It has been another incredible year of spectacular films, and now that 2014 is drawing to a close, this Top 5 will be looking at the best films that hit the silver screen across the last twelve months.
- 22 Jump Street
A summer hit this year, comedy 22 Jump Street upped the first film’s action, plot, and most importantly, the laughs, making it one of the best comedies of the year. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum return as undercover cops Schmidt and Jenko, this time sent to an American college (university for us Brits) in order to bust a drug ring. If that sounds familiar, that’s because it is; to begin with the plot is very similar to 21 Jump Street, however this outing cheekily plays with this notion, slipping in lots of in-jokes before the plot shifts to something new. Fan favourite Ice Cube also returns as Captain Dickson, Schmidt and Jenko’s boss, and the few scenes in which he appears are some of the funniest in the film. With 23 Jump Street now announced, let us hope that it can continue the brilliant comedic form of its predecessors; 21 and 22 are a tough act to follow.
- The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Sony Pictures’ second outing in the rebooted Spider-Man franchise received mixed reviews upon its release, however negative reviews were unjustified. The film contained multiple villains but managed to side-step the over-crowded story problems this created for Spider-Man 3 back in 2007, balancing the inclusion of two side villains well whilst focusing on Electro as the main villain. The action sequences were brilliantly handled; a highlight being a battle between Spider-Man and Electro in New York’s Times Square. The soundtrack managed to capture the essence of Peter Parker, the alter-ego of Spider-Man, perfectly as a teenager facing life’s problems. The core of the film was the relationship between Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) and this is where TASM2 really shone. The pair conveyed their real off-screen romance on-screen, making it all the more touching as Peter fights to protect Gwen from two of the films villains: Electro and the Green Goblin.
- The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
13 years after the release of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, the colossal Middle-Earth saga came to a close this month with the final film in The Hobbit trilogy’s release. Following on from the Desolation of Smaug, the film sees Bilbo and company face Smaug the Dragon as he attacks Lake Town in the shadow of the Lonely Mountain. The titular battle is both exciting and awe-inspiring, as cinema-goers have come to expect from Middle Earth battle sequences over the years. Whilst The Hobbit trilogy has never quite topped The Lord of the Rings, it has still been a captivating adventure and The Battle of the Five Armies is a fitting end.
- The Wolf of Wall Street
Leonardo DiCaprio gave a barnstorming performance as stockbroker Jordan Belfort in Martin Scorsese’s biopic The Wolf of Wall Street. The film hit the headlines early in the year for having the most amount of swearing ever featured in a film, alongside gratuitous nudity and the depiction of heavy drug use throughout the 172 minute running time. Whilst certainly a film only suitable to adults, this did not stop it from making a tidy $392,000,694 from a $100,000,000 budget, making it the highest grossing Scorsese movie ever made. The rise and fall story of Belfort, based on his autobiography released in 2007, is a hugely entertaining one. Some critics did blast the film for glamourising its adult themes, but Scorsese argued this is why the film depicts Belfort’s fall that landed him in prison. Nevertheless, The Wolf of Wall Street is one of the craziest films of the year that should definitely be experienced.
Christopher Nolan’s epic sci-fi adventure Interstellar showcased special effects at its very best, with a stunningly created environment for the principal characters to discover. Matthew McConaughey continues his McConaissance in fine style as the lead character Hooper, alongside Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Nolan-film regular Michael Caine. The film sees humanity on the edge of extinction due to famine, and former pilot Hooper is given the opportunity to lead a mission through a newly discovered wormhole in space to try and find an alternative planet for mankind to live on. To give away any more than that would spoil the sense of wonder one gets from the unknown that lies beyond the wormhole. And it is a wonder any avid sci-fi fan should behold.