Geek Outpost’s Favorite Films of 2014

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As another year comes to an end, we here at Geek Outpost are taking a fond look back at some our favorite films of 2014.

[dropcap size=small]C[/dropcap]heck out our staff picks below, and be sure to tell us your favorite movies of the year in the comments! Let’s dive in!

 

BOBBYBobby
Top Film of 2014: Birdman

Birdman really surprised me. It was one of those movies you go into not really knowing what to expect, but then become completely smitten with it. Stylistically bold and technologically ambitious, it came as no surprise to me that this movie is going to be a heavy contender come Awards Season. Perhaps the one of the best parts of the films however is watching the stellar performances by the talented cast. Watching Michael Keaton in a starring role again is a treat, and Edward Norton is at his absolute best. The same goes for the rest of the ensemble. I can’t praise this movie enough. For more nauseating gushing, you can read my full review of Birdman here.

Runner-up: Guardians of the Galaxy

It was really hard to not pick this movie as my favorite of the year. Guardians of the Galaxy was one the funnest movies I’ve seen in a while. It’s difficult to find something to dislike about it, and for a comic book movie, it’s charming as Hell. This film also achieved the incredible feat of taking a title no one cared about, and turned it into arguably one of the best superhero movies to date, as well as making it an incredibly bankable property for Marvel. This is what a superhero film is supposed to feel like– equal parts fun, humor, emotion, and visual splendor. This movie appealed to just about everyone, and I’ll be joining the ranks in looking forward to where future Guardians of the Galaxy goes from here!

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marc

Marc

Top Film of 2014: Interstellar

Christopher Nolan has made quite an impression on me over the past few years. From his work on the acclaimed Dark Knight trilogy, to Inception, he really caught my attention and made me appreciate the quality of fiction in film. Nolan has done a great job of making audiences think and feel for characters that spread far and wide across the gamut of personality types ranging from vigilantes, to space explorers. Interstellar is the type of film that changes your perspective once again on the delicate topic that is time travel, in addition to the vast possibilities of the endless dark that is our outer space. It made me think, it made me laugh, it made me cry; everything that a movie of quality needs.

Runner-up: Guardians of the Galaxy

Like most of us on staff here at GO, we all love a good comic book movie, and there were two amazing films that came from the endlessly entertaining Marvel CU. But since we already saw Steve Rogers a handful of times, Guardians earned this number 2 spot on my list for being a fresh new story on characters that were otherwise unknown to most. Comic book fans may recognize the characters, but prior to the announcement of the film, I can barely say I knew who they were, and now with the movie franchise, I adore Rocket and Groot along with the rest of the Guardians. Fun, exciting, visually epic, funny, and moving, GotG is one movie you will regret not having for your personal collection.

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johnJohn

Top Film of 2014: Guardians of the Galaxy

Seeing Guardians of the Galaxy was without a doubt the most fun movie-going experience I’ve had all year. Not only was it visually stunning (as one would expect of a Marvel film set in space) it was also really funny. And I’m not talking about about “haha, Hulk punched Loki” funny, I mean “tears in your eyes, laughing so hard you miss a few other jokes” funny. It’s overflowing with lovable new characters, a great story, an amazing soundtrack, and an intense amount of attention to detail. It has easily become my favorite Marvel film to date. Star-Lord and his gang of losers went from unknowns to household names in what seems like a really short amount of time, I think it’s safe to say that James Gunn hit a solid home run with this one.

Runner-up: Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac

Basically the complete opposite of Guardians of the Galaxy. This film is one that definitely left a lasting impression on me. Writer/director Lars von Trier tells the dark story of a sex addict as she recounts tales from her past over the course of a two part four hour movie. As the main character’s addiction evolves over the course of the film you can’t help but become emotionally attached to her; almost feeling that in a sense you are aiding in her self-mutilation just by watching. As graphic as the film might be, the intensity is essential. On top of a well told story, the film also features a very talented cast including Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgård, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, and Uma Thurman. It’s not a film that everyone will enjoy, but that’s not the point.

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Rob_avatar_1403143461-200x200Rob

Top Film of 2014: Guardians of the Galaxy

Chalk up another one for Guardians of the Galaxy. We swear Marvel didn’t pay us off (although that would be nice). One of many strong points is the balance character development which, with a team of 5 members, can be tough to pull off. Star-Lord is of course the main protagonist, but each Guardian gets their own moments to shine. With an engaging storyline and plenty of action, Guardians is definitely entertaining to watch. It also shines a big spotlight on of Marvel’s less popular universes. Also, THANOS! Add that all together, and set it to a sweet soundtrack, and that’s what makes Guardians of the Galaxy the best movie of 2014.

Runner-up: X-Men: Days of Future Past

I love me some superhero movies. X-Men: Days of Future Past is another solid entry in the X-Men franchise, meshing together the original movie cast with the First Class lineup. While it’s darker than some of the other X-men films, it’s incredibly entertaining. That can be credited to the clever writing. Time travel movies can be messy and tough to pull off, but DOFP does it really well, so that it’s still a cohesive movie, and when it’s all said and done, it manages to clean up the mess left by X-Men: The Last Stand. And of course, you can never have enough of Michael Fassbender as Magneto.

