Best Films of 2014 (So Far)


By July, we are more than half way done with the year and have gone through almost 7 months of movies, good and bad. While there are many left to go, some of the writers here at The Young Folks decided to put together a list of our 5 favorite movies of the year so far. We all had very different picks and opinions, all of which are worth checking out.

 Click NEXT to see The Young Folks’ Top 5 Lists

Aaron’s Top 5: 

5.  Chef 

While watching writer/director Jon Favreau’s Chef in theaters, I looked over to my friend at one point and said, “This film is adorable.”  That is the best way I can describe this film, as it really is a delight to watch.  It may be R-rated, but if it is merely language that stops younger audiences from seeing a film about a father and son going on a road trip to sell sandwiches from a food truck, after a chef has a falling out with his restaurant’s owner, that is a shame. This film is such an enjoyable one to watch.  Fitted with a great cast, soundtrack, and some great looking food, Chef is a nice return for Favreau to his indie roots, even if the themes tie in a bit too closely to his own career.  Regardless, I see it as hard to not come away finding the film at the very least quite likable in its intentions.

4.  Only Lovers Left Alive


This is a film that I could not get out of my head, after seeing it.  I could attribute that to many of my favorite films of the year so far, but Jim Jarmusch has made a vampire film where the lead characters being vampires is one of the least interesting aspects of the film.  Sure, that aspect provides momentum for the story and allows us to read into these characters. I love the style and mood of this film as a whole, let alone the great cast, headed by Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton, who make for an amazing couple.  The hypnotic look and sound of this film only add to why I adore it so much, as this is another big win from Jarmusch, who has such a different take on what to touch on in his films.

3.  The LEGO Movie

Few movies have delivered the amount of joy that I took from The LEGO Movie and it only helps that on top of the fun and colorful aspects to this movie, there is a smart story with really cool ideas and themes.   Phil Lord and Chris Miller have proven themselves a comedic force from both sides of the spectrum, with Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and 21 & 22 Jump Street, but The LEGO Movie is easily the best thing that they have done so far, as they combine a level of irreverence with a fantastic approach to turning these building blocks into something truly special, pushing the concept of this film far beyond just being an excuse to sell toys.  The LEGO Movie is highly entertaining and earns great marks for being such a creative and unique spectacle.


2.  Snowpiercer

A sci-fi/action thriller, headed by visionary director Bong Joon-Ho was certainly on track to be a movie that I would really enjoy, following his work on films like The Host and Mother, but Snowpiercer really blew me away. Its capability to deliver a unique experience brings easily to mind many sci-fi influences, but it is still a cinematic experience all its own.  Make no mistake, this is a very weird film, but it combines its weirdness with strong performances, a great level of style, and a handle on the action. The action may not be as relentless and insane as The Raid 2: Berandal, but it certainly delivers upon the visceral experience that goes well with the story that is rife with commentary and motifs while still working as a very entertaining feature.

1.  Boyhood


I recently saw the trailer for Richard Linklater’s Boyhood for the first time. After having already seen the film, I got an emotional reaction from it.  Going on a nearly 3 hour journey with a family that spans 12 years of their lives (filmed with the same actors for 12 years) was the kind of experience that I was prepared to at least be intrigued by, but I was wowed by how affecting I found it to be.  I think it comes from how Linklater manages to get low-key performances from his actors and does not rely on large-scale theatrics to propel the drama any further than it needs to go.  Regardless, this is a film that was an experimental project of sorts and it paid off big time. It works as a period film that was filmed during its period, only to have this overarching narrative about growing up, evolving, changing, learning, and other facets that contribute to the life of being a child and turning into an adult.

Gabrielle’s Top 5:


Unfortunately, time has not allowed me to visit the theater as often as I wish I could. Meaning that I have yet to see some of the most critically loved movies of the year. Regardless, I still made quite a few treks to the theater and have singled out five films that I feel are some of this year’s best!

1. Boyhood 

Melissa’s Top 5:

Fair warning: I have not seen a lot of movies yet. I have not seen The Lego Movie, Snowpiercer, or Dawn of Planet of The Apes, etc. So, below are what I liked so far this year of what I’ve seen.

5. Edge of Tomorrow – Emily Blunt steals the show in this, for me. I did not know she had the badass action hero thing in her. She better go head!

