Home Page – Best of 2014

With 230 lists included, Boyhood continues to expand its lead!

49. Blue Ruin (1o lists; 1 top spot)

“Blue Ruin” is a movie about revenge, but it reaches far past the bottom-shelf titillations of fantasy to tell a richer, character-driven story with a protagonist who’s less avenging angel than ghost. — Barbara VanDenburgh, Arizona Republic

49. Her (10 lists; 1 top spot)

A lonely young man falls head over keyboard in love with his computer’s operating system…It’s not just any operating system, but one designed to be empathetic with humans, and has Scarlett Johansson as its Siri-with-sex-appeal voice. Who could resist? — Cary Darling, Fort Worth Star Telegram

48. Actress (10 lists; 3 top spots)

For Burre, artistic and erotic desire are fused; she sees her life as a series of roles-mom conflicts with actress, partner with lover-and her struggle for fulfillment links creative work with economic independence. — Richard Brody, New Yorker

47. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (11 lists)

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the best and brainiest blockbuster of the summer, the kind of movie you hope for when you pay your money and buy your popcorn. — Peter Howell, Toronto Star

45. National Gallery (11 lists; 1 top spot)

Turning his camera on works of art and the people who steer the distinguished London complex, the grand old man of hands-off documentaries studies paintings and bears witness to staff meetings, curatorial discussions and gallery talks. — Jay Weissberg, Variety

45. The Raid 2 (11 lists; 1 top spot)

Just when you think the movie has gotten as wonderfully, violently over-the-top as possible, it manages to keep upping the ante until its exhausting climax. It leaves you drained, but not enervated. — Alfonso Duralde, TheWrap

43. Nymphomaniac (12 lists)

A ferociously entertaining experience in which one finds von Trier at the peak of his craft, linking together ideas about female sexuality, fly-fishing and artistic creation with equal amounts of playfulness and intellectual rigor. — Scott Foundas, Variety

43. Wild (12 lists)

What the book communicates better than the movie is just how grueling the Pacific Coast Trail can be…But that’s only a quibble. Like the book, the movie inspires wanderlust, whether the quest is for your body or your psyche. — Roger Philpot, Fort Worth Star Telegram

42. Obvious Child (13 lists)

Whatever talent or care Robespierre has goes into guiding the actors toward real gentleness, including Slate, who spends the movie with big, untamed hair. Her affect is brazenly ungroomed. — Wesley Morris, Grantland

40. American Sniper (13 lists; 1 top spot)

A taut, vivid and sad account of the brief life of the most accomplished marksman in American military annals, American Sniper feels very much like a companion piece-in subject, theme and quality-to The Hurt Locker. — Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter

40. Norte, the End of History (13 lists; 1 top spot)

Norte is formidable cinema that doesn’t shy away from exploring history, philosophy, politics and religion at length. But it’s also a story of three individuals, through whom these topics gain sharper focus. — Tomas Hachard, NPR

39. Leviathan (13 lists; 2 top spots)

This is a whale of a movie, grotesque and a little bloated but impossible to ignore. — Dave Calhoun, Time Out

38. Winter Sleep (14 lists)

The esoteric world of masterful Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan proves as vibrant and uneasy as ever in Winter Sleep, a Chekhovian meditation on a marriage that returns to the mood of the director’s early films like Climates and Clouds of May. — Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter

37. Stray Dogs (15 lists)

The director’s austere minimalism has always been suspended between the mesmerizing and the distancing, and in his latest feature, the concentration on elliptical observation, mood and texture signals an almost complete rejection of narrative. — David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter

36. Dear White People (15 lists; 1 top spot)

While it veers toward smugness and self-satisfaction at times, the Spike-Lee-lite exercise nonetheless heralds a fresh and funny new voice on the scene in writer-director Justin Simien … — Justin Chang, Variety

35. Locke (16 lists)

Hardy rises to the gimmick and grounds “Locke” with a performance as watchably charismatic as it is minimalist. You can’t take your eyes off him – which is fortunate since there’s no one else there. — Ty Burr, Boston Globe

