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TheFocusedFilmographer’s Choice Awards: Best & Worst Movie Picks of 2014

January 4, 2015

Today is the fourth day of 2015! Wow! Seems like just yesterday I was posting 2011’s, 2012’s and 2013’s!

It is time to present my CHOICE AWARDS for Best & Worst picks of 2014!2014 movies

*(As a reminder, any words in gold serve as clickable links to the referenced article.)

Hey, just in case you didn’t know…2015 is here and that means that one of the more disappointing years in movies of recent is complete. Seriously, did you know that 2014 had some of the lowest numbers of moviegoers in a long time? Maybe that’s because of the quality of films released…hmmm. 2014 had so much potential in the theaters…but you made it, from Europe, to Legoland, to Cancun to Middle Earth and back!

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Congratulations. 🙂

Happy New Year!

With the new year comes tons of posts around the web about the best and worst of 2014 and the expectations for 2015. This past year, I realized that I did not watch as many theatrical releases myself as in years past. Seeing the Golden Globe nominations made me VERY aware of that fact. But, nonetheless, I still saw my fair share of stinkers, silly sequels, super successes and surprises. How about you?sincity22

 

Some actors had some amazing breakthroughs in 2014 (Nice work, Chris Pratt, Channing Tatum, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Steve Carell!)Foxcatcher-movie-article

…while others didn’t even make their presence known: Anybody hear from Ryan Gosling this year?…what about Sandra Bullock after her performance full of gravitas last year? sandrab

2014 gave us plenty more sequels (as is the trend in Hollywood). Over 25 hit the theaters during the year! sequels

2014 also introduced us to some new franchises…some we could only WISH would not continue!new

The Top Ten of 2014 releases included several sequels! Check out the results from 2014!

Top 10 WORLDWIDE Box Office Results of 2014:

EXTRA! EXTRA!  Read All About It!

EXTRA! EXTRA! Read All About It!

  1. Transformers: Age of Extinction -$1.1 BILLION
  2. Guardians of the Galaxy -$772M
  3. Maleficent -$757M
  4. X-Men: Days of Future Past -$746M
  5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier -$714M
  6. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 -$708.9M
  7. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes -$708.2M
  8. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, pt 1 -$679M
  9. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies -$665M
  10. Interstellar -$651M

Wouldn’t you know, Interstellar is the only through and through original that landed in the Top Ten! Also, The Hobbit finale landed in the Top Ten (as a December release) in the exact same spot as the 2nd Hobbit did in 2013: #9. I’m not sure yet how I feel about Transformers#4 taking #1. But congrats nonetheless!

How many new releases did you watch this past year? This year I watched just over 60 new releases (which is good for just under 30% of the 220 theatrical releases of 2014), and over 200 movies overall. Wow! How about YOU?

You can always visit my list of films/reviews (called “The Archive“) HERE!

Just for you, as is tradition, I have compiled a list of just 100 movies that released in 2014 split into 4 categories (25 each). My own personal lists of:

  • (1) 25 Movies I’m Glad I Saw
  • (2) 25 Movies I Missed…but wanted to see
  • (3) 25 Movies I wish I could “Un-see”
  • (4) 25 Movies I’m glad I missed

The movies are not listed in any order of preference, the fact that they are on the lists speaks to my desire or distaste for the film…if I’m GLAD I saw it, or not, etc. These are my choices, hence the title: The Focused Filmographer Choice Awards!

Here we go:

(1) Top 25 Movies I’m Glad I Saw in 2014: The LEGO Movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Chef, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Interstellar, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 1., The Other Woman, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Edge of Tomorrow, 22 Jump Street, Guardians of the Galaxy, Hercules, The Maze Runner, The Equalizer, Godzilla, How to Train Your Dragon 2, God’s Not Dead, Snowpiercer, Fury, Ride Along, Big Hero 6 and John Wick.

(2) Top 25 Movies I Missed…but wanted to see…in 2014: Get On Up, Frank, Unbroken, The November Man, The Rover, Laggies, Foxcatcher, This is Where I Leave You, Boyhood, A Most Wanted Man, The Judge, Wish I Was Here, Birdman, The Drop, Kill the Messenger, The Imitation Game, The Signal, The Theory of Everything, Inherent Vice, St. Vincent, American Sniper, Selma, A Most Violent Year, Nightcrawler and Into the Woods.

(3) Top 25 Movies I wish I could “Un-see” in 2014: I, Frankenstein, The Expendables 3, Jersey Boys, The Babadook, The Monuments Men, Winter’s Tale, 300: Rise of an Empire, Walk of Shame, Oculus, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Neighbors, Noah, Sabotage, Brick Mansions, A Million Ways to Die in the West, Annabelle, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Tammy, Into the Storm, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Dracula Untold, Dumb and Dumber To, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Divergent and A Walk Among the Tombstones.