4. X-Men: Days of Future Past – I enjoyed X-Men: First Class more, but this one was entertaining enough.

3. Neighbors – Another unexpected comedy I liked.

2. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – I liked it way better than the first. Emma and Andrew are fantastic in their parts.

1. 22 Jump Street – Plain and simple: I laughed my ass off watching this. I usually do not gravitate towards comedies, but Hill got my attention after The Wolf of Wall Street. I went to watch this and thought it was fun, funny and clever.

David’s Top 5:

It was tough condensing my list of favorite films of this year (I was close to putting The LEGO Movie on this list) because there have been so many great movies, but I managed to mostly do the job. I should mention that I have not yet seen all of the movies that I have planned to this summer.

5. Under The Skin 

Thinking about this film makes me shiver.  Whether you like this film or hate it, it will not get out of your head for several days after seeing it. The cinematography is among some of the best ever put on film, the original plot directions (especially that regarding a deformed man), and the great score by experimental pop musician Michachu make this mostly silent, minimalistic, and visually arresting psychological thriller starring Scarlett Johansson as an alien seductress creepy and very powerful. I’ll admit that after seeing this movie, I was not sure if I liked it or not (I have decided I really like it by this point), but I knew it was a work of genius. This movie is a scathing critique of the human condition with Scottish men, in particular, and it does its job of proving it. The whole film, one specific sequence in particular, (you will absolutely know it when you see it) is the best (or worst if you ask some people) kind of scary; it is quiet, it is unpredictable, and it is bizarre. It packs a powerful punch and is an unforgettable film. I am also convinced that Scarlett Johansson is not just a pretty face after her subtly creepy performance. Now although this film does pick up again in the very end with a very eerie ending, it takes my #5 space because there is a good 30 minutes towards the end of the film that get pretty boring and take away from the intoxicating tone of the rest of the film. This part is not necessarily bad, but it is a little bit too obvious with its purpose unlike the rest of the film, which is very up for discussion. All in all, this is a great film that does not spoon-feed its audience.

4. Edge of Tomorrow/Dawn of The Planet of The Apes  

Edge of Tomorrow

I forgive you, Doug Liman. I forgive you, sci-fi action genre. Most of all I forgive you, Tom Cruise. Most audiences were still turned off by Cruise’s recent foibles and skipped this film. The misleading marketing did not help either. This is a HUGE shame. Edge of Tomorrow is without a doubt the best action movie of the past five or more years. It is creative, clever, entertaining, and surprisingly hilarious. Tom Cruise is willing to become the butt of the joke as he FINALLY plays a different character who is his own age, Emily Blunt finally gets the screen time that she deserves, and good ol’ Bill Paxton is back in the army once more! I just cannot praise this movie enough. The writing, the alien design, the direction of the Groundhogs Day-esque plot, etc. It is exciting, awesome, great in 3D, and the most fun I have had at a theater this year. It almost seems like the writers of the film figured out what was wrong with the action fare that Hollywood has been feeding audiences and decided to rectify it. Anyways, Edge of Tomorrow is bound to be a cult classic and should not be missed.





Dawn of The Planet of The Apes

Wow. That was my reaction to this movie. Although I personally like Rise of The Planet of The Apes just a bit better, a better follow-up film could not have been possible. Dawn of The Planet of The Apes is excellent. Not just as a summer movie. Not just as a sequel. But as a film. It is an incredible movie. Also what it does is so unique, it not only makes you care about both sides of a battle, but it gives a whole new outlook on the war that began it all in the Planet of The Apes trilogy. I suppose a few cliches pop up during the movie, but to be honest I did not notice them until after the film and they were executed so damn well that it did not even matter. It is a pretty unique film and there were numerous times where it went in directions I would never have anticipated. The acting on the “human” side is decent. The characters are not incredibly developed, but they do not have to be. They are likable enough and that is good enough for me. But the real stars are obviously the apes. There are a few times when you are aware that the apes were made using effects, but there are some moments that the effects are so good that it is scary. Andy Serkis and the team of motion capture actors are mesmerizing. Hopefully this movie will start to convince Hollywood that actors in the field of motion capture have been ignored for far too long. This movie is also rife with social commentary. An example of this is the ending of the film. It puts a completely new and surprisingly heartbreaking (yes, I used the word heartbreaking in regards to Planet of The Apes) twist on the inevitable future of the original Planet of the Apes film. That is a very hard thing for a movie to do, especially the sequel to the second reboot of a classic film! I cannot think of any other case of a series that was rebooted two different times and on the second time, both of the entries were amazing. Well one thing is for sure, this is the most serious and entertaining film you will see about apes riding on horses with machine guns so far this year.

