Ah, my favorite time of the year. Spring is upon us. The weather is warming up. March Madness is about to start. And perhaps most importantly, it’s time for the Oscars and my 2014 Oscar predictions! Any movie buffs like myself and my Free for All companions have a vested interest in the Academy Awards. You spend all year watching so many movies, some great and some not, and you really find yourself rooting for the ones that made an impression on you. The Oscars are a spectacle though, and many of even the most casual movie goers will tune in to see all the celebrities and the show itself this Sunday, March 2.
And what a show it will be! It was a great year for movies, and the hosting duties fall to Ellen Degeneres this year and I think she will do a great job. But who will win? I don’t have a vote but I’ve got a pretty good track record of knowing who will get the most. I’m here to tell you who will win, and who should win with my 2014 Oscar predictions. And trust me, there are all to often not the same. With the average age of an Academy Award voter being 63, I do feel that sometimes they lose touch with what a lot of the rest of us see. Also, new to this list, I will be including a “Snubbed” category where it applies as a felt there were a ton of deserving candidates left out this year. Much more than normal. And included at the bottom of this list is a little thing I like to call “Evan’s Oscars”. Basically just a few categories that the casual movie fan can enjoy. Kind of like what the MTV Movie Awards do. Except not dumb. And the winners are….
“Dallas Buyers Club”
“12 Years a Slave”
“The Wolf of Wall Street”
Will Win- “12 Years a Slave”
Should Win- “Her”
12 Years might be ONE of the best movies in years, but Her is THE best movie I have seen in several years. It is perfect in every way. A world that is so different as our own is made to feel so familiar and the story explores so many levels of love.
Snubbed- “Inside Llewyn Davis” and “Rush”
Two of my favorite films of the year. I easily would have had these two over Philomena and Captain Phillips
Josh’s Prediction- 12 Years A Slave
A spectacular masterpiece that carved a painful hole in my heart, while I’d prefer to see Spike Jonze’s “Her” take this award, I can’t see any other film taking this prize home.
Chuck’s Prediction- Her
David O. Russell “American Hustle”
Alphonso Cuaron “Gravity”
Alexander Payne “Nebraska”
Steve McQueen “12 Years a Slave”
Martin Scorsese “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Will Win- Alphonso Cuaron
The film itself was good, but really overrated to me personally. But there is no denying that Curon’s directing was spectacular. Plus, Hollywood is in love with this movie and Curon is very popular among the elite.
Should Win- Steve McQueen
Snubbed- Spike Jonze “her”
I would love to list the Coen brothers and Ron Howard here, as they are both deserving, but neither were as big of a snub as Spike Jonze’s exclusion. His vision is what made this film so great. Not only should he have been nominated, he should have won.
Josh’s Prediction- David O. Russell “American Hustle”
The Academy loves Russell, and he made the perfect fit for the Oscars with “American Hustle”, I think he edges out Cuaron despite him being the favorite.
Chuck’s Prediction- David O. Russell “American Hustle”
Christian Bale “American Hustle”
Bruce Dern “Nebraska”
Leonardo DiCaprio “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Chiwetel Ejifor “12 Years a Slave”
Matthew McConaughey “Dallas Buyers Club”
Will Win- Matthew McConaughey “Dallas Buyers Club”
It’s been a long road for McConaughey, but somewhere along the way he became an amazing actor. This was his year. From his awesome performance in Mud and his hysterical role in The Wolf of Wall Street to his powerhouse performance on HBO’s True Detective, he managed to shine brightest in Dallas Buyers Club. Not only did he turn in an amazing performance, he showed his method acting chops by losing an incredible amount of weight. I may have voted for someone else, but I certainly can’t complain if he wins.
Should Win- Chiwetel Ejifor “12 Years a Slave”
Snubbed- Oscar Isaac “Inside Llewyn Davis”
Josh’s Prediction- Chiwetel Ejiofor “12 Years A Slave”
A haunting performance that will stay with me for years, Ejiofor has long been a favorite of mine, but I never knew he had this kind of performance in him.
