Monday, December 22, 2014

Best of 2014 - Movie edition

Yes, it's the one-off return of Movie Monday! It's the pointy end of the year, which means it's time to talk about all the best and worst things I've discovered this year. I've already done my best books, courtesy of last week's Top Ten Tuesday topic, and I'll get to best TV shows, best music, and worst of everything ever in the next few days.

Many of these aren't movies that were released this year. But they are movies that I *saw* for the first time this year, so it totally counts and if you haven't seen them you should rectify that immediately.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
It's no secret that I loved the absolute crap out of this movie. I've seen it twice more (I think??) since I shared my thoughts when it first came out, and I still love it just as much. It's got amazing female characters, amazing POC characters, and it manages to be surprisingly funny given the dark subject matter. And, perhaps most importantly, it feels a lot more like a political thriller than a superhero movie. 10/10 would recommend.

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner
Nearly forty years after it was released, this movie still drops truth bombs left, right and centre. The performances are brilliant, especially from Spencer Tracey, and it's full of absolutely phenomenal quotes. And it's - sadly - still applicable today in an awful lot of ways.

I watched this movie on the flight to London, not having heard anything about it beforehand other than knowing that Robert Downey Jr was involved somehow. So I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be pretty damned fabulous, even if it did make me really hungry. Seriously, don't watch it on a plane. You'll be devastated when they present you with a meal that looks like it's already been half eaten and then regurgitated...

Gone Girl
I'm not sure I could say I enjoyed this movie, because it's indescribably disturbing in so many ways. But as a psychological thriller of "OMG NO MAKE IT STOP" proportions? It was utterly amazing. And Rosamund Pike, who I know best as Lady Harriet Cumnor from the 1999 adaptation of Wives & Daughters (closely followed by her turn as Jane Bennet in my least favourite version of Pride & Prejudice) was absolutely brilliant (and kind of terrifying) from start to finish.

The Fault in Our Stars
Feels from start to finish. Shailene Woodley was fabulous as Hazel, and this is probably the most true-to-the-book adaptation I've ever seen. Plus, it was a hell of a lot funnier than I thought it was going to be, though when it delivered feels, they came in spades. It didn't hurt that the soundtrack is pretty damned fabulous either.

Guardians of the Galaxy
Speaking of amazing soundtracks, this one is possibly the greatest movie soundtrack of EVER. The music fitted perfectly with the (more than a little ridiculous) film, and while it kind of proves that Marvel could make a movie about practically anything and we'd still turn out in our millions to watch it (as long as its cast is headed by a white dude named Chris), it was a hell of a lot of fun, and I loved how it tied in with the existing MCU.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Look, this one is a surprise even to me. With the exception of There's Something About Mary, I've disliked basically every Ben Stiller movie I've ever seen. But this one? This one was pretty astonishing. The blending of imagination and reality was great, and considering Ben Stiller acted, produced AND directed it, the level of seriousness was fairly surprising. Add in some gorgeous settings and you've got yourself a winner. Basically, it was amazing and you should see it even if you don't like Ben Stiller.

12 Angry Men
Holy hell, is this movie amazing. It feels a lot more like a play than a movie. The shots are incredibly long, which is practically unheard of in cinema today. And it's pretty staggering that they managed to produce such an engaging movie given how long the shots are, and given that basically the entire film is just a bunch of dudes sitting around a table.

Veronica Mars
Given that it was created thanks to a Kickstarter campaign, it's perhaps not surprising that this movie is full of sneaky little hints and cameos and Easter eggs for fans. To be honest, it felt a little like an extra long episode of a TV show that hasn't been on the air in a number of years, but I really didn't care. I loved the series, and rejoining the characters we know and love "ten" years on was amazing. Plus, Veronica is a total sass explosion from start to finish.

The Way, Way Back
I really loved this movie. It's really feelsy, but it was a hell of a lot of fun. Sam Rockwell is absolutely brilliant from start to finish, as is Toni Collette. And you can never go wrong with Allison Janney. It's fabulously written and pretty damned great. Basically.

What are the best movies you've seen this year?

K xx


  1. VMars and TFiOS, agreed! I still have to watch CA:TWS which I will hopefully get for Christmas. GotG was great, I'm slowly getting through the MCU and OMG I'm sorry for all the acronyms.

  2. Hey, at least I knew what they all meant! ;)

    But seriously, CA:TWS was easily the best Marvel movie to date for me. EASILY. Which is saying something, because it doesn't even star Tom Hiddleston!

  3. Captain America is easily ma favourite Marvel superhero. He is awesome and I can't wait to watch that movie. I also still have to watch the second Thor movie.

  4. I love the Marvel movies. Even when they're not great movies, they're still entertaining. I know I'll like them even if I don't love them (I think IM3 is the only real exception).

    I can't really remember the new-to-me movies I watched this year, with one notable exception (maybe because I watched it on YOUR recommendation): I finally watched The Decoy Bride on Netflix. And it was just as adorably romcom-y as promised.

  5. TFioS and Gone Girl were so good! TFioS cause... duh. And I might be partial to Gone Girl because every other scene I'm in the theatre all "I USED TO LIVE THERE! I WALKED THAT STREET EVERYDAY!" And I FINALLY saw Guardians of the Galaxy last week. I'm not a huge superhero movie fan, I like them, but I'm not crazy about them. But I liked Guardians.


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