was met with a lot of acclaim this year.  I appreciated what they set out to do quite a bit.  Its a subtly bold feat to attempt and the cast and crew here did it well.  Its not overly exciting, but it didn’t want to be.  I kind of wanted just a wee bit more excitement or something, and for that reason I didn’t fall in love with it like many others, but it still made the cut.

9. Guardians of the Galaxy

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The Marvel train just keeps on chugging.  This time they took a risk by throwing in third tier (at best) heroes that are little known and giving them their own film.  But the trick was to make it a riotous, action-filled space opera full of great visuals, comedy, and characters.  It worked.

8. Grand Budapest Hotel

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Even though it made little fanfare when it came out this summer, Wes Anderson’s latest comedy seems to be getting more of a boost in Oscar season somehow.  That’s good, since this is a very funny story which is a pleasure to watch.  The visuals are childish and fun and the many characters are ever interesting with those Anderson quirks.

7. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

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A really well made sequel which takes the franchise up a notch.  Skipping over the whole apocalyptic plague thing, they go right into the aftermath where apes and men are building their own civilizations tandem to each other.  What we get is basically a retelling of Battle for the Planet of the Apes, but way better.  Caesar continues to be an awesome character, and Koba makes a great villain.  This revival series is certainly on the right track.

6. X-Men: Days of Future Past

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This is sort of the X-men version of The Avengers, where everyone is sort of clashing together in one big film.  And its awesome.  This feels like exactly what the culmination of a long running comic book movie series should be like.  It has the crossing storylines of the comics, the plethora of characters, and a solid story at its core.

5. Chef

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A great feel good movie about people doing what they love and wanting to be great at it.  You don’t have to be a foodie to enjoy this movie, but I will say that the food here looks delicious and really gives the film extra flavour.  Don’t pass this up.

4. Edge of Tomorrow

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I was really surprised by this midsummer action flick.  It had a lot of brains behind it and created an interesting premise where Tom Cruise is repeating the same day over and over until he can stop an alien invasion.  It makes much more sense in the movie, trust me.  And if you have the same fears I did, that the movie would feel repetitive, don’t worry; they manage to keep it feeling fresh the whole way through.

3. Gone Girl

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I’ll be honest, I’m not sure how well this one will hold up over time, but at the moment its one of my favourites of the year.  It feels like a mystery novel elevated by the director, cast, and crew.  And it has board game product placement! (Dominion and Race for the Galaxy).  Seriously though, this is a movie full of twists and atmosphere.

2. The LEGO Movie

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I was very close to making this my Film of the Year.  Its one of those movies that just pulls the right chord with me.  Lots of people were into lego when they were younger, but some more than most and I was included in that number.  I feel like they really did Lego justice with this movie by actually making it about the spirit of the toyline itself through the virtues of creativity and uniqueness.  Plus the humour is top notch and somehow fresh in its own way.  Oh yeah, and its also a visual feast for the eyes.

1. Interstellar

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Even though I love Lego, I have to give Film of the Year to Interstellar, Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi epic.  Its bold, imaginative, and powerful.  It has amazing ideas and concepts, strong themes of the ambition of the human race, and an emotional core.  While I can see a film like Gone Girl decreasing in my estimation over time, I wonder if this one will increase.  There is a lot going on in this movie and I can see myself being able to really sink into it over time.  A wonderful film.

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4 Responses to “My Top Ten Movies of 2014”

  1. Love that you’ve included Chef, I really enjoyed that film 🙂

  2. Still haven’t seen Chef. This is a very strong list. Nicely done.

  3. Controversial first choice but a solid one. I’d have gone Captain America 2 over Guardians though.


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