Chuck’s Prediction- Matthew McConaughey “Dallas Buyer’s Club”
Amy Adams “American Hustle”
Cate Blanchett “Blue Jasmine”
Sandra Bullock “Gravity”
Judi Dench “Philomena”
Meryl Streep “August: Osage County”
Will Win- Cate Blanchett “Blue Jasmine”
Should Win- Anybody but Sandra Bullock
Josh’s Prediction- Meryl Streep “Augusto: Osage County”
Chuck’s Prediction- Sandra Bullock
Best Supporting Actor
Barkhad Abdi “Captain Phillips”
Bradley Cooper “American Hustle”
Michael Fassbender “12 Years a Slave”
Jonah Hill “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Jared Leto “Dallas Buyers Club”
Will Win- Jared Leto “Dallas Buyers Club”
Should Win- Michael Fassbender “12 Years a Slave”
His performance is scary good. Not only was he the best actor in this category, his performance was better than anyone’s in any category.
Snubbed- Daniel Bruhl “Rush”
Josh’s Prediction- Michael Fassbender “12 Years A Slave”
I know Leto has the Globe to his credit, and I can’t deny his performance, but Fassbender turned in one of the best performances I’ve ever seen for a villain.
Chuck’s Prediction- Bradley Cooper “American Hustle”
Best Supporting Actress
Sally Hawkins “Blue Jasmine”
Jennifer Lawrence “American Hustle”
Lupita Nyong’o “12 Years a Slave”
Julia Roberts “August: Osage County”
June Squibb “Nebraska”
Will Win- Lupita Nyongo’o “12 Years a Slave”
She gave an absolutely stellar performance and I believe it will go down to the wire between her and Jennifer Lawrence. I think Nyong’o gets the edge because the Academy won’t give back to back awards to Lawrence in my opinion. I would vote the other way, but either way it is certainly deserved.
Should Win- Jennifer Lawrence “American Hustle”
Snubbed- Scarlett Johannsen “Her”
Johannsen’s performance was second only to Michael Fassbender’s overall in my opinion. The emotion she is able to convey just through her voice without ever being physically on screen in breathtaking. She should have been nominated and she should have won.
Josh’s Prediction- Jennifer Lawrence “American Hustle”
I’m the exact opposite as Evan, here. I think Lawrence was brilliant, but the second best in this category, but she’s also completely deserving and I wouldn’t mind seeing her take home the prize.
Chuck’s Prediction- Jennifer Lawrence “American Hustle”
Best Original Screenplay
Eric Warren Singer & David O. Russell “American Hustle”
Woody Allen “Blue Jasmine”
Craig Borten Melisa Wallack “Dallas Buyers Club”
Spike Jonze “Her”
Bob Nelson “Nebraska”
Will Win- Spike Jonze “Her”
This will be a tight one and I’m worried that they give it to American Hustle here just so it doesn’t get shut out, but there is no one more deserving of this award this Spike Jonze. Her is an absolute masterpiece.
Should Win- see above
Snubbed- Joel and Ethan Coen “Inside Llewyn Davis”
Can we stop giving Woody Allen nominations just because?? Inside Llewyn Davis is an expertly written story and it deserved to be recognized.
Josh’s Prediction- Spike Jonze “her”
I’ve never been happier to make a prediction than this. “her” is the most emotionally engaging movie I’ve seen in over a decade, and Jonze’s script resonated with me on such a personal level that to understand it, you could only be me.
Chuck’s Prediction- Spike Jonze “Her”
Best Adapted Screenplay
Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke “Before Midnight”
Billy Ray- “Captain Phillips”
Steve Coogan & Jeff Pope “Philomena”
John Ridley “12 Years a Slave”
Terence Winter “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Will Win- John Ridley “12 Years a Slave”
Should Win- see above
Snubbed- Peter Morgan “Rush”
One of my three favorite films of the year. It is expertly written and the story that is conveyed about the rivalry between these two drivers in gripping and incredible. I know and care absolutely zero about Formula One racing and this film changed that.
Josh’s Prediction- John Ridley “12 Years A Slave”
Ridley’s script perfectly captured the horror of Solomon Northup’s life, I was breathless at times and horrified for the duration.
