Top 14 of 2014: Movies

Stav Nachum, News Editor

Movies are an incredible way for us to escape to another world and get engulfed in drama or chaos or events too far fetched to be real. It takes us on action packed journey’s we would otherwise not see. Movies inspire us. Let’s take a look at the best movies of 2014.

14. “The Interview”

The Interview has created a lot of crazy rumors and a lot of things have been making this movie one of the biggest happenings this year. A lot of speculations were made when Sony got hacked and they suspected that North Korea was behind it. This generated a lot of interest for the movie and people were talking about it over and over again. So, after several threats they decided to pull the movie from all theaters. Later on, they decided to release it for streaming purposes, and that’s how we finally got to watch the hard work that was put into “The Interview.” The comedy revolves around Dave Skylark (James Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogan) who land an incredible interview with a fan known as North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. As a result, they are recruited by the CIA to turn their trip to Pyongyang into an assassination mission. Though some people found the hype behind the movie to be misplaced, the hilarious film still wins a spot in the top 14 movies of the year.

13. “Big Hero Six”

I am not a huge fan of CGI films. Now I am not saying I dislike them, but I do feel that sometimes there are too many and too many mediocre computer generated cartoons. However, I think that “Big Hero 6” is definitely a welcome film to the genre because the film is absolutely beautiful, as the graphics are just amazing.  The film is about a brilliant young man named Hiro (Ryan Potter), who though incredibly bright when it comes to robotics, is directionless until his older brother introduces him to his research facility at the local university. To win a scholarship to the place, Hiro creates an amazing robotic system–one so amazing that someone is willing to kill to get it. And, once they’ve stolen it, Hiro uses his brother’s medical robot, Baymax (Scott Adsit), to help punish the baddie and restore justice and niceness to the world. Overall, it was a film well worth seeing and definitely one of the top movies of the year.

12. “Into the Woods”

Movie versions of Broadway musicals in the past decade have been a majorly mixed bag, technically so brilliant but sometimes a bit dizzying to watch because of high definition effects which take away the intimacy of the original show. The newest of these is “Into the Woods,” Stephen Sondheim’s brilliant late 1980’s musical which has seen many revivals and revisals, the latest one just having started an Off Broadway run. The story of a witch who tasks a childless baker and his wife with procuring magical items from classic fairy tales to reverse the curse put on their family tree, “Into the Woods” is one of the best Disney films released over the past few years. It definitely earned its spot in the top 14 movies of the year.

11. “The Theory of Everything”

We are all familiar with the story and with Steven Hawking. His groundbreaking work ‘A Brief History of Time’ and devastating disabilities propelled him irrevocably into the public consciousness and immortal fame. But few of us could understand the complexities of his personal life and the shocking divorce in 1990 from his long sacrificing wife of more than 25 years. This wonderful production, so well scripted and paced throughout, serves to explain that vital anomaly in Hawking’s life. And it is made all the more poignant as it is based upon the account written by his wife who has borne so much. With a breathtaking performance by Eddie Redmayne, this film was blasted into an extraordinary level that he surely deserves an Oscar for the performance. Once again, it is due to phenomenal acting and a wonderful film that “The Theory of Everything” is surely among the top movies of 2014.

10. “The Lego Movie”

The first time I saw the trailer for “The Lego Movie,” I thought to myself it was just another one of those movies meant to increase the number of Legos sold to children. Yet after my brother’s insistence on wanting me to go watch the movie with him, I gave in and boy was I wrong about this film. It is by far the best family-oriented film for all ages of 2014. The film follows lead character Emmet (Chris Pratt), a completely ordinary Lego mini-figure who is identifiable as the most extraordinary person and the key to saving the Lego universe on his quest to stop the evil tyrant, Lord Business (Will Ferrell). The film was everything my brother had hoped for and it honestly surprised me. What started out as a film I thought was meant to sell more Legos ended up being one of the best movies of 2014.

9. “The Imitation Game”

The story of Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch), the Enigma codebreaker who helped win the Second World War and was chemically castrated by the state for his troubles, is a challenging one to make into a movie. Though many people found that much of “The Imitation Game”cast, subject matter, parquet flooring – appears to mimic the 2011 film of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, it was still a cinematic masterpiece and with phenomenal actors to pull the movie along that made it into one of the best movies of the year.

