10. The Evil Dead
Took the silliness out of the franchise and returned it to its roots of just nasty, disgusting horror and while I didn’t quite love it, it was good and Jane Levy puts in an absolutely amazing performance!
9. The Lone Ranger
Haters gonna hate I guess, but this movie is exactly what you expect, a bombastic action flick in the vein of the Pirates of the Caribbean films only set in the Old West and I had a blast with it! Really liked Armie Hammer as The Lone Ranger too, thought he was really underrated as far as being a leading man this year.
8. This Is the End
Disappointing year for comedy, so it was good that this movie lived up to the other movies these guys have made, just so many good jokes. Franco should do more comedy, most of his best roles are comedic.
7. Pacific Rim
This is a movie that grew on me, I went from not being interested, to taking my little sister to see it, to buying it on PSN and now I just love it. Here’s a tip everyone, the performances are supposed to be hammy, it’s supposed to be evoking the Hollywood World War II films. Anyway, I’ll watch anything with Charlie Hunnam, no matter how many times his accent slips up haha, he’s such a fun actor and getting better all the time. Wish more of Hollywood had this much originality and fun!
6. Fast & Furious 6
Real shame about Paul Walker, such a fun actor (if you haven’t seen Running Scared or Joy Ride, do so now!) and while he’s a side character here, I just love this franchise. Just fun (real for the most part) stunts with cars! This series, starting with Fast Five, is my favorite action series out there easily, everyone just looks like they’re having such a great time making them and I always have a great time watching them!
5. The Wolverine
Kind of a disappointing year for super hero movies; Man of Steel, Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World were all decent, good if unsurprising movies, this is the one that surprised me. It’s almost a character drama with a great performance by Hugh Jackman!
4. The Conjuring
It’s rare, but I love when a horror movie comes out that is not only a good, for a horror movie, like The Evil Dead, but when the movie is actually just a good movie in its own right. James Wan is quickly becoming one of my favorite directors, he was almost there with Insidious, but absolutely knocked The Conjuring out of the park. So many chills while watching it and like all good horror movies, it’s one where you want to leave the lights on after you’re done watching it. The Conjuring is one of the better spine tingling kind of movies out there and in time will be up there with the horror classics.
3. Star Trek Into Darkness
For a long, long time this year, this was my favorite movie of the year. I’m an old school Trek fan, so by rights I should hate these movies, but I don’t. I unabashedly love them. They’re exactly what Trek needs right now to energize the franchise, a franchise that was deader than dead. Love that they were able to surprise me, despite being on similar ground. Such a fun flick!
2. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
If I wasn’t in such a Tolkien kind of mood right now, this could be second or third on this list, but like the first, I just loved being back in Middle-Earth. As an adaptation of The Hobbit book, it misses the mark, I think the first one handled the adaptation better. This one feels far closer to the tone of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but as a piece of cinema, it’s great and they nailed Smaug! Easily my favorite CGI creation since Gollum in the LotR trilogy. I loved the addition of Tauriel, a much needed female presence in these films and Evangeline Lilly did a good job and I’m on the side that liked the Tauriel and Kili romance, thought it worked pretty well. Anyway, I’ve said since before these Hobbit films started to come out that I could watch four hour Peter Jackson Tolkien films where nothing happens except Gandalf drinking tea and I continue to hold to that, luckily PJ is delivering some really fun films, with great set pieces like the barrel sequence and meeting Smaug, cannot wait for the conclusion next year!
1. Upstream Color
So Shane Carruth has made two movies and both of them are really, really good. I like Upstream Color more than Primer, because Primer’s coldness and the low budget feel were a smidgen off putting to me, but both of those problems were solved here. Right before I saw this, I was yearning for a David Lynch, “what is going on here” kind of film and along came Shane Carruth and Upstream Color. I can’t really say much, because I don’t want to give away my thoughts about what the movie is about and spoil it for any one, but I was not more captivated by a piece of cinema this year than this movie, it’s absolutely a work of art!