Chuck’s Prediction- Terrence Winter “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Best Foreign Language Film
“The Broken Circle Breakdown” Belgium
“The Great Beauty” Italy
“The Hunt” Denmark
“The Missing Picture” Cambodia
Will Win- “The Great Beauty” Italy
It took home the award at the Golden Globes and has the most buzz coming into the Oscars.
Should Win- See above
Josh’s Prediction- “The Great Beauty” Italy
Chuck’s Prediction- “The Hunt” Denmark
Best Documentary Feature
“The Act of Killing”
“Cutie and the Boxer”
“20 Feet from Stardom”
Will Win- “20 Feet from Stardom”
Definitely has the most main stream attention of all the nominees. This documentary about the life of a backup singer was actually a success at the box office, which is rare for this genre.
Should Win- “The Act of Killing”
This will definitely have a chance here as it’s buzz is gaining momentum. Without a doubt the most powerful and dangerous to make out of all the nominees. This documentary features actual war criminals and mass murders and explores how they would portray themselves in American cinema.
Josh’s Prediction- “The Square”
Chuck’s Prediction- “Dirty Wars”
Best Animated Feature
“Despicable Me 2”
“Ernest & Celestine”
“The Wind Rises”
Will Win- Frozen
I’m not as high on Frozen as others, but there is no denying that it’s a damn good movie. It helps that its a box office juggernaut and will have passed the $1 billion mark worldwide by the time the Oscars roll around. It would be a lock if it wasn’t for The Wind Rises. You can never count out a Miyazaki film.
Should Win- see above
Snubbed- Monsters University
I didn’t see Ernest & Celestine, so I can’t comment on that, but I absolutely cannot believe The Croods got a nomination before Monsters University. My favorite animated film of the year, it was super charming and really funny. It shouldn’t have won, but it easily deserved a nomination.
Josh’s Prediction- The Wind Rises
Hayao Miyazaki is, in my opinion, the best animation director in history and this is his final film, the Academy doesn’t forget things like this, and will award the master one last time for his brilliant work.
Chuck’s Prediction- “Frozen”
“The Grandmaster” Philippe Le Sourd
“Gravity” Emmanuel Lubezki
“Inside Llewyn Davis” Bruno Delbonnel
“Nebraska” Phedon Papamichael
“Prisioners” Roger A. Deakins
Will Win- “Gravity” Emmanuel Lubezki
Should Win- “Inside Llewyn Davis” Bruno Delbonnel
Snubbed- “12 Years a Slave”
Not sure how you give a film so many nominations, confirming its greatness, and then not give it one for one of the major reasons it is so brilliant.
Josh’s Prediction- “Gravity” Emmanuel Lubezki
This film is the definition of spectacle, and the cinematography is off-the-charts good. Gravity deserves this based off of the nearly 15 minute opening shot alone.
Chuck’s Prediction- “Gravity” Emmanuel Lubezki
Best Film Editing
“American Hustle” Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten
“Captain Phillips” Christopher Rouse
“Dallas Buyers Club” John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa
“Gravity” Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
“12 Years a Slave” Joe Walker
Will Win- “Gravity” Alfonso Curon and Mark Sanger
This one will be tight. While Gravity’s film editing is really great and it has a ton of buzz, American Hustle and Captain Phillips have almost swept this category at the smaller award shows. In the end, I think Gravity pulls it out.
Should Win- See Above
Absolutely deserved a nomination in this category. Some of the quick cuts that are put together to help tell the story when he is walking and when he is spending time with Samantha are incredible.
Josh’s Prediction- “Gravity” Alfonso Cuaron and Mark Sanger
Make no mistake, Gravity is going to virtually sweep the technical awards this year, and it’s hard to argue against it.
Chuck’s Prediction- “Gravity” Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
Best Production Design
“American Hustle” Production Design: Judy Becker; Set Decoration: Heather Loeffler
“Gravity” Production Design: Andy Nicholson; Set Decoration: Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard
“The Great Gatsby” Production Design: Catherine Martin; Set Decoration: Beverley Dunn
“Her” Production Design: K.K. Barrett; Set Decoration: Gene Serdena
“12 Years a Slave” Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Alice Baker
Will Win- “American Hustle” Production Design: Judy Becker; Set Decoration: Heather Loeffler
This will be an extremely tight race and I think that this is a spot that the Academy rewards American Hustle’s many nominations. It certainly is deserving but I would actually have it ranked third in this category behind Her and The Great Gatsby.
