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My Top 6 Movies Of 2014

It’s good to take a look back and appreciate some of the great movies in 2014.  I love an article like this because I don’t have to be as objective as I usually try to be.  Fortunately, all the movies on my list are considered good, so I won’t be jumping too far off a ledge with these.

Runner Ups

Six is a small list, so some movies had to miss the cut. I wanted to just give em a little shout out, because I enjoyed them so much. I could have expanded it to a top ten, but I don’t want to ramble that much.

  • The Imitation Game
  • 22 Jump Street
  • Fury
  • Edge of Tomorrow

Now let’s get started!

# 6 : The Raid 2

The Raid 2 is the sequel to the sleeper hit of 2011 The Raid Redemption. The Raid Redemption was a lightening rod to the martial arts action genre. Considered by many to be the best action film in years and by some the best ever. A simple premise of a SWAT task force’s assault on a drug lord’s apartment building. The simplicity lead to low-budget and low expectations. It’s success almost guaranteed a sequel, but now accompanied with a full budget and high expectations. The Raid 2 had to be bigger, faster, and more violent. Long story short.. it was! It upped the ante in every way I could have perceived.

The Raid 2 is a constant assault on the senses. It is filled with dramatic tension from the very first minute to the last second.  It is the most visceral film I have ever since. Saying this film is violent would be an understatement. It is absolutely uncompromising in its depiction of violence. The lead character Rama portrayed perfectly by Iko Uwais. Rama is conscripted into undercover service, spending two years in jail to infiltrate one of the more powerful gangs. You see the effect this does on him, and his pension for violence seems natural. Even though, you know he is an undercover officer. The line blurs often as he is confronted with the multiple horrors of his assignment. This all culminates in an ending sequence that sees Rama taking on pretty much everybody. Ending in one of the bloodiest one on one fights I’ve ever seen. If you’re a fan of martial arts action movies, you owe yourself to see The Raid 2.

# 5 The Lego Movie

Few toys can claim the worldly recognition and success of Legos. Not only is the toy synonymous with childhood creativity. It’s managed to etch a place in the hearts of every age group. The lego games appeal to older children and teenagers, and adults take lego construction to a new level building life-size replicas of their favorite objects. The Lego Movie was another step in expanding the lego brand. Wow! what a step it was. I knew this movie would be entertaining, but I never thought I’d fall head over heels in love with it.

Alot of people shared in my sentiment for this movie. The Lego Movie was universally acclaimed by all critics the world over. The oscar nominations were released not long ago and many hoped to see Lego Movie get more recognition. If you google oscar 2015 snubs, you’ll be hard pressed to find a list that doesn’t have the Lego Movie on it. This movie was extremely aware of what it was, and used that to its advantage.  Chris Prat will ultimately be remembered for his roles in Guardians of the Galaxy and Parks & Rec. He brings Emmet to life as he realizes his destiny of becoming “the greatest, most interesting, most important person of all time”. Emmett is just a normal guy who has to hang with the likes of lego Batman and Gandalf. The moral of the story, anybody can achieve greatness with a little support and self-confidence. It’s not a new story, but it’s presented in a heart-felt way. Oh… and the sound track is awesome , literally!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g55SloahAj0]

#4 Top Five

Again, I have to start off with how big of a Chris Rock fan I am. It’s really hard for me to be objective when it comes to Chris Rock. Which is great because I don’t have to be that objective with this list. Top Five is my favorite Chris Rock film to date. His resume isn’t spectacular so this being my favorite isn’t that big of a statement. Chris Rock does what he does best in this movie, social commentary. He’s funny when talking about and/or exposing a lot of the ridiculous associated with fame and fortune.