8. “The Maze Runner”

A film based on the trilogy written by James Dashner, “The Maze Runner” is a post-apocalyptic story, similar to many of the young adult novels that are currently being made into films. Yet many people believed this to be the best adaptation of the year. The story of a boy named Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) who is deposited into a community of boys after his memory is erased. Soon after, he learns that they are all trapped in a maze that will require him to join forces with his fellow runners for a shot at escape. A film that builds the suspense and intriguing and smart storyline from the start, “The Maze Runner” is one of the best film adaptations of the year, earning it a spot on the top 14 movies of 2014.

7. “The Fault in Our Stars”

“The Fault in Our Stars” was one of the most anticipated movies of the year. Based on the novel by John Green, this film is the story of two teenagers, Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) and Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort), who both have different cancer conditions and fall in love after meeting at a cancer support group. Many people thought it was a tale about dying, and what it means to be a teenager with cancer, but in fact, it was a story about living, and living a full life within a limited number of days. A heartbreaking film that definitely requires a box of kleenex to be nearby at all times, “The Fault in Our Stars” definitely earned a spot in the top movies of the year, both for its incredible storyline and wonderful film adaptation.

6. “Divergent”

This movie year seems to be the year of Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort. Another that they both take part in, “Divergent” seems to be the new post-apocalyptic, dystopia story that teens are investing in. The film and book series follow the tale of a world that is divided into factions based on virtues. In this world, Tris (Woodley) learns that she is Divergent and won’t fit in. Throughout the tale, she and the mysterious Four (Theo James) discover a plot to destroy Divergents and work together to create peace within their society. An up and coming young adult film series, this first installment earned a spot among the top films of the year.

5. “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1”

Just as the “Divergent” series is beginning, the beloved “Hunger Games” trilogy is almost coming to an end. With its second to last installment, entitled “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1,” the story of Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is coming to an end. In this installment, Katniss has arrived in District 13 after having destroyed the games and discovering that District 12 has been destroyed. Soon after, she becomes the symbol of the rebellion against President Snow in her attempt to save Peeta from the Capitol. Once again, this film was just as incredible and fast paced as the other “Hunger Games” installments and thus earned a spot among the top movies of the year.

4. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”

Marvel fans around the world rejoiced after watching “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” The film exceeded expectations and surpassed even the first “Captain America” film that was released two years ago. In this installment, Captain Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) must embrace the modern world he has become a part of and his role among the other members of S.H.I.E.L.D. Yet here he encounters a new threat from old history: the Soviet agent known as the Winter Solider (Sebastian Stan) and what he discovers about this threat will change his world and future. As a huge fan of everything Marvel, especially Captain America, this film had to make the top five. It was action packed and hilarious and even introduced a new superhero, Falcon (Anthony Mackie). All in all, this film earned its spot in the top five films of the year.

3. “Guardians of the Galaxy”

When this newest Marvel movie was released, many people were at a loss as to who the Guardians of the Galaxy really were. The comic itself had never been top tier or well known. Yet now, everyone knows their names. After a heartbreaking beginning, as per usual in a Marvel film, the movie kicks off into a humorous and exciting plot. Basically, Guardians leader Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) (known mainly to only himself as Star Lord) forms an alliance with a very disparate bunch of people who each have their own reason for helping him. Big, beautiful and brilliant, “Guardians Of The Galaxy” is definitely the feel good fantasy of 2014, as evidenced by the millions of fans and incredible box-office earnings of the film.

2. “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”

Though a heartbreaking conclusion to the “Lord of the Rings” universe, “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” provided a great ending to the Middle Earth saga. Although many fans were disappointed with the outcomes as it doesn’t stick to Tolkien’s Hobbit in its entirety and makes links to the original Lord of the Rings Trilogy, but given what Peter Jackson was attempting to accomplish he did a wonderful job. In this installment, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) ends his quest to claim the Lonely Mountain for the dwarves with Thorin (Richard Armitage) and Company. The film was a perfect blend of  drama, action, adventure, romance, and magic – all of them parts that can make up a great film. The end of the renowned series, this film had to make the top five films of the year.

1. “Interstellar”

The film was named the best Sci-Fi movie in human history, Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece, and countless other praises. “Interstellar” takes place in a near future Earth that has been devastated by drought and famine causing a scarcity of food and extreme climate. It seems that humanity is facing extinction and the only way to stop it is for a team of explorers who travel through a wormhole in search of a planet that can sustain life. Everything from the visuals and score to the acting and directing were deemed amazing. The plot was perceived by countless fans to be the most original one seen in a while. Overall, “Interstellar” has earned its place as the best movie of the year.