Ranking The Films of 2014: Ryan Edition

| January 27, 2015

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This year was an exciting year yet again for the Nerds. For me personally my baby boy Kellen was born and my life got crazier but even more fulfilled. On the movie side I saw 56 films this year(down from 85, kid kept me busy at night) and was a little disappointed with what came out, but I did fall in love with several films. To hear all of the Nerds favorite films of 2014, please download or stream our Filmsplosion episode. Please also hit us up with your favorite episodes or tell me why my list is wrong. Enjoy!

56. Transcendence: This movie was just awful. The talent in front and behind the camera should have made this better. Johnny Depp plays a doctor who has his conscience uploaded into a computer and turns bad, if that sounds lame you would be right.

55. Leprechaun: Origins: This film is terrible. The only reason it’s not as bad as Transcendence is that this is supposed to be bad. The reason the Leprechaun movies from the 90’s are cult faves is because they are anchored by a fun and campy performance by Warwick Davis, this film has none of that and takes itself way too serious, come on guys lighten up, it’s a movie about a killer Leprechaun.

54.  Transformers: Age of Extinction: Another mess of a film. Big robots, big explosions, and horrible acting. This should be a cool franchise but even big dinosaur robots can save this turkey.

53. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The return of the Ninja Turtles should have been awesome, instead we have an incoherent script and lame attempts at humor. The Turtles do look cool and the movie is shot well but those little things can’t save the film from being shell shocked.

52. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit: Chris Pine is a fine actor. He is a great action star and can carry big budget movies. The script however lets him down in this film. The action is well done and the movie tries to be cool, but it’s just, meh.

51. I, Frankenstein: I so wanted this to be the Hansel and Gretel this year. A silly action horror movie that is also funny. I, Frankenstein is not funny, scary or violent enough. It’s just one big let down, some sweet gargoyle transformations do happen though.

50. That Awkward Moment: I forgot I even saw this film, so I guess it’s not that good. But when I thought about it I remember the lead actors being very good, so it has that going for it.

49. Lucy: This movie was a surprise hit, not sure why. Scarlett Johansson has to be the reason as she does own this film and is a joy to watch. The film however is a jumbled mess. Lame script, that never really gets it all right. See it for ScarJo , but don’t expect to be blown away.

48. Exodus: Gods and Kings: Ridley Scott making another epic should have made this a cool movie, however it’s only cool when the plagues start, especially when the crocs start eating people that turn the Nile red. Those moments are few and far between and the film is only slightly above average.

47. A Million Ways to Die in The West: Seth McFarlane is a funny man. I love Family Guy and Ted, he misses the mark however with this just ok western comedy. McFarlane stars and that could be the problem, he just isn’t quite there yet as a leading man. Not everything is bad Liam Neeson is great and so too is Neil Patrick Harris and everyone else is game. The film just doesn’t come together.

sincity246. Sin City: A Dame To Kill For: Sin City is a fun pulpy/noir film. The characters were fun and diabolical. Sin City: A Dame To Kill For has only a few of those which makes for an uneven experience. Eva Green steals the movie as the Dame, everything else is just, blah. Being a comic fan I can tell when it’s Frank Miller dialogue, that’s because it feels forced and is incredibly sexist. The poster is super sexy though, yowza!

45. 300: Rise of the Empire: Another film that Eva Green is fantastic in and the rest of the film is average. By now 300’s comic style is no longer fresh so if you make a film in that style it better have a great story, 300: Rise of the Empire does not. Cool points for having the battle on the water.

44. Monuments Men: George Clooney’s film about recovering art stolen by the Nazis is fun but forgettable. Stellar cast, fun dialogue, and top notch cinematography add to the film but it still feels empty. There are a few standout moments but not enough to elevate the film.

43. Hercules: The Rock is awesome. He kicks ass in this film. The film suffers from a tired story and some wanky CG at parts. I think I will own this and watch it again but only when I can find it for cheap, like the CG in the pic, Burn!

42. Life After Beth: Zombie films are a dime a dozen now. To make a fresh one(pun!) is a tough challenge. Life After Beth almost makes the cut. Aubrey Plaza is great as Beth who doesn’t know she has risen from the grave and her parents decide not to tell her. The film can’t decide if it’s a horror film or a comedy which takes away from the impact.