(4) Top 25 Movies I’m glad I missed in 2014: Endless Love, Muppets Most Wanted, Rio 2, Million Dollar Arm, The Immigrant, Earth to Echo, Sex Tape, Planes: Fire and Rescue, The Legend of Hercules, The Fault in Our Stars, Gone Shelter, 3 Days to Kill, Vampire Academy, Transcendence, Wild, As Above So Below, The Giver, The Boxtrolls, When the Game Stands Tall, Pompeii, Left Behind, Saving Christmas, Words and Pictures, Annie and The Gambler .

The Focused Filmographer Choice Awards

The Focused Filmographer Choice Award for WORST movie of 2014:

-This is decided by a mix of a few variables: Limited to what I have watched, Considering Expectation vs. Disappointment, Soundtrack, Box Office Results, and my own opinion! This year it is truly hard because so many films teased and created a much higher expectation than what was delivered. And some films just…were bad.

  • Annabelle– With a budget of $6.5 million and riding the coattails of the success of The Conjuring, Annabelle pulled in over $80 million and robbed fans of a promised experience. Nowhere near the quality of its predecessor, Annabelle was the greatest disappointment and cruel sequel/prequel offering of 2014 and thus earns this year’s award as the Worst of 2014! My review.

  • Runner-Ups: Monuments Men, Winter’s Tale and A Million Ways to Die in the West. (Other movies, like Dumb and Dumber To and Walk of Shame aren’t considerations here because I already expected them to be horrible…and they were!)

The Focused Filmographer Choice Award for BEST movie of 2014:

-This is decided by a mix of a few variables: Limited to what I have watched, Considering Expectation vs. Deliverance, Soundtrack, Box Office Results, and MY review score!

The decision was super tough for me this year as I enjoyed several movies this year. My top choices remain Interstellar, Edge of Tomorrow, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Chef and Fury -all of which kept my interest and were entertaining. I had to narrow it down even further by asking myself, “Which one would I sit and watch numerous times and not get bored and which would I watch/recommend and enjoy the most with friends?” After asking myself those questions, my decision was made:edge_of_tomorrow_np

  • Edge of Tomorrow– So underrated and completely shunned by many “Tom Cruise-haters,” this comic/manga adaptation was one of the best summer blockbusters that entertains over and over again. I enjoyed every single minute of it and watched it not only in a regular theater, but also in 3D Imax! Great cast, great story, great action…and who doesn’t love a good time-travel story? My review.

 

HOWEVER! As is tradition now, I just can’t pass up the opportunity for a TIE for this award. I just have to do it. I couldn’t pass up giving an award to Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar which will share the 2-way tie for Best Movie of 2014 from me as it is the only original film to make the Top Ten of 2014 and shows that originality can still succeed. This visual venture is both daring and deserving and is a must-see of 2014.interstellar_movie_poster_3

 

  • Runner-Ups: Guardians of the Galaxy, Chef and The Equalizer.

The Focused Filmographer Choice Award for the BIGGEST SURPRISE movie of 2014:

-Only looking at the film that surprised in a good way, not the ones that I had expectations of being great and then surprised by being terribly disappointing. That being said, I was surprised by a few films this past year that I had no idea what to expect from them prior to watching. Films like Snowpiercer, Edge of Tomorrow, The Other Woman and John Wick (all recommended watches).

But the film that surprised me the most and left me feeling great unexpectedly in 2014 the most was:chef

Chef. Directed by Jon Favreau and starring he along with Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Downey, Jr. and more, this film was a great gem to see this past summer and, yes, even though I may be a bit bias since it stars the absolute gorgeous Scarlett Johansson 🙂 it really stands out as a film that far exceeded any expectations I had from the director of Iron Man, Elf and Cowboys & Aliens. The movie that, perhaps, he’s been trying to make his entire career, Favreau cooked up a masterpiece with Chef! My review HERE.

————————————–

Well, tell me, which movies made your lists?

  1. Did you actually enjoy Dumb and Dumber To?
  2. What about Pompeii?
  3. Did you think Inherent Vice was the best of 2014?
  4. Did you get to see Selma?
  5. How many 2014 movie releases did you buy/do you own on dvd/blu-ray?
  6. What was your favorite movie you watched in 3D this year?
  7. Was The LEGO Movie the best animated film of the year?
  8. Which WWII movie did you like more: Monuments Men or Fury?
  9. Were you a fan of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For?
  10. Did Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb make it on one of these lists for you?
  11. What was the Biggest disappointment for you in 2014 movies?
  12. Which did you like more out of Pompeii, The Legend of Hercules, and 300: Rise of an Empire?
  13. What was the worst sequel of the year? (There were many)
  14. Which ones in 2015 are you looking forward to? (My list of 2015 movies I am looking forward to will post later this week!)…Stay Tuned 🙂

Share your thoughts/answers in the comment section!