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SarahSarah
Top Film of 2014: Guardians of the Galaxy

It may seem like a bandwagon that all of us have GotG on our list, but you don’t go for the pink Starburst first because everyone else is, you do it because it’s the best one! This movie was a surprise from every angle. A perfect blend of emotion, action, and comedy. Groot and Rocket were animated flawlessly, and the special effects were dazzling without being detracting. Even when I thought Drax was going to have to be the forgotten one of the group, that N*SYNC member nobody recalls, GotG proved me wrong again by making him hilarious. I am always impressed when I go hyped into a movie and come out even more hyped, and Guardians was able to do that for me. Plus, it’s popularity has prompted great comics like Rocket Raccoon, which continues the movie’s comedy stylings with things like Groot making “That’s what she said” jokes.

Runner-up: The Lego Movie

This was an impossible tie with Big Hero 6 and How to Train Your Dragon 2, but The Lego Movie was a big surprise for me. The trailers looked so spazzy and I was sure that all the funny parts were already exhausted in commercials, but boy was I wrong! From the “Darkness” song to Batman bailing with the Star Wars crew to Milhouse as a Lego to Shaq, there were too many hilarious moments and cameos to keep this from my top two. The live action bit came as a surprise to me, and even more surprising was that it was actually good! The voice acting was perfectly cast; Chris Pratt as yet another adorable protagonist, Allison Brie as Unikitty, and best of all: Channing Tatum as Superman hating the ever clingy Lantern, voiced by Jonah Hill. SPACESHIP!

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Ryan

Top Film of 2014: X-Men Days of Future Past

With Bryan Singer back directing I knew this was going to be great, a true return to form for X-Men movies. Not only did it bring back the new characters introduced in X-Men: First Class, it brought back most of the originals and I felt like having them all in one movie was just fantastic. Seriously an all-star cast. I truly appreciated the way the movie turned, and allowed for the X-Men universe to be reset and setup it up for the next entry in this franchise.

Runner-up: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

In my head, super hero movies (especially Marvel) continue to dominate the big screen and the box office and Captain America: The Winter Soldier was no exception. Cap has always been one of my favorite characters in the Marvel universe. I think in this movie, it really showed what kind of leader Cap really is. In terms of the plot, I think this had one of the best. One of the first super hero movies to actually make you think. It was James Bond meets Marvel and I loved it.

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Andrew

Top Film of 2014: Whiplash

Whiplash was one of those movies I found myself walking into without really knowing what I was getting into. I was already in my seat with a couple of buddies before I had the chance to ask, “Hey, what’s this movie about?” Whiplash is a fantastic film starring J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller. Simmons plays a hard-ass jazz conductor at a music conservatory in New York City, and Teller plays a young jazz drummer looking to cut his chops. The music is amazing, J.K. Simmons is one of the most evil, lovable, hilarious characters I’ve seen in a long time, and Teller plays his part to perfection. If you’re a fan of music, great acting, or well put together strings of curse words, don’t miss Whiplash.

Runner-up: Birdman

Birdman was a truly unique experience. As someone who has had a fair bit of experience stage acting, Birdman was definitely my cup of tea. Not only does the film revolve around the production of a play but it is presented in a way that it looks like one continuous shot. In reality, the film is probably cut up into 4 or 5 shots, which is still unbelievable. You’re able to get lost in these sweeping scenes that can go on and on, continually blurring the line between reality and delusion. The acting is superb with its all-star cast of Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, and Zach Galifianakis.
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Michael
Top Film of 2014: Guardians of the Galaxy
Happy? We’re a bunch of jackasses standing in a circle, writing about Guardians of the Galaxy. With a number of incredible movies in theaters this year, this was not an easy decision, but Guardians was my favorite film. Captain America: The Winter Soldier helped raise the bar for Marvel Studios and comic book movies in general, and then Star-Lord flew the Milano right over that bar. The movie was full of humor, action, and outstanding visual effects, and most importantly it had heart. James Gunn was able to take an incredibly obscure Marvel property and turn it into an unadulterated blockbuster full of characters that audiences grew to love in a matter of two hours. The film’s soundtrack Awesome Mix, Vol. 1 was such an eclectic mix of rock, pop, and soul songs from the 60’s and 70’s that it reached the top of the Billboard charts and played an integral role in the film’s storytelling. Next year’s Avengers: Age of Ultron has a lot to live up to. I mean, how do you beat a post-credits scene with Howard the Duck?

Runner-up: Birdman

I went back and forth between Guardians and Birdman (including while actually writing this), so this is pretty much the closest a runner-up could be. Alejandro González Iñárritu’s artistic, surreal depiction of an aging actor trying to escape from his comic book movie past is certainly something to behold. The film is extremely captivating due in part to the incredible cinematography, percussion-based score, and phenomenal acting. I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen such an outstanding display from a film’s entire cast. Their performances seemed so effortless and natural that it gave the feeling that you were actually watching a live play…and a damn good play at that. While the Academy Award for Best Actor category is sure to be stacked, Michael Keaton deserves it hands down. I don’t think anyone could have pulled off this role like he did, and I’m hoping to see Birdman clean house at the Oscars.

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