41. Draft Day: The exciting spectacle of the NFL draft is explored in this movie starring Kevin Costner. Will he pull off an amazing pick or will he be fired? The film doesn’t pick up steam until the final 20 minutes and when it does it is thrilling. The other hour and a half is just ok.

40. Dumb and Dumber To: It took 20 years to get a sequel to Dumb and Dumber and besides a handful of funny moments it feels like a washed out athlete trying for one last run to greatness. It is cool to see Jim Carrey not take himself so seriously again.

39. Maleficent: My wife liked this movie, it looked cool and Angelina Jolie is fantastic in the lead role. She can’t save the film however from mediocre direction and janky editing. Props for production design and costumes.

38. Robocop(2014): The original Robocop is an 80’s masterpiece. A PG-13 version sounded lame. But the film is surprisingly fun, but forgettable. It does have some solid action scenes and does a cool job showing what it would be like to actually be a machine. Slick but forgettable.

37. Expendables 3: Talk about making a franchise lame by making it PG-13. The first two Expendables worked because they fully embraced their 80’s action stars and the movies they were in. Expendables 3 forgoes this by bringing in a hipper, younger team. In the process it loses it’s balls. Mel Gibson is fun as the villain but the while film feels neutered.

36. Bad Words: Jason Bateman directs and stars in this mean spirited movie about a man who uses some clever maneuvering to compete in the spelling bee. There are some good laughs in the film and Bateman is good, it just can’t get past it’s own trappings and predictable ending.

nonstop35. Non-Stop: Liam Neeson has made a second career out of being a bad ass and kicking ass. He does that to great affect in Non-Stop. He is great and the mystery of what is happening on the plane is fun. The ending feels forced and takes a little away from the rest of the film, but I still had fun watching it again.

34. See No Evil 2: Sequel to the 2005 horror film, See No Evil 2 picks up immediately after the first. Jacob Goodnight is dead and transported to the city morgue. But of course he isn’t really dead and starts his killing ways. Better acting, better script, and way better direction make this sequel truly better.

33. Fury: A World War II movie about tanks sounds cool and for the most part it is. Brad Pitt is great as the leader of a ragtag and very clichéd group of men. James loved this film, I thought it was just good. Gruesome and violent it pulls no punches. It does have one of the best scenes of the year however, I call it the dinner scene, you will know when you see it.

32. The Muppets Most Wanted: The Muppets are back and this time Kermit has an evil doppelganger. The film is fun but doesn’t quite soar to the heights of the reboot. Ty Burrell is great as the French inspector.

31. Oculus: A well made horror film with some truly scary moments. After their parents die a brother and a sister locate a mirror that he believes played a role into their death. Blurring the lines between reality, you will be guessing what is real and what isn’t throughout the runtime.

30. Horrible Bosses 2: Andy Sudekis, Jason Bateman, and Charlie Day are back as dimwitted business men who create The Shower Buddy. They are conned out of their invention by Christoph Waltz and his son played by the great Chris Pine. The movie is fun and moves lightning quick. It will require multiple viewings to catch all the jokes.

29. Into The Woods: Disney’s bug screen adaptation of the Broadway hit, almost succeeds. Emily Blunt is great, Chris Pine steals the movie. The film is fun and the tunes are catchy, but it handles death really clumsy and weird. The film also looks stunning and again the costumes are great in this Disney film.

28. How To Train Your Dragon 2: Toothless is back and he and the rest of the dragons are living with the Vikings in peace. That is thrown into question with the appearance of a mysterious dragon rider and a man who hunts dragons. Beautiful and heartwarming and heartbreaking, How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a sequel done right.

27. Interstellar: I am torn on this film. On one hand the film is spectacular. Filmed with the kind of precision I expect from Christopher Nolan. On the other hand it is preachy and has some extremely convenient moments. But man I love 85% of Matthew McConaughey monologues. But then Anne Hathaway’s character makes a stupid decision, even though she is this incredibly smart woman…

26. Neighbors: Funny movie about a settled down couple that has a fraternity move next door. Seth Rogan, Zac Efron, and Dave Franco are awesome as always but the real star is Rose Bryne who holds her own against the boys.

25. John Wick: Badass action film that signals the return of Keanu Reeves to being cool. Thugs kill Wicks dog and he goes on a bloody revenge rampage. The acting and the script are meh, but man the action scenes are top notch.

