Top Five Films of 2014.

Don't google "News Recap 2014" because it will make you sad. We as a society had a bit of a rough year. BUT there were some fantastic highlights, including marriage equality across many states, Malala Yousafzai winning a Nobel Peace Prize, and Beyonce's badass album (and reclaiming of the word "feminist").

Oh, Beyonce! You made 2014 so much better!

And of course, there were movies. In a year full of bad news, it was wonderful to have our escape to the cinema. So without further ado, here are my top five favorite films of 2014:

(Disclaimer: I haven't seen Boyhood yet. Ugh, I know, I'm the worst.)

I didn't just love this movie because my siblings and I were obsessed with legos when we were little (but we were and we had the coolest lego city around). Or because I love animation (and it's beautifully animated). I loved this movie because I loved the message, I loved the humor (I seriously laughed out loud every 25 seconds), and I loved the cast. Chris Pratt is obviously the shining star, but Elizabeth Banks, Alison Brie, and Will Arnett kill it in the co-star department. Plus, my friend Adam wrote a draft of this movie! And I'm super proud of him.

I don't want to say too much about this movie because I don't want to spoil it. It's better if you go in knowing as little as possible. It's on Netflix right now, so stop what you're doing and check it out. It's a fascinating love story that makes you get reeeeaal introspective. It's basically just Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss the whole time, but you never get bored. They know how to carry a movie. I thought about this movie long after seeing it (I'm still thinking about it)...definitely longer than I thought about Interstellar.

I know everyone and their mom loved Moonrise Kingdom, but I felt like Grand Budapest was a true return to form for Wes Anderson. It's that perfect mix of The Royal Tenenbaums and Rushmore. I love it when Wes Anderson chooses to focus on one character - one flawed character who is so charming and so good in so many ways that you overlook his flaws and want him to succeed. Plus, his menagerie of actors are all very well-cast as hilarious side characters in this one. Oh, and the set dec is on point.

Why aren't there more movies like this one? Seriously, this is all I want in a movie. It's a wonderful action adventure comedy...the perfect escape. My boy Chris Pratt kills it, but the rest of the cast brings it too; most notably, Vin Diesel, as Groot, gives a heartwarming performance reminiscent of his role as the Iron Giant. I know there have been some complaints about logic and plot points, but I understood the basics of what was happening the whole time. Plus, how can you argue about logic when you're watching a space movie with a talking raccoon who's obsessed with machine guns? You can't - you can only say THIS IS AWESOME, and then watch it again.

This movie made me feel so many feelings. And I mean that as a good thing. I was enthralled from start to finish. The directing, cinematography, and editing are all meticulously beautiful (and unrelenting). Michael Keaton is simply astounding in every scene - I wish his internal monologue was the voice in my head (OK, maybe not what he's saying...just the tenor of his voice). Edward Norton is both hilarious and horrible. Emma Stone is almost unrecognizable as Keaton's surly daughter. And throughout it all, no matter how silly or serious, you find so much in these characters and their situations that resonates with your own life (both good and bad). I don't think this is just because I'm involved with film and theater. I think anyone could watch this movie and say - yes, I know this person or these people or in fact, I am one of these people. Best movie of the year, you guys.

What were your favorite films?