3. Snowpiercer 

I heard about all the praise that this movie was garnering. I knew the director was Jong Boon-Ho, director of The Host and the excellent serial killer drama, Memories of Murder. I knew it was his English language debut. I knew it had a fairly big name cast with such actors as Chris Evans, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, and Ed Harris. But I had trouble figuring out how this movie was going to be so great. It had a plot similar to that of Elysium and movies with clever plots these days often fail to reach their potential. Nonetheless, I was excited to see it, but I had low expectations. After a somewhat uninspired steam punk-esque first 20 minutes, I knew how sorely wrong I was. This movie is a masterpiece. It takes complete advantage of its plot with some of the most impressive production design of the past few years. It is filled with absolutely jaw-dropping action sequences with bone-crushing brutality. The special effects are equally amazing.  The cinematography is positively invigorating and every time something with action was happening or the outside of the Snowpiercer (the train which is the movie’s namesake), I was completely transfixed. The characters are also surprisingly good as well. Tilda Swinton, Allison Pill, and Ed Harris steal their scenes with their small roles, and Chris Evans proves his worth as a good actor.  If you are a cynical movie viewer who has been waiting for a non-mainstream, pleasing and original climax to an action movie, you are going to cry in joy at this film’s climax.  This movie is filled with amazing action, fantastic cinematography, original ideas, unconventional twists, and is not just merely enjoyable, but a cinematic experience.

2. The Double 

It is a very exciting experience to see a movie that you have low expectations for and then once its final frames have ended and the credits pop up, you just stare at the screen with awe. I had that reaction to The Double. I watched it two more times in the days following my first viewing and it is now one of my favorite films of all time. What is interesting about Richard Ayoade’s adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novella is that its material is really not that original. It is kind of a mix of Brazil (which is in turn inspired by 1984), and Fight Club. It also came out in the same year and only months apart from another doppleganger film, Enemy. Yet the material is so well executed by its actors, the cinematography so spectacular, and the writing so peculiar that it paints a nearly perfect cinematic picture. This also creates a perfect balance of hilariously dark humor and a ferocious sense of menace. It helps that Jesse Eisenberg steps out of his comfort zone and plays both lead characters perfectly, delivering his best performance yet; even better than in The Social Network. Mia Wasikowska is also great in this film.  This is the kind of movie that makes me want to be a filmmaker. It has so much style yet it handles character with such care and everything seems to be in place perfectly. I should add that this movie is not for everyone – it is bizarre and it wears that on its sleeve. If you are someone who can handle that, then you will love this movie. If not, then you will hate it within the first 10 minutes. Either way, it is worth checking out to see which crowd you fall into. 

1. Jodorowosky’s Dune 

Alejandro Jodorowsky is such a charismatic speaker and fascinating human being that I could literally listen to him speak for hours on end. It helps that he has an interesting topic to speak about.  After seeing this film, I honestly hope I do not see a better movie this year. This documentary follows the ill-fated production of Chilean cult film director of El Topo, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and his incredibly ambitious attempt to adapt Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic, Dune. This film is funny, well made, moving, and a mind blowing piece of pop culture. There are two reasons you should see this: (1) It’s very genuine and (2) the reputation of the greatest film never made can be realized. Everyone involved in this movie obviously wanted to be there, and there is so much creativity and good nature flying around. Yet it is never hero worship towards Jodorowsky. It’s all very realistic. As the tagline reads, this could have been “the greatest movie never made.” The descriptions alone of this version of Dune are mind-blowing, and most people do not realize how influential it already was without even being made. To put this in perspective,  Alien would not have been made if it were not for Jodorowsky’s Dune. If enough people see this documentary, it will just barely spread the influence that the actual film would have. But just barely is enough. This is a must see if you are a lover of cinema, and it is one of the best damn movies I have ever seen.

Tyler’s Top 5:


5. The LEGO Movie – Lord and Miller become the true auteurs of kinetic, hilarious, endlessly re-watchable entertainment with this film that transcends its status as a feature-length commercial with great characters, heart, story, and wit.

4. Palo Alto – Gia Coppola’s little-seen, mood-driven, beautifully shot indie is a wonderful adaptation of James Franco’s collection of short stories, complete with a hypnotizing soundtrack, amazing cinematography, and a breakout performance from Nat Wolff.