Should Win- “The Great Gatsby” Production Design: Catherine Martin; Set Decoration: Beverley Dunn
One of the most underrated movies of the year, The Great Gatsby absolutely deserves this win. The over the top and vibrant world of Gatsby’s roaring 20’s that they managed to create is truly stunning. I think the only reason it doesn’t get the win here is because it is the lone film in this category that isn’t nominated for Best Picture.
Snubbed- “Inside Llewyn Davis”
Gravity deserves nominations for many things, but it certainly didn’t deserve one for this category over Inside Llewyn Davis. The set and production design is fabulous and completely immerses you in the dark and dreary world of a struggling folk singer in NYC in the 70’s.
Josh’s Prediction- “American Hustle” Production Design: Judy Becker; Set Decoration: Heather Loeffler
Easy prediction for me, here. The atmosphere and production of American Hustle was spotless, even if the film itself left me disappointed.
Chuck’s Prediction- “American Hustle” Production Design: Judy Becker; Set Decoration: Heather Loeffler
Best Costume Design
“American Hustle” Michael Wilkinson
“The Grandmaster” William Chang Suk Ping
“The Great Gatsby” Catherine Martin
“The Invisible Woman” Michael O’Connor
“12 Years a Slave” Patricia Norris
Will Win- “American Hustle” Michael Wilkinson
Almost an exact same copy as best production design, I think a deserving American Hustle edges out two slightly more deserving nominees in The Great Gatsby and 12 Years a Slave.
Should Win- “The Great Gatsby” Catherine Martin
Again, Great Gatsby absolutely deserves the win here. The vibrant costumes in this movie are spectacular. Plus, Brooks Brothers created an entire line of suits to go along with this movie. That should have gotten all of the votes right there.
Snubbed- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
I don’t know how The Hobbit didn’t get more nominations than it did, but if there is one omission that is the most egregious, it is this one. The costume design in The Hobbit fully engrosses you into a fantasy world and it looks amazing. It should have been nominated, and it should have been a contender for the winner.
Josh’s Prediction- “12 Years A Slave” Patricia Norris
In a case of two similar films cancelling each other out with votes, I think American Hustle and The Great Gatsby end up splitting the “pretty people in suits” voting, and 12 Years slips under the radar with it’s spectacular period piece design.
Chuck’s Prediction- “The Great Gatsby” Catherine Martin
Best Original Score
“The Book Thief” John Williams
“Gravity” Steven Price
“Her” William Butler and Owen Pallett
“Philomena” Alexandre Desplat
“Saving Mr. Banks” Thomas Newman
Will Win- “Gravity” Steven Price
Because it’s Gravity and the score is indeed amazing. It is my second favorite in this category. The score does an amazing job of helping to establish the setting in the vastness and hopelessness of space. It should face tough competition from Her and John Williams is always a threat to win. This is his 49th nomination!
Should Win- “Her” William Butler and Owen Pallett
Snubbed- “12 Years a Slave” Hans Zimmer
Really?!? Of all people, you snub Hans Zimmer?!? Not only that, that snubbed one of his best works!
Josh’s Prediction- “her” William Butler and Owen Pallett
The Arcade Fire duo put together a brilliant body of work for one of my favorite films of the year, it’s always nice to see acts from popular music expand their talents to the cinema world, and like Trent Reznor before them, Butler and Pallett will be rewarded with an Oscar.
Chuck’s Prediction- “Her” William Butler and Owen Pallett
Best Original Song
“Happy” from “Despicable Me 2” Music and Lyric by Pharrell Williams
“Let It Go” from “Frozen” Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
“The Moon Song” from “Her” Music by Karen O; Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze
“Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen; Lyric by Paul Hewson
Will Win- “Let It Go” from “Frozen” Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
Easily the front-runner, Let It Go is a great song from a great movie. Warning, it is EXTREMELY catchy.
