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Added by PerfectPortal on 31 Dec 2014 04:25

My Top 10 Favourite Movies of 2014

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People who added this item 2033 Average listal rating (1447 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 8.6
It's more of the same complex sci-fi fare we've come to expect from Christopher Nolan. :) This time we have a team of explorers scouting deep space to try and find mankind a new home. A few aspects of the story don't add up, but I could still follow it well enough overall. I really didn't like Hans Zimmer's raucous, bombastic music, which even drowns out the dialogue at times. But on the other hand, the whole "time is relative" concept leads to one of the most powerful emotional moments in recent memory. Overall, it's far from Nolan's best offering, but still a pretty good one.
PerfectPortal's rating:
People who added this item 1028 Average listal rating (739 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.4
Godzilla (2014)
Finally, an American Godzilla remake that actually respects the franchise! :D Personally, I've only seen the original, but from what I've heard of the rest of the series, this movie is an affectionate tribute to the whole franchise. The human characters are boring, and they take up so much of the movie that that can be a little disappointing, but the story, and the plan they devise, still consistently held my interest. However, the final monster battle is definitely the highlight. :) Overall, while I could have used a little more focus on the monsters, I was still more than satisfied with what I got.
PerfectPortal's rating:
People who added this item 1590 Average listal rating (1124 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.1
Gone Girl (2014)
When his wife disappears, Nick Dunne suspects kidnapping and goes public with his search for her, but then the media begins to suspect that he may not be all that innocent. Well, it's been a while since I've seen a thriller that kept me guessing all the way! :) The mystery of what happened to the wife only lasts for the first act, then it becomes something entirely different: an equally riveting battle of wits. The last act made no sense to me at the time, but fortunately it does become clearer on reflection. On the whole, it's a well written and highly effective thriller.
PerfectPortal's rating:
People who added this item 476 Average listal rating (330 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 7.3
Chef (2014)
This is one that I really underestimated at first. The first act, involving the main character's feud with a critic, is pretty shaky, because all the trouble could have been avoided if he simply told the truth; you just want to jump into the movie and explain that it's all because of managerial mandate. But the second half, after he opens up the food truck and goes on tour, is quite simply some of the best feel-good entertainment I've seen in a long time. I especially love the developing relationship he shares with his son โ€“ who delivers one of the best child performances in years.
PerfectPortal's rating:
People who added this item 404 Average listal rating (269 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 6.5
Oculus (2014)
This was the surprise of the year for me. I usually don't find the supernatural scary, and the idea of a haunted mirror sounded ludicrous to me. But instead, the movie succeeds by offering an extremely well written psychological study. As the film progresses and we get to know the two leads more and more, we start to wonder which of them is actually delusional, which is what makes the second half so intense. Watching the whole movie makes you feel like you're descending into delirium. It's an absolutely riveting mind trip, and probably the best horror movie I've seen since Cabin in the Woods.
PerfectPortal's rating:
People who added this item 1823 Average listal rating (1184 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.9
I went into this movie with high hopes, and came out feeling that I'd seen the best X-Men movie ever made. In a word, wow! :) It's impressive in just about every respect, but I'm especially amazed at how well written it is. The story is everything that a comic book movie should be: tightly written, and exciting thanks to being witty with both its clever ideas and its endearing characters. All the performances are top-notch, but Michael Fassbender stands out in particular. But the main thing the movie did for me was the last half-hour: the tension in the climax is nothing short of breathtaking.
PerfectPortal's rating:
People who added this item 1317 Average listal rating (874 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 8
If any movie this year was right up my street, it was this one! :) It's a biopic of Alan Turing, who developed the first prototypical computer to decode Nazi communications in World War II. The film as a whole is endlessly compelling and exciting, and even manages to pack some truly devastating emotional punches. But of course, it's Benedict Cumberbatch who steals the show. The movie portrays Turing as autistic, and, speaking as someone on the spectrum myself, Cumberbatch's performance is pitch-perfect. His tendency to rarely look people in the eye, and sometimes have trouble forming complete sentences or even words, really rang true.
PerfectPortal's rating:
People who added this item 503 Average listal rating (361 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 7.3
Another big surprise. Right from the opening scenes, it was so emotionally poignant that I was won over instantly. The story is as basic a fairytale as you can get, which just makes it all the more engaging: sometimes simplicity goes a long way. But aside from that, I simply adore the art design and the animation; I can't think of any other movie that looks like this. I said before that I hardly rated any movies five stars this year, but this is one that I strongly suspect will earn that coveted rating on repeat viewings. I loved it.
PerfectPortal's rating:
People who added this item 391 Average listal rating (281 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8
The Raid 2 (2014)
This is one for which I had particularly high hopes, being a huge fan of the first Raid. This sequel features a much more complicated story; I had a bit of trouble keeping up. But all the characters' motivations made perfect sense, so I began to become steadily more invested. And then, once again, the third act made all the difference. I mean, WOW! The action scenes are some of the best in recent memory, including one of the best car chases I've ever seen, period! They're so exhilarating that I felt like I had to take a breather after each one was over!

