2014 was a great year for movies including the giant block busters. From the literay obsession turned critical favourite Gone Girl to the surprise genius of Guardians of the Galaxy this was a good time for popular movies to go smart.
We looked at some of the top box office winners and picked moments that solidified them as the biggest movies of the year outside of the big bucks they brought in. Check it out.
Guardians of the Galaxy – Biggest Star Maker
Before Chris Pratt was cast in Guardians of the Galaxy, his name was probably only known by a few Parks and Recreation fans and people who know every minor character from The O.C. And maybe a few angry people who believe that Anna Faris should be their wife. But after he starred in two of the biggest movies of 2014, Guardians of the Galaxy and The Lego Movie he has become one of the hottest new household names. As popular as The Lego Movie was, the movie that really launched him into super Star Lord-dom was Guardians, probably because you could actually see his face. And his body. Now, Pratt seems to be on an impressive run with Jurassic World coming out next year and at least one Guardians sequel on the horizon.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Biggest Movie To Feature Apes Riding Horses
Okay this was a narrow category but come on! Wasn’t that the best part of of Dawn of The Planet of The Apes? It was so cool. When we see these highly evolved apes mounted high on horses just like humans, everyone in the theatre gasped a little. The movie was one of the best blockbusters of the year with incredible motion capture acting, beautiful world building and a really emotional story. But guys. Apes on horses. We’re in.
Interstellar – Biggest Mind F**k
The Interstellar trailer really does a good job at keeping the plot under wraps. Most of what you can gather is that Matthew McConaughey is a farmer/astronaut that has to go to space for some reason. But man, that movie is a real mind f**k. Christopher Nolan and his screenwriter partner and brother Jonathan Nolan aren’t afraid of tackling ideas that require multiple views to understand. Have you seen Inception? But Interstellar takes that to a whole new galaxy. Holes of both the worm and black variety. Five different dimensions. Finding a solution to the gravity problem. Our minds have started pooling already.
Gone Girl – Second Biggest Mind F**k
Before Interstellar came along, Gone Girl was holding the mind f**k throne. And it had a very strong case. By now even if you haven’t seen Gone Girl you know there is a game changer of a surprise right around the midpoint. Whether you first read it or first see it on screen it has you questioning everything that came before. The story of a woman who goes missing and what role, if any, her husband had in her disappearance is definitely much more complicated than that sentence implies. So thanks to the crazy twisty and turny Gillian Flynn screenplay, this movie gets the runner-up prize for the biggest mind f**k in movies this year.
Godzilla – Biggest Big Monster
Godzilla had everything we want from a monster movie in 2014. Great visual effects. A real life city destroyed. A sad backstory. An unlikely ally. It was all there. What made the movie cool for people unfamiliar with Godzilla mythology is that Godzilla was a friend of the humans and the evil monster was The MUTO. It took a long time for Godzilla to even show up but when we first saw his giant foot stomp through the scene, it gave us all chills. We would be so on board for more Godzilla.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 – Biggest Set Up For a Bigger Movie
The latest installment of The Hunger Games trilogy, ahem, we mean quadrology came out at the end of 2014. Some people wondered why such a tight book would need to be divided in to two, but hey we aren’t questioning it. It is great to have another Hunger Games next year. But, if you have read the books you know that the best or at least the most exciting is yet to come. Part 1 was great, sure, but like a Game of Thrones book reader waiting for the Red Wedding on TV, us Hunger Games book readers are waiting for the final act of the Hunger Games series.
22 Jump Street – Biggest Wink at Remaking a Remake
It is hard to do a sequel and make it clever. Especially if it is a sequel of a remake. But 22 Jump Street nailed it. By writing in a whole “wink wink” plot about going back to school, doing it all over and how it could never be as good as the first time, the movie took the elephant in the room and put it in a tutu. The closing credit sequence alone where they imagine all of the other possible sequels was very smart.
Divergent – Biggest Attempt to Replicate The Popularity of Another Franchise
Oh did we say that out loud? Oops. Okay, we can’t be the first people to notice that Divergent has a lot of similarities to The Hunger Games. But we think what makes it different makes it great. We love the idea of factions. We love Kate Winslet. We love that it is set in dystopian Chicago. And we love the cast. If this is what results from taking the best qualities of a pre-existing franchise and giving them a new twist, we will take it.
The Fault in Our Stars – Biggest Cause of Dehydration For Movie Goers
If you finished watching The Fault in Our Stars and thought to yourself, “Boy am I thirsty,” we can bet it is because you lost about 60 per cent of your body’s water through your eyeballs. Lordy tool this was a tear jerker. The movie about two young people who find love in a cancer patient support group should be enough to make you tear up just imagining it, you sensitive soul you. Although certain moments in Interstellar and The Theory of Everything made us cry like a baby this year, nothing quite made us run to the water fountain like A Fault in Our Stars.
***Science of crying leading to dehydration unclear.
The Lego Movie – Biggest “Better Than It Had A Right To Be” Surprise
Oh boy. The Lego Movie was just so so great. But, if you were like us, when we first heard that there was going to be a movie about Lego characters you first thought, “No thanks. I don’t need to pay to see an explicit advertisement for 90 minutes thank you very much.” The screenwriters for the film even felt that way at first. But as the positive reviews started piling up, we had to relent. And are we ever glad that we did. This movie was so smart, so funny and so visually creative. If you have yet to be convinced that this movie is way better than it should have been, consider this us yelling at you to give it a shot.