34. Life Itself (17 lists)

James cuts – as in all of his best work – straight to the human heart of the matter, celebrating both the writer and the man, the one inseparable from the other, largely in Ebert’s own words. — Scott Foundas, Variety

33. Manakamana (18 lists)

“Manakamana” is a haunting experience, one that requires patience (and then some) but that offers spiritual, philosophical, and aesthetic rewards beyond the immediate power of words to describe. — Ty Burr, Boston Globe

32. Calvary (19 lists; 3 top spots)

The tension of Calvary is fitful at best, and much of the movie trips into silliness, but in Brendan Gleeson — in his proud bearing and his lamenting gaze — we see the plight of the lonely believer in a world beyond belief. — Anthony Lane, New Yorker

31. Stranger by the Lake (20 lists; 2 top spots)

The film is a Hitchcockian murder story in which the Hitchcockian elements-style as well as content-are stood on their heads in order to realize a philosophical vision that’s no less sophisticated than Hitchcock’s own. — Richard Brody, New Yorker

30. A Most Violent Year (21 lists; 1 top spot)

Just when we’re settling into the film being a Lumet-ian character-driven drama, Chandor will, on more than one occasion, organically segue to an adrenaline-packed truck chase that’s as exciting as any big action-movie moment of recent memory. — Alonso Duralde

29. Love is Strange (21 lists; 2 top spots)

This beautifully observed ensembler shines on the strength of its two leads, John Lithgow and Alfred Molina, who conjure four decades together as they enter the “for better, for worse” phase of their union. — Peter Debruge, Variety

28. Edge of Tomorrow (23 lists)

It’d be easy to dismiss Edge of Tomorrow as just another blunt-force summer movie, but it’s sharp as a scalpel in the deft hands of its makers, with the kind of smarts, wit, filmmaking and force too many other summer films can only dream of. — James Rocchi, Film.com

27. The Theory of Everything (23 lists; 3 top spots)

Redmayne uses his eyebrows, his mouth, a few facial muscles, and the fingers of one hand to suggest not only Hawking’s intellect and his humor but also the calculating vanity of a great man entirely conscious of his effect on the world. — David Denby, New Yorker

26. Listen Up Phillip (24 lists; 2 top spots)

Why would anyone want to spend time with these people? Because they’re fools with great gifts, and Perry almost lovingly explores the gulf between the beauty with which they create and the smallness with which they live. — Ty Burr, Boston Globe

25. The Imitation Game (26 lists; 2 top spots)

The movie is undeniably strong in its sense of a bright light burned out too soon, and the often undignified fate of those who dare to chafe at society’s established norms. — Scott Foundas, Variety

24. Foxcatcher (28 lists; 1 top spot)

Steve Carell offers a tour de force of slow-burning menace. Foxcatcher, one of the year’s very best films, exposes the diseased underbelly of American exceptionalism and knocks the ground out from under you. — Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

23. We Are the Best! (29 lists; 2 top spots)

Funny and frank in its observations, the film is a delightful snapshot of female friendship at that age, from the giddy highs to the melancholy funks, from the sustaining bonds to the jealousies and stinging betrayals. — David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter

22. Interstellar (30 lists; 4 top spots)

It’s an amazing achievement that deserves to be seen on the biggest screen with the best sound system possible. Nolan has crafted Interstellar as a movie theater experience. Watching it at home, no matter how good the sound system is, won’t match. — James Berardinelli, ReelViews

21. Mr. Turner (32 lists; 2 top spots)

“Mr. Turner” is a harsh, strange, but stirring movie, no more a conventional artist’s bio-pic than Robert Altman’s wonderful, little-seen film about van Gogh and his brother, “Vincent and Theo.” — David Denby, New Yorker

20. Citizenfour (32 lists; 5 top spots)

Adapting the cold language of data encryption to recount a dramatic saga of abuse of power and justified paranoia, Poitras brilliantly demonstrates that information is a weapon that cuts both ways. — Ronnie Scheib, Variety

19. The Babadook (34 lists; 1 top spot)

Who thinks up a film like The Babadook? Actress-turned-debuting-feature-director Jennifer Kent has the narrative chutzpah to show her entire hand in the pop-up story and then make us squirm as foretold events come true. — Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York

