#EDITORSNOTE: DAVID BALDWIN, JUSTIN WALDMAN, JONATHAN GODFREY + GEORGE KOZERA SELECT THEIR TOP 2014 FILMS
Cinema Lovers were inundated with fantastic Selections at the Movies in 2014. Although there isn’t quite a definitive Standout, there were many, many outstanding Films released. Dare we say, one of the strongest years in recent memory? This certainly makes the race for dominance this Awards Season a rather curious one.
We rely regularly on the opinions of our resident Contributors: Jonathan Godfrey (now with us a third year!), David Baldwin, Justin Waldman and our newest Team addition George Kozera, to keep us informed on what to watch and asked them what their Favourites of 2014 were. We’re not professional Film Critics by any measure, but we love Film passionately and if you ever want a Friend’s opinion, we are happy to share! The voice of the Fan always should matter most and we are Fans just like YOU!
As you will see, the choices are eclectic, a reflection of the offerings this year…
3. The Tale of Princess Kaguya
5. John Wick
6. Maps to the Stars
8. Mood Indigo
9. Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 1
10. Bjork: Biophilia Live
Every year of my life has been cinematically-splendid, and 2014 was no different. Numerous Films from diverse Genres excited my eyes and elevated my mind-state. None more so than Nolan’s Interstellar. Having seen it four times in the theatre it still doesn’t feel like enough. That said, it wasn’t the only slice of Sci-Fi I gobbled up. Lucy also satiated my appetite for Techno-Fantasy. Then there was the outright Fantasy of Studio Ghibli’s breathtaking tale about a Bamboo Princess, Lars Von Triers four-hour dive into sexual addiction, Keanu’s kick-ass Escapade, Cronenberg’s Olympian Tragedy, Witherspoon’s awe-inspiring performance, Michel Gondry’s take on a cult novel that finally made its way to Canadian screens, and Katniss Everdeen… the Icon who continues to inspire me. Last, but most definitely not least, Björk released her incredible Concert Film which combined technological advances with her love for nature. Maybe 2014 was a little different after all, it was grippingly- cinematic, but with a touch of the divine.
Looking back, I think 2014 was one hell of a year for Film. There were some truly awful and sub-par Films released this year too. But there were just as many good, and even a few truly-great Films released as well. It was a mixed bag, but the quality and ambition of some of this year’s crop of Films was truly extraordinary. While Franchise/Comic Book Film fatigue is starting to become quite evident, some pretty huge and experimental gambles paid off brilliantly (did anyone ever expect The LEGO Movie to be as wildly enjoyable as it was?). The Box Office stats in North America may not suggest it, but it was a truly memorable year. And if this is what we have to expect in 2015, I am immediately excited for some of its prospects — and for some time to re-watch some of this year’s best Films again!
5. Life Itself
6. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
7. The Imitation Game
8. Gone Girl
9. How To Train Your Dragon 2
10. Guardians of the Galaxy
(Potential top Films not seen before end of 2014: Big Eyes, American Sniper, A Most Violent Year)
It is New Year’s Eve and that means that we are supposed to look back at the year and discuss the best things we have seen and witnessed this year. This year brought a ton of great Films that were released throughout the entire year, most of which came out in the second half of the year but some came out earlier on. With so many great Films that came out this past year and one Title that comes out in February, here are the best Films of 2014 with a few extra Titles. In absolutely no particular order:
2. Big Hero 6
6. The F Word
8. Dear White People
10. Guardians of the Galaxy
Now that the best 10 Movies of the year I saw are out there, here is a few of the other Titles that did not make the Top 10 but deserve recognition, at least in my mind. Into the Woods, Big Eyes, Theory of Everything, Interstellar, Birdman, Gone Girl, Locke and Life Itself. 2014 was an excellent year of Film, 2015 has a tough year to compete against but BRING IT ON!
For the first time in years, I struggled with whittling down the Movies I saw that were eligible for my Top 10 Movies of 2014. That in itself is a strong indication how many great movies were released this year! So it is with great apologies to the following Movies that WOULD have made the list in a weaker movie year (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wild, Gone Girl, The Lego Movie, The F Word, Locke & The Babadook), I submit my Top 10 that made the biggest impact on me in 2014.
3. The Theory of Everything
6. The Immigrant
7. The Imitation Game
My 2014 in review, including my Best-Of? Click here for that.
