We single out the year's most impressive physical transformation, action sequence, special effects, and other often overlooked categories.
Maggie Parker and Nate Millado 1 / 11
The Oscars are like the Super Bowl of movies. And while we’re sure Philomena,Her, and Nebraska are fine films, chances are you won’t recognize half the flicks nominated for Hollywood’s highest honors come March 2. So, we figured we’d let the Academy stick to what it knows best and instead award these 10 overlooked categories. Besides, who knows superheroes, stunts, style, and special effects—not to mention hot women and hook ups—better than us?
Could it be the more weight you lose, the greater your shot at an Academy Award? Following in the footsteps of Tom Hanks, Adrien Brody, and Christian Bale—who dropped serious poundage en route to Oscar glory—Matthew McConaughey has suddenly emerged as a Best Actor contender. This after shedding 38 el-bees from his normally ripped frame to play unlikely AIDS activist Ron Woodruff.
Lois Lane and Katniss Everdeen sure know how to throw down. When Amy Adams’ grifter and Jennifer Lawrence’s real housewife of Long Island finally face off—over Christian Bale’s combed-over con man, no less—you sense a serious catfight brewing. But instead of resorting to hair-pulling, J-Law plants an angry lip-lock on her nemesis. Talk about an unexpected—and much sexier—turn of events.
Some flicks do a rush job on “3D” in post in order to command premium prices at the multiplex (throwing a side-eye your way, RIPD and Hansel & Gretel.) But when it comes to a completely immersive “IMAX Experience,” Gravity is in a different orbit. If you’ve always dreamt of drifting into space—but never had the balls or the billions to do so—the visuals here will do the trick. They’re so realistic that you’ll feel like you’re floating right alongside Sandra Bullock.
Most Influential Style
The Great Gatsby
This Gatsby may not have been that great, but the stylistic remake certainly made sartorial waves. Not bad for a period piece. From sweater cardigans to slicked back hair, bowties and suspenders to pencil-thin staches, the 20s came roaring back on runways, in department stores—heck, even here in the Men’s Fitness offices. Thanks, Leo!
The competition was stiff—Ben Kingsley in Iron Man 3, Michael Fassbender in 12 Years a Slave, to name a few. But even the year’s most vicious villains would be quaking in their bad-guy boots if they stared into the steely eyes of Abduwali Muse, a Somali pirate played by Barkhad Abdi in Captain Phillips. Whether he’s killing you with kindness, or proclaiming he's “the captain now,” Muse is so intimidating, we don’t know why Tom Hanks just didn’t cry “Uncle!” before jumping overboard.
The climactic chase in FF6 may not be physically possible in real life—but that didn’t make it less exciting to witness. Between the cars, the planes, the weapons, the fighting— this packed more action than the previous five Fast films. Big ups to Men’s Fitness cover guy Vin Diesel and the late Paul Walker for pulling it off.
With a cast comprising of James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, and Danny McBride playing caricatures of themselves, This... is hilarious. The summer blockbuster satire poked fun at post-apocalyptic films and was the perfect combination of side-splitting jokes, creepy demons, bro-mances, and crazy cameos. And it all starts with an insane house party we wish we could have crashed.
Most Banging Hook-Up
Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Dormer, Rush
As if fast cars, fame, and fortune weren’t enough, Formula 1 racer James Hunt (played by Thor’s Chris Hemsworth) really rubs it in by realizing one of our ultimate fantasies—seducing a naughty nurse (Game of Thrones hottie Dormer) into having sex with him on a hospital bed. OK, so the scene was fictionalized (though the real-life Hunt reportedly bed more than 5,000 women). Still…talk about game! All that was missing was a “boom-chicka-bow-wow” in the background.
From Hugh Jackman (July/August 2013) to Jamie Foxx (November 2013), we were lucky to land some award-worthy actors on our cover over the last year. But we’ll give the edge to Mark Wahlberg for his outstanding portrayal of a Navy SEAL on an ill-fated covert mission. The 2006 Oscar nominee (for The Departed) is one of the few good men who could really do justice to this heroic true story.
The Wolf of Wall Street (available on Blu Ray combo pack on March 25) is a rollercoaster of a film that has three things we love: money, booze, and women. Martin Scorsese and the dynamic cast—including sexy newcomer Margot Robbie— turned the true story of Jamie Belfort’s tumultuous career in fraudulent finance circa the 90s into three of the most entertaining hours we’ve ever experienced.