24. Birdman: Michael Keaton delivers one of the best performances of the year in another film I am torn on. I love the technical achievement and all the acting. The surreal and fantastical moments I could live without.

23. The Interview: The most controversial film of the year is also pretty damn funny. James Franco and Seth Rogan star as journalists who score an interview with the dictator Kim Jong-Un. The CIA wants them to kill the Un, what ensues is a bromance between Franco’s Skylark and Un. The film is harmless and pretty silly.

sabotage_poster22. Sabotage: A violent and brutal film that follows a team of DEA agents who steal $10 million from a drug lord only to have it stolen from them. Shwarzenegger is great in a role against type and the movie is downright hardcore. I really liked it , just know that there are no redeeming characters to root for.

21. Deliver Us From Evil: Scott Derrickson makes horror films unlike anyone else. In Deliver Us From Evil he uses the backdrop of NYC detectives trying to solve a murder that could or could not be supernatural related. Wonderfully shot and acted, if your looking for  a different and good horror film it’s this one.

20. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 1: Katniss continues her fight against the capital in this bleak and dark entry into the franchise. Jennifer Lawrence again rocks in the title roll. For some reason I like these films and the other Nerds think I am crazy, what do they not see that I do?

19. Chef: Jon Favreau stars and directs this heart warming comedy about a dad who travels across the country with his son in a food truck. Funny and full of heart Chef is worth it’s weight in caviar.

18. Tusk: Kevin Smith’s bizarre trip to Canada about a podcaster who interviews a man who turns him into a walrus. Yes that is the premise of this unusual film, and yes it’s as good and weird as you think.

17. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies: Peter Jackson says goodbye to Middle-earth with 2 hours of battles. It is grand and epic with a satisfying conclusion to the Hobbit trilogy. Martin Freeman is fantastic again as Bilbo giving maybe the most heartfelt performance of all 6 films.

16. Godzilla: Godzilla crashes back to shore with a technically amazing film. The effects are breathtaking and larger then life. The human story is not quite there but the monsters are amazing. Watching it a second time proved to be a more enjoyable experience as I knew Godzilla was not unleashed for the first 45 minutes.

15. Gone Girl: David Fincher is the best at making dark and mature films. He strikes again with a film about the disappearance of a beautiful woman with her husband the prime suspect. Twisty and turny throughout Gone Girl keeps you on your toes. Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck give killer performances and the story is told so tightly you find your alliance between the two change every 20 minutes.

14. The Grand Budapest Hotel: Wes Anderson is at his zany best telling the story of a hotel concierge named Gustave. The film is bizarre and funny with great cameos throughout. It is also surprisingly dark and violent. Of course it is also beautifully crafted and shot. Anderson has done it again.

13. 22 Jump Street: A movie that is so spot on in making fun of itself and let’s the viewer in on the jokes. I smile from ear to ear everytime I watch this film it is that funny.

12. The Judge: A movie that lets actors act are becoming more and more rare. This film lets its actors live in the dialogue and is the best acted film of the year. Robert Downey Jr, and Robert Duvall play son and dad at odds with each other for years. When Duvall’s Joesph Palmer is arrested for murder it’s up to his son Hank to save him from a life sentence. This would be higher on my list if there wasn’t some heavy handed moments.

11. The Lego Movie: Fun. No better way to describe this clever film. Well maybe a phrase, Everything is Awesome!

undertheskin10. Under The Skin: Scarlet Johansson plays an alien who preys on lonely men by seducing them and leading them to her home. Really quiet and slow moving but never boring, Under The Skin is hauntingly beautiful. Johansson owns the screen and her evolution as a character is breathtaking and scary. I never expected to like this film but I did and think it is one of the most haunting films in recent memory.

The-Babadook-Poster9. The Babadook: Every year I hope a horror film comes from out of nowhere and blows me away. This year it was The Babadook. After the tragic death of her husband on the way to the hospital to give birth to their child, Amelia is reaching a boiling point with her troubled son. He will only sleep after she checks for monsters and reads him a story. One night a book she has never seen called, Mr. Babadook is the story young Samuel wants read to him. It’s a horrific book telling the story of the demon Mr. Babadook. After the story Mr. Babadook starts to attack the family, or does he? What’s real and what’s a insomnia tinged hallucination? Only the Babadook knows.

