The Top 10 Movies of 2014 So Far

Photo Credit:http://www.forbes.com/sites/scottmendelson/2014/02/03/review-everything-about-the-lego-movie-is-awesome/

Now that 2014 is half way over, we’ve seen roughly half the movies of the year. While generally the first half of the year is always a little worse than the second, 2014 so far has given us a few winners and even some downright masterpieces. Here are the ten best movies of the year so far.

 

 

 

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1937390/10. Nymphomaniac: Vol. 1-

Lars von Trier’s psychosexual thriller had some pretty mind-blowing moments. Split into two volumes, Vol. 2 seriously needed the fat to be trimmed. But Vol. 1 is a fascinating look at a certain type of sexuality and how it affects the mind and body. It’s the more consistent half of the story and the one that resonates more before things get pretty far-fetched in the second half. Despite its title, it’s actually one of the most accessible von Trier films to date.

 

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2294449/?ref_=nv_sr_19. 22 Jump Street

How many comedy sequels do you know of that actually work? 22 Jump Street elevates the self-awareness of the original and brings the story to college. The ante is upped and the jokes come flying. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill retain their bromantic chemistry for the entire second movie. It’s proof that not all comedy sequels have to go the way of The Hangover Part II.

 

 

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0831387/?ref_=nv_sr_18. Godzilla

The question remains on the table: is Godzilla a monster movie disguised as an art film or an art film disguised as a monster movie? The gorgeous shots and the slow reveal of the story seem to indicate the latter. Director Gareth Edwards brought a Spielbergian touch to the King of the Monsters by making us wait a very long time for the final showdown. But once is started…damn. This film was far from perfect, but it was one entertaining experience from start to finish.

 

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2883512/?ref_=nv_sr_17. Chef

With Chef, director Jon Favreau seems be taking a very hard look at his career. Having helmed mostly big-budget event films for over a decade, Favreau retreated to a much smaller type of filmmaking for his latest feature. It’s about a chef that isn’t happy making the same menu and wants to branch out and try new dishes. See the parallel? Well, it really works for the most part, delivering a poignant family story alongside some harsh commentary on the current state of Hollywood.

 

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2910274/?ref_=nv_sr_16. Obvious Child

Jenny Slate flawlessly became a leading star in this abortion comedy (yes, you read that right) that actually doesn’t even pose the big moral quandary you expect it to. With its main character knowing that abortion is her best option throughout the entire movie, the film wears its opinions proudly. Oddly enough, Obvious Child is about learning to trust others in believing in you and your decisions. It’s funny and incredibly refreshing.

 

 

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1490017/?ref_=nv_sr_15. The Lego Movie

Look, this movie had no right to be as good as it was. Hitting theaters in the middle of February, this animated flick looked like a Toy Story ripoff. While it does share a lot of themes with Pixar’s classic franchise, it had enough originality, as well as side-splitting gags, to become something new and fun. Several months later and the love for it hasn’t worn off just yet. Just remember, everything is awesome!

 

 

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1843866/?ref_=nv_sr_14. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Based on the April release date, the clunky title, and the fact that most audiences left the first Captain America a bit disappointed (I find myself in the minority that absolutely adored it), it seemed impossible for The Winter Soldier to actually be a worthy addition to the Marvel canon. Wrong. This movie was just so awesome. Featuring a twisty plot and legitimately frightening villains, the second Cap outing blew us out of the water with huge ramifications on the entire Marvel universe. There’s a reason some fans are calling it “better than The Avengers“.

 

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1877832/?ref_=nv_sr_13. X-Men: Days of Future Past

As great as Captain America: The Winter Soldier was, it isn’t the best superhero movie of 2014 so far (we’ll see what Guardians of the Galaxy holds in a month). No, the seventh entry in the decade and a half old X-Men franchise overcame the series’ faults and delivered one of the most entertaining and all around best superhero movies of all time. Featuring what must be one of the best casts ever assembled, Days of Future Past linked the entire series together while telling an engaging story and giving several characters their best material yet. This once-dead franchise has never felt more alive.

 

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2013293/?ref_=nv_sr_12. The Wind Rises

The last film from the great Hayao Miyazaki doesn’t feature spirits or castles like his other ten films. Instead, The Wind Rises is the story of a creative mind and his dream. Resembling Miyazaki’s own career as an artist, this portrait of Jiro Horikoshi, the inventor of Japanese fighter planes, is a heartfelt goodbye to the fans and filmmaking world. Featuring the typically fantastic animation and top-notch storytelling, Miyazaki’s last stands tall as one of his best. There’s not a better way to retire.

 

Photo Credit:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1706620/1. Snowpiercer

There’s no question about it. Snowpiercer is an instant classic. Destined to be used in the same sentence as Blade Runner and Brazil, this sci-fi dystopia is tense, shocking, and occasionally quite funny. Chris Evans has never been better, pouring more genuine emotion into this film than the already solid Captain America films combined. But Snowpiercer truly succeeds thanks to its inventiveness. Director Bong Joon-ho adapted this world to its full potential. The sets are stunning, and the story playing out in them is engaging, emotional, and surprisingly unpredictable. I fully expect this film to be sitting pretty high on the Best Movies of 2014 list at the end of the year.

 

What are your favorite movies of the year so far? Let us know in the comments below!

 

By Matt Dougherty

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