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1:00 PM on 01.22.2015

Matt's Top 15 Movies of 2014

As a person who gets to attend press screenings for almost every major and minor release out there I get to see way too many movies. You're thinking that sounds awesome, but it can be a horrible burden. Do you know how many b...

Matthew Razak


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Megan's Top 15 Movies of 2014 photo
Megan's Top 15 Movies of 2014
by Megan Porch

2014 was a pretty great year for movies, so coming up with a year end list was pretty tough for me. Originally I thought I'd just do top 5, and then top 10... but no. It had to be top 15 because I saw so many awesome films last year, and it just wouldn't be fair to ignore the movies in the 11 through 15 slots. 

So let's get the ball rolling...

 

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Alec's Top 15 Movies of 2014 photo
Alec's Top 15 Movies of 2014
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

While I was binge-watching films at the end of last year and the beginning of this one to figure out where everything would stand on my official TOP MOVIES OF 2014 list, I noticed something odd: So many of the films I saw in 2014 reminded me of films I saw in 2013. Sometimes that was because they were by the same directors or shot by the same cinematographers. Sometimes it was just because they affected me in similar ways or dealt with similar themes. But when it came time to sit down and do this, I thought, "Hey... why not look at the best films of 2014 as it compares to 2013?" And so I did that, with each film on this list corresponding to a film on last year's list.

As such, the numbering of this list doesn't quite reflect my feelings (my favorite film of the year is only number 2 on this list), and several of my favorites were knocked off my slightly less deserving films, but I did it to make a point. And it's not like these lists really matter anyway.

So without further ado, we proudly present the "Best Films of 2013: 2014 Edition."

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Nick's Top 15 Movies of 2014 photo
Nick's Top 15 Movies of 2014
by Nick Valdez

It was the best of films, it was the blurst of films. Hey everyone I'm Nick Valdez, News Editor here for Flixist and you've probably seen my name on a good chunk of the stuff written here. If not, then I'll tell you a bit about myself. I like movies, songs about butts, and pink frosted donuts. I'm going to get a tattoo of a mix of all three of those things someday. 

Oh but you're here for this list. I've reviewed 51 films this year, and that's way more than I've ever done for the site before. That also means I've been way more involved in 2014 films than in past years so this list has been particularly tough. So, I guess let's get to it then. 

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2014's Best Dog in Film photo
2014's Best Dog in Film
by Nick Valdez

As good as the films of 2014 were, you know what was even better? The animals. There were lots of standout roles for animals this year, both real and imaginary. In almost every film I watched, there was some cute dog or cat hanging around just because. 

So I figured why not honor the best one? It was pretty tough, but I decided to choose an animal based on what it means for the film as a whole. So even with all of the dogs and cats of varying importance, only one puppy stood out and actively set the plot of its film in motion. 

Honorable Mentions: That running dog in Godzilla, Digby and the "crazy cute" dog from The Interview, that one cat from The Hunger Games - Mockingjay Part 1, the turtle from Laggies, that one cat from Gone Girl, that one cat from The Grand Budapest Hotel, the horse in the Red Sea from Exodus: Gods and Kings, Rocket Raccoon from Guardians of the Galaxy, Koba/Caesar from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

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Nick's Top 10 Movie Music Moments of 2014 photo
Nick's Top 10 Movie Music Moments of 2014
by Nick Valdez

Music plays an integral role in film. Easily ignored, easily forgotten, a film's soundtrack is the little celebrated framework of cinema. But when sound and sight marry into a great scene, you get some of the best moments. Like in 2013, 2014 had a wide array of music. From 70s rock, to dance pop, to Euro trance, jazz, quirky originals, and even a few oddballs. 

To earn a spot on this list a film's got to have a scene that uses its soundtrack so well, I remember it weeks or even months after I've seen it. So let's get to it then, yeah. 

Here are my picks for The Top 10 Movie Music Moments of 2014.

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Nick's Top 5 Sequels of 2014 photo
Nick's Top 5 Sequels of 2014
by Nick Valdez

We've seen more sequels released the last few years than we have in a long time. While 2015 seems to continue that trend, last year showed that we shouldn't automatically write off a film just because it's a sequel. I've seen so many good sequels last year that it was finally time to designate an entire list to them. Sure I could write about 2014's best actors or scenes, but I think it's important to celebrate a sequel that gets it right. 

Since we're going to get so many more from here on out, let's hope that future sequels will be as good as the five presented here. 

Without further ado, here are my picks for The Top 5 Sequels of 2014. 

