I decided to wait a bit longer before posting this top 10 as there were still some films I didn’t get to see during 2014 that I was interested in. 2014 was a pretty great year as far as movies are concerned, sure there were some awful films (I even saw some of them) but overall there were far more great films than films I’d rather avoid. For those of you who are unfamiliar with my past top 10 lists I go by the year a film first comes out, this means a film that was released in the US in 2013 but got a delayed 2014 UK release won’t count and any anime films will go by the original Japanese release. Anyway lets get to the list…
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 1
I swear the fact the Hunger Games films are always at this number 10 slot isn’t intentional. In fact I was expecting this year’s entry to be higher in the list as it’s actually the best one so far. It’s now been long enough since I read the books that I’d forgotten a lot of what happens helping to prevent book bias and even stuff I remembered managed to keep their shock value due to the performances and how they were shot (if you’ve seen the film you might have an idea of what scene I’m referring to here, it’s near the end). Like the last two films I went with two of my friends, one who had read the book (and reread it more recently) and one who hadn’t (though this time it was a different friend in this role).
One of the newer additions to this list. I’ll admit I missed most of the promotion for this before I finally saw it, mostly I’d seen images and teasers. Something both these things leave out is the film’s biggest strength (yes, bigger than the amazing stop motion animation); the characters. Seeing how each of these characters interact with each other is a big part of this movie’s charm (Eggs and Winnie’s interaction in particular is a nice balance of hilarious and adorable). And it’s not just how they’re written but how they’re played, there are some big names attached to this but I actually had to check the credits to figure out who was playing who. After this and Paranorman I’m looking forward to seeing what Laika has in store for us in the future.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
I’m in that minority who really liked Iron Man 3 and how it explored the character of Tony Stark post-Avengers. Luckily I’m not in the minority when it comes to Winter Soldier as it explores Captain America not just how he is after the Avengers but exactly how he fits into the modern age. Shortly after I saw this I was expecting it to be in my top 5 by the end of the year. Also Black Window’s role in this film is all the proof we need that a solo film for her can work, but until then I hope she continues to be an important character in a few of Phase 3’s films.
I actually watched the entire series for the first time last year and finished season 3 just in time for the release of the film. I really wish I’d seen the show back when it was new though. The film has a lot of what makes the show so great but brings enough new elements to give it its own identity. If you’re a fan of the show chance is you’ve already watched this, if you’ve never seen the show go find season one and you’ll be marathoning it in no time.
How to Train Your Dragon 2
The first How to Train Your Dragon film took me by surprise with how good it was so I went into this one expecting it to be good and was still surprised by how good it was. I’d say this film is even better than the first one but to explain why would mean going into serious spoiler territory.
The LEGO Movie
Every so often I feel like buying LEGO again, this movie naturally triggered this to the point I spent a little too much money making sure I had the entire main cast. The fact the Academy Awards haven’t nominated this for Best Animated Picture is insulting, but at least the acknowledge the fact EVERYTHING IS AWESOME isn’t going to be leaving our heads any time soon. This film manages to capture the fun of LEGO in a wide range of ways and contains the best version of Batman ever (yes, even better than DCAU Batman). SPACESHIP!
The Fault In Our Stars
I’m a Nerdfighter (fan of the vlogbrothers) so seeing one of John Green’s books brought to the big screen is pretty exciting for me. I loved the book and this is exactly how a film of that story should be, it gets that perfect balance of funny and serious that made the book so popular. It’s clear everyone involved has nothing but respect for the source material and I can’t wait for Paper Towns later this year. DFTBA.
Stand By Me Doraemon
Doraemon was the first manga/anime franchise I was ever exposed to. Yes, before Pokémon and Dragon Ball Z I was was informed of a robot cat from the future thanks to Japanese students who were staying at our house. This film tells the first full story arc from the manga with a bit of new content thrown into the mix. I think this is the first time Doraemon has been adapted in CGI, it’s interesting how well these designs work in 3D as I’d have never expected them to.
Guardians of the Galaxy
So this is my new favourite Marvel movie. Back when this was first announced there was a lot of concern about if the movie audience could accept characters like Rocket or Groot. But it turns out they’re often people’s favourite part of the movie and they were accepted after the first trailer. It’s about time we got a film about the cosmic side of Marvel and of all the properties not owned by Fox the Guardians of the Galaxy are the perfect place to start. Like most people my favourites were Rocket and Groot but the entire team was fantastic, in fact I actually prefer movie Drax over comic Drax.
The Last: Naruto the Movie
And this is why the list took so long. I couldn’t make one without seeing this movie first because of just how swept up I was in the hype. I’m a NaruHina fan and this film is centered around Naruto and Hinata’s romance, of course I was excited. And it was everything I wanted from this pairing, seeing Naruto crushing on Hinata was extremely adorable and something I’ve been waiting to see for years. But not only was the romance cute but the action was still exciting, it’s still a shonen film after all. The final fight is especially exciting as it brings back the original Naruto Main Theme and we see a Naruto motivated by his love for Hinata. While it can be argued there are movies in this list that are better movies this is the one that has had the strongest effect on me personally.
And that’s my top 10. Looking over the movies I saw I was tempted to make this a top 15 list as there were several great films I saw that were pushed out of the list over time. Consider the other films in the banner such as Camp Takota, Big Hero 6, Battle of the Five Armies and Muppets Most Wanted as honorable mentions.