The Grand Budapest Hotel-Speaking of directors that I mixed experiences with Wes Anderson is another one. I never considered myself a big Wes Anderson fan my favorite film of his was the animated film The Fantastic Mr. Fox. I did like Moonrise Kingdom but with The Grand Budapest Hotel I feel there was something different. It had the similar Anderson vibe but felt more grown up. This was one of the first movies I saw in 2014 and it stayed with me the whole year.
Gone Girl- Unlike the previous two entries David Fincher is a director that has rarely failed to impress me. I never read the book so I wasn’t sure what I was in for in Gone Girl and I am really glad I went in knowing nothing. The story is twisted and disturbing but was a great ride. You never knew what was going to happen and it was full of constant surprises. The ending will leave you speechless and maybe upset but I loved that it didn’t take an easy way out.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes- So I was making fun of the summer movie season where we had sequels, prequels, and remakes. And one of my favorite movies ended up being a sequel to a prequel of a reboot. Anyway something about this series really works. I love sci-fi that can make a statement and the two new movies in the series have done that. Andy Serkis does a great job as Caesar and his character arc is what really gives the movie heart and makes more than just an eye popping spectacle.
The Babadook-I haven’t seen a horror movie in a long time that has really scared me. But The Babadook did that. In her first feature film Jennifer Kent took a simple boogie man story and told a story that had my heart racing. With very little gore she created an atmosphere of constant terror. The movie is a lesson on how less can be more. While I do love gory movies there is something special about a story that can really get inside your head.
A lot has been said about the lack of good movies this year but there were quite a few I enjoyed and two more that came really close to making the list are two of the biggest blockbusters of the year Guardians of the Galaxy and The Lego Movie. Both these movies I thought were going to be stupid but both turned out really good.
Every year there is a movie that maybe isn’t great but I admire for trying something different and pushing the boundaries. This year that movie is The Tribe. The movie had absolutely no dialogue and no sound effects. It is told entirely through Ukrainian Sign Language and some of the rawest visuals this year. I had no clue what was going on for most of the movie and I saw it later at night so it did make it hard to stay awake but if you are looking for a movie like nothing else you will ever see then this is it.