Friday Five: Best Movies of the Year

Every Friday I’ll indulge my order-crazed brain in a list of randomness. Welcome to my Friday Fives.

As a follow-up to last week’s list of movies-I-can’t-wait-to-see, here are our favorites from the last 12 months.

Keep in mind we’re total library whores. I’m seriously there about every other day–that’s how much we love it. For realz.

Here’s a little tip: Most libraries will add new books and movies to their catalog as soon as they order it (i.e. before it arrives), so if you keep a watch on new release dates (I check on Amazon), you know what to search for in the library’s database and you can be the first to get it (by reserving it) when it finally does arrive and is processed. There. That’s my library secret.

Then you can share your spoils on Instagram.

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Four brand-spankin’-new DVDs (+Anna Karenina and a book) without spending a buck.

The only downside is that you’re seeing most movies way after they have actually been released. You run the risk of spoilers and biased opinions and reviews, but we’re okay with that. We’re patient folk.

Back to the movies. Here are the ones we enjoyed most:

5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

As far as Marvel movies go, I’ve always been an Iron Man girl. But, man, did this movie surprise me. I thought it was really well done and quickly moved to the top three…top two, maybe…of my favorite Marvel installations. Chris Evans was fantastic, Sam Jacks was vulnerable (rare) and I managed to not hate Scarlett Johansson for the *entire* movie. Consider that a pretty big win.

4. Interstellar

The McConaissance is real, y’all. It started with True Detective and Mud (for me) and has carried its way through Dallas Buyers Club and, now, Insterstellar. Is there nothing Matthew can’t do?? (Other than convincingly sell a Lincoln?) This movie got another big bump due to my obsession with Christopher Nolan and his mind-shattering movies (Inception, Dark Knight trilogy, The Prestige). Together they are a tour de force. So glad we saw this in the theater–make sure you do before you lose your chance.

3. Guardians of the Galaxy / 22 Jump Street

A shared title for the two movies that made me laugh the hardest. First up, Guardians: We *finally* got to see this last week and it spoke directly to my 80s-kid heart. There are so many stealable quotes and funny moments. Chris Pratt was absolutely the best casting decision of the year and Bradley Cooper (in voice form) is almost unrecognizable, which is great. 22 Jump Street wasn’t a cinematic masterpiece, but it was damn funny. You have to appreciate a franchise that knows how to make fun of itself. The credits alone had tears running down my face. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill are a match made in bromance heaven. Don’t judge me for loving this movie.

2. The Grand Budapest Hotel  

Wes Anderson can be hit or miss to me. I wasn’t crazy about his Moonrise Kingdom, and was therefore pretty skeptical of GBH. And all for naught. This movie is a total triumph and I hope it wins big throughout the continuing awards season. Ralph Fiennes is a riot and there’s something so charming about it all, even in the middle of the half comedic, half dramatic plot. It’s been a long time since a movie that was released so early in the year has been considered for the Best Picture oscar, so they have brought it back to the theaters for anyone who missed it. Now’s your chance….or hit up that library.

1. The Hundred-Foot Journey

This is a bit of a dark horse, but if you are a lover of food and food culture, RUN to your library or Netflix or Redbox and find this movie. I’m unashamedly obsessed with Julie & Julia and this story about the power of food on our souls is no different. I watched it by myself, which was a good thing since I had happy tears rolling off my cheeks at the end…and a killer hankering for an omelet (if you watch, you’ll understand). Helen Mirren is as much perfection as Meryl was as Julia. That’s a tall order! I can’t rave enough about this movie.

Honorable Mention:
* Gone Girl — a superb adaptation from the original thriller book

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