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Best Movies of 2014

It has been quite a while since I posted anything on here. The last few months have been rather hectic. From school to work, I couldn’t find time to write reviews or continually post on this site. That doesn’t mean I didn’t see any movies since then. In fact I’ve seen most of the movies you could have seen, except the noticeably bad films released in the last few months.

A lot of movies that I really liked didn’t make my list and even with such a great summer with some impressive blockbuster, it was hard to keep some off my list.  The top three films where difficult because the could be interchangeable at any time.

There were some very welcome movies and also very disappointing movies that I was looking forward to. Making this list was rather difficult but I feel that it is a rather well constructed list.

10. Boyhood


By the time I reached number 10, I realized that I didn’t include one of the best reviewed movies of the year. Everyone seems to be putting this at the top of their lists and I can’t deny that it is one of the best constructed movies of the year and a masterpiece, in my opinion. The story is timeless, the editing seamless, and the directing is top notch. The 12 years used to make this movie sets it apart from other movies of this caliber. Why is it at the bottom? When it comes to my list I put movies on it that I would rewatch in a heartbeat. After thinking about it, I haven’t really had the urge to watch Boyhood again. Now matter how impressive the movie may be, I never thought about watching it again.

9. The Grand Budapest Hotel


Early on in the year, I believed that no movie could top this movie. To my surprise this year has been a fantastic year for film. This movie combines everything I love about Wes Anderson. The aesthetic of the film is amazing, while Monsieur Gustave H. is by far the most fascinating character in Anderson’s filmography. The changing aspect ratios was another amazing addition to the movie. This isn’t my favorite of his film but it is certainly one of his greatest achievements.

8. Gone Girl


David Fincher is one of my favorite directors working today. He always brings something new to an aged formula. That is one of the reasons that make Gone Girl so unique. Instead of having the major twists saved for the end, the movie decides to reveal it at the end of the first act. It is an intriguing factor that I give both Gillian Flynn and David Fincher for pulling it off so well. What makes this movie even more fascinating is the commentary on both marriage and the media. Everything about this movie is nearly perfect. Rosamund Pick proves her acting chops and even Tyler Perry was able to surprise me, for the first time in his career. Even if I like other of Fincher’s films more, I do think this is a great addition to his impressive filmography.

7. Locke


No other movie this has done more with less. So much goes on during the course of the runtime, that it is surprising that it was only 80 minutes long. Tom Hardy has impressed me lately. He is a powerhouse of an actor and he really shines as Ivan Locke. Throughout the movie more and more is revealed and it makes you question both his choices and reasons behind them. For a movie that takes place solely in one location, I couldn’t believe how much and how well they were able to pull it off.

6. Under the Skin


I always thought that Scarlett Johansson was all looks and not really a good actor. I was proven wrong when I saw her in Under the Skin. The movies unique approach is impressive and the minimalistic style makes for a haunting and exhilarating experience. It asks questions that movies typically don’t ask. It asks what it is meant to be human but it doesn’t give you all the answers. The visuals are impressive and the score creates a chilling yet unique.

5. Filth


I don’t know why I loved this movie so much, it was just so damn fun. James McAvoy is like you’ve never seen him before. He plays the vile and disgusting character so well. The movie isn’t so much about plot but more about how insane his characters become over time. Often times the movie is hilarious but also very sad and depressing. You never truly sympathize with him, you mostly fell bad for him. The ending is so damn perfect for the movie and completely ends the film in a satisfying manner.

4. Interstellar 

Interstellar astronauts explore new planet

Christopher Nolan is one of the best blockbuster directors working today. He is able to make the movies that he wants and is able to create some impressive films. His visual eye is incredible. He may have some problems with female characters but this is the first time that I feel he has created some worthwhile female characters. This movie isn’t about space travel as much as it is about love, loss, and fatherhood. There are so many perfect scenes of action but it is the little scenes that Nolan was able to impress me. This is by far his most emotional film to date. You feel the stakes at hand and really sympathize with each character, except for one. Interstellar impressed me both visually and emotionally.