Should Win- “The Moon Song” from “Her” Music by Karen O; Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze
Not only is it the flat out best song nominated, but after you have watched this film you will always have a special connection with this song because of the emotion is brings out in you and on screen when it is played in the film.
Snubbed- “Please Mr. Kennedy” from “Inside Llewyn Davis” Music and Lyrics by Justin Timberlake, Oscar Isaac, and Adam Driver
If there is one snub that I had to pick to give a nomination to, it would absolutely be this one. It physically angers me that neither Please Mr. Kennedy or Fare Thee Well. Either should have been nominated and either should have won. Do yourself a favor and download this album. It is one of the best soundtracks of all time.
Josh’s Prediction- “Let It Go” from “Frozen” Music and Lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
Slam dunk, here. “Let It Go” is a Broadway-level curtain closer thrust into a Disney movie, as much as I’d like to see Karen O win, there’s no chance of that.
Chuck’s Prediction- “Let It Go” from “Frozen” Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
Best Visual Effects
“Gravity” Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds
“Iron Man 3” Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick
“The Lone Ranger” Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams and John Frazier
“Star Trek: Into Darkness” Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann and Burt Dalton
Will Win- “Gravity” Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould
Should Win- See Above
Snubbed- “Pacific Rim”
Seriously?!? Lone Ranger?!? How the hell did that get a nomination here? The ONLY good thing about the Lone Ranger is when it’s over. Pacific Rim had amazing effects. From the lighting, to the giant robots and monsters, it was all extremely well done. If not Pacific Rim, how about Thor: The Dark World, Ender’s Game, Elysium, Man of Steel, Oblivion, or about 20 other movies? They all deserve to be here over The Lone Ranger.
Josh’s Prediction- “Gravity” Time Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould
This one actually makes me mad. Smaug alone is deserving of an award, but Gravity is simply too hard to deny this award, Evan is right, this is a 100% lock.
Chuck’s Prediction- “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds
Best Makeup and Hairstyling
“Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” Stephen Prouty
“Dallas Buyers Club” Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews
“The Lone Ranger” Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny
Will Win- “Dallas Buyers Club” Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews
Should Win- “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” Stephen Prouty
There is zero doubt in mind that Bad Grandpa should get the win here. The makeup work they do for Johnny Knoxville alone in this movie should have won it. I just don’t know if the Academy is ready to give an Oscar to the Jackass crew. But they definitely deserve it.
Snubbed- “American Hustle”
Seriously. Stop giving nominations to Lone Ranger. I would rather watch 10 hours of still photographs of Bradley Cooper’s perm and Christian Bale’s comb over than watch one more second of Lone Ranger.
Josh’s Prediction- “Dallas Buyers Club” Adruitha Lee and Robin Matthews
Dallas Buyers Club wins the “three most different movies” category. I just like getting to consider The Lone Ranger and a Jackass movie in the same category as a best picture contender, don’t ask me why.
Chuck’s Prediction- “The Lone Ranger” Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny
Best Sound Mixing
“Captain Phillips” Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith and Chris Munro
“Gravity” Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick and Tony Johnson
“Inside Llewyn Davis” Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
“Lone Survivor” Andy Koyama, Beau Borders and David Brownlow
Will Win- “Gravity” Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro
Should Win- “Lone Survivor” Andy Koyama, Beau Borders and David Brownlow
While Gravity did an amazing job, I truly believe that Lone Survivor should win this. The sounds of the bullets hitting the trees and the impact noises when they are rolling downhill are incredible and they completely immerse you in the terrifying fire fight you are watching.
Josh’s Prediction- “Gravity” Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro
The sound design of Gravity was nearly perfect, it’s a pretty solid lock here.
Chuck’s Prediction- “Inside Llewyn Davis” Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
Best Sound Editing
“All is Lost” Steve Boeddeker and Richard Hymns
“Captain Phillips” Oliver Tarney
“Gravity” Glenn Freemantle
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Brent Burge
“Lone Survivor” Wylie Stateman
Will Win- “Gravity” Glenn Freemantle
There is buzz that Captain Phillips could have a chance here but I just don’t see it. The NASA communications, the explosions, and especially Sandra Bullock’s breathing should make this an easy win for Gravity.
