Ah, that sweet spot between Christmas and New Year’s Eve! With the looming specter of work right around the corner, many of us try to delay the inevitable by seeing as many films as humanly possible. After all, the Oscars are right around the corner, and we need to cram as much cinema into our brain as possible before the clock strikes midnight on January 1, 2015. We’ve talked about the best games of 2014, the best TV shows, and even the best moments of Nerdist period over the course of the last year, but we haven’t yet run down the best nerd movies of the year. That all changes today.
Considering the amount of terrific films that came out this year, making this list was a daunting prospect, but the cinematic scientists at Nerdist News have run the numbers and come up with our definitive list of the ten best movies for nerds of 2014. We’ll count down entires ten through six in the article below, but you’ll have to tune in to today’s Nerdist News to see Jessica Chobot run down the best of the best.
10. The Wind Rises
Hayao Miyazaki’s final directorial work for Studio Ghibli proved to be one of his most personal as we saw echoes of the acclaimed animator reverberate throughout The Wind Rises. The story of Jiro Horikosji, the idealistic, introspective aeronautic engineer who designed the Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter, one of the most iconic and deadliest aircraft used during World War II. The film offers an elegiac portrait of a man who saw his passion provide the fuel for the grim machinery of war. Still, in spite of all the (largely off-screen) death and destruction, The Wind Rises possesses a quiet dignity, and a poetic quality that resonates with the viewer long after the credits roll.
Is there any sight more wonderful than a more than 300-foot-tall Godzilla stomping around San Francisco Bay and wreaking righteous havoc on a pair of killer kaiju? Perhaps, but director Gareth Edwards’ reinvigorated version of Toho’s King of the Monsters brought studio spectacle and monstrous menace to the big screen and crushed the competition when it comes to our undying affection. Could it have used more Heisenberg? Sure, but who couldn’t. The point is that Godzilla’s back, baby. Long live the King.
8. Jodorowsky’s Dune
While Alejandro Jodorowsky may be best known for his cult classic, acid-washed forays into spirituality and psychedelia in films like El Top and The Holy Mountain, 2014 offered us a vision of what might have been had the acclaimed Mexican director’s vision of Frank Herbet’s Dune come to pass. Frank Pavich’s documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune takes viewers behind the scenes of one of the craziest, most ambitious films that never was through candid interviews and looks at concept art for the sprawling sci-fi saga. (Exhibit A: Jodorowsky courted Salvador Dali to play the insane Emperor). If you’re a diehard Herbert-head or simply a student of sci-fi, Jodorowsky’s Dune is a deeply compelling story and well worth your time.
Of all the titles that came out in 2014, no film demanded to be seen in theaters– on film– more than Interstellar. Christopher Nolan’s latest film looks to the stars and within in the hopes of finding mankind’s salvation. While some have found the plot of Interstellar to be riddled with holes that aren’t just black and supermassive, it is anchored by charismatic, heartfelt performances and enough visual splendor to cement this as one of the year’s best. Now where’s our TARS spin-off?
6. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
It was a neck and neck race between Captain America: The Winter Soldier and X-Men: Days of Future Past for which superhero sequel reigned supreme in 2014, but the bone-crunching action, political intrigue, and game-changing events of The Winter Soldier give the good Captain the edge. Even the memes were better. Stage whispers aside, The Winter Soldier managed to deliver a rock-solid superhero story couched in the trappings of a political thriller, and set the bar for what we should expect from our popcorn-fare summer blockbuster sequels.
Be sure to check out the top five picks in today’s Nerdist News, then watch the rest of the best of 2014 in the playlist below:
What were your favorite nerdy films of 2014? Let us know in the comments below!