Nerdophiles Picks: Favorite Movies of 2014

Sometimes we enjoy movies because they make us think and feel and cry, and then sometimes we enjoy them because we can’t imagine a life before the phrase “I am Groot”. 2014 was another great year for movies, not only on the comic book front, but it once again brought us films that transported us from the seat in the movie theater into an entirely new world, from futuristic galaxies to a kaleidoscopic past. Here are our picks for our favorite movies of 2014.

GOTG-posterGuardians of the Galaxy

What might have easily become Marvel’s dark horse became the most welcome, and fun surprise when Guardians of the Galaxy came to theaters summer 2014. It’s hard to imagine a sarcastic raccoon and his gruff-but-innocent living tree earning global commercial success and yet we can hardly imagine our lives without Rocket and Groot. Launching off Marvel’s cosmic universe on screen was always going to be a delicate task, but James Gunn threw us back to the 80’s with just the right amount of flair that had this movie on everyone’s favorites this year. — Picked by Everyone


The Theory of Everything

It’s hard to do a biopic correctly. One that not only captures the hills of a person’s life but also his valleys. The Theory of Everything brings the theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking’s life to the big screen with an outstanding performance by Eddie Redmayne playing Hawking and Felicity Jones playing Jane Wilde, his first love and ex-wife. While it plays more along the lines of a romantic drama than full scientific biopic, this film will no doubt be tugging at your emotions and bringing forth more than a few tears. A film that received praise from Stephen Hawking himself is not something that should be missed. — Picked by Therese

lego_movieThe Lego Movie

I didn’t see a whole lot of movies this year, but I don’t think there was one as disarmingly charming as The Lego Movie. Focused on a worker named Emmett (Chris Pratt) in a world completely made of Legos as he goes on his own hero’s journey, The Lego Movie is probably one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen and it never reverted to a double entendre once. Not to mention the animation constantly made my jaw drop and the voice acting was freaking fantastic. Seriously, I think Will Arnett might be my new Batman. So much about this movie should not have worked, but the genius of Phil Lord and Chris Miller brought a movie with the logic of an eight year old together so beautifully. Or should I say… Awesomely! — Picked by Ashley & Rebecca


Obvious Child

The debut from writer/director Gillian Robespierre is one of the best comedies of 2014. While it has been called the “abortion comedy,” Obvious Child is much more nuanced. The film is not about politics, but about a young adult figuring out what’s right for her in all aspects of her life. Jenny Slate (Saturday Night Live, Married) gives an incredibly funny and natural performance that anchors the film. In the character of Donna, Slate channels a feeling of aimless uncertainty relatable to anyone that’s ever been in their 20’s and finds comedic truth in feeling lost. Even the supporting performances, from one-night-stand Jake Lacy to stern mother Polly Draper, are all played with charm and compassion. Comedian Gabe Liedman is a particular standout and provides some of the film’s sharpest lines. Obvious Child has a lot going for it and was the most enjoyable surprise this year. — Picked by Song


captain-america-the-winter-soldier-international-captain-america-the-winter-soldier-detailed-reviewCaptain America: The Winter Soldier

I love Captain America in general and anyone who knows me knows that Captain America: The Winter Soldier was probably my absolute most anticipated release of the year. It did not disappoint. Taking it’s cue from the old spy thrillers of the 70s and 80s, the Winter Soldier changed everything. A solid film on it’s own and perhaps one of the greatest of all that the Marvel cinematic universe had to offer to date, what really makes this film amazing is how it’s going to effect everything going forward. That’s the beauty of the MCU. #itsallconnected as they like to remind us frequently. The relationships in this film and the characters introduced and re-introduced further the development of the film series without sacrificing any of the film’s own storytelling potential. It’s a great time to live in for comic book fans, folks. Marvel has made sure of that. — Picked by Sam



Films like Interstellar don’t come around very often. It’s a very powerful film filled with messages about hope, family, humanity, and perseverance. The fact that it’s science fiction just makes it all the better as far as I am concerned. We’re in a golden age of science fiction right now and it’s easy to get caught up in the Marvel films, the revival of Star Wars and Star Trek, and all the other big franchises out there. Interstellar, on the other hand, is a wholly original story that takes you on a journey through time, space, and the limits of human understanding. Another big plus? The cinematography makes it all feel so real; you feel like you’re there. If there was any movie that was made to be seen in IMAX it was this one (and probably Gravity). Plus it doesn’t hurt that there are some quirky robot sidekicks on hand, too. — Picked by Sam


MPW-90199The Grand Budapest Hotel

Wes Anderson’s latest productions had all the typical fixings of his movies: an ensemble cast, pastel settings, verbose screenplay, a driving plot, and that flair of humor he’s known so well for. It’s true that his movies tend to want for a more artistic eye, but I find his films, despite their vibrant technicolor world, to be relatable on a personal level. After all, The Grant Budapest Hotel plays to the nostalgia of a different time, and within that, the nostalgia of a different world. As M. Gustave would say, “You see, there are still faint glimmers of civilization left in this barbaric slaughterhouse that was once known as humanity.” Anderson shows us a world that is untainted by our modernity, as a retrospective taste of the humanity and, indeed, barbarity of humanity. — Picked by Therese