So, what could be number one? What did I enjoy more than any of those other movies? The answer surprises even me.
PerfectPortal's rating:
Now, I admit I may have a bit of a bias towards this one, since I've been a huge AVGN fan since 2007, and James Rolfe himself, through his other videos, has become one of my biggest filmmaking idols. I was following this movie's progress from day one, trying not to let myself get too hyped, and boy was it worth the wait! :) It never stops being entertaining, not even for a second! Just about every step of the story feels natural, and I love how progressively outrageous the situation keeps becoming. I'd be lying if I said the obvious low-budget effects weren't occasionally distracting, but some of them just add to the humour in a big way: seeing some of the actors turned into part of the miniature models is frigging hilarious! :D Judging from its IMDb rating, it seems even a lot of AVGN fans hated this movie, but I'm clearly not one of them. I couldn't help but share in the passion on display, and thoroughly enjoyed the ride. It's my favourite movie of the year.
PerfectPortal's rating:

Welcome to the second part of my recap of 2014. I already did my least favourite movies of the year, so if you haven't seen that list yet, follow the link: www.listal.com/list/my-top-10-least-favourite-2748 Now I get to wash my hands of those stinkers by talking about the movies this year that I actually liked. :)
Now, I mentioned this in the other list, but it bears repeating. Compared to the other years I've been doing this, this best-of list sadly isn't quite as strong a remedy to its counterpart. The line-up of movies this year was pretty subpar; there were next to no movies that I even liked enough to award five-star ratings. Even some of the movies that were huge hits with both critics and audiences, like How to Train Your Dragon 2, didn't resonate quite as strongly with me personally. Perhaps the biggest examples are the two Marvel movies this year โ€“ Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy โ€“ both of which I thought were just okay. Is the movie-going public getting desperate for something to latch onto, or am I just becoming too cynical?
And again, there might be some glaring omissions on this list, because there were a fair few reportedly good movies this year that I didn't catch, like Muppets Most Wanted, Big Eyes, Pride, What If (AKA The F Word), Veronica Mars (I think it best to watch the show first) and The Babadook โ€“ the latter of which I feel really guilty about because, when I first heard about it, I thought it sounded incredibly stupid, and by the time I heard what it was really like, it was too late. But the one for which I'm kicking myself the most is Boyhood, helmed by many as the best movie of the year; unfortunately I missed it in the cinema, and it won't hit DVD until January. I'd also like to give a special mention to Dinosaur 13: I usually take no interest in documentary films, but that one sounds like just my cup of tea. :)
Bottom line: if there's a movie that you feel really strongly should be on this list, chances are I either haven't seen it or I just didn't like it as much as you did.
So, with that rather pessimistic intro out of the way, let's now jump right into the joyful side of this year's cinema. :D Here are my top ten favourite movies of 2014โ€ฆ

Batman: Assault on Arkham
Edge of Tomorrow (released on DVD as Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow)
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Lego Movie

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