Should Win- See Above
Josh’s Prediction- “Gravity” Glenn Freemantle
Another technical lock for Gravity, here.
Chuck’s Prediction- “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Brent Burge
Best Animated Short Film
“Get a Horse”
“Room on the Broom”
Will Win- “Get a Horse”
This was a cool little short that accompanied the most likely winner of the best animated feature category in Frozen. It was really fun seeing the old school version of Mickey and the gang transition back and forth between it and the newer version.
Should Win- See Above
Josh’s Prediction- “Get A Horse”
How can the Academy pass up awarding Disney for bringing back the golden age of Mickey Mouse, and working it into a modern setting and art style?
Chuck’s Predictions- “Get a Horse”
Best Documentary Short Film
“Karma Has No Walls”
“The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life”
“Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall”
Will Win- “The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life”
The poster really says it all. This is an amazing tale about a 109 year old woman who is the world oldest pianist and who is also a Holocaust survivor. It takes a look back at her past at how her music got her through some horrific times.
Should Win- See Above
Josh’s Prediction- “The Lady In Number 6”
I can’t comment on this category, as I haven’t seen any film. However, my money goes to the Holocaust survivor in times of doubt, it’s just how it works.
Chuck’s Prediction- “The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life”
Best Live-Action Short Film
“Aquel No Era Yo” (That Wasn’t Me)
“Avant Que De Tout Perdre” (Just Before Losing Everything)
“Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa?” (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)
“The Voorman Problem”
Will Win- “The Voorman Problem”
I had to read up on all of these obviously. After reading about all the films, I have to agree with the LA Times. “It’s the only one without subtitles. And it has Martin Freeman. You don’t have to be Sherlock to guess the winner.” I would say that is pretty spot on.
Should Win- See Above
Josh’s Prediction- “The Voorman Problem”
Like Evan, I haven’t seen any of these works, so I’m going with Martin Freeman, because Martin Freeman.
Chuck’s Prediction- “The Voorman Problem”
A quick look at what my 10 Best Picture nominees would have been and a few categories that relate a bit more to the casual movie fan than much of these previous awards do.
Evan’s Best Picture
“Inside Llewyn Davis”
“Thor: The Dark World”
“12 Years a Slave”
“The Wolf of Wall Street”
“Star Trek: Into Darkness”
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”
The Winner- “Her”
I have never seen anything like it. It felt so real and personal to me. The acting is amazing and I have a whole new respect for Scarlett Johannsen. The story is so original and it will make you laugh and it will make you cry. I haven’t seen anything like it in years.
The Runner Up- “Rush”
Almost any other year, this would have been my favorite. As a competition junkie, the story of this rivalry was told so well that it gripped me in a way I didn’t expect. Daniel Bruhl is absolutely incredible and Chris Hemsworth finally gets a chance to really show is acting chops. The cinematography is amazing and I believe this is Ron Howard’s second best work behind Apollo 13.
Evan’s Best Superhero Movie
“Iron Man 3”
“Man of Steel”
“Kick Ass 2”
“Thor: The Dark World”
The Winner- “Thor: The Dark World”
This was an easy one for me. While I loved all of these films, outside of Kick Ass 2 which was just okay, Thor stood above all the rest. It had a darker tone than most of the Marvel movies we have seen, yet managed to still have the light-hearted and comedic spots we all love in it. Not to mention, outside of Avengers, this was the best action that I have seen in a Marvel movie.
The Runner Up- Iron Man 3
Say what you will about the Pepper spot or what they did with The Mandarin, I loved this movie. All comic book movies change the source material. This was a really fun ride and a great probable swan song for Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man in a solo film.
Evan’s Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
“Star Trek: Into Darkness”
The Winner- “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
Probably my second or third favorite in the entire Middle-Earth series, which is saying a lot, this movie was incredible. After the slightly disappointing first Hobbit film, I wasn’t sure what to expect going in. The bar has been set high once again. The river barrel and Smaug scenes alone won this category.
The Runner Up- “Ender’s Game”
If you would have told me after I saw Star Trek that it wouldn’t be in my top two sci-fi/fantasy films of the year, I would have thought you were crazy. What a great year for movies! And it turned out, Ender’s Game was one of the best. It is brilliantly shot and it is an awesome story. It’s a ton of fun to watch.