3. Snowpiercer – This visually arresting, creative, ambitious science-fiction epic combines a great cast with exhilarating direction to create a breathless, strange, action-packed tale of futuristic class warfare.

2. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Not only the best blockbuster since The Dark Knight, but also the best science-fiction film since Children of Men. A Shakespearean tragedy with grand themes and rich characters, this is a remarkably tense, brilliantly directed step-up in the epic reboot franchise.

1. Boyhood – Richard Linklater’s magnum opus is also the masterpiece of the 21st century. A nostalgic, heartfelt, brilliant time capsule of childhood filled with amazing performances, writing, and direction. A true, awe-inspiring cinematic achievement and one of the best films I’ve ever seen.

Jose’s Top 5:

5. The Raid 2: Berandal 

The Raid 2 did what sequels do best and took the small scale action of the first film and made it bigger and badder. The Raid 2 introduced insane new characters for Rama to fight against and took its inventive action on the road in the best vehicular action set piece of the year thus far. Does it run a bit too long? Sure. But most of that run-time is spent on creative and supremely entertaining action sequences.
4. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is exactly what summer blockbuster season is all about. Director Matt Reeves has put together a thoughtful and entertaining film. Andy Serkis continues to push performance capture forward. He and the other ape characters amaze in this film. The humans do a solid job but the apes steal the show. As Caesar tries to take his “people” forward their struggles are compelling and interesting. Throw some impressive action on top and you have the best blockbuster of the summer.
3. The LEGO Movie
Phil Lord and Chris Miller have built themselves a strong reputation of taking projects that could be devoid of any creative spark and working them into good and even great movies. The LEGO Movie exceeded expectations and delivered a fun, intelligent, and hilarious take on the source material. Also I’ve had “Everything is Awesome” stuck in my head since I saw the movie in February.
2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
I’m a long time Marvel Comics fan and I certainly have a predisposition to enjoy the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. Winter Soldier is the third post Avengers MCU film and it continues the trend started by Iron Man 3 of injecting some more individuality into these films. Putting Cap and Black Widow into a spy thriller was a good way to explore the internal struggle of the Captain America character. My favorite part of the movie? The introduction of Sam Wilson and the friendship between Cap and the Falcon.
1. Chef
Chef opened in theaters at the perfect time. The story is simple and straightforward. Chef feels like a true labor of love from Jon Favreau and that love oozes out of the film like cheddar from a delicious grilled cheese sandwich. Sometimes all you need from a movie is a good time and Chef is really close to being pure joy put on screen. I had so much fun with the cast and the music just soaking it all in that I ended up watching the film in theaters three times. Chef is not full of explosions and it does not hold the secret to the meaning of life. What it does have is solid performances, gorgeous looking food, and probably the most entertaining soundtrack of the summer.

Jon’s Top 5:

I’ll start off by saying that most of you probably have not even heard of a majority of these movies. That is obviously something that needs to be remedied. Soon. These are my top 5 picks of the year so far, and boy was it a hard one to narrow down. In no particular order:

5. Life Itself 

No list would be complete without a phenomenal documentary. We’ll put all fiction to the side for now and actually enjoy the life of a great man, Roger Ebert. You may have heard of him, seen his old show with Siskel, or read his reviews, but dispel what you think you know about him. The wonderful part about this documentary is that it does not sugarcoat his past. It immortalizes him as an idea and a great man, but also shows us his many flaws. This documentary is special because we get to see Roger at his most vulnerable, during his last days. When filming began, no one anticipated Roger would not live to see it, which makes it all the more visceral and heart-breaking. This movie will take you through a roller coaster of emotions, so make sure you have a tissue handy. You’ll need some for your neighbors too.

4. The Grand Budapest Hotel

Ok, enough deep, life-assessing thinking. This film is story-telling at its finest. Interwoven into this film is one story that seems to have been passed on along the generations. The story of The Grand Budapest Hotel. We are taken on a trip, back and forth and back again, as we try to solve a murder, plan a jail escape, fall in love, and try to avoid a war. Every character is over the top, but that suits this quirky setting perfectly. Every shot is a perfectly crafted dessert, with bright colors that draw you in and meticulously symmetrical designs that are just asked to be taken in. This was all thanks to head baker (director) Wes Anderson, but would be nothing without the devastatingly talented cast that is full of so many stars you’ll need an astronomer to count. In the end, you’ll devour every single morsel, leaving you pleasantly full, but also craving seconds.