18. Goodbye to Language (37 lists; 11 top spots)

Godard can’t stop himself from exploring new ways to make pictures. He seems to enjoy doing so almost as much as he enjoys frustrating the expectations of those who still want a movie to have a beginning, a middle and an end, in that order. — Mark Jenkins, NPR 

17. Snowpiercer (38 lists; 1 top spot)

In different hands, Snowpiercer might have been just another generic action movie. Yet with South Korean director Bong Joon-ho at the helm, it’s instead something more off-kilter and more disturbingly satisfying. — Cary Darling, Fort Worth Star Telegram

16. The LEGO Movie (38 lists; 3 top spots)

Pop-culture jokes ricochet off the heads of younger viewers to tickle the world-weary adults in the audience, with just enough sentimental goo applied at the end to unite the generations. Parents will dab their eyes while the kids roll theirs. — A.O. Scott, New York Times

15. Guardians of the Galaxy (39 lists)

The movie knows that junk art is still art, that no one is more in need of something to speak for them than the inarticulate – and with that it takes the secret pull of comic geekdom and elevates it to a kind of bittersweet, obsessive romanticism. — Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger

14. The Immigrant (46 lists; 3 top spots)

The film is earnestly and unabashedly melodramatic to an extent that may baffle audiences accustomed to clever, knowing historical fictions. But it also has a depth and purity of feeling that makes other movies feel timid and small by comparison. — A.O. Scott, New York Times

13. Two Days, One Night (47 lists; 2 top spot)

The Dardenne brothers take on a movie star and lose none of their beautifully observed verisimilitude in another powerhouse slice of working-class Belgian life. — Scott Foundas, Variety

12. Force Majeure (54 lists; 1 top spot)

This brilliant, viciously amusing takedown of bourgeois complacency, gender stereotypes and assumptions and the illusion of security rubs your face in human frailty as relentlessly as any Michael Haneke movie. — Stephen Holden, New York Times

11. Nightcrawler (54 lists; 2 top spots)

Nightcrawler curves and hisses its way into your head with demonic skill. This is a deliciously twisted piece of work. And Gyllenhaal, coiled and ready to spring, is scarily brilliant. — Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

10. Ida (56 lists; 5 top spots)

[The] screenplay is a model of economy, as precise as the lensing by Ryszard Lenczewski and Lukasz Zal, who often position their subjects at the bottom of the frame, emphasizing personal insignificance within the totalitarian machine. — Peter Howell, Toronto Star

9. Only Lovers Left Alive (59 lists; 3 top spots)

A smidge more commercial than Jarmusch’s meandering previous effort, “The Limits of Control.” But it still feels like an in-joke intended only for select acolytes, who will probably love it with an undying passion. — Leslie Felperin, Variety

8. Inherent Vice (61 lists; 9 top spots)

As with Magnolia and Punch-Drunk Love, the director has created another vivid Los Angeles, one that doesn’t lean too hard on its pop-culture references to TV’s Adam-12 or Neil Young’s gentle Harvest album. — John Rothkopf, Time Out New York

7. Selma (63 lists; 5 top spots)

“Selma” is one of the best American films of the year – and indeed perhaps the best – precisely because it does not simply show what Dr. King did for America in his day; it also wonders explicitly what we have left undone for America in ours. — James Rocchi, TheWrap

6. Gone Girl (65 lists; 2 top spots)

The movie is phenomenally gripping-although it does leave you queasy, uncertain what to take away on the subject of men, women, marriage, and the possibility of intimacy from the example of such prodigiously messed-up people. — David Edelstein, New York Magazine

5. Birdman (78 lists; 8 top spots)

Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman is so good, so profoundly entertaining, so confident that it makes you wonder whether the other Iñárritu — the director of such weighty magazine spreads as 21 Grams, Babel, and Biutiful — was a fraud all along — Wesley Morris, Grantland