Stick with us once again in 2015 for the most exciting Canadian Advance Screening Giveaways, Prizes, Star-Spottings and Reviews!
(Photo credit: Paramount Pictures/Mongrel Media/Elevation Pictures/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada)
#BOXOFFICE: “MOCKINGJAY” FLIES HIGH IN ITS DEBUT
There was never a doubt it would be Number One, but the question was by how much. THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY, PART 1 might be drawing some mixed reactions critically with a 69% on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer, but Fans still continue to love it giving it an A- CinemaScore. This latest Installment debuts across North America with $124.8 million from 4,141 theatres (including 900 alone in Canada) for Lionsgate Films/eOne Films, the lowest so far it the Franchise behind Catching Fire‘s $158 million debut in 2013. No need to fret though – if we look back at The Twilight Saga‘s numbers also we see that Part 1 of its final two Breaking Dawn Films also saw a slight dip in 2011 before finishing strong in its Finale and similar can be expected of Mockingjay, Part 2 when it opens next November.
BIG HERO 6 despite pulling in a hefty $20 million in its third week is a distant second, bringing its domestic tally to $135.7 million for Disney.
INTERSTELLAR still continues to go well in third with $15 million also in its third week out for Paramount Pictures, just surpassing $120 million in these parts.
DUMB AND DUMBER TO after debuting on-top last week, slips to fourth spot for Universal Pictures with $14 million, nearing the $60 million in its two week run.
GONE GIRL hangs-on valiantly to the Top Ten in fifth with $2.8 million in its eighth week out for 20th Century Fox.
TIFF ’14 Selection and Oscar Contender THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING rounds-out the Top Ten with $1.5 million from only 140 theatres for Focus Features/eOne Films in its third week of limited release.
#BOXOFFICE: “BIG HERO 6” + “INTERSTELLAR” OPEN WITH $50+ MILLION DEBUTS
In a bit of a shocker, BIG HERO 6 surpasses INTERSTELLAR to take the top of the Box Office this weekend in North America! The Family-oriented offering from Disney takes-in $56 million from 3,761 theatres, earning an A CinemaScore from Audiences which makes it highly likely that word of mouth will continue to spread for the Animated Feature. Critics gave it a decisive 91% also on the Tomatometer.
INTERSTELLAR debuts in second but certainly not shamefully with a stellar $52 million from 3,561 theatres for Paramount Pictures after opening only in IMAX on Wednesday. Despite high expectations, the latest from Dark Knight Trilogy Helmer Christopher Nolan, managed a 73% on the Tomatometer and a B+ CinemaScore. By comparison, The Dark Knight Rises opened in 2012 with $160 million and 2010’s Inception opened with $62 million.
GONE GIRL just keeps going with $6 million in its sixth week out for 20th Century Fox. It now has grossed $145 million domestically.
OUIJA settles in fourth in its third week out for Universal Pictures with $5.7 million. Cumulatively it has made $43 million stateside.
NIGHTCRAWLER slips to sixth in its second week for Open Road Films/Elevation Pictures with $5.5 million. In two weeks it has made approximately $20 million.
THE BOOK OF LIFE rounds-out the Top Ten with $3 million in its fourth week for 20th Century Fox.
#BOXOFFICE: “NIGHTCRAWLER” CLIMBS TO THE TOP OF THE BOX OFFICE IN HALLOWEEN DEBUT
Coming absolutely out of nowhere, NIGHTCRAWLER springs to the top of the North American Box Office this Halloween weekend with a tepid $11 million opening from 2,766 theatres for Open Road Films/Elevation Pictures, just edging-out OUIJA. Reviews are astoundingly good for the TIFF ’14 Selection at 93% on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer from Critics, although it didn’t test as well with Audiences with a B- CinemaScore. This the latest in a long line of Box Office successes for Star and Producer Jake Gyllenhaal, with three of his last four releases topping North America.
OUIJA after debuting on-top last weekend slips to second this weekend, quenching the thirsts of the Horror-hungry with $10.9 million from 2,899 theatres for Universal Pictures. In two weeks, the Film has grossed approximately $35 million.
FURY sits in third spot with $9 million for Sony Pictures this weekend in its third week out. To date it has grossed $60.5 million domestically.
JOHN WICK slips to fourth spot in its second week out with $8 million for Lionsgate Films/eOne Films, nearing the $30-million mark so far.
