Another year of movies has come to a close and so it's time to take a look back and see which ones stood above (or below) the rest. My annual recap includes a list of my favorite acting performances, my ten favorite movies of the year, and a few other categories just for fun. Please be prepared for lots of films to show up that you may not expect as these are not your typical "Best of" lists.
Before we get started, here's a chance for you to take a look back through the years at my previous yearly recap posts.
And now, my 2014 recap. Links are provided so you can read my full reviews of each movie.
Most Entertaining Performances of 2014
His motion capture work continues to revolutionize movie making.
Casting Ben Affleck was a stroke of genius.
He does an amazing job.
One of today's absolute best leading men.
Will easily go down as one of my all time favorites.
He is an instantly likable person.
Keeps you guessing while always being the coolest person in the room.
There is an unmistakable charisma and charm that makes him such a likable person to watch on screen.
Simmons plays the character so huge that you can almost feel the room explode.
Bateman manages to take full advantage of every scene.
Jessica Chastain continues to do outstanding work and this performance is no exception.
I would have to say it is the best work he's done in years.
Is so entertaining in everything he does.
Johannson expertly brings Black Widow to life.
He utilizes so many subtle techniques to show undercurrents of emotion.
SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT: ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE
Amy Ryan, Andrea Riseborough, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Michael Keaton, Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis - Birdman
I had heard the acting was top notch across the board and I have to agree one hundred percent.
My Favorite Performances of 2014
If someone asked me to give them just one reason why they have to see this movie, my response would easily be, and without hesitation, the acting performance submitted by Jake Gyllenhaal.
Moore's performance in this movie will cement her place among the elite actresses working today. I honestly don't know of many other actresses who could have given such an honest and deeply personal performance that so vividly shows the many stages of Alice's mental and emotional decline.
My Favorite Movies of 2014
"If this is what can be expected from Bateman as a director, then we, as a movie going audience, have a lot to look forward to."
"The story is a fun and well thought out adventure, the action is fast paced and exciting, and the animation is just unbelievably beautiful."
"This is easily one of the best films of the year and I would consider it a must see for just about anyone."
"The whole thing plays out like the kind of well crafted song that just ebbs and flows flawlessly while building up to an explosive crescendo."
"As a martial arts feature, The Raid 2: Berandal does just about everything right while pushing the boundaries of what to expect from a genre that has honestly been lacking real innovation for quite some time."
"Big Hero 6 is freaking awesome! This is such a fun movie with a ton of unforgettable moments and a roster of really great characters."
"Chef contains the perfect mix of ingredients and Favreau does a masterful job of dishing out a story that will satisfy even the most discerning of pallets."
"It is so well crafted and the performances are so jarringly powerful that your brain won't be able to stop thinking about it for quite some time."
"I can honestly say that Captain America: The Winter Soldier flat out blew away my expectations."
My Favorite Movie of 2014
"This movie has just about everything I could ever want in a super hero/science fiction movie."
BEST of SIFF:
Thanks for checking out my 2014 recap! 2015 should be a pretty amazing year with Avengers: Age of Ultron and Star Wars: Episode VII certain to be vying for this year's top spot. Still, one of the best parts about watching movies is finding those unexpected surprises and hidden gems that end up side by side with the big blockbusters when it comes to making these lists.
See you at the movies!