Movie aficionados can look back at the year 2014 with a certain amount of fondness as, all things considered, it was a pretty good year for film with something for everyone. Whether you’re into drama, comedy or action, there was no shortage of high quality output throughout the year. Here are Krank.ie‘s top 10 films (excluding documentaries which get their own list) of 2014:
10. The LEGO Movie
The first of two Chris Pratt films to feature on our list, The LEGO Movie just oozes fun and frolics. At first glance, one might be tempted to think that a film based on children’s building blocks is the very definition of artistic and intellectual bankruptcy, but you’d be wrong! The creative team behind The LEGO Movie have done the world proud by making one of the best family adventure films of recent times with the kind of zany humour that kids and adults will enjoy in equal measure, not to mention fantastic turns by Will Arnett as Batman and Liam Neeson as a dual-personalitied Good Cop/Bad Cop. To put it mildly, Everything (about this film) Is Awesome!
9. St. Vincent
Boy meets man. Man is grumpy. Boy uncovers man’s secret heart of gold. Friendship blossoms. A surrogate father figure is established. Valuable life lessons are learned.
The basic plot premise to Theodore Melfi’s St. Vincent doesn’t exactly strike one as being particularly original, but the film is elevated beyond expectations thanks to a fantastic ensemble cast. Leading this group of talented actors is Bill Murray, who delivers what is arguably his very best performance to date (which is saying a lot) as a crackingly good script takes him to strange places and pushes his considerable acting abilities to their very limits.
8. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the first of two Marvel movies to make our list (you have probably guessed what the other one is by now). While superhero movies in general tend to go for the easy ‘brain at the door’ fun dollar, Cap’n A’s second cinematic outing gave comic book fans not just the pumped up action and witty one-liners they so crave, but also something for the grey matter to chew on in the form of intricate and mature storyline with plenty of twists and turns while tackling some pretty big and very current moral themes. Think All The President’s Men, but with machine guns and super-humans.
Plus they managed to make a version of Falcon that was genuinely cool and actually useful in a combat situation. That in itself is an achievement worthy of merit.
7. Patrick’s Day
Irish director Terry McMahon delivers an absolute powerhouse of a film with Patrick’s Day, a realistic and ultimately heartbreaking story of two people who suffer from mental health difficulties falling in love and the obstacles that they face. In an industry where mental health is rarely taken so seriously, Patrick’s Day is a breath of fresh air in that it treats its subjects with the respect that they deserve. While certainly, this is not the easiest watch that an audience can experience, it is certainly a very important one which will leave a lasting impression long after the end credits have stopped rolling.
While Patrick’s Day is not out on general release in Irish cinemas until the 6th of February 2015, its first screenings here were in 2014 so we are counting it among our films of 2014.
6. Dallas Buyers Club
The McConaissance reached its paragon of excellence with the Oscar-winning Dallas Buyers Club. Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto both picked up best actor Academy Awards for their respective portrayals of two men who have contracted AIDS but refuse to lie down and die. Instead, they go into business together and smuggle drugs in order to help out others who are suffering from this terrible disease – and make a few bucks while they’re at it too!
Dallas Buyers Club is more than a weepy tragedy designed purely as a piece of Oscar-bait. For a film with such a serious subject matter it manages to be incredibly humorous without being disrespectful. This is a true testament to the skill of director Jean-Marc Valée – a masterpiece.
The countdown continues on Page 2 with the 5 best films of the year: