Our 10 Favorite Movies of the Year (So Far)
Though 2014 is only at the halfway mark, it’s already shaping up to be one of the best movie years on record, thanks to wisecracking Legos, hipster vampires, and a certain Budapest hotel. Here are our favorite flicks so far:
Writer-director Jeremy Saulnier reinvigorates the revenge thriller with this lean, Kickstarter-funded flick that combines spurts of shocking violence with Coen Brothers-style dark humor. Macon Blair stars as Dwight, an in-over-his-head schlub whose awkward attempt to settle an old score makes him one of the year’s most oddly endearing protagonists. Crackling with moments of quiet tension, Blue Ruin is as understated as it is unsettling.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
From a story standpoint, Captain America: The Winter Soldier — in which our beloved Cap finds himself targeted by shadowy government forces —is one of the tightest Marvel films to date. Using the ’70s espionage thriller as a template, Winter Soldier is the rare comic-book caper that’s not only free of bloat, but also rooted in the real world. Throw into the mix the easy chemistry between Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans; a fearsome and complex adversary in the Winter Soldier; and parkour-packed action sequences, and you’ve got one of the smartest superhero movies ever made.