GONE GIRL continues to be a Box Office smash for 20th Century Fox in fifth with $7 million in its fifth week. The David Fincher Thriller is edging closer towards that $150 million mark and likely will do so in the next week.
ST. VINCENT settles in seventh for The Weinstein Co. and eOne Films with $6.5 million, closing-in on $20 million in its four-week run.
DRACULA UNTOLD bottoms-out the Top Ten with $2.5 million in its fourth week for Universal Pictures.
#BOXOFFICE: “OUIJA” SCARES ITS WAY TO THE TOP!
Right in-time for Halloween, Moviegoers are dictating what exactly they want most at this moment – gettin’ scared! OUIJA exceeds the expectations of many to debut atop the Box Office for Universal Pictures with $20 million this weekend from 2,858 theatres. The Horror starring Olivia Cooke (Bates Motel) didn’t fare so well with Audiences, garnering a C CinemaScore and Critics were a bit harsh with a 10% on the Tomatometer. Made for a paltry $5 million budget, the Studio surely won’t be taking the reception too much to heart.
Debuting a bang-up second is Keanu Reeves’ Comeback Vehicle, JOHN WICK with $15 million from 2,589 theatres for Lionsgate Films/eOne Films. The Action Flick sees Reeves back doing what he does best, with a superb 86% on the Tomatometer from Critics and a B CinemaScore from Audiences.
Last week’s Champ, FURY, slips to third spot this weekend for Sony Pictures, getting $13.5 million from 3,173 theatres. The acclaimed World War II Drama in two weeks has grossed over $46 million domestically, well on its way to recouping its reported $68 million budget which certainly could well be achieved with its forthcoming expansion to other territories.
GONE GIRL still is resilient in fourth with $11 million for 20th Century Fox in its fourth week out, now having grossed $124 million across North America already.
ST. VINCENT opens in sixth for The Weinstein Co./eOne Films, earning $7.8 million from 2,282 theatres. Audiences gave it a sparkling A- CinemaScore, while Critics were on-par with a 76% rating on the Tomatometer. Critics already are touting the Comedy as an Oscar Contender for its Star Bill Murray after a strong debut here at TIFF ’14.
DRACULA UNTOLD rounds-out the Top Ten in its fourth week out with $4.2 million for Universal Pictures, edging its way closer to that $50-million mark.
#BOXOFFICE: “FURY” LIVES UP TO ITS NAME ATOP THE BOX OFFICE
Living up to its name, World War II Drama FURY takes the top of the Box Office for Sony Pictures this weekend, opening in 3,713 theatres across North America with an impressive $23.5 million in its debut. This also gives Director David Ayer (who wrote Training Day) the distinction of the second time debuting atop the Box Office. He accomplished the feat first in September 2012 with End of Watch. Made for a reported $68 million budget, the Film starring a talented male Ensemble including Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Joe Bernthal, Michael Peña and Megastar Brad Pitt tallied in at 80% on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer, a strong consensus from Critics. CinemaScore also indicates Audiences gave it an A- which bodes well for word of mouth.
Slipping to second spot this weekend is 20th Century Fox‘s commercially and critically successful GONE GIRL. After remaining on-top for two consecutive weeks domestically, the Film earns $17.8 million this weekend in its third week out from 3,248 theatres. The Film also just surpassed the $100 million-mark this weekend in North America also.
20th Century Fox also has a solid showing in third spot with THE BOOK OF LIFE with $17 million from 3,071 theatres. The Animated Feature from Director/Writer Jorge Gutierrez and Producer Guillermo del Toro featuring the Voice Work of Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum and Diego Luna, critically has been well-received with an 80% tally on the Tomatometer and an A- CinemaScore also. Many are calling this a Contender Awards Season in its respective category.
ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY continues to capitalize on a lack of Family-oriented options at the Box Office, in fourth this weekend with $12 million from 3,088 theatres in its second week for Disney.
THE BEST OF ME, the latest Film Adaptation from best-selling Romance Writer Nicholas Sparks, opens in fifth spot with $10.2 million for Relativity Media and eOne Films from 2,936 theatres. Starring James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan, Critics were harsh on it with a 7% on the Tomatometer, but a decent B+ CinemaScore from Audiences.
