The Hunger Games Mockingjay

We’ve shown you our top 10s of 2014, our favorite actors, characters, and trailers, the best under-the-radar releases, and so on. Even so, there are a few more scenes, performances, gags, and other miscellanea we’d like to highlight before we close the book on 2014. So as we head into 2015, we present to you the odds and ends of 2014 — the other stuff that we’ll remember about the past year in film, for better or for worse.

Most Effective Marketing Campaign: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

Anyone can give you a well-cut trailer or a pretty poster. Lionsgate turned its marketing campaign for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 into an experience. The Capitol TV dispatches turned us all into citizens of Panem, while supplementary materials like the District Heroes series expanded the world of Panem far beyond what we’ve seen or will ever get to see in the movies. But for me, the real evidence of the campaign’s effectiveness arrived in the theater. The hair on the back of my neck stood up at the opening strains of the Capitol TV, thanks to the months I’d spent listening to it in the run-up to the movie.

Worst Case of Dragon Sickness: Peter Jackson and Warner Bros.

Hobbit Battle of the Five Armies Thorin Gold

If “dragon sickness” makes an otherwise sane person act unreasonably greedy, then Peter Jackson and Warner Bros. had the worst case of “dragon sickness” in Hollywood in 2014. As The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies rolled out, it became clear that every suspicion we’d had about the trilogy being a cynical money-grubbing ploy was correct. Together, the three epic pictures only served to prove that The Hobbit had no business being adapted into three epic pictures to begin with.

The You Tried Award: Winter’s Tale

Winter's Tale

There were a lot of bad movies in 2014. What made Winter’s Tale unique was that it was a bad movie that had clearly been made with a lot of care. The tone of the film is almost oppressively earnest, and not a single person in the cast or crew seems to be phoning it in. And yet nearly every decision is preposterously misguided, from Colin Farrell’s terrible haircut right up to the film’s very notion of “miracles.”

Best End Credits Sequence: 22 Jump Street

27 Jump Street

22 Jump Street was a sequel to a comic reboot of an old TV drama, that was all about the very ridiculousness of making a sequel to a comic reboot of an old TV drama. And just when I thought they’d squeezed every joke they possibly could out of that premise, they dropped about a dozen more in the credits. It’s almost too bad Sony is actually moving ahead with another Jump Street movie. The sly sequence would’ve been the perfect capper to a movie franchise that’s proved much sharper than it ever had any right to be.

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Things take a dark turn on the next page with the best and worst timing of the year, the best argument for letting humanity die off, and more.

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