We take a look at the hits and misses of 2014, and what made us clap, coo, and cry
It was a good year for cinema, with plenty of remarkable movie moments to be remembered. We’ve made a list and checked it twice – here are the best and worst movies of 2014.
Big Hero 6
With his giant bouncy belly, Baymax is hands-down the most huggable character of the year. Big Hero 6, by touching gently on the issues of loss and revenge, has won over the hearts of both children and adults alike.
You can’t pretend that you didn’t tear – or, at least, feel a tinge of sorrow – at certain points in the story. Despite that, the rest of the show is too cute to resist. We erupted in guffaws watching Baymax totter across the screen, wishing we each had our very own Baymax to cuddle with.
Most Tastefully Violent
What’s with Brad Pitt and artistically brutal films? Like his 2009 hit Inglourious Basterds, Fury is generously peppered with bloodshed and army eye candy. This time, Pitt takes on a not-so-comical role as a hardened sergeant battling through World War II.
But Fury isn’t just about explosions and guts. It also exposes a different, more insidious kind of violence – one that shows why there are neither winners nor innocent fighters in war.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
For all the anticipation that The Hunger Games has built up, its latest instalment sprang us a big surprise – kind of like unwrapping a shiny new Playstation but finding a boring mug inside.
Half the movie promised heart-stopping action by pumping out bomber planes, rumbling underground tunnels, and threatening messages from the corrupt Capitol. The next half only delivered heroine Katniss Everdeen climbing poignantly through debris and shooting a total of one rage-filled arrow.
Perhaps the whole point of Mockingjay Part 1 was to craft the calm before the big storm. But we feel like we’re the titular “jay”, and the producers are mocking us.
Tie: Gone Girl, Nightcrawler
When Gone Girl was released, many were expecting a predictable murder-thriller – but the movie uprooted everyone’s expectations. That alone was half the shock.
Audiences were clutching the edges of their seats the whole way through, hoping to catch the true criminal (and catch sight of the scenes that gave Gone Girl its R21 rating). By the end, Gone Girl made me feel dazed and shocked – like a gong girl.
Tied with Gone Girl is an understated contender, Nightcrawler. Its twists aren’t so much in the plot than in your gut. The uncanny performance of Jake Gyllenhaal as the psychopathic protagonist made many stomachs turn.
Is Nightcrawler a superhero vigilante flick? By the end of the movie, you’d be wishing it was that innocent.
The Most Hyped-Up
Tie: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Interstellar
Both of these films received a lot of attention. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is the last film depicting JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth. We’re caught in a paradox of anticipation and dread.
On the other hand, Interstellar, in typical Christopher Nolan style, was kept a big secret up until its release, drawing hordes of curious critics. Its mind-bending concept has kept tongues wagging way after its run was up.
The Mainstream-Yet-Obscure Film
The Grand Budapest Hotel
This film garnered high ratings for its comedy, and it sports an A-list cast – Sherlock Holmes’ Jude Law, Harry Potter’s Ralph Fiennes, and Jurassic Park’s Jeff Goldblum – but not many people caught it.
It’s no wonder why; this film is almost impossible to understand.
Its synopsis seems simple enough: a hotel concierge (Fiennes) must work to prove his innocence after being framed for murder. But the film opens with peculiar music and rushed, accented dialogue. Many oddball characters come and go, and perhaps the comedy is slightly too eccentric for the global audience.
The film is shot in wonderfully pastel settings. In case your eyes get droopy, it’s okay to gaze at the colourful interiors and think about repainting your home.
Penguins of Madagascar
Primed to be one of the most-anticipated movies of the year, Penguins of Madagascar promised a clever and mischievous backstory of the four crafty penguins from the main Madagascar series.
However, many fans flipped over the fact that Penguins of Madagascar didn’t deliver. Instead of bringing an origin story, the movie picked up where Madagascar 3 left off.
And, despite being notorious for their comical banter, the penguin quad paled in comparison to other characters. Villain Dr Octavius Brine’s amusing puns were funny only the first three times. And we wanted to see more baby penguins, darn it!
By Pamela Chow