2014 So Far in Most Anticipated Part 4

Now we're getting to the better movies that I've seen this year! Yes, we had to wade through the drek to get to the good stuff, but doesn't that just make you appreciate these movies more? Just writing about them and thinking more about these next eight movies has me excited to rewatch.

40. The Other Woman
Surprisingly one of the funniest movies this year. It's actually pretty awesome to see two strong female actors headline a movie. It's rare, but you would think after the success of this movie Hollywood would at least try to make some more female-oriented movies. Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann make the perfect odd couple - they have good chemistry and the amount of physical jokes surprised me. Unlike Melissa McCarthy - whose extremely funny talents waste away with such awful fat jokes and weirdo characters in most of her movies (Identity Thief, Tammy) - Diaz and Mann are smart, fun ladies who are in control the whole movie. I was surprised at how just enjoyable this film was - the script was good - but the actresses here nailed every scene. While this one won't win any awards and it may not go down as one of the best movies this year, it's still a solid, fun comedy that finds a lot to love between Diaz and Mann's fierce friendship.

30. Godzilla
Wow. This was everything I had hoped it would be. Godzilla smartly avoids the regular trappings of a monster movie and instead opts to tell a tale of survival when disaster strikes. People keep comparing this movie to Pacific Rim but aside from the giant monsters, these two films couldn't be more different. Where Pacific Rim revels in battles between giant robots and monsters, Godzilla is intent to keep the focus on the humans. Pacific Rim was awesome but don't let that temper your expectations with Godzilla. The film does a magnificent job of ratcheting up the tension with each scene. And the buildup to the climactic battle was expertly crafted. There is a scene that gave me the spooks both times I watched where two soldiers are crossing a bridge at night. And then you slowly realize that one of the monsters is hiding underneath. It sounds ridiculous but the way it's shot and the slow realization really creates a great sense of dread. Speaking of the way the movie was shot - there are some remarkable moments in the film - from the desolate and abandoned Japanese city to the moment when the special ops guys go floating through the storm clouds, leaving red vapor trails as they descend. It's a visually stunning movie and Gareth Edwards certainly has a bright future ahead of him. This is a definitely must see movie and worth seeing on the big screen.

1. X-Men: Days of Future Past
My most anticipated movie of the year may not have earned the best movie so far this year moniker, but it's a really good follow-up to the highly enjoyable X-Men: First Class. The film does a wonderful job setting the audience up for what's at stake: in the near future, the mutants face extinction in the wake of genocide by the hands of "normal" humans and their robot assassins: The Sentinels. It's up to Wolverine to be sent back to the past in the 70s to stop the unfolding events from ever starting. And Magneto and Charles Xavier have to team up to save the day after splitting up at the end of the last movie. While at first I didn't thoroughly enjoy the movie, thinking about it I've been itching to watch it again. Once again, Fassbender and McAvoy do a fantastic job and Wolverine is his usual grumpy self - but Evan Peters steals the show here as Quicksilver, a mutant with supersonic speed. The one scene where he pretty much single-handedly rescues Magneto from the depths of the Pentagon is probably the highlight of the film. But there's a whole lot else to love in this film - Peter Dinklage as the creator of the Sentinels, Mystique kicking ass the whole time, the stadium being flung up in the air in the climactic ending, seeing a rebooted X-Men franchise where pretty much The Last Stand's whole plot gets erased! It's a doozy and the end credits scene sets up an even bigger threat for the X-Men: Apocalypse, who's pretty much invincible. I must admit, this was a great movie and I can't wait to see where they'll go next!

22. The LEGO Movie
After seeing the trailer, I just knew, knew this was going to be great. It's funny and lightning sharp with witty and clever humor. But the movie isn't afraid to be childish and unabashedly dumb sometimes. Chris Pratt is the perfect voice for the lead - Emmet Brickowski and the rest of the voice cast is phenomenal too - Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman and of course, Will Arnett as Batman. Perfect. The film goes into and unexpected, but very awesome direction in the third act. It's a little weird, but completely cool. I won't spoil anything, but I loved it. And this is a movie worth rewatching because there is so much going on and little bits of dialogue and visual gags that you'll miss the first time around. As much as I loved this movie - it is quite ADD - it can get overwhelming at times and while I enjoyed that aspect, it can get tiresome for others. But aside from that, the movie is endlessly fun and all the meta humor is perfect.

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