2014 In Review: Comedy, Breakthrough, Underrated

5) This Is Where I Leave You
Depending on how you felt about this ensemble comedy, it might also represent how few “laugh out loud” comedies we actually had in 2014. The fact that I’m leaving off Lets Be Cops, Dumb and Dumber To, Sex Tape, About Last Night, The Love Punch, And So It Goes, or any one of the underwhelming comedies released in 2014.

4) Bad Words
Undeniably funny. People might have forgotten about it, because it came out in March, but I loved it, and I still remember loving it.

3) The Interview
Really had some truly laugh out loud moments, and memorable quotes.

2) St Vincent
Bill Murray’s performance is a masterclass. A bit more subtle than The Interview, but just as funny.

1) 22 Jump Street
Honestly, I laughed so hard I could barely breathe. If we’re grading on “laughs per minute” (which I am), 22 Jump Street wins by a landslide. Funnier than the original.

5) Jason Bateman (Bad Words)
4) Jonah Hill (22 Jump Street)
3) Channing Tatum (22 Jump Street)
2) James Franco (The Interview)
1) Bill Murray (St Vincent)

5) Starred Up
Everyone was talking about Jack O’Connell in Unbroken, but they should have been talking about him in Starred Up. Really a great film, and only 54K at the box office.

4) Calvary
Chances are you heard that Brendan Gleeson delivered a great performance this year, but you didn’t see it. Shame on you. Calvary is definitely a small film and with only 3.6M at the Box Office, it qualifies for Underrated/Little Seen.

3) Obvious Child
The fact that people even called this an “Abortion Comedy” from the start is probably why Obvious Child wasn’t more widely recognized. I’m not even sure it’s 100% a comedy, as it balances some pretty heavy topics, it just does so with a little bit of humor.

2) Pride
Again, WHY DIDN’T YOU WATCH THIS FILM? 1.4M domestic, yet it earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture. It’s a damn fine movie.

1) Rudderless
This film didn’t even make 100K at the box office. Meanwhile, the film I’m picking as “worst of 2014” made over 100M. America, you should be ashamed.

I didn’t consider Miles Teller to be a breakout this year, because I would have called him a breakout last year with The Spectacular Now. David Oyelowo would have been a breakout for The Butler, not Selma. I generally only pick actors who I was basically unaware of, or TV actors who had yet to break into film.

10) Jenny Slate (Obvious Child)
Even though audiences didn’t really watch Obvious Child, Hollywood took note. The SNL alum will surely start getting more and more roles offered to her.

9) Dylan O’Brien (The Maze Runner)
If he can break out beyond the Maze Runner franchise, he’ll be fine. It’s a strong franchise to help launch his face, and he already has Teen Wolf behind him.

8) Tessa Thompson (Dear White People/Selma)
The best thing about Dear White People. She’s actually been acting since 2005, but she’s really getting notice this year.

7) Carrie Coon (Gone Girl)
2014 was a breakthrough year for Carrie with a role on The Leftovers and a noticed performance in Gone Girl.

6) Karen Gillan (Guardians Of The Galaxy/Oculus)
I’m really a fan of her because of Selfie, but you can’t watch her films and not like her. She should be “the next It Girl” following in the steps of Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock, Reese Witherspoon, and all the other romcom stars.

5) Ellar Coltrane (Boyhood)
The big question is whether Ellar will be a one film wonder, or if he’ll actually do other things beyond Boyhood. Only time can tell. He definitely has a great launching point.

4) Charlie Cox (The Theory Of Everything)
It’s cheating to include him on this list, but Cox is playing Daredevil for Netflix, so he’s basically guaranteed to have a much better 2015, and I’d like to think it’s because he had a good 2014.

3) Jack O’Connell (Starred Up/Unbroken)
I’m hoping that the lack of awards recognition for O’Connell didn’t stunt his growth in the industry.

2) Ansel Elgort (The Fault In Our Stars/Divergent/Men Women and Children)
Ansel had a big year, and it should only get bigger.

1) Brenton Thwaites (The Giver/Oculus/Maleficent/The Signal)
He was in FOUR movies this year. He went from obscurity to the biggest new thing in 2014. Oh, and he just landed Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

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