Congratulations to all the winners. Thanks for a great year! And for your continued reading! Happy Watching in 2015!

T, The Focused Filmographer

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. January 4, 2015 10:01 am

    Hey Terrence, great post. Edge of Tomorrow is a bold choice, but a good one.
    As for your questions:

    1. Did you actually enjoy Dumb and Dumber To? Haven’t seen it yet, probably will though.
    2. What about Pompeii? Dunno.
    3. Did you think Inherent Vice was the best of 2014? Didn’t bother with it, probably won’t. Do’t care for PTA at all.
    4. Did you get to see Selma? Nope.
    5. How many 2014 movie releases did you buy/do you own on dvd/blu-ray? I bought the Lego movie, and will probably buy Gone Girl and Interstellar.
    6. What was your favorite movie you watched in 3D this year? Did I even see one? The Hobbit i think was the only movie I saw in 3D, I think…
    7. Was The LEGO Movie the best animated film of the year? Absolutely.
    8. Which WWII movie did you like more: Monuments Men or Fury? Fury. Monuments Men was kinda mediocre.
    9. Were you a fan of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For? I’m not a fan of the first Sin City, so…
    10. Did Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb make it on one of these lists for you? On the LIst of movies not to bother with…
    11. What was the Biggest disappointment for you in 2014 movies? Godzilla
    12. Which did you like more out of Pompeii, The Legend of Hercules, and 300: Rise of an Empire? *shrug
    13. What was the worst sequel of the year? (There were many) Spiderman
    14. Which ones in 2015 are you looking forward to? Anything with lightsabers

    Like

    • January 4, 2015 1:44 pm

      Ian! Thank you for reading. I look forward to this every year. And this year was no exception. Loved your answer for #12 by the way haha.

      Like

  2. January 4, 2015 10:19 am

    Oh I love this time of year. Just posted my Top list and we have several things in common and we see several things different.

    I love that you love Interstellar! Tremendous movie. Can’t see The Monuments Men on the stink level of “A Million Ways to Die” and “Dumber To”.

    Anyway, great post. So much good stuff. I think I will read it again.

    Like

    • January 4, 2015 1:41 pm

      Thanks Keith. I will be stopping by to see yours too. Yeah this time of year with lists is always fun. Lots of memories looking at the past year! Thanks for stopping in.

      Like

  3. January 4, 2015 11:27 am

    Did you actually enjoy Dumb and Dumber To?
    No

    What about Pompeii?
    No!

    Did you think Inherent Vice was the best of 2014?
    No

    Did you get to see Selma?
    No

    How many 2014 movie releases did you buy/do you own on dvd/blu-ray?
    I’m full VOD now 😀

    What was your favorite movie you watched in 3D this year?
    Guardians of the Galaxy

    Was The LEGO Movie the best animated film of the year?
    Yes

    Which WWII movie did you like more: Monuments Men or Fury?
    Fury

    Were you a fan of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For?
    No!

    Did Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb make it on one of these lists for you?
    No

    What was the Biggest disappointment for you in 2014 movies?
    Godzilla. Only because I genuinely thought it would be great! It was ok.

    Which did you like more out of Pompeii, The Legend of Hercules, and 300: Rise of an Empire?
    300: Rise of an Empire

    What was the worst sequel of the year? (There were many)
    Sequels were not bad this year. Spiderman 2 was disappointing.

    Which ones in 2015 are you looking forward to?
    Star Wars!

    Like

    • January 4, 2015 1:43 pm

      Haha. I had fun reading your responses Tim. How is VOD working out for you? I don’t think I could do that. I really love bluray and special features

      Liked by 1 person

      • January 5, 2015 1:09 am

        Not bad. I don’t normally watch the extras. But you stick to your old ways 😀

        Like

  4. January 5, 2015 6:57 am

    You’re glad you missed The Immigrant? It’s a fricking MASTERPIECE!!!

    See it 😉

    Did you actually enjoy Dumb and Dumber To?
    Didn’t see it.

    What about Pompeii?
    Didn’t see it.

    Did you think Inherent Vice was the best of 2014?
    Didn’t see it.

    Did you get to see Selma?
    Not yet.

    How many 2014 movie releases did you buy/do you own on dvd/blu-ray?
    None.

    What was your favorite movie you watched in 3D this year?
    Godzilla was the only 3D movie I saw.

    Was The LEGO Movie the best animated film of the year?
    The more I think about it, yes, but Penguins was funnier.

    Which WWII movie did you like more: Monuments Men or Fury?
    I skipped Monuments, because we all know it’s shit, but Fury was also awful…so

    Were you a fan of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For?
    Didn’t see it.

