Top 10 Best Movies of 2014

After the worst movies of the year, we can now finally count down the marvels of this year in movies - the Top 10 Best Movies of 2014.

2014 boasted a remarkable amount of welcome surprises in movies. Therefore, many movies with fairly standard or even low expectations actually turned out to be far better ones when they hit theaters. Additionally, multiple times, some movies just came out of nowhere and rocketed into our Top 10 Best Movies list this time.
Yet, there of course are still many great movies that we couldn't manage to watch til now. Some of those great movies that couldn't be counted into this list are nevertheless honorably mentioned at the end of this Top 10 and you should definitely give them a watch.

But as of now, among the total of 70 watched, reviewed and rated movies of this year, these are what Invisible Kid considers to be the best of them.

Here are Invisible Kid's Top 10 Movies of 2014!

Aside from the Mission: Impossible movies, Tom Cruise recently had quite a rough time with blockbuster movies. After the weak and troublesome sci-fi flick Oblivion one might argue that Cruise has lost touch for good scripts that show that he can still hold together and deliver old-fashioned fullfilling action entertainment on his own. Yet, with Edge of Tomorrow (known as Live.Die.Repeat since its DVD-release) Cruise came back with a surprisingly refreshing sci-fi action movie.
Though not revolutionary or flawless in its overall execution, this sci-fi action-take on the loop-movie-formula of Groundhog Day boasts enough fun ideas and good action scenes to make for a satisfying watch. Based on the manga All You Need Is Kill (which nobody read) expectations were low, which benefited the movie greatly in the end as one of this year's most welcome surprises.

For the full review click here

Days of Future Past is one of the X-Men comics' most beloved and well-known story archs. Resultingly, expectations for this year's entry in the X-Men franchise, which mixed the old and new X-Men casts together in a big time travel plot, were sky high (after all it was No. 1 on our Most Anticipated Movies of 2014 list).
And even though X-Men: Days of Future Past wasn't as flawless or big in its scope and execution as some would've hoped for it to be, it sure is the most game-changing entry in the series yet. 
Without spoiling anything, director of the first movie, Bryan Singer, managed to find a way to make all of the series future seem new and interesting again even after all the lore that seemed set in stone after several movies. Though it's still not the overall best X-Men flick, it sure is an important and solid one.

For the full review click here.

From a sheer technical perspective Boyhood is something that hasn't been done before on such a large scale. Boyhood tells the coming-of-age-story of Mason and his sister being raised in a troubled family environment. What makes Boyhood stand out the most though, is that the movie was shot intermittently over a period of 12 years from 2002 to 2013 always utilizing the very same actors as the age in real-time. Therefore, watching Mason and every single one of the other actors in Boyhood's storyline grow older and evolve gives the movie itself an impressive feel of realism and somewhat supports character development on a visual level. This is only further underlined by Boyhood's authentically written dialogue and strong acting, which also makes the movie overall outweigh its too long runningtime as well as fairly standard coming-of-age tropes. It's easily the most interesting and personal feeling drama of this year.

Lars von Trier is a weird guy and so are his movies...they are weird. Yet, his movie Nymphomaniac might just be the most approachable, interesting and personal depiction of a nymphomaniac's or sex-addict's psyche and biographical story to date.
With this drama being split up into two movies, Nymphomaniac Volume I & II, there's no doubt that it's Volume I of the two parts that marks the strongest half of the story. While Volume II tends to focus too much on pure shock value, Volume I tells female protagonist Joe's story from a very intimate perspective that balances the two poles of love and sex the best. Most notably, the movie depicts several interesting and very well acted situations throughout the storyline that involve and combine all of the movie's themes together in smart and intriguing ways.
Nymphomaniac sure is not for everyone and stumbles towards the final stretch of its story but nevertheless impressed very much this year with its strong first half.

Who would've thought that Captain America: The Winter Soldier would turn out as such a game-changing entry for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (and that it would play out far less generic as the newly introduced Guardians of the Galaxy movie)?
Captain America 2 easily tops Steve Roger's origin story from the first Captain America flick through raising the stakes drastically, leading to a quite new foundation and starting point for him and the other Avengers in the upcoming Marvel movies. Additionally, it doesn't hurt that Captain America 2 actually feels quite a lot like a well pulled-off thriller with various cat-and-mouse-chase elements and well placed and choreographed action scenes. This refreshing take makes Captain America: The Winter Soldier not only another great surprise this year but also one of the best Marvel movies yet.

For the full review click here.

Another movie that has a lot more under its hood than it previously seemed.
Trailers presented Dawn of the Planet of the Apes as a full-on action flick putting the apes against the last human survivors in burning woodland battlefields. What it actually turned out to be was quite something different though. This sequel to the very well received reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes played out much more like a detailed depiction of the relationship development between the apes and humans. The most interesting part about this is that a clear protagonist faction is not there but rather just two opposing sides in the conflict with equally as many good members just as there are black sheep in their groups. Even though the movie's message is clear right from the get-go making parallels to real-life cultural conflicts very clear, it's still a great movie that utilizes those current themes in nice fashion but on a more distant species related level. Action scenes are therefore only the icing on the cake making for well placed climaxes.
Rise and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes therefore are two movies that stand as a prime example for a franchise rebooted the right way.

For the full review click here.

