There were a lot of films released in the past year but only some of them made a great impact to the viewing public but some of them really stood out and took the box office by storm. Here are some of the most iconic films of 2014:
Richard Linklater’s twelve years-in-the-making masterpiece impressed a lot of audiences worldwide. The movie was so moving that US President Barack Obama even declared this his favorite movie of 2014. What made this movie special is not just its incredible length but also the lengths the staff and crew went through to get this movie done. For twelve whole years, Boyhood follows the story of a young boy and his journey to becoming a man; facing real situations along the way.
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Entering the doors of the Grand Budapest Hotel is like walking straight into a painting. Full of wonderful characters and an amazing color palette as expected of any Wes Anderson movie, The Grand Budapest will not only make your eyes wide with amazement but will also fill your heart with emotions.
The Lego Movie
Why did this animated made the cut of the best movies of 2014? The answer is simple: because it’s awesome. The Lego Movie is not your average animated film although it might look like that at first. It’s one of those films that you didn’t expect to make a big impact in you but it did. This movie is not just for kids and Lego enthusiast but for all ages because it talks about self worth and how your own uniqueness can be your super power. I owe a lot to this movie because it inspired me to be more proud of myself.
Norte: Hangganan ng Kasaysayan (Norte: The End of History)
It’s not a surprise anymore that a few Filipino indie film receieve awards from many different award giving bodies. So what makes this Lav Diaz masterpiece different from the others? Norte: Hangganan ng Kasaysayan is what the critics call the best interpretation of Dosteovsky’s Crime and Punishment. Set in the Northern part of the Philippines, the movie depicts a story of an innocent man convicted of a crime he did not commit. This movie is four hours long but it you won’t even notice it because aside from the gripping story, it also visually tasty, full of amazingly shot scenes that shows a tragic story on a beautiful background. If you’re looking for your next favorite film, you should definitely see Norte: Hangganan ng Kasayasayan.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Known as one of the biggest superhero movies of all time because of its massive popularity, Guardians of the Galaxy proved that in every film, the story is still king. Equipped with a amazing special effects and unconventional characters, this movie exceeded my expectations of a normal superhero flick because it did more than just to excite me with fight scenes, it also warmed my heart and made me laugh harder than any other comedy movies I’ve ever watched. I love how the characters are all very different from each other and aren’t stereotypical.
Everyone loves a good fiction but you have to admit, any novel or film becomes more interesting when you realize that it’s based on a true story. Here are the best biopics that are definitely worth your time:
Although it has a lot of fictional add-ons, there is no doubt that this masterpiece from Milos Forman is one of the best biopics ever to hit the big screen. Receiving 53 nominations and winning 40 including an Academy Award for Best Picture, this film that depicts the life of the world’s greatest classical composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as told by his rival Antonio Salieri will leave you breathless. In my case, crying so hard at the end I can’t even breathe. It doesn’t matter if you’re a classical music enthusiast or not, you will definitely enjoy this 1984 movie because aside from its amazing set and unbelievable soundtrack, the story will stick with you for the rest of your life.
War movies often leave us depressed but this film is very different from the others. Why? Because aside from leaving you depressed, it will also make you feel so destroyed. Please don’t let those words discourage you from seeing this movie if you haven’t already. This movie is truly beautiful but knowing that the horrible events that took place in the film is real will break your heart. Based on the memoirs of the Polish-Jewish pianist and composer Władysław Szpilman, The Pianist will make you a different person after watching it. It’s life changing despite how tragic it is.
Just in case the fact that this movie is a Scorsese-DiCaprio production isn’t enough for you, then I’ll give you more reasons to watch this film that depicts the true to life story of Howard Hughes. This movie, perfectly starred by the amazing Leonardo DiCaprio as Hughes is reason number one, enough said. Reason number two, the story is just so incredible, you’d think it’s somehow fictional. But the best part is it’s not and it will definitely teach you a thing or two about determination. And reason number three, everything in this movie is flawless. The set, costume design, the cast and especially the script is just top notch. If you die without ever seeing this movie, you’ll definitely regret it.
Into The Wild
This film is one of the most philosophical films I’ve ever seen in my entire life and it affected me so much that it changed a lot of my opinions in life. In fact, I’d like to think that this movie somehow made me a better person than I was before. Into the Wild is based on the travels of Christopher McCandles and his life in the Alaskan wilderness. It taught me a lot about dreams and possessions and how material things don’t mean as much as we think. But the most amazing thing I learned from this movie is that travelling will definitely make you a better storyteller.
If there’s anything I like more than horror films it’s definitely psychological thrillers. Those movies filled with heart racing scenes and up and down emotions with a mind-blowing twist in the end that will make you feel stupid because you didn’t figure out the mystery; these are the kinds of movies I’d sit through for hours. If you haven’t watched any psycho-thrillers, here is the list of my favorites to give your brain some exercise and a little headache too.
