2014 Movie Review Round-up confirms I like movies

August 20, 2015 in Best Of, Movie Reviews, Reviews by pacejmiller

Movie Posters 2014

Maybe the rumors that I’m too kind to most movies are true.

It usually takes me a while to complete my best and worst of lists for movies for the year because I like to get through as many as I can — and all the ones I want to see — before setting the lists in stone. As I rank films based on the year they are officially released as opposed to when I see them, it typically takes me months after the end of each year to get through all the movies of that particular year.

I didn’t do too bad this year. It’s only August 2015 and I’m finally ready to cast my votes for the best and worst films of 2014. There are still a few films outstanding that I might eventually get to, but my guess is that they won’t make it on either list. For example, I’m about three-quarters through the Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts film, When We’re Young, and my attempt to watch the acclaimed Mr Turner failed miserably (I just found it so boring and the dialogue audibly incomprehensible).

Before I get to the lists, here are some fun facts I discovered why tabulating the results.

– I watched a total of 155 movies with an official release date of 2014

– The first 2014 film I watched was the Robocop remake (which I sadly didn’t even watch until February due to childcare commitments), and the last was Son of a Gun, the Aussie flick starring Ewan McGregor (watched late last month)

– I managed to see everything on my list of 15 most anticipated movies of 2014.

– With a ratings system of 0 to 5 stars and 0.25 star increments, I ended up using every possible rating except 0.25, 0.75, 1.25 and 4.75. Zero stars count theoretically, but it’s a rating I don’t give out — no matter how badly I want to — as I acknowledge that at least some effort has been put into making every movie ever made.

Distribution of Ratings 1

– In 2014, I gave four movies a maximum of 5 stars and one film a low of 0.5 stars. My most common rating was 3.5 stars, which means “very good” and was dished out to 23 movies. This was followed by 4 stars, meaning “excellent”,  tied with 2 stars, meaning “bad”, with each receiving 20 ratings. The median score, 2.5 stars, meaning “barely passable”, received 14 ratings, while my real baseline for a “decent” movie, 3 stars, had 17 ratings.

– My average rating for the 155 movies was 3.077 stars, which according to my rating system would mean that the average film of 2014 is a shade over “decent.” On the other hand, my median rating was slightly higher at 3.25, which means “pretty good”. I think that reflects my overall sentiments well. A lot of mediocre stuff, some horrible crap, and a few memorable standouts.

– There is a vague bell curve to the distribution, though the chart does appear skewed to the higher scores. Couple with the average and median scores, I suppose that confirms I tend to be more lenient than most when it comes to judging the quality of a film. I can’t help it. I like movies.

– Ratings are handed out at time of review and never amended, meaning I sometimes shock myself when looking back at the scores I gave to some movies. Some feel too high, some too low.

– In hindsight, movies that feel like they probably should have received a slightly higher rating include: Gone Girl (4.25), Guardians of the Galaxy (3.75), Edge of Tomorrow (3.75), John Wick (3.5), The Rover (3). Movies that feel like they probably deserved slightly less include: The Good Lie (4.25), Horns (4.25), How to Train Your Dragon 2 (4), The Maze Runner (4), Big Eyes (3.75).

Up next, my worst 10 films of 2014. Stay tuned.