3. Under The Skin

This movie is one of this year’s most gorgeous sci-fi films. I’m not just saying that because we get to see Scarlett Johansson (along with a number of guys) naked. That being said, if the naked human body (and erect penises) make you squeamish, then this film is not for you. The natural human body is just one of the many beautiful imagery and surroundings you will encounter. On a philosophical level, this film deals with what makes us human, and if the characteristics of having “humanity” is something exclusive to humans, or an ideology that should (and can) be adopted by other species, like extraterrestrials. Deep, I know. But did I mention it has Scarlett Johansson as a femme fatale?

2. The Double

Now this film, based on a novel everyone should read, will make you doubt your sense of reality. It’ll even make you question what really defines “reality”. There is utter nihilism and existential dread expertly mixed together with notes of humor and beautiful imagery. This is perhaps Jesse Eisenberg’s best role(s) since The Social Network. The bleak isolation and challenging of monotony (inherent in a corporate big city) may resonate with your own life more than you even realize. So if dark, brooding, and funny are your tastes, you’ll love this one. Or hate it. Probably both.

1. Snowpiercer

This sleeper, critically acclaimed masterpiece is a movie that was overlooked. The reason is simple: Transformers: Age of Extinction. It came for limited release the same weekend the most recent addition to the Transformers canon came out. That’s right, while you were out watching the terribly racist, sexist and all around kind of boring Transformers movie, you could have been seeing this instead. You’ll recognize a lot of stars, and become immersed in their acting and the story. The visual effects may not be over the top and full of explosions, but that’s because this film does not need to overcompensate. It has a HUGE… talented cast that bring to life this symbolic parable about humanity and the greater good. If you want to see a better movie about a giant machine (train) fighting great adversity (the nuclear winter) and saving the human race, check out Snowpiercer.

*Honorable Mentions*

This has been an especially great year for nerds like myself. We have seen great comic book based and sci-fi films come out in the last 6 months alone. They were each spectacular in their own way, so I thought they were worth mentioning:
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Edge of Tomorrow
Guardians of the Galaxy (this one is more of a prediction)

Augie’s Top 5:

5. The Lego Movie 
Phil Lord and Chris Miller have made a career out of taking on projects saddled with low expectations and turning them into greatness, and The Lego Movie is no different, imbuing its plastic characters with the same human soul that Toy Story did. The jokes come fast and furious and the voice cast, especially Will Arnett as Batman, is spirited and fun to watch in their interactions.
4. The Raid 2: Berandal
The first Raid was an out of nowhere surprise for action fans and made director Gareth Evans a minor star in his own right, but the sequel has actually surpassed it in almost every department. Evans’ gliding camera still has more development than his characters, although they are given more to do here. In addition, Evans varies up the action to include car chases, gun fights, and massive brawls (sometimes in the same scene) and steadily builds up to a 40 minute crescendo of some of the best action filmmaking seen in a long time.
3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Marvel’s current dominance of the blockbuster landscape has already been well-established, but The Winter Soldier showed that the studio was willing to broaden its creative juices and not rest on its laurels. Many of the best superhero movies graft their stories onto a specific genre to make them stand out, and Winter Soldier does so by placing the titular character in the context of a modern day spy yarn. It further develops Steve Rogers as the most heartfelt of the Marvel heroes and shows how superhero movies can be politically resonant in addition to their witty quips and colorful punch-ups.
2. The Grand Budapest Hotel 
I’ve been hot and cold on Wes Anderson, whose films I sometimes love (Fantastic Mr. Fox), sometimes just like (Moonrise Kingdom), and other times just do not get at all (Rushmore). But The Grand Budapest Hotel is Anderson at his most Anderson in the best way possible. The intricate visual design is just as endearing and creative as his best films, but what really gives the film its beating and lasting heart is the friendship between Ralph Fiennes and Tony Revolori.
1. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 
Following the Tim Burton debacle, the Apes franchise made a surprising revival with 2011’s hit, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, and now has an even better follow-up in Dawn. What elevates Dawn above most other films of its type is the level of restraint in its story progression by painting the ape/human conflict in shades of gray rather than black and white. Andy Serkis, along with the team of digital artists, returns to the role of Caesar, but he’s nearly overshadowed by Toby Kebbell as Koba, one of more notable and better developed screen villains in recent memory. In the tradition of the best Apes films, Dawn combines social commentary and heart in equal measure to create a complete picture that places the importance of character above hollow action.