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Nick's Top 5 Animated Movies of 2014 photo
Nick's Top 5 Animated Movies of 2014
by Nick Valdez

2014 was a pretty good year for animated films. But unlike the year before, which featured a huge Disney film with headlining women and lots of family friendly features, 2014 was a complete boy's club. While there were a few small steps here and there (women in these films were characterized a bit better and given more autonomy), it's nothing revolutionary. But despite the testosterone, animated films were pretty great last year (but I do hope for more varied voices in 2015). 

2014 treated animation with the respect it deserves. Cartoons aren't just for throwaway comedies (although some did try to squeeze through), and the five films here were the best examples of studios allowing animated films to explore different kinds of narrative opportunities. While the list won't feature some of the smaller releases (because they haven't released near me) like Song of the Sea and When Marnie Was There, I'm pretty confident that this list is set in my mind. 

Here are my choices for the Top Five Animated Films of 2014. 

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FlixList: The Ten Best Trailers of 2014 photo
FlixList: The Ten Best Trailers of 2014
by Nick Valdez

Around this time last year, I wrote a list of the Best and Worst Trailers of 2013. While there won't be a "worst" list this year, that just means the trailers of 2014 have been all around much better than before. As studios fight over your hard earned movie money, they've been far more creative and unique with their campaigns. From viral videos, to teasers with confidence in the material, having my job of sifting through tons and tons of trailers every day has never been better. 

That also means I've cherry picked the best and brightest for you all. Some trailers are films releasing next year, some have already come and gone, and one is stuck in limbo. These are the ten trailers that'll make you want to show up early to your screening to see them on the big screen. 

Here are the ten best trailers of 2014. 

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Why what The Interview says about North Korea actually matters (an analysis) photo
Why what The Interview says about North Korea actually matters (an analysis)
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

I saw The Interview because I was curious. Amidst the complete ridiculousness of the past few weeks, thoughts and feelings have been flying around about the film. Outside of the few who had attended pre-chaos press screenings, no one was really qualified to speak to the film's quality. I frequently disagree with the press at large, but I still wasn't expecting particularly good things. That was the impetus behind my thinkpiece from last week, because let's be honest: A Seth Rogen comedy shouldn't be the film to set off a public debate. It should be some deeply serious documentary set in North Korea's concentration camps that make people incapable of looking away from it. I mean... right?

Well... not necessarily. Having now seen (and enjoyed) The Interview, I realized that this is about as close as we're going to get to a public discussion about the horrors of North Korean life. So let's take advantage of that and see what it's got to say. 

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The Ten Best Christmas Movies on Netflix Instant (2014 Edition) photo
The Ten Best Christmas Movies on Netflix Instant (2014 Edition)
by Nick Valdez

In December of 2013, I wrote about a Christmas movie a day for twenty five days. It was both the best and worst project I had ever attempted. I tested the limit of how many words I could actually come up with for each one. I barely scraped by in the end, but it was tons of fun. I would've never made it had it not been for Netflix Instant's library. 

As Flixist's resident expert in Besteverology, I think a list celebrating Netflix Instant's offerings for the holiday season is in order. Couple of rules: The films have to be available on Netflix Instant as of the time of writing (otherwise this list would've been Jingle All the Way ten times), and they have to involve Christmas in some way. 

With all of that said, wear your warmest onesie, brew your finest hot chocolate, listen to Jingle Bell Rock again, and read this list of The Ten Best Christmas Movies on Netflix Instant. 

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Why did it have to be The Interview? photo
Why did it have to be The Interview?
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

The Interview is the most important film of 2014. 

Does that sentence depress anyone else? It really should, because it's undoubtedly true. The film that will have the greatest impact on the world at large is not Boyhood or Selma or even The Raid 2; it's the newest comedy from Seth Rogen and James Franco.

To be clear, I loved This Is The End, and though I'm not a huge fan of Seth Rogen's laugh I think he's a talented writer/actor. And I like James Franco too. I have no problem with either of them. But I wouldn't follow either of them to the ends of the earth. I don't like their work so much that I would be willing to put myself in any sort of danger to support their work.

So why did it have to be The Interview that was asking me to do exactly that?

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What Is Your Pleasure? Vivisecting the Hellraiser series pt. 1 photo
What Is Your Pleasure? Vivisecting the Hellraiser series pt. 1
by Sean Walsh

What happens when two Flixist writers who have seen only bits and pieces (or none at all) of a franchise have nothing better to do? Obviously, they team up to watch the entire franchise and write articles about it! And that's exactly what Megan and I have done with the Hellraiser series.

