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By 4 December 2014 | Categories: news

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With only December standing in the way of 2015, movie fundi Spling rounds-up the best releases of 2014. 

Boyhood

Richard Linklater’s Boyhood is a true original masterpiece and something never before witnessed at the cinema. Filmed over 13 years, the film functions as a docudrama time capsule, tracking the life journey of a character and actor.

Linklater’s intuition and the cast’s performances are enhanced by the progressive aging of the actors and the natural environment they find themselves in. We bear witness to a “home video” adaptation that resonates so strongly that we hardly noticed the 3-hour run time. Boyhood cements Linklater as a visionary director and Ellar Coltrane as a (former) child star.

It’s so good you’ll… feel like you know these people when the credits roll.

The Lego Movie

“Everything is AWESOME.” The brainwashing refrain from The Lego Movie theme song will stay with you for hours if not days. Undoubtedly, one of 2014’s biggest surprises, we watched as what could have been a feature length toy commercial was transformed into an incredibly funny and imaginative piece of pop culture art for all ages.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs writer-directors, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller made the blend of laugh-a-minute inside jokes, a stellar comic cast and curious “stop-motion” animation seem effortless. How can you resist an entertaining, hilarious animated adventure comedy that combines The Matrix, Back to the Future and Wreck-It Ralph?

It’s so good you’ll… consider becoming a parent just to play with Lego again.

Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow met and exceeded our expectations. This futuristic military thriller stars Tom Cruise and dials into a Source Code predicament as Major William Cage becomes locked in a cycle, appearing at a futuristic army base and dying on a battlefield again and again.

Edge of Tomorrow is fresh, funny and wildly entertaining, despite being “recycled” from a Japanese light novel, All You Need Is Kill. Tom Cruise is in fighting form, Emily Blunt kicks ass and director Doug Liman has balanced the dopamine-inducing insurgent action and “Live, Die, Repeat.” dark comedy to create a fast-paced, intelligent and thought-provoking sci-fi thriller.

It’s so good you’ll… forgive Tom Cruise for his real-life eccentricities.

Guardians of the Galaxy

James Gunn blew our minds with Guardians of the Galaxy, a superhero sci-fi comedy that captured the imagination, lived up to the “Space Avengers” hype and released its very own mix tape. While it starts off slow, Guardians of the Galaxy’s biggest asset is its tone, delivering a mix of nostalgia and laugh-out-loud comedy with plenty of fun and wink-wink action.

Just like the mischievous Starlord, it never takes itself too seriously and gives the audience permission to be entertained by the A-Team style camaraderie and The Fifth Element action-comedy, all wrapped-up in an epic Star Wars sized adventure.

It’s so good you’ll… forget about The Avengers, at least until Age of Ultron.

X-Men: Days of Future Past


X-Men: Days of Future Past is a well-balanced, smart and imaginative sequel that builds on the franchise’s already solid foundations. Bryan Singer returns to harness a stellar cast, refreshes our views on the most fascinating X­-Men and transplants us in an unplugged time in history.

The character-driven time warp features solid performances from a phenomenally cool cast, dazzling special effects, quick pacing and taut direction on the back of an entertaining thrill ride. The real superpower is Singer’s direction, managing to bridge the old and the new in a fresh, rich, layered, varied, epic and compelling time travel sequel.

It’s so good you’ll… try and figure out how to sequence an X-Men marathon.

Close but no Doughnut!

Captain America: The Winter Solider, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Belle, Locke, Hard to Get, Wish I Was Here and Calvary.

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