ANNABELLE continues to scare Moviegoers in eight with $7.9 million in its third week out from 2,878 theatres. In its North America run so far, this Prequel to The Conjuring has made just shy of $80 million for Warner Bros.
THE EQUALIZER hangs-on to the Top Ten in ninth spot for Sony Pictures with $5.4 million from 2,262 theatres in four weeks, cumulatively grossing just under $90 million.
THE MAZE RUNNER rounds-out the Top Ten with $4.5 million in its fifth week out, just surpassing the $90 million-mark domestically.
#BOXOFFICE: “GONE GIRL” GOES NOWHERE SECOND WEEK OUT
GONE GIRL certainly isn’t going anywhere. For the second week in-a-row, the David Fincher Thriller tops the North American Box Office with $27 million from 3,014 theatres. The Accolades keep pouring-in for the Film, which gets a head start on its competition in the Awards Trail.
Debuting in second spot is DRACULA UNTOLD, earning $23 million for Universal Pictures from 2,887 theatres. Critics were harsh on the Film, giving it 26% on the Tomatometer, while Audiences had positive things to say about it with an A- CinemaScore. Gary Shore directs this take on the classic Vampire Story, with Luke Evans and Toronto’s Sarah Gadon starring.
ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY opens in third for Disney with $18.2 million from 3,088 theatres. Critics and Audiences alike had fairly positive things to say about this Family Comedy starring Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner earning a 62% on the Tomatometer and an A- CinemaScore respectively.
After opening in second last weekend, the Horror ANNABELLE slips to fourth spot this weekend for Warner Bros. with $15.2 million from 3,215 theatres.
THE JUDGE, which had the distinction of being the TIFF ’14 Opening Night Gala, opens in fifth with $13.1 million from 3,003 theatres. The Warner Bros. Drama starring Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall, got great reviews from Audiences with an A- CinemaScore but Critics thought otherwise with a 47% on the Tomatometer.
ADDICTED opens in seventh spot for Lionsgate Films with $8.4 million from only 846 theatres. The Drama starring Tyson Beckford and Sharon Leal has yet to open in Canada just yet. Critics gave it a paltry 11% on the Tomatometer.
MEET THE MORMONS rounds-out the Top Ten for Purdie Films with $3.3 million from 317 theatres. The Documentary which does not have Canadian distribution has a 0% rating on the Tomatometer.
#BOXOFFICE: “GONE GIRL” GOES BEYOND EXPECTATIONS IN DEBUT
Exceeding just about everyone’s expectations at the Box Office this weekend is David Fincher‘s Gone Girl from 3,014 theatres, reigning supreme in North America with a superb $38 million for 20th Century Fox. Audiences may have responded lukewarm to the Gillian Flynn Adaptation with a B CinemaScore, but Critics gave it a resounding “yes” with an 87% score on the Tomatometer. Social Media buzz peaked right in time for release with Twitter and Facebook set afire with the revelation that Ben Affleck appears nude late in the Film. Inasmuch as we’d hate to acknowledge this played a big part, it is undeniable. We saw Gone Girl and we loved it. It was gripping, oddly-funny and unlike anything we’ve ever seen; the fastest two-and-a-half hours we’ve spent at the Movies in a while.
Annabelle continues what is becoming a largely successful Franchise for Warner Bros.’ The Conjuring. The Prequel debuts a strong second with $37 million from 3,185 theatres, accomplishing a rare feat of two Films debuting in the Top Two with $30+ million in October. The last time this happened according to Gitesh Pandya, was 2008 with High School Musical 3 and Saw 5. Critics passed on it with a 31% on the Tomatometer, while Audiences gave it a better B CinemaScore. By comparison, The Conjuring debuted in July 2013 with $41 million. A Sequel is slated for late 2015.
TIFF ’14 Selection The Equalizer, which debuted on-top last weekend, continues to perform well in third with $17 million in its second week out for Sony Pictures. Meanwhile, The Maze Runner in its third week still continues to more than earn its keep in fourth for 20th Century Fox with $11.6 million.
Nicolas Cage‘s latest effort, Left Behind debuts in sixth with $8 million from 1,800 screens for Stoney Lake Entertainment/Freestyle Releasing. Audiences gave it a B- CinemaScore, although it got a much worse 3% on the Tomatometer from Critics.
Rounding-out the Top Ten is former Champ No Good Deed from Sony Pictures, earning $2.4 million, now in its fourth week out.