I have fond memories of Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth from a VHS that I recorded the Sci-Fi Channel cut of the film onto and vague recollections of first, second, and fourth movies. Megan, on the other hand, has not seen any of the films.

With that being said, we do hope you'll join us on this decent into Hell. To spare you the madness we're subjecting ourselves to, we've split this nine-film franchise into three parts.

Also, we've rated the movies out of five adorable Kawaii Cenobites. Enjoy!

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Flixgiving: Five Movies Megan is Thankful for photo
Flixgiving: Five Movies Megan is Thankful for
by Megan Porch

Ah yes, Thanksgiving. Normally, during this holiday I'm at my parents' house and I get to eat all sorts of delicious things my mom makes (although I hated all of it when I was little and kept insisting when I was grown up I'd just order pizza). Now, I don't even like pizza and instead of eating turkey on Thursday, I'll be working.

Luckily, thanks to my dual monitor set up, I can watch movies while I'm working. I've always loved going to the theater with my friends and my family. Movies are a huge part of my life, and some of them really have shaped who I am. So for Flixgiving, I thought I'd share five movies that helped make me who I am, and inspire me creatively.

It's insanely hard to narrow it down to just five movies, but here goes...

[Happy Flixgiving, everyone! We'll be posting these leading up to the actual Thanksgiving. Click here to see all of the films our writers are thankful for.]

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Flixgiving: Five Movies Sean Is Thankful For photo
Flixgiving: Five Movies Sean Is Thankful For
by Sean Walsh

Who doesn't love Turkey Day? A day of food, family, and gratitude for all you have. It's great. Unless, of course, your family is going away and you don't have any personal days from work to go with them!

That being said, I'm still thankful that the day itself is a paid day off. I'll get myself some ground turkey and whip up a depressing single man's Cheeseburger Helper, strip down to my underoos, and eat my feast-for-one in the dark.

"But, Sean," you say, "that sounds mightily depressing!" Sure it does, but fortunately I have a pretty delicious Thanksgiving movie queue set up to stave off the crushing loneliness. What movies could possibly beat back the soul-crushing pain of being alone for the holidays? Join me and I'll tell you allllllll about it...

[Happy Flixgiving, everyone! We'll be posting these leading up to the actual Thanksgiving. Click here to see all of the films that our writers are thankful for. What are you thankful for?]

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Flixgiving: Matt is thankful for The Babadook photo
Flixgiving: Matt is thankful for The Babadook
by Matthew Razak

I can count the number of truly scary horror films I've seen this year on one finger. That's not to say there haven't been other good horror movies, but for a horror buff like myself it takes something special to actually make me scared. Like worried to walk upstairs in a dark house scared. Most people wouldn't be thankful to have nightmares, but the last time a horror movie gave me one was when I was a kid. That is until I watched The Babadook (review coming).

But there are great horror movies coming out every year and while I'm thankful for them I'm not writing entire blogs dedicated to my thanks for them. There's an extra layer of thanks for The Badadook that I'd have towards it even if I hadn't seen it and that's because it's a horror film directed by a woman (Jennifer Kent), which, in case you hadn't noticed, isn't something that comes along very often.

[Happy Flixgiving, everyone! We'll be posting these leading up to the actual Thanksgiving. Click here to see all of the films our writers are thankful for.]

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Flixgiving: Five Movies Alec Is Thankful For photo
Flixgiving: Five Movies Alec Is Thankful For
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

Seeing so many movies means that sometimes it's hard to really appreciate any individual film. Just because I loved Movie X doesn't mean I'll be thinking about it three months later when I've seen Movies Y, Z, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta, all of which I also loved. There are some that stick with me long after the credits roll, films I still think about years later despite everything that's come between, but they aren't even necessarily the films I want to remember. There are also the films I'm glad I remember, because they made me think or feel in some new or interesting way. Or maybe they were just ludicrously entertaining.

But there's another category: Films I'm actually thankful for having seen. It's not just that I liked or loved them (most of these wouldn't show up on a list of my favorite films), but they stick out as life milestones or, in several cases, movies that have helped me in some measurable way.

All but one of these were seen as part of my duties at Flixist. And in that sense, I have my position here to thank.  So: Thank you Flixist, for everything you've done for me.

And thanks to these five movies, listed in order of when I saw them.

[Happy Flixgiving, everyone! We'll be posting these leading up to the actual Thanksgiving. Click here to see all of the films that our writers are thankful for. What are you thankful for?]