4. Whiplash (80 lists; 11 top spots)

You don’t have to be a jazz fan for Whiplash to zap you with its thrumming live-wire beat (although it doesn’t hurt). If you can appreciate the sight of two totally dialed-in performers simmering until they boil over, that’s enough. — Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly

3. Under the Skin (89 lists; 15 top spots)

Johansson provides an extraordinary window into an alien being; through her eyes, we see and hear the world as someone not from here would. Her performance is the payoff that makes Glazer’s enigmatic storytelling choices so effective. — Alonso Duralde, TheWrap

2. The Grand Budapest Hotel (100 lists; 8 top spots)

This is one of Anderson’s funniest and most fanciful movies, but perversely enough it may also be his most serious, most tragic and most shadowed by history, with the frothy Ernst Lubitsch-style comedy shot through with an overwhelming sense of loss. — Andrew O’Hehir, Salon.com

1. Boyhood (157 lists; 57 top spots)

Perhaps never has the long arc of the journey from childhood to college been portrayed as cohesively and convincingly as Richard Linklater has done in a film that can be plain on a moment-to-moment basis but is something quite special in its entirety.– Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter



135 responses to “Home Page – Best of 2014

  1. joe

    I don’t remember The Assassination of Jesse James coming to my city

  2. david

    I saw No Country for Old Men, and I paid attention. I am still flummoxed at the number of people who are making excuses for this films non-ending. I liked the movie alot, but it lacked KEY elements of a story like climax and dynamic characters. And if you think you paid attention and “got it” then you tell me and everyone else who reads this site what the climax was and who was/were the dynamic character(s)! I bet some people will try but I dont think anyone can do it. And if youre reading this Peter Travers, Im calling you out. You tell us what you gathered when you “paid attention”. Edify me!

  3. Lance

    David – I’m not a big fan of the movie (21/2 out of 5, at best), but one of the reasons I did like it was that the structure of the story DIDN’T include a normal climax and tried to do something different. There was a climax but it happened off-screen and we missed it. Is this the best way to tell a story? I don’t think it worked but I’m happy that someone tried to do something different.

    With that said, I agree with your frustration with film critics who say they like something but never justify their reasons. I watched the VH1 special on the broadcast film critics awards and some of their reasons for liking a film or a performance sounded more like the reasons why any 16 year old would like something. Tell me your opinion and then give me real examples to back up your opinion. “It blew me away” or “I fell in love with this movie” should be outlawed from any future movie reviews.

  4. Daniel

    Here’s what I thought about No Country (which I loved by the way).
    The obvious theme of the movie is good versus evil. If you think about it, this struggle is on going. This movie did not have a definite climax or ending in order to represent that real life battle that continues as we type.

    I also think that Tommy Lee Jones’ character was pretty dynamic. For most of the movie he is a “good guy” who is fighting the good fight without questioning because he knows his father is waiting for him and that it is all worth it. But this country is “no country for old men.” He is realizing throughout the movie that times are changing, new evil is creeping in (represented by Anton) and he wonders whether he should even bother trying to keep up with it anymore.
    That was my take on it, anyway, I hope to hear back from you, David.

  5. Cliff

    I agree with Daniel. I felt like the story was a contrast between the apparition of evil to an honest man and a dishonest man. If Anton represents the presence of evil in this world, implacable and immutable, as his final scene would suggest, then what ultimately happens to Llewellyn and the sheriff is the basis for the film’s morality, and each of the three characters reaches his own personal resolution by the film’s end. And if you look at Tommy Lee Jones’ struggle as the viewer’s struggle, then the end of the film provides absolute closure for the question at the heart of the film.

  6. Don’t read this if you haven’t seen No Country For Old Men yet.

    No Country For Old Men is a meditation on the fear of growing old and dying. It is told from the point of view of an aging sheriff who sees death everywhere he looks. His fear throughout the film is that he is getting too old to contribute anything anymore and he is just going to wither away and die. He tells his crippled uncle that he feels “over-matched”. The end of the film, specifically the final monologue delivered by Tommy Lee Jones, represents acceptance of death. He says he knows when he gets there, his father will be waiting for him. He looks sad and terrified, because death is such an unknown frontier. But he has at least come to terms with it.

