Best Movies of 2014... So Far
|Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson star|
in Captain America: The Winter Soldier
If you want more "double trouble," how about two for the price of one? Yes, 2014 could also be dubbed the year of the doppelgänger. Jake Gyllenhaal was two times the man in Enemy. Jesse Eisenberg multiplied in The Double.
The horror film Oculus had its two young stars confront their apparitions. Disney had two of Kermit the Frog in Muppets Most Wanted, and thanks to the wonders of time travel, we also got two of both titular characters in Mr. Peabody & Sherman, as well as in X-Men: Days of Future Past where Hugh Jackman had to play his past and future self.
Less you think that this doppelgänger thing is just a coincidence, which it most likely is, there was also this past year, a strange re-occurrence of doppelgängers on TV shows. Orphan Black, Almost Human, Vampire Diaries and Continuum all had doppelgänger story lines. Even non-science-fiction shows like General Hopital with its iconic Luke Spencer and Castle with its two minority characters Esposito and Lanie had doppelgängers.
However, if 2014 can be called the year of the doppelgänger, it could also be called the year of religious movies. Rick Santorum's EchoLight Studios and Glenn Beck's TheBlaze have decided to do more religious or faith-based films, geared toward Christian values and putting more of God in movies.
With not much help from them, 2014 has already delivered on that, at least the part about putting more God in movies. First, there were films that wore their Christianity on their sleeves. Son of God was re-purposed from the hit TV series The Bible. Darren Aronofsky's Noah was the auteur's vision of the classic story from the Book of Genesis.
Transcendence, starring Johnny Depp, was released on Easter weekend and some people interpreted that film as basically being a sci-fi allegory of the Jesus Christ story. Winter's Tale, starring Colin Farrell and Russell Crowe who played the title role in Noah, was an example of using Christian mythology to tell fantastical stories. Devil's Due and Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones are two other examples.
God's Not Dead, starring Kevin Sorbo, and Heaven Is For Real, starring Greg Kinnear, were films that saw Christianity not as a myth but as a truth to be proselytized. In addition to the film I've named thus far, there have been a lot of other movies to reference the Bible, often times in a cynical way. There was the Israeli film Bethlehem. There were the smaller made God's Pocket and Horses of God. There was even the blockbuster Godzilla.
As is becoming the tradition, I have to give recognition to Kevin Hart, Kevin Costner, Liam Neeson, Kelsey Grammar and James Franco for being the guys who appeared in the most amount of movies so far this year. Hart had Ride Along, About Last Night and Think Like a Man Too. Costner also had three films, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, 3 Days to Kill and Draft Day. Neeson was in Non-Stop, The Lego Movie, A Million Ways to Die in the West and Third Person. Grammar has four films, Think Like a Man Too, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Transformers: Age of Extinction and The Expendables 3. However, Franco has them all beat, having appeared in five films so far. He was in Interior. Leather Bar., Veronica Mars, Maladies, Palo Alto and Third Person.
Finally, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is currently the # 1 movie domestically having grossed $257 million dollars as of June 29, according to Box Office Mojo. It's grossed $711 million worldwide. It's only slightly behind X-Men: Days of Future Past, which has earned $715 million worldwide as of June 29. Of those two most successful films, only one made my list of Best Movies of 2014... So Far. Check it out.
Best Movies Released Theatrically
STRANGER BY THE LAKE by Alain Guiraudie
12 O'CLOCK BOYS by Lotfy Nathan
GLORIA by Sebastián Lelio
WHERE WE STARTED by Christopher J. Hansen
CESAR CHAVEZ by Diego Luna
MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN by Rob Minkoff
BETHLEHEM by Yuval Adler
THE IMMIGRANT by James Gray
ALAN PARTRIDGE: ALPHA PAPA by Declan Lowney
LIFE ITSELF by Steve James
G.B.F. by Darren Stein
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER by Anthony Russo & Joe Russo
OCULUS by Mike Flanagan
Best Movies Released on DVD or VOD
BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR by Abdellatif Kechiche
ALIEN BOY: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF JAMES CHASSE by Brian Lindstrom
THE INEVITABLE DEFEAT OF MISTER AND PETE by George Tillman, Jr.
THINGS NEVER SAID by Charles Murray
NEBRASKA by Alexander Payne
LOVE, CONCORD (2013) by Gustavo Guardado
HOURS by Eric Heisserer
LET THE FIRE BURN by Jason Osder
GEOGRAPHY CLUB by Gary Entin
THE TRIALS OF MUHAMMAD ALI by Bill Siegel
MONSTER PIES (2013) by Lee Galea
BAYOU BLUE by Alix Lambert & David McMahon
METH HEAD by Jane Clark