Wednesday, May 22Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

The Top 5 Greatest and Most Disappointing Films of 2014

The film industry had its fair share of tragedies and scandals in 2014. The losses of talents such as Robin Williams, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Harold Ramis in devastatingly quick succession, while the recent Sony Pictures hacking and the following cancellation of The Interview’s release has set a troubling precedent. On the brighter side though, the sheer number of quality releases was staggering. With that said, my top five films of the year!

5. Locke (Steven Knight)
One incredibly hard film to recommend, Locke is simply 85 minutes of Tom Hardy talking to people on his phone in a car. It might sound boring but it quickly becomes clear how engrossing this character’s struggle is, combined with Hardy’s best acting to date.

4. The Raid 2 (Gareth Evans)
The most precise and dynamic martial arts film ever made, with a pretty decent story to boot!

3. Gone Girl (David Fincher)
Where is Amazing Amy? David Fincher’s adaptation is his best in years, a tense, perverse and pulpy mystery which is sure to give Rosamund Pike a burst to the A-List.

2. Calvary (John Michael McDonagh)
Probably the most emotional of the five films, Calvary depicts an Irish priest’s conflict of knowing he has two days to live before he’ll be killed and survive in a town where everyone looks down on him. It may seem a bit standard, but the film oozes melancholy and makes it believable to see a decent catholic priest again.

1. Guardians of the Galaxy (James Gunn)
Sure, Guardians of the Galaxy pretty objectively isn’t the best film of 2014. However it’s soon became one of my favourite films ever, so objectivity kind of goes out the window. The film has gloriously brought back the space opera genre (right in time for Star Wars) with great action, lovable and unique characters as well as some of the most hysterical comedy of the year.

As established, the best of 2014 were pretty spectacular, yet the disappointments could still be horrific. Too many films were excessively built up only to majorly fail to meet expectations. Here are five of those most significant disappointments.

5. Divergent (Neil Burger)
Initially most critics saw Divergent as a rip-off of The Hunger Games. Except it turned out even worse; a boring, predictable film with a premise too pandering and nonsensical.

4. The Two Faces of January (Hossein Amini)
Following Inside Llewyn Davies it was easy to see a big future for star Oscar Isaac, yet he’s continued his career with films like these. Boring, slow and lifelessly directed, the talent involved deserves much greater.

3. Robocop (José Padilha)
A remake about a robotic cop and it’s humourless and devoid of any sense of fun? Almost unbelievable.

2. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Marc Webb)
There was a brief amount of time when Spider-Man movies were pretty decent. This was before they became too concerned with grittiness and bluntly setting up sequels. The trailers for the latest one showed a newfound sense of excitement, but instead it was the most bloated and creatively lifeless instalment yet.

1. The Inbetweeners 2 (Damon Beesley, Iain Morris)
Likely the most disagreeable entry on this list, any sympathy for the characters seems to have left the writers, replaced with heightened repetitiveness and gags seen from a mile away.