The Silence of the Lambs
There is no doubt that The Silence of the Lambs is one of the best psychological thrillers of all time. Why? Because the movie introduced to us the complex character of psychiatrist turned serial killer, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. The mystery and sense of hunting something scary and unknown is what makes this film jaw dropping and of course, the amazing performance of Jodi Foster helped a lot. This film will give you the kind of scare no other horror movie can. It burns in the skull and it will never leave you, trust me.
How do I even begin to explain inception when there are times when I even question myself if I truly understood it every detail of it? Although I’m pretty sure I got the gist of the movie, I’m not really sure if it means what I think it means and that’s the beauty of it! It’s an imaginative tour to the subconscious mind that will make you a little dizzy, not only because of the awe-inspiring cinematography but also because you can’t even determine if it’s a dream or a dream within a dream or maybe you dreamed of watching it.
Based on the novel by Dennis Lehane, Shutter Island takes you on a ride to the insanity in all of us. It’s the perfect mystery with the perfect heart shattering twist. When Teddy Daniels was tasked to look for a missing patient inside a prison for the criminally insane, he finds himself cracking a bigger mystery involving some psychological experiments, a freak storm, and weird doctors while battling against his own sanity. It’s just so full of misleading clues that builds you up only to bring you down when you find out the truth but it’s worth it.
The very first reason why I love this movie is because a) it’s about magic b) It’s about Science and Deception and c) Nikola Tesla was portrayed by David Bowie. The Prestige is a magic show itself. Every scene will make you want to pay attention because they got you so engrossed to it already. It’s a one giant magic trick performed with Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale. The end is a big cliffhanger. I don’t even know how I survived it.
The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club. This Chuck Palahniuk masterpiece challenges and questions our life here on earth and our purpose. If you want to get the shock out of your life and you’re a fan of unexpected endings, Fight Club is the psychological film you definitely want to watch. It’s insightful, full of words of wisdom and a challenge of a lifetime. Fight Club is one heck of a movie that will grab your attention and never let you go until the credits roll. I’m still thinking about it every now and then.
If you think Hollywood makes the best movies well think again because Asia also has a lot of cinematic gems that will inspire you, scare you and touch your heart. So have a break from the old Hollywood glam and have some of the best and critically-acclaimed Asian films that you won’t regret watching:
Japan’s Battle Royale
Think Hunger Games is cruel? You haven’t seen anything yet not until you’ve seen Battle Royale. This is basically where Hunger Games got its plot and it’s seriously gorier and more psychologically damaging. Battle Royale is about a bunch of school students who went on a field trip to hell. They were sent to an island to fight and kill each other until only one survives. Kind of like Physical Education except with knives, guns and rocket launchers and the best student will be the last one alive. This movie is more than just a killing spree bonanza. It also explores human behavior and how much are we willing to do to stay alive.
Korea’s Miracle in Cell No. 7
Koreans are known for their tear-jerking movies and love stories but nothing can be quite as heartwarming as Miracle in Cell No. 7. It’s the story of a mentally challenged father who was wrongly accused with rape and murder of a little girl. He was then detained in cell no. 7 where the ruthless criminals were. His lovely and smart daughter snuck in to prison to be with him and changed everyone’s lives. Years later, she tried to clear his father’s good name. It’s a story that is sure to make you cry buckets no matter how old you are.
India’s 3 Idiots
Bollywood has a lot of movies made each year but 3 Idiots is probably one of the most popular of them all. It’s a story of three engineering students and the lessons they learned in life as they study, love and get into trouble. If you’re looking to be inspired to pursue your lifelong dreams, this movie will definitely give you the right motivation. Oh and bring a bucket because it’s also a sob fest!
China’s The Flowers of War
War films are often action-packed and full of thrilling scenes but this one is different because it will make you cry and think about the movie for days. It’s a historical war drama film starring Christian Bale who disguises himself as a priest in order to put the women to safety during the infamous Rape of Nanking that took place when Japan invaded China. This movie broke my heart and the fact that the events that have been portrayed in this film are nothing compared to the actual experience of the Chinese in the hands of Japanese soldiers is even more heart-wrenching. Though this movie got a lot of bad reviews for allegedly being ‘historically incorrect’, I say it’s the impact that counts.
The Philippines’ Magnifico
The story of Magnifico is truly an unforgettable one. This is one of the very few Filipino movies that made my cry so hard I even feel sad every time I remember it. Magnifico is a boy from a poor family whose kind heart and innocence helped his community and his family to be better in life. Jiro Manio’s unparalleled acting skills as Magnifico will definitely drive you to tears as he worked alongside veteran actors. This movie won several awards outside the country because of its sentimental and inspirational content. There are a very few Filipino movies with this much heart and I hope someday we’ll see another Magnifico on the big screen.