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The Washington Post’s Best Movies of 2014: ‘Boyhood,’ ‘Birdman’ and the Rest

The Washington Post's Best Movies of 2014: 'Boyhood,' 'Birdman' and the Rest

As Christmas decorations seem to go up earlier every year, Top 10 lists seem to be following suit, at least at the Washington Post. It’s not even Thanksgiving — and a handful of contenders, like Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken,” haven’t screened yet — but film critic Ann Hornaday has settled on her best movies of 2014. They are:

1. “Boyhood
2. “Birdman, or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
3. “Citizenfour
4. “Force Majeure
5. “Foxcatcher
6. “Under the Skin
7. “Selma
8. “Edge of Tomorrow
9. “Beyond the Lights
10. “Locke

Of her top pick, Hornaday writes:

With this touching coming-of-age drama, writer-director Richard Linklater accomplished so many groundbreaking things at once: Filming nonprofessional actor Ellar Coltrane over 12 years, then folding his actual youth and adolescence into a fictional story starring Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke, Linklater created a new cinematic language, allowing past and present to mesh as seamlessly as they do in real life. He allowed his actors to age naturally and gracefully on screen, defying Hollywood’s usual age-phobic strictures. And he created a portrait of a family evolving, yet staying the same, that moved and resonated with anyone who had ever been a parent, or a child, or both.

Also singled out for special mentions: “Nightcrawler,” “Obvious Child,” “Fort Bliss,” “Dear White People,” “Mr. Turner,” “The Imitation Game,” “The Theory of Everything,” and a long list of documentaries, including “Last Days of Vietnam,” “Life Itself,” “Finding Vivian Maier,” “Particle Fever,” “Jodorowsky’s Dune,” “Mistaken for Strangers,” “National Gallery,” “The Overnighters” and “Happy Valley.”

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the theory of everything.


Ann is one of the critics I see eye-to-eye with. In fact, the best three films I’ve seen (so far) this year are Boyhood, Birdman, and Force Majeure, in that order. The other choices she has made are okay, though I still don’t really get the love for Locke. For me, it’s a film that didn’t take advantage of the medium. In fact, I don’t think it would have lost anything if it were a radio drama instead of a film. Is anything truly essential brought to the story by it being filmed? I’m not sure.


Good list. Into the woods looks like crap, just look at Johnny Depp. And I have a feeling Unbroken is gonna break

Andrew James

No mention of "Inherent Vice" – not even in the honorable mention portion. That is discouraging.

Logan Smith

Have you even seen ‘Unbroken’ and ‘Into the Woods’?



Tiago Santos

I thought this was a list for the 10 best FILMS of 2014, but i see "Under the Skin" there. Is this a list for something else than films too? :o

Daniella Isaacs

Despite your apologetic headline, this is still ludicrous. Couldn’t you wait at least until the day after Thanksgiving, like last year? Well, we’ll see next year’s list on Halloween, huh?

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