veronica8. Veronica Mars: Yes this movie is real. And yes it is as fun as the show. Kristen Bell stars as every ones favorite private eye trying to solve the murder of a troubled pop star who just happens to be dating Logan Echols, Veronica’s disturbed ex. Lots of fan service and comedy keep the film moving at a brisk pace. Pinch me because I still can’t believe I saw a Veronica Mars movie.

xmen7. X-Men-Days Of Future Past: Blending the two casts from the X-Men films could’ve been a hot mess. But when you anchored by Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine and the film being directed by Bryan Singer you are in good hands. Incredible action pieces and some poignant character beats make this one helluva  film.

snow6. Snowpiercer: This film should be a mess. The world has frozen over so the remaining human survivors live on a train that travels the Earth. Poor people in the back, rich to the front of the train. Snowpiercer is awesome. Chris Evans is a badass who leads a revolt against the rich passengers. Killer action scenes sprinkled with some interesting quiet moments elevate this to the ranks of the most original sci-fi films in a long time.

apes5. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: The revamped Ape series continues to impress. 10 years after the outbreak of the simian flu, humans are near extinction and the Apes are thriving. But when a band of humans threaten the safety of the Apes home it divides the Apes and the humans that escalates to an all out war. Spellbinding special effects bring the world of the Apes to stunning life. A tender and heartfelt performance by Andy Serkis anchors this amazing film.

Edge_of_Tomorrow_Poster4. A ho-hum trailer and a mess of a marketing campagain I almost wrote of this film. But with Tom Cruise starring it gave me hope. And I can honestly say this is the film that surprised me the most. Cruise stars as Cage a man who uses propaganda to help lead mankind in a fight against alien forces. Not a solider Cage is thrown into the war he did not want to be a part of. He soon dies on the battlefield but at his moment of death an aliens blood spills on him giving him the ability to live the same day over and over again. Emily Blunt owns this film as Rita who helps Cage with his new found power. Killer action, heartbreaking moments and clever dialogue make this a can’t miss film.

guardians3. Guardians of the Galaxy: Not being tied to the proper Marvel Universe let Guardians have fun and explore their world and take us along for the ride. A band of misfits reluctantly team up to save the universe might sound like it’s been done but it hasn’t been done with this much fun. Chris Pratt is a stud as Star-Lord the charismatic leader of the group. Rocket Raccoon is also in the film, a raccoon that shoots big guns, and a talking tree that only says “I am Groot.” This should not work but it does with a big middle finger to the doubters.

cap2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Making the sequel to Captain America a spy thriller was a stroke on genius. Tight action and shocking twists make this unlike any superhero film you’ve seen. Chris Evans is pitch perfect as Steve Rogers and Scarlet Johansson proves she belongs with the boys. The question of who the Winter Soldier I thought was too obvious but I was wrong. I saw this twice in the theatre and at each reveal people gasped. Plus bonus points for having Robert Redford utter the words “Hail Hydra!”

The_Amazing_Spiderman_2_poster1. The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Yes I am biased, but even so I loved this film. Andrew Garfield is the best Peter Parker/Spider-Man ever and his chemistry with Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy is spectacular. The special effects are sensational, highlights are the spider-sense rescue at Times Square and Spidey’s opening slings through the city. It also told the story I always wanted a Spider-Man movie to tell, I won’t spoil it but I have cried every time I have watched this film. I hope Garfield will play Spidey again he deserves to. Electro looked great and the final fight between Spidey and Electro is a beautiful symphony of fists and sparks. The music is different then most super hero films and therefore very memorable. Marc Webb also learned a lot from the first film and is more sure handed with action scenes. All around a winning film for the Spider-Crew.

 

 

About the Author:

As far as nerds go, there are not many reeler than Ryan. His love for movies is unmatched. He also loves comic books. When you combine comic books and movies Ryan is at his happiest. He enjoys all forms of pop culture and prides himself on knowing more then average nerds. Ryan has a couple of characters he prefers over the rest, first and foremost is Spider-Man. He also loves Ash from the Evil Dead. Ryan also enjoys Finishing people in Mortal Kombat and hopping on Goombas. He has attended Comic-Con and several Starfests with his good buddy Brad. He is amazed on how awesome Brad is at designing Reel Nerds pages. But don’t tell Brad he needs to stay humbled. Favorite movie: Army Of Darkness Favorite Genres: Action, Horror, Comic Book, Comedy
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