Jake Gyllenhaal should easily get nominated for an Oscar for his performance in Nightcrawler, not because he just acts well in the movie, but because it doesn't feel like Gyllenhaal is on screen at all, but rather an entirely different person - his depicted character, Lou Bloom.
Bloom is a strange, weird freak of a human. The kind of guy who reads up on the internet how to speak and interact with other human beings and exactly acts that way, which in the end only makes him even weirder and more alien. Though there are also other strong supporting actors, Nightcrawler is basically an extremely impressive one-man-show by Gyllenhaal. Nightcrawler is primarily a character study of Lou Bloom whose weird, overly enthusiastic and ego-centric personality and goal to become the greatest news-footage-deliverer (or "Nightcrawler") for the local news channels resultingly make the entirety of him embody the worst, darkest and most disgusting facette of news-reporting and media as a whole. Nightcrawler is a movie that goes to show that it often only takes one man's enthusiasm to take underplayed facettes of the media to the extreme and therefore uncover its (sadly oftentimes) true nature. Nightcrawler is a movie whose combined characters, story and themes make it a disgusting and fascinating experience both at the same time.

It was quite clear that the Lego Movie was very likely to be benefiting a lot from the very same trademark humor and charme that already made all of the other Lego media such a success. But little did everybody know that the Lego Movie wouldn't only be a fantastic visual as well as comedic treat but also one with a pretty much timeless message about what makes Lego relevant to this very day as one of the biggest and most succesful toy makers in the world.
The Lego Movie not only focusses on its younger audience but also plays well to adults alike with its well placed nostalgia factor and reminder that both young and old grew up with these little plastic bricks, which allowed them to literally build anything their fantasy allowed.
The Lego Movie is non-stop fun with great gags that viewers of all ages can laugh at and a final send-off message that easily rivals the ones of the Toy Story movies.

For the recap review click here.

Grand Budapest Hotel is another one of those films that just ooze the trademark style and charme of its director. In this regard, it's Grand Budapest Hotel's fairtytale-like narrative structure and visuals that in many ways resemble a lot of director Wes Anderson's other works. Though of course Anderson's movies often tend to not be for everybody, Grand Budapest Hotel's simple story of how Lobbyboy Zero and Monsieur Gustave manage to get hold of a rare painting and get involved in the conspiracy surrounding its previous owner's murder, is so full of lovable characters, a unique own sense of humor and full of heartwarming messages that it's easily the equivalent of just what a modern day fairytale would look like.
Seeing how cleverly it manages to mix its visual splendor, spoken comedy, occasional slapstick, entertaining storytelling and touching messages together, it's quite hard to dislike this tale and very easy to recommend it to anybody. Also, there is a ton of welcome cameos from other notable actors to sweeten up one's experience. 

Hollywood sure busts out a ton of thriller movies each year, but only every few years or so there comes along a thriller that is so ridiculously well made from its pacing, characters, story, visuals, music, etc. that you are actually scared of the movie to eventually end since you want to keep the movie going on. A movie with so many twists and turns that make sense and keep the movie unpredictable from start to finish.
The movie that topped all others this year in the sheer impact it left on us after we left the theater was the David Fincher directed movie Gone Girl.

Let alone Gone Girl's first half is strong enough on it's own to work as a standalone story for most thrillers, yet this is a movie that only gets more and more tense and exciting as it goes on. Gone Girl gives viewers a story with plenty of motivation to piece the facts and puzzle pieces of the case of missing Amy together for themselves until the story delivers a huge twist in the middle of the movie that turns the entire structure of the narrative on its head making the movie reach a whole new way of how its tense moments and plot play out.
David Fincher masterfully handeled Gone Girl's complicated narrative from the source novel, which takes advantage of multiple pespectives from different characters and from different times.

Though it's tough to call Gone Girl itself "full-on Oscar material" (most notably because it's not primarily a drama, biopic or musical piece), Gone Girl is another movie that shows on all fronts what an immensely talented director David Fincher is. He is the Leonardo Dicaprio of movie directors. Forget Alien 3 already and finally give this man his Oscar. Maybe not for Gone Girl, but for any of his future works that might thematically fit the Oscar-bill more.

Gone Girl is Invisible Kid's pick for the Best Movie of 2014!

For the full review click here.

We close our Top 10 with an honorable mention of "The Best Surprise of 2014".

John Wick is like a trip back in time to the simple-minded and cheesy action movies from 1980s and 90s. With a premise and story that on paper sounds absolutely ridiculous (a guy taking out the Russian Mafia to take revenge for his dead puppy), the sheer fact that this movie actually worked that well on a basic action movie level is surprising enough. What seals the deal for John Wick being the best surprise of the year though, is that the movie seemed to have as good as zero advertisement or hype surrounding it (combined with it's critical as well as commercial success). It's a movie that simply just...arrived in theaters without any big drum-rolls, which worked very well in its favour.
The movie itself once again reminded us that Keanu Reeves is a force to be reckoned with in action movies. The entire flick and protagonist John Wick itself just oozes style and especially the action sequences are excellently crafted and come up non-stop. Additionally, the movie avoids doing unnecessarily long exposition or other fillers to not waste any time. John Wick therefore has pretty much pitch-perfect pacing in its admittedly very straightforward and simple story.
John Wick is a movie that would mark a great starting point for a potential franchise. And seeing how out-of-nowhere this movie came along with its appealing style and self-confidence, it would be a franchise we would be glad to watch evolve with more movies.

John Wick is Invisible Kid's pick for the Best Surprise of 2014!

For the full review click here.


Honorable Mentions:

Life Itself
The Imitation Game
The Babadook
The Raid 2
How To Train Your Dragon 2

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