Evan’s Best Action Movie
“G.I. Joe: Retaliation”
The Winner- “Fast 6”
For a long time, I REALLY hated the F&F movies. Fast 5 got me more interested. Fast 6? AWESOME! This movie is just insane. When they hired The Rock and decided to just go full on ridiculous and ignore physics, it became great. This is the poster child for an action movie!
The Runner Up- “Lone Survivor”
I didn’t care to see this movie for a really long time. Then all the buzz got going and I had to go. I’m so glad I did. This was a truly great film. Not your typical action film, considering the emotional toll it will take on you, but it still falls into the category. Go see this film.
Evan’s Best Comedy Movie
“This is the End”
“We’re the Millers”
“The World’s End”
“Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa”
The Winner- “The World’s End”
Most years, this would have been a top five movie for me. Not only is it the funniest film of the year, it’s just a damn good movie all around. From the acting to the fight scenes, it was all brilliant.
The Runner Up- “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa”
I can honestly say that when I saw this movie, it was the hardest I had laughed in a theater in years. While not as great of an all around movie as The World’s End, it is still an absolute must see comedy.
Evan’s Most Surprisingly Good Movie
“Pain & Gain”
“World War Z”
“We’re the Millers”
The Winner- “World War Z”
I always wanted this movie to be good, but deep down I never expected it to be. After all the delays and re-shoots they did, I was really worried. It turned out great! One of my favorite movies of the summer and one of the best zombie movies of the past decade.
The Runner Up- “We’re the Millers”
I love the cast of this movie, but the trailer just did nothing for me. It didn’t look particularly funny and I thought it was probably just a money grab for the actors. I was SO wrong. The movie is stupid funny. One of the few times I have really enjoyed being proven dead wrong.
Evan’s Most Underrated Movie
“The Great Gatsby”
“Now You See Me”
The Winner- “The Great Gatsby”
All of the talk about Leo this year was for The Wolf of Wall Street, and it is totally deserving. However, getting lost in all that buzz is just how great he was at Gatsby. While it did fairly well at the box office, it was quickly forgotten by most. I adored everything about this movie. It definitely belongs in the discussion of the great movies of this year.
The Runner Up- “Mud”
This movie suffered in a similar way that Great Gatsby did. While it didn’t get a wide release like Gatsby, it had a ton of critical buzz for the movie itself and for McConaughey, it was lost in the shuffle and forgotten when Dallas Buyers Club came out. Mud is not a movie that should be forgotten. The performances are all around great and it is an example of how slow storytelling and character development is done.
Evan’s Most Disappointing Movie
“The Hangover 3”
The Winner- “The Counselor”
I have rarely ever been so wrong about a movie. This had possibly one of the best casts of the year and the trailer looked so good. It may not have been one of the worst movies of the year, but it certainly wasn’t good. The entire thing is a jumbled mess.
The Runner Up- “After Earth”
I admit that I never thought this movie looked great. But I still expected it to be good. Rarely are any Will Smith summer blockbusters bad. This movie was terrible. It bombed at the box office and I think I hate it more every day. Go away Jayden. You are ruining your dad.
Evan’s Worst Movie
“The Lone Ranger”
“The Incredible Burt Wonderstone”
“The Hangover 3”
The Winner- “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone”
I saw over 50 movies that came out this past year. That’s a whole lot. None of them were anywhere near as bad as the offensively awful The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. I was on a plane and I don’t fly well. I thought I would watch something funny to take my mind off the flight. I honestly was wishing for the plane to crash by the time I was halfway into the movie. I didn’t laugh. Not once. I miss the old Jim Carrey so much.
The Runner Up- “The Hangover 3”
I love the first Hangover so much. It is one of the funniest movies ever made. I love the entire cast and almost all of their work. I’m not even one of those people that hated The Hangover 2. But The Hangover 3 was just terrible. Literally every funny moment is in the previews and all the jokes are tired and unoriginal. Not only that, they work in awkward murder scenes and try to make them funny after. They weren’t. Can we as a nation please just finally admit the Ken Jeong isn’t funny?!? Please?!?