3. Whiplash


I wasn’t expecting much from this movie. I never really liked Miles Teller and a movie about a jazz drummer didn’t make me want to see it. Once I saw the trailer, that changed. The final product is so intense and awe inspiring that I loved it the minute I walked out. J.K. Simmons gives one of the best performances of the year, he is volatile and intense but somehow relatable. Even Miles Teller impressed me. The final ten minutes had me at the edge of my seat and is incredibly satisfying after all that happens in the movie.

2. Nightcrawler

nightcrawler review

This was one movie that surprised the hell out of me. The movie created a character that is both psychotic and wise. He is a man who know what he wants and takes it, no matter what. Jake Gyllenhaal gives the performance of his life. The story is always surprising and you don’t know where it is going to go in the end. The commentary behind this movie is strong and very out there but it works so well. The directing is perfect and the cinematography is breathtaking. More than anything this is a character study and it showcases a character that is completely original and is also a work of genius.

1. Birman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)


The most surprising and delightful movie of the year goes to Birdman. Alejandro González Iñárritu created such a fascinating experience. He one of the best dramatic directors working today. He is able to get the best performances out of some of the most unexpected actors. Every actor in this movie are going the extra mile. Michael Keaton is revolutionary. He essentially playing a warped version of himself and he convinces everyone that he still does matter. What sets this movie apart from any other film this year is the fact that it is manipulated to look like one take. It is a technical revolution and is impressive in it’s cinematography. A lot had to go into this movie to achieve this feat and boy does it achieve it. There is also a lot of commentary involving the state of hollywood today, critics, and the will to matter. I loved this movie and think it is the best made movie this year.

Honorable Mentions

Edge of TomorrowAn original and fun blockbuster. Not your typical blockbuster but it breaks the model and makes something unique.

EnemyAn interesting and intelligent thriller that leaves you asking question long after it’s over.

Guardians of the GalaxyA very different Marvel movie and really shows that they can make an interesting movie out of unknown characters.

The RoverFueled by amazing performances and a simplistic story. This movie creates a landscape fully developed and tension that is equally fascinating and grim.

Blue RuinA movie that came out of nowhere and managed to create a fascinating and personal portrayal of revenge.




Mad Max: Fury Road Comic Con Trailer

DSC_3888.JPG Mad Max: Fury Road is a curious movie to me. It has been in production for as long as I can remember but only now is getting a release. I love the first two films; Mad Max and The Road Warrior, and I am even more excited for this one. Not really a reboot but more of a continuation of the events of the first three film, only with a new Max. From the footage alone I think that the wait may have been worth it. I know every one was in an uproar over the Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice Trailer that the excitement for this one wasn’t really there but after the trailer I think that this may have been the one to wait for. Shot with only storyboards and not an actual script it seems this will be more of a visual experience than anything else.

This is the fourth film in the Mad Max franchise with Tom Hardy taking on the role of Max Rockatansky, a role made iconic by Mel Gibson in the original films, a hardened ex-cop in a future beset by gas shortages and marauding gangs. The story is said to the take place a short while after Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, which keeps Mad Max relatively young. This time centering on Max and the “Five Wives,” a group of women Max must protect from the bad guys.

Directed by George Miller. Starring Tom Hardy as “Mad” Max RockatanskyCharlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa, Nicholas Hoult as Nux, and Hugh Keays-Byrne as Immortan Joe. Produced by Village Roadshow Pictures and distributed by Warner Bros. 