Chris Rock is the star of this movie, but the essential key is Rosario Dawson. She plays his equal sparring partner in their candid conversations. She isn’t a walking poster board for Rock to bounce his words off. She’s organic and thoughtful as she opposes a lot of his thoughts and counters with different views. The important thing, they never spend much time trying to convince the other of the error of their ways. It’s not about somebody being right or wrong. It’s about two people with their fair share of demons, expressing “Brutal Honesty” and more importantly, being okay with it. Two people who barely know each other decide to let down their shields and watching what happens is a fun ride.  There are also some awesome cameos from a number of other comedians and personalities.  It almost feels like Chris Rock had a bunch of “I owe you one”s and phoned them all in for Top Five.

#3 Captain America: The Winter Solider

It’s probably not a surprise to many that a marvel movie has made this list. It’s probably a shock to some that it’s not Guardians of the Galaxy. Don’t get me wrong, Guardians is a fantastic movie. Captain America 2 was just simply better to me. Captain 2 flipped the marvel cinematic universe upside down. A feat which should get more credit because marvel has literally spent years building it.

In the wake of the invasion of New York in the Avengers. Captain America still finds himself working directly for SHIELD. Which isn’t too surprising because he is a solider by trade. He doesn’t have a company to run like Stark or world’s to sheriff like Thor. Everything changes when an assassination is attempted on Nick Fury. Captain turns from being SHIELD’s greatest asset to potential traitor on the run. This becomes a greater issue when it is learned SHIELD has been infiltrated by Hydra for decades. So much so the only option is to dismantle SHIELD. The security force generally responsible for saving the world in the avengers is being destroyed by its own champion. It’s a heavy blow and Chris Evans makes the journey enjoyable. Captain America is the least “super” of all the Avengers, but they continue to find a way to make his role just as important.

#2 Gone Girl

Gone Girl is based on a novel of the same name written by Gillian Flynn in 2012. It really isn’t taking Hollywood long to churn out these movies adaptations. I don’t know why Ben Affleck is such a polarizing subject, but with his recent works in the Town, Argo and now Gone Girl, he is officially Hollywood royalty.  He’s not even the best part about this film, that honor goes to Roasmund Pike.

Gone Girl is a mystery thriller about the disappearance of Nick’s wife Amy. The movie puts you in a constant state of wondering. If your unfamiliar with the book, you won’t truly know what to make of the entire scenario. From the outside looking in, they seem like a healthy couple. Then again, don’t most people seem normal until faced with the scrutiny of the microscope. The pace of the movie is wonderful, I found myself unable to choose sides. Always hoping for the next bit of information to provide some clarity on the subject. Even things presented as truth are realized as false as the movie goes along. It takes “he said, she said” to a whole new level. I didn’t think I’d enjoy this movie too much, but as people often ask me whats the best movie you’ve seen lately. This one always pops up in my head.

#1 John Wick

I know what your thinking…. Keanu Reeves … Really? Yes! Really! John Wick is hands down my favorite movie of 2014. It certainly isn’t the best movie of 2014, not even a long shot. However, it is enjoyable from start to finish. It almost feels like a 90s action movie in its premise. Revered hitman comes out of retirement looking for revenge. We’ve all seen that movie, and we know how that story typical ends. John Wick doesn’t do anything different here, it just does it better. Keanu Reeves has a natural charisma for this kind of role, and his age only bring it together more. The action is stylish and yet still retains a certain weight.  The notion of a single man defeating countless bad guys can seem comical at times. While the movie definitely has a sense of humor, it chooses not to show that humor in the action scenes. This keeps it outside of the realm of popcorn cheesy action like Kill Bil, but not as morbidly serious as 2008’s Rambo.

The best part about this film is it’s simplicity. It doesn’t bloviate concepts for the sake of doing so. A lot of things aren’t explained in the narrative but given enough depth in context for you to understand. This world that John lives in is shrouded in mystery. To the gold coin currency used, to the hotel which is deemed neutral ground for people in his line of work. It’s a fully realized world you only get a peak at, and what a great peak it is. It’s the kind of world building that could be realized in a TV series. It would need the support of a someone unafraid of the R rating like HBO or Starz, but it would be great.

That’s my list, whats yours?

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