Ally’s Top 5:

5. Only Lovers Left Alive  – I cannot really explain why I loved this film. The style, the grace of the characters, the way the movie did not strive to capture your attention and just let the magnetic pull of Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddelston work its wonders. Beautifully shot, this film is a perfect example of a film all about its atmosphere.
4. Captain America: Winter Solider  – As an absolute sucker for a good superhero movie, this one blew me away. The action scenes were balletic, the character moments revealing and universe building epic. It was an absolute thrill of a film that I could see again and again and again.
3. Like Father, Like Son – Heart-wrenching and understated, this film tells a story about the smaller moments, the silent moments and the moments that change us. Two boys are accidentally switched at birth, and the parents must decide how to move forward. See it on Netflix now.
2. How to Train Your Dragon 2  – I love a good spectacle, and I love it more if it has heart. Mixing action-adventure with good ol’ fashion coming of age drama, this sequel was more than it ever should have been and completely captured me and took me along for the ride. A lot was at stake and it delivered beautifully.
1. The Grand Budapest Hotel – So much of what this movie is worked for me. The ideas of being a man out of time, of being lost in a changing world despite hanging on to old styles of life. The color, the energy, Ralph Fienne’s Oscar worthy performance — this movie was a treat to behold.

Evan’s Top 5:

5. Godzilla –

Yeah, I’m still talking about it. I’ll admit my review was a bit… overzealous.  Sure enough, Godzilla had its flaws, but I still credit Legendary and Gareth Edwards for making a May release blockbuster that tried to be more than a lot of mindless action. Inspired creature design, Bryan Cranston and a filming perspective you wouldn’t expect from a film of this genre all add up to a breathtaking climax and something really, really special for Godzilla fans.  Aside from the original, it’s the best Godzilla movie to date, and I can’t wait for more from the sequel. This is how I like my monster movies.

4. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes –

I said it for 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes and I’ll repeat it again this year: Andy Serkis deserves a nomination for his motion capture performance as the Ape King, Ceasar. Director Matt Reeves took a major challenge in creating a world of CGI characters who possibly get even more screen time than their human counterparts. A blockbuster season film that puts its emotion and its tension first, but still has a masterful climactic war.

3. The LEGO Movie –

This is the movie of 2014 that restores my lost hopes of the film industry that I detailed in my Transformers rant last week.

Every once in a while, you have a kids movie that transcends the age group that it’s marketed towards. Sometimes an animated movie turns out to be genuinely funny, and is clearly a labor of love to everyone involved. The LEGO Movie could easily have been a terrible, meaningless cash-out and instead it’s ended up being one of the best films of the year so far. It was only recently dethroned as the highest grossing film of 2014, only to be defeated by the one and only Captain America.

2. Captain America The Winter Soldier –

Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo (Community, Arrested Development) Captain America’s first film since his appearance in The Avengers is the best and most important film of Marvel’s Phase 2, and arguably the best of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is fearlessly intense and smart and echoes the information gathering issues in today’s world, all while feeling like an old Steve McQueen movie. Sometimes the world could use a little something old fashioned, and then here came the Star Spangled Man With a Plan looking more badass than anyone thought he could be. Here’s a throwback to my TYF Vlog with Ally from April this year.

1. Snowpiercer –

Joon-Ho Bong’s independent post apocalypse ride is a film unlike any I’ve seen in quite a long time. It’s officially the #1 selling film on iTunes currently, and is my first Video On Demand film purchased during a film’s theatrical run. Snowpiercer, with a cast as talented as Chris Evans, John Hurt, Octavia Spencer and Ed Harris, tickles the action movie bones and simultaneously emotes a tragic metaphor for human society, begging to be watched all over again. It has a wonderfully diverse cast, a smart, disgusting, but also funny script and scenes shot with a beautiful sense of style. I suggest every one of these movies I have listed with genuine excitement, but somehow Snowpiercer feels like something that demands as many viewers as it possibly can; this is how you make a wholly original movie.

Shane’s Top 5:

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Only Lovers Left Alive

Edge of Tomorrow



What are you top 5 favorite films of 2014 so far? Sound off in the comments!


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