    The storylines of Llewellyn Moss and Anton Chigurh are metaphorically significant to this theme. Llewellyn represents how people indulge in superficial pursuits over their lives without giving much of a second thought to their own mortality until they get to be Sheriff Bell’s age (that is, if they make it that far). Anton Chigurh represents the Angel of Death himself. Sheriff Bell’s uncle responds to the news of the sheriff’s retirement and his feeling of being “over-matched” by telling him the story of another uncle in their family who was meaninglessly gunned down on his own front porch many years ago and says “What you got aint nothing new.” Obviously this refers to the same fears we’ve been discussing here.

    We all choose to live our lives however we see fit, many times we act selfishly and forget our place. But at the end of the day, we “can’t stop what’s coming”. We all go to the same place, and someday we must all accept that. I’d say that acceptance is as satisfying a conclusion to this story as there could possibly be.

    • Andy

      I love this movie/book and this is the best explanation I’ve ever heard on it. However, the story is also a comment on the (author’s perceived) moral de-evolution of modern day American society. The morbid remains of the Mexican stand-off serves as a microcosmic foreshadowing of the entire chain of events that is about to occur – as well as a prophetic statement about the younger generations taking control of American society.

  7. RichardA

    The explanations are all good; but, it’s an extrapolation of what’s presented on the screen.

  8. Mike Anderson

    There Will Be Blood is a bulldozer of a movie. Or should I say Daniel Day-Lewis bulldozes his way through the Daniel Plainview character. I saw this film at a screening in September and the thing still resonates with me. I don’t remember the last time I have seen a movie where practically every human emotion is displayed on screen, to where you are moved with the same types of emotions. Near perfect movie making all the way around, and Anderson has made a gigantic leap forward in his writing and directing. And Day-Lewis IS Plainview. You are watching Daniel Plainview, not Daniel Day-Lewis. It’s almost scary how that guy can become another person. Total immersion. You just shake your head in wonderment. I can’t wait to see it again when it’s released in January. Oh… No Country For Old Men is also my top film of 2007.

    • , No, I booked my fihglt online and rode the plane. Oh and another one I also get is Do you still live in teepees. Which is wrong cuz I’m not a plains Indian that you see on those old black and white western videos but rather Navajo and our traditional home is the hogan. All in all, I agree with ya on your blog about your view of stereotypes. But sometimes, you find a person that embodies the stereotype and you can’t help but smile. And as for the Japanese one. I gotta do some research of my own to see if it is true. Haha. J/K.

  9. Buddy

    I like all the different views on No Country for Old Men and I felt it was such a great film because it’s so rich with layers and different themes one could draw from. So, I’d like to share mine, it’s similar to other people’s but I’d still like to share it.

    When I first walked out of the theater I saw it as being a story about how it’s impossible for any of us to prevent death. The line “You can’t stop what’s comin’ ” from the Sheriff’s cousin towards the end of the film is key. Throughout the entire film the characters are constantly trying to escape Anton (an agent of death) and buy their way out. In the end though Moss still dies, and while it wasn’t by Anton’s hand it still happened. Then after that Anton goes to Moss’ wife and offers her a chance to get out of dying and she rejects it, proving herself to be the only person in the entire film that will accept her fate.

    Then the final moments of the film help solidify this theme. After leaving the wife’s house Anton is the car wreck, basically the universes’ way of reminding him that no matter how he sees himself he’s not the angel of death, he’s not a supernatural force, he’s just another superhuman being and it might not happen today, it might not happen tomorrow but he’s still going to die.

    The sheriff’s final dream at the end involves his father riding off to prepare a camp for him, his father doesn’t even look at him. His father’s ashamed that his son didn’t keep fighting for the good in the world. He might have died at Anton’s hand if he kept on searching but it would have been an honorable death. But just because he escaped Anton does not mean he’s escaped death and his father is still going ahead of him to prepare a place for him.

  10. Buddy

    Also, I thought I’d add in addition to No Country for Old Men my other favorite movies of 2007 are The Assassination of Jesse James and Zodiac. There’s alot on this list I haven’t