Inception, the Journey Through The Mind


Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Much can be said, and has been, about Christopher Nolan’s Inception. I may be a little late to the game but I would like to voice my opinion about such an incredible and thought-provoking film. With Inception you are transported to the world of the dream and the concept of entering the dreamt manipulate the person that is dreaming, originally conceived to be a horror movie but Christopher Nolan changed it up before production began. With a premise like that it would have been tough movie to bring to life but Christopher Nolan, who is known for making movie on such a level, is able to elevate the concept of the movie and create something that is an extraordinary movie that makes the audience think and invest their time in a deep thought-provoking way. Not many movies have had the same effect on me like Inception did, it was a well put together film that, during my first viewing, was mind-blowing. After many viewings the realization that there was more to the movie than what I had perceived. Was the entire movie a dream? Did the top fall at the end or was that what we were meant to believe? Like most movies it is totally open to interpretation and not everyone will thin the same as I do, which is what Christopher Nolan set out to do i the first place and I applaud him for making the movie the way that he did and that he has become one  of Hollywood’s best directors working today.


In the future, the military designs the ability to transport people in the dream space, created as training mechanism. Extractors, otherwise known as thieves, use it to acquire secrets that were otherwise impossible to obtain. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), regarded as the best extractor but is haunted by the death of his wife and was forced to on the run, because the government believes he killed his wife, is hired by Mr Saito (Ken Watanabe) to plant an idea, regarded as inception hence the title, into Robert Michael Fischer (Cillian Murphy) , the son of a wealthy businessman, to break up his vast energy conglomerate so he can have it all to himself, Saito not Fischer. Dom enlists the best architect Ariadne (Ellen Page), chemist Yusuf (Dileep Rao), forger Eames (Tom Hardy), and the pointman and close friend Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Everything turns dangerous when things don’t go according to plan, causing the dream to become a difficult venture, and Dom’s haunted past comes back to him and causes their own difficulties along the way.


When I originally saw this movie in the summer of 2010 I was completely awed by what I saw and just had to see it again and so I did, and since then it has been one of my favorite movies of all time. First off the movie completely redefined the mind-bending movie by connecting it with the heist and science fiction genre, even though science fiction can be mind-bending the majority of the time. Like all good mind bending films, this one makes you question what is reality or imagination, similar to Total Recall, The Matrix, and World on a Wire, and the answer is never clear to the audience, which, makes the think and spend time questioning what is going on. With people the solution is never the same, it all relies on how the person perceived the film, with Christopher Nolan not disclosing any information on the ending what so ever, which is a good thing because it would ruin the integrity of the movie. What Christopher Nolan did is simply incredible, to say the least, he used top-notch special effects to convey the world of the dream and created something that will live on though the genius storytelling and the a plot that never stop turning no matter the situation. It is a movie that needs to be handled with patience, only if you are trying to analysis it, to understand just what route he intended on taking. The ending is one of the most talked about scene of the entire movie, it was a clever way of handling it since it can neither confirm nor deny whether it is a dream or not, and everyone has their own opinions on it and I think that it relies totally on the viewer to decide on what it means but I think that the ending means something completely different from the movie itself.


The ending can easily be interpreted many ways, did the top stop spinning or did it keep join but, honestly it can go either way. I, think that it is all just a dream because throughout the entire movie there are slight signs that may hint at it being a dream entirely but the ending is more of a character moment than anything, it shows that Cobb doesn’t care if he is dreaming or not, hence him walking away from the top while it is spinning something that he doesn’t do at any other moment in the movie, he finally receives the one thing that he has been striving for, to see his children again and move on from the fact that his wife killed herself and that he has been on the run since then. To the character it doesn’t matter but to the viewer may feel differently, I know I do. Like all good science fiction films that are rooted in philosophy, such as Blade Runner, Minority Report, Total Recall, or pretty much anything that has been written by the author Philip K. Dick, who I feel is a big influence to the film and Christopher Nolan. This is where the difference lays, people will many different meanings for the movie and interpret it in many ways, which is all good but there is usually never a right answer, while the ending itself is just the final arch in the development of Dom Cobb, he is happy and has fulfilled his goals, be it a dream or not. Though I have my set beliefs about the film and it’s ending, I think that the ending accomplished what it set out to do, end the story arch of the main protagonist, and it completes the movie in a whole and satisfying way, any other ending I don’t think would have worked on the same level as this one.