    Did Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb make it on one of these lists for you?
    Didn’t see it.

    What was the Biggest disappointment for you in 2014 movies?
    BOYHOOD!

    Which did you like more out of Pompeii, The Legend of Hercules, and 300: Rise of an Empire?
    Saw none of them.

    What was the worst sequel of the year? (There were many)
    Hmmmmm…I skipped most and liked what I saw, I think…errr…Rio 2 was pretty bad.

    Which ones in 2015 are you looking forward to? (My list of 2015 movies I am looking forward to will post later this week!)…Stay Tuned 🙂
    The Water Diviner!

    Like

  5. January 5, 2015 3:53 pm

    1. Dumb and Dumber To: Didn’t see it and probably won’t until it hits Netflix.

    2. Pompeii was typical Paul WS Anderson. It was like the 5th movie on a 16 hour flight so can’t really say I asked for anything that required more brainpower 😉 For what it was, it was decent entertainment.

    3. Didn’t see Inherent Vice. Not out until this weekend.
    4. Selma’s also out this coming weekend…
    5. 8 movies from 2014
    6. Big Hero 6? I can’t even remember what is in 3D….
    7. Haven’t seen it yet..well, like 5 minutes or something.
    8. Didn’t see either but from the trailer, I’d say I would like Fury more…
    9. I wasn’t a fan of Sin City to begin with but the second one was not as good as the first…
    10. Didn’t see it yet…
    11. Serena…It was just so bad for the great cast and setting it had.
    12. I’d have to go with 300: Rise of the Empire although I only could compare to Pompeii. Haven’t seen Legend of Hercules yet.
    13. I only saw the good sequels? Well, maybe Sin City or 300 was okay sequels at aroudn the same level. I got exactly what I expected.
    14. All the superhero movies; Jurassic World, Inside Out, and so much more….

    I think you just made me realize how many movies I didn’t see this year..haha!

    Like

  6. January 9, 2015 2:48 am

    You were disappointed by 2014? I thought it was an excellent movie year and I had a hard time picking only 10 movies for my top 10.

    If I sort on 2014 movies only, I’ve seen exactly 100 🙂

    Out of the ones you wished you’d seen there are a lot which are not out here yet, but have seen Nightcrawler and that’s an awesome film.

    I’m with you on some movies you could unsee. Sabotage is definitely very high on that list for me as is Sin City.

    You should check out The Fault in Our Stars! I wasn’t expecting anything from that, but it was a very good film (even ended up in my top 10 which you can find on my site)

    As for your questions:
    1. Only parts of it
    2. Have not seen it
    3. Isn’t out here yet
    4. See 3
    5. Don’t know from the top of my head
    6. Interstellar
    7. Yes
    8. Fury
    9. No
    10. Haven’t seen it
    11. Sin City
    12. Only saw 300 and that was crap
    13. Probably Sin City
    14. Since it isn’t out here yet: Birdman, since that has been on so many top 10 lists.

    Like

  7. January 12, 2015 10:16 am

    Hello T! Great recap of the year my friend.

    Glad I missed a bunch of movies on your ‘wish I could un-see’ list, but wish I could get my 2-hour back from that awful Transformers one, ugh.

    You should see The Imitation Game, Birdman & Selma soon if you haven’t by now. All three are on my Top 10 list (up later this week before Oscar noms announcement).

    I really enjoyed CHEF too, it was definitely a good surprise. Biggest disappointment would be Interstellar. Not because it was a horrible film but it just wasn’t um, stellar and I really wanted to LOVE that movie.

    Like

  8. March 19, 2015 7:57 am

    Did you actually enjoy Dumb and Dumber To? : No
    What about Pompeii? : Didn’t see
    Did you think Inherent Vice was the best of 2014? : Hell no!
    Did you get to see Selma? : Yep, loved it.
    How many 2014 movie releases did you buy/do you own on dvd/blu-ray? : Just Budapest atm.
    What was your favorite movie you watched in 3D this year? : I don’t think I saw any film in 3D.
    Was The LEGO Movie the best animated film of the year?: Hell yes!
    Which WWII movie did you like more: Monuments Men or Fury?: Fury
    Were you a fan of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For?: Nope
    Did Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb make it on one of these lists for you?: Didn’t see
    What was the Biggest disappointment for you in 2014 movies?: Godzilla
    Which did you like more out of Pompeii, The Legend of Hercules, and 300: Rise of an Empire?: Didn’t see any haha.
    What was the worst sequel of the year? (There were many): Sin City
    Which ones in 2015 are you looking forward to? (My list of 2015 movies I am looking forward to will post later this week!)…Stay Tuned 🙂 : SPECTRE!!

    Like

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