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Flixgiving: Five Movies Nick is Thankful For photo
Flixgiving: Five Movies Nick is Thankful For
by Nick Valdez

This time of year always has me thinking about how great life is. Sure it's not the best, but to breathe, eat, love, and squat every day is truly an invisible blessing. I also start thinking about how great movies are, and I'm thankful for just having them around. Even if a film comes out worse than you'd hope, it's still a marvel that it came to fruition. 

To celebrate the coming holiday, we here at Flixist decided to let you in on what we're thankful for. Each of the films we'll discuss over the next week have touched us in some way and we're glad they exist. 

Now in my case these aren't the best films (and will definitely call my overall taste into question), but they're some of my favorites. These are films I've watched over, and over again because I couldn't imagine a life without them. 

[Happy Flixgiving, everyone! We'll be posting these leading up to the actual Thanksgiving. Click here to see all of the films that our writers are thankful for.]

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Some Like It Hot: Anne Hathaway photo
Some Like It Hot: Anne Hathaway
by Sean Walsh

[Some Like It Hot shines a light on the men and women of film who have captured our hearts, and oftentimes, our libidos. It celebrates the cinematic sirens and strongmen of the silver screen that give us the vapors, tug on our heartstrings, and leave us hungry for more. Also, they're really effing hot. Note: This is a repost of an article originally posted on July 18th, 2012.]

The Dark Knight Rises is out this week. You may have heard of it. It's got Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy...talk about your beefcake bonanza, right? Well, there are a few ladies present to break up the sausage party, least of which being Anne Hathaway.

She'll be playing Selina Kyle (jury's out on whether or not she'll be referred to as Catwoman), the sexy, sultry cat-thief that worms her way into Bruce Wayne's heart. But we're not here to talk about Catwoman. We're here to talk about Ms. Hathaway and how fine she is. Because if we can all agree on one thing, it's that she is fine.

Please, do join me as I bring you up to speed on what makes Anne Hathaway the hottest actress to done the black leather suit to date.  

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Snaxist: Krispy Kreme's Ghostbusters Donuts photo
Snaxist: Krispy Kreme's Ghostbusters Donuts
by Nick Valdez

To celebrate Ghostbusters' 30th Anniversary, Krispy Kreme teamed up with the film and produced two specialty donuts: The Ghostbusters Donut and Stay Puft Marshmallow. Reading the press release for the two made them sound like they were made out of marshmallows and dreams. Instead, they were made out of something closer to whatever Slimer is.  

I should probably explain a few things first. As a man who love donuts (not "doughnuts" you monsters) so much he wants to get a chain of them tattooed around his arm, I do not like Krispy Kreme's brand of battered sugar. It's almost as if they forget donuts are supposed to be made out of something other than glazed air. But as with all Snaixists, I went into this with an open mind and open stomach. Read on for my impressions of these "fine delicacies." 

[Snaxist is all about the movie endorsed food. We'll stuff our faces, destroy our bodies, point out why or why not eating endorsed foods is a good idea, and write about it all for your entertainment!] 

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FlixList: The Ten Best Horror Films on Netflix Instant (2014 Edition) photo
FlixList: The Ten Best Horror Films on Netflix Instant (2014 Edition)
by Nick Valdez

The tradition of watching scary movies during the Halloween season is now easier to keep up with than ever thanks to Netflix Instant. But with all the content available on the service, how do you know which ones are truly worth your precious couch time? Thankfully I, Flixist's resident expert on Besteverology, Nick Valdez, have used my lack of Halloween plans to gather a list of the ten best horror films on the service. 

Couple of rules: There's no real order to these films as they're all pretty scary in their own way, only one film per franchise, and they had to be available on Netflix Instant as of the time of writing. So sadly no American Psycho as it's leaving the service pretty soon. 

With all of that said, cuddle up with your candy corn cocktail, Jack O' Lantern filled with gummy bears, and sexy Charlie Brown costume and read this list of the Ten Best Horror Films on Netflix Right Now. 

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Flixist's Fall/Winter movie preview that's better than all of everything photo
Flixist's Fall/Winter movie preview that's better than all of everything
by Flixist Staff

Oh, Fall. How quickly you come, and with you you bring movies that we need to start caring about again. As we close out October we finally start to see the Oscar hopefuls begin to trickle in (not to mention horror classics) and we know that we are once again leaving the movie doldrums. 

But with so much coming how will you know what you really need to see? Trust the editors at Flixist to give you a going guide at what we're really excited for. This isn't the most complete (no Hobbits!) list of films coming out, but damn if we don't want to see these so badly we actually sat down and wrote words about them. OK, we do that all the time about movies, but trust us, these films below are going to be awesome. 

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