It is difficult to come to a rational and logical conclusion about the movie, I personally think that it is all a dream and there are many indicators that it may be a dream that I noticed not to long ago while watching the movie. First of all will be the totems, which are not always as a reliable indicator, as the movie makes them out to be, about the state of the dreamer. It is said during the movie that totems provide the means to indicator whether the dreamer is dreaming or not but you tell or show another dream how the totems works you destroy the integrity of the totem and compromise its power to deduce the state of the dreamer and they may not be able to indicate whether what they are experiencing is a dream or it is real to them. At one point in the movie Dom reveals to Ariadne the purpose of his totem, how in the dream state the top will keep spinning and if the he is in reality the top will fall over, and that it originally didn’t belong to him but instead to his dead wife Mal (Marion Cotillard). If I am to believe that totems are supposed to work then these two reasons would ruin the ability for him since the totem’s powers were revealed to a fellow dreamer. To me I don’t think this is a reliable indicator to what Dom is actually perceiving. I don’t know if this is a flaw in the film or a device that Chris Nolan set up to make people, such as myself, question what is truly going on, which is another reason I think it is such a great movie because it is constantly deceiving the audience.


Christopher Nolan has created a spectacle that is completely different from any other blockbuster that has come out in recent years. Everything from the cinematography to the sound is perfect at displaying the spectacle at hand. I went a little overboard with this review but I think that it perfectly encapsulate how I feel about the movie.

10 out of 10

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The Dark Knight Rises Review

The Dark Knight Rises

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard

It is a sad thing that such a tragedy occurred last night during the screen of The Dark Knight Rises that happened in Colorado. I can’t believe that someone would do such a horrible thing during a movie screen into unsuspecting audience members. The family member of the deceased and the wounded are in my prays and hope that everything is okay. RIP. I did manage to see a midnight screening of this movie and I have to say that it completely lives up to expectations. With a smart screenplay and the action sequences, which the previous movies seemed to lack for the most part, and that Bane was actually a perfect choice for the villain since he is able to go head to head in fighting with Batman. He is completely menacing with a voice that both creeped me out and served a purpose since the mask covered the majority of his face and Tom Hardy was able to convey such emotion and body language while being some what limited with the mask in the way. Christopher Nolan has yet again made an accomplished movie that satisfying end to his trilogy that will not disappoint anyone. Christopher Nolan seems to be able make awesome ending to movie, while Batman Begins and The Dark Knight had some what of cliff hangers, since he made millions of people question what the ending of Inception really meant. The ending of this movie can really be interpreted anyway that someone wants, I’m not going to spoil it but it was a fantastic way of ending the movie.

Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy concludes with this Warner Brothers release that finds The Dark Knight pitted against Bane, an unstoppable foe possessed of tremendous physical and intellectual strength. Nearly a decade after taking the fall for Harvey Dent’s death and disappearing into the darkness, a fugitive Batman (Christian Bale) watches from the shadows as the Dent Act keeps the streets of Gotham City free of crime. Meanwhile, an elusive cat burglar seizes the chance to strike, and a masked anarchist plots a devastating series of attacks designed to lure Bruce Wayne out of the shadows. Determined not to abandon the people who he once risked his life to protect, The Dark Knight emerges from his self-imposed exile ready to fight. But Bane (Tom Hardy) is ready, too, and once Batman is within his grasp, he will do everything in his power to break Gotham City’s shadowy savior.

It is a strange thing to see such a movie series end, like Lord of the Rings, I was glad that they ended it on a good note. So far this is by far Nolan’s best shot film, the visuals are fantastic such as the Bat soaring through the sky with ease and a thousand extras flooding the streets in a massive brawl. I have to say that the cinematography is by far the best that Wally Pfister has shot, next to Inception that is. The best scene that I thought was the first encounter that Batman has with Bane, it takes place in the sewers on top of a bridge. The music cuts out and all you hear is the noises that are made during the fighting, no epic theme or background music which just added to the effect, and the constant monologuing by the menacing villain which made the scene even more intense because it all ties the plot together, and I can’t help but say the fact that he says the line from the comic that made him famous, it all shows that Nolan has taken the comic counter part of Bane serious and valued the comic Knightfall when creating the visually stunning scene. Another fantastic addition to the cast was Anne Hathaway, who I had doubts at the start but changed my opinion of her character drastically. So far Nolan has been criticized for having weak female characters in his film but with his addition of Selena Kyle is by far one of the strongest and most interesting characters of the series and Anne Hathaway complete embodies Selena Kyle and completely steals the show.

