1. Need For Speed - What a stupid fucking movie. Excuse me, I mean a stupid fucking LONG movie. It lasts for FOREVER. I'm not sure why Aaron Paul would choose this garbage as his follow up from his multi-award winning performance in Breaking Bad. He had to have thousands of screenplays thrown his way. Why choose one of the dumbest films of the year? There is nothing redeemable about it. I thought I didn't like Imogen Poots in another terrible film this year, That Awkward Moment, but now I know that I definitely don't like her. She is supremely annoying in this movie. The movie is hollow, generic and, worst of all, boring. I actually like dumb action movies (like The Fast and the Furious franchise), but this is just too dumb and the action just wasn't interesting enough. Nothing that hasn't been done before. This will definitely be on my "worst of 2014" list.
2. Dom Hemingway - Super disappointed by this movie. It's still good, but I just think my expectations were too high. I love Jude Law; I think he's one of the best actors working right now. He is excellent in some of my favorite movies (The Talented Mr. Ripley, eXistenZ, I Heart Huckabees, Gattaca). However, recently he's made some poor choices in movies (minus Side Effects, which he is fantastic in). This movie is perfect for him to showcase his talent; and he does. That's really all the movie has going for it, though. Just a really strong central performance. Otherwise, the movie is a little full of itself. It's not nearly as outrageous as it pretends to be - it's actually pretty dull. It's also disturbing that Emilia Clarke plays Jude's daughter! AAAAAHHHH. That makes me feel so old. It's unacceptable, really.
3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier - I'm not a super huge fan of the first Captain America. I didn't hate it or anything, but I wasn't overly fussed by it. Chris Evans isn't my favorite in the role. I like him in other things, but he bores me as Captain America. He's a little bit better in this sequel, but he also shares the screen much more (which helps tremendously). I've seen so much talk about Sebastian Stan as The Winter Soldier, but I didn't realize that he's the same guy that plays Carter Baizen from Gossip Girl. Hahaha....that's who all the girls have been freaking out about? Sorry, I don't get it. I also had a lot of the movie ruined for me because I watched Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as it aired - and they did the whole "Hail Hydra" thing during the release of this movie in the theater. To be fair, it's my own fault for not seeing it in a timely manner, but then again, if I wasn't a huge fan of the first, I didn't really see the need to see this during its theater run. I did start to get intrigued by all of the positive reviews, but it still wasn't enough to drag my ass to the theater. I did like this movie - it's 100X better than the first movie. There are some really intense scenes (mostly involving the famed Winter Soldier), it takes a lot of risks, and the dialogue is a lot snappier ("all the guys from my barbershop quartet are dead"). I'm not a fan of Scarlett as Black Widow, which I've stated several times, so I won't dwell on it....but she is terrible in this movie. So boring. I know I'm supposed to be happy with a female superhero getting this much attention, but she's so fucking dull. I can't even feign excitement for her character. I wish Falcon was featured more, because I love Anthony Mackie, but I think he is going to be featured heavily in future Marvel movies (hopefully).
4. Nymphomaniac: Volume II - Most of what I wanted to say about von Trier, I said with my Volume I entry, but I wanted to do a separate entry for Volume II since it was so different. I am happy that the film focused more on Charlotte's character as an adult (which equals more Charlotte, whom I adore), but I am really disappointed by Volume II. While von Trier focused the first volume on a young girl exploring her sexual awakening/obsession, the second volume explores a woman trying to gain sexual sensation after she falls in love (and then went numb for unexplained reasons). Her answer is to resort to BDSM - and it's not erotic, at all. It's a dangerous implication that women with sexual issues need to be dominated and have violent acts performed on them in order to lesson their guilt. There is a thin line that links violence and sex/ pleasure and pain - and von Trier crosses it. About half-way through this volume, I was done. I just had enough of the story and felt like it just became so repetitive and boring. I understand von Trier's need for two separate movies; and I actually like the way the stories are separated but the first volume is a much stronger entry.
5. Non-Stop - It's a silly, forgettable thriller, but it had my attention the whole time. Liam Neeson is always watchable, in my opinion. I think it's a little out-dated with the whole "let me show you how unsafe airport security really is". We already know that it's terrible. However, I got thrown by the multiple twists and turns - although I fully expected the "bad guy" to be 1 of 3 passengers (you know, one of the famous people). They did throw me off by having several bigger names in small roles. First, I saw Corey Stoll, and thought "bad guy duh", but then Scoot McNairy appeared and it threw off my instinct. Plus, Michelle Dockery and Lupita Nyong'o as flight attendants, both with very little to do, I thought that one of them may be involved. And of course, the obvious one - Julianne Moore. She's an A-list actress in a bit part, so....she's gotta be involved. So, while the film can be criticized for not utilizing it's all-star cast, it actually served the suspenseful plot well. In the end, I gave up on the guessing game and just got caught up with the plot - genuinely surprised at the outcome. However, the reason the "bad guy" decided to kill people in order to prove his point, is absolutely the most ridiculous, absurd, and just plain stupid reason of all-time. It ruins the movie a bit - making a solid 4 star movie, an iffy 3 star movie.