Bryce’s Top 10 movies of 2014… and a lot of honorable mentions

Here are my top ten movies of 2014, in no particular order, but also kind of in order. I’m very indecisive today… These are all movies I loved so much I will actually purchase them on Blu-Ray (and I don’t say that lightly). As a part of my indecisiveness, there were several movies added to the honorable mention category, because I loved them as well.

Guardians of the Galaxy
Easily my favorite movie of the year. If you need evidence, I saw it three times. I don’t do that often. A rowdy bunch of space criminals unite to save the universe against unthinkable odds. I wasn’t a huge fan of the villain, but the mixture of comedy, sci-fi action, and heart made this movie the standout movie of 2014. Only three more years until Guardians 2!
I went into this movie knowing one thing: Chris Evans is in this movie and he has a beard! Based on a French Graphic Novel adapted by a South Korean director for an American audience, Snowpiercer is an international affair not to be missed. Set on a train in a post apocolyptic frozen earth, Snowpiercer is filled with some of the most interesting sets, set pieces, and stories I’ve ever seen. If you can suspend disbelief and allow for “movie logic” you will be sucked in by this interesting, BioShock-esque film. I loved it!
Edge of Tomorrow
Let’s face it, Tom Cruise is crazy… But, the man can act with a charisma and charm matched by few. Edge of Tomorrow, now titled Live Die Repeat, is evidence to that fact. Making their last stand against an enemy that seemingly can’t be beat, the army’s head PR guy gets thrown into a battle he can’t survive. When a Groundhog Day-esque accident happens, he finds himself repeating the same day over and over. With fantastic action and perfect comedic timing, Edge of Tomorrow was an unexpected gem of a movie in 2014. The trouble is no one saw it, so let’s change that people! Rent Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow today!
Captain America: Winter Soldier
Cards on the table, I’ve never been a huge Captain America fan. He’s cool but seemed a little… cheesy? No Longer! Winter Soldier brought out the Cap in a way I’d never seen. A fantastic spy/espionage thriller set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Winter Soldier sets the stage for huge changes in the MCU. Not only that, but WS combines great action, comedy, and story telling that even non-superhero fans can enjoy.
X-Men Days of Future Past
I love the X-Men. I grew up on the ’90s cartoon, recorded it every week on VHS, and have seen every movie to date; even the ones I would like to forget. After a few missteps in the franchise First Class and Days of Future Past came back in to bring the movies back to their former glory. Full of great characters, acting, and superhero action, as well as a “Let’s forget about X3 ending,” Days of Future Past got me excited for the franchise once again. And while I will say yes, Hugh Jackman is ripped and we all love Wolverine, let’s focus on some other characters in the future.
The Raid 2: Thugs
The follow up to my favorite action movie of all time The Raid: Redemption, The Raid 2 takes us into the underworld of Bangkok. The Raid Redemption forces the question “Why are all these people killing each other?” The Raid 2: Thugs, answers that question with brutal focus. Filled with much more story, character development, and dare I say, brutality than the first, The Raid 2 is longer and more beautifully shot. Fans of the original will love the sequel, just know there is a little more story this time around. Haven’t seen The first Raid? Do that and then watch this!
A movie about making a play can’t be all that interesting right? Wrong. Birdman was a surprise to me. The trailer made it look like a disjointed crazy mess. Truthfully, it’s one of the most cinematically impressive films I’ve ever seen. Couple that with fantastic acting by interesting characters, and you have one of the most unique films of 2014. Yes, I had some issues with this film, but I have never seen anything like it. The positives outweigh the negatives in this dark comedy about our ability to make a legacy that lasts.
John Wick
Love him or hate him, Keanu Reeves isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. John Wick was a surprising reminder of his action movie prowess. I guess we forget amidst the “Whoa!” memes circulating the internet that Keanu Reeves, though not the best actor, is great at action. With some of the best filmed action sequences of the year, John Wick is kinetic to a fault. Go ahead and introduce yourself to John Wick, just don’t hurt his dog.
Nightcrawler is easily one of the creepiest non-horror films I have ever seen. Jake Gyllenhaal transforms himself into Louis Bloom in this American Psycho-esque thriller about a man trying to succeed in life. Join together intelligent yet chilling dialogue, hilariously creepy moments, and a struggling local news channel, and you’ll never watch the news the same way again. Just how far would you go to succeed?
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Sequel to the wildly successful Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes brings us back to our world ravaged by the human-killing ALZ-113 virus. A small group of survivors run into the highly intelligent apes led by Caesar with dire consequences. Filled with betrayal, excellent CGI, and an apes on horseback wielding machine guns duel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes still delivers a surprising amount of heart.

Honorable Mentions

  • Gone Girl – A dark, drama thriller with hard to watch twists and turns. Well written, acted and directed. Not for the faint of heart.
  • The Babadook – A simple, yet thrilling character driven horror about a mom and her small child. Well acted, interestingly shot,
    great horror.
  • The Purge 2 – Perhaps a credit to my low expectations, but I really enjoyed this sequel that should have been the original “survive a night in the purge” plot line. More action than horror.
  • Dead Snow 2 – The most fun I’ve had in horror since Shawn of the Dead. Half in Dutch, half in English and Nazi zombies vs. Russian zombies. Enough said.
  • Godzilla – The Godzilla movie I have been waiting for. Would have loved to see more Godzilla, maybe next time.
  • Noah – Though not biblically accurate, it had interesting character moments and showed the true devastation of such a worldwide catastrophic event.
  • The Signal – An awesome, small Indie sci-fi film. Small cast, small budget; all used well. Beautiful filmed with an interesting twist.

What were your favorite movies of 2014? I’m sure you have plenty that aren’t on our lists. Please share them below, we love good movies!

Bryce Cooley
I've been doing some form of ministry since 2000. For 13 years I was involved in the youth ministry at Cordova Neighborhood Church as everything from youth intern to youth pastor. God has led me and my lovely wife Bethany to Church of the Foothills where I currently reside as the Digital Publishing Coordinator. I'm excited to see where God leads my wife and I.