If I consider this anything it is a story about Bruce Wayne and not Batman, he has to learn how to overcome his shortcomings and take his place back as the Batman, trying to get the mindset back after 8 years in seclusion and Christian Bale does the best performance so far as the billion dollar philanthropist. Outside of that it is about social injustice and social anarchy when presented with a difficult position during the times of suffering. Bane brings in an army and creates a revolution  for Gotham’s lesser citizens to rise up and take control of the city from the rich, sounds a bit like the Occupy Wall Street protest. With all those subtext and themes it makes it a much more realistic story and really represents what we have gone through in the last few months and is another reason it sets itself apart from the rest of the comic book movies of this summer, which are all well and fun but lack that certain something that makes these Batman films such excellent film and something that makes people return for more. Like I said about the other films Nolan knows how to both create entertaining movie and yet keep them thought provoking and excellent filmmaking from one of the best working directors of today.

This is the movie that I have most excited for since the first trailer back in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. It is what a comic book movie should be entertaining yet fascinating. I’m glad at how much it ties into the first film and how it close out the trilogy. The little character reveal at the end really didn’t surprise me all that much, I called it hours before I walked into the theaters. The movie is what a Batman movie should be and the inclusion of Bane, a not so known character that has always gotten a bad rap since his appearance in Batman & Robin, but Tom Hardy makes up for that by creating a character that is both menacing and a brilliant tactician, just like the comic book. It may not be as great as The Dark Knight but the expectation are way to high regarding the fact that it was going to be difficult in the first place to exceed that movie in general. So far it is my second favorite of the series but with such a good series it is hard to choose just which one is the best, for me it is The Dark Knight, and this is a movie that deserves to be seen on the big screen. Receives my highest recommendation

10 out of 10

This Means War Review

This Means War

Directed by: McG

Starring: Chris Pine, Tom Hardy, Reese Witherspoon

After seeing the trailer for this movie I knew it was going to be bad movie, the plot alone screamed terrible romantic comedy. It seems like it is trying to pull off something like Mr. and Mrs. Smith or Knight and Day, both are much better films than this, by making it a comedy that involves spy and an unlucky girl, this is more Knight and Day than Mr. and Mrs. Smith, but both other films actually made it a fun premise while this suffered from being just to over the top and freckly boring. Now when i went into the film I was expecting it to be awful, which it is, but the thing that surprised me was how well the acting was, I enjoyed both Tom Hardy and Chris Pine in their respective roles and even enjoyed Reese Witherspoon but the way the characters are handled doesn’t really do much for the them or their roles in the films progression. The worst part that I think about this film is the terrible villain that they decided to throw in at the end, he made no sense when it came to the story, only linking the beginning of the film, otherwise he was not used to his potential nor given anything really to do outside of getting revenge on the main characters. The worst thing about the film is how overly bad the special effects were, it was rather clear when there was some, like the car ruling at the end.

Chris Pine and Tom Hardy portray the world’s deadliest CIA operatives, as well as inseparable partners and best friends…until they fall for the same woman (Reese Witherspoon). Having once helped bring down entire enemy nations, they are now employing their incomparable skills and an endless array of high-tech gadgetry against their greatest nemesis ever – each other.

Sure there were some very good acting and some inspiring quotes having to do with mistakes leading to where you are in life and how you want to be with the person who makes you the better person but the movie suffers in a lot of different ways mainly the story and special effects. If you want to check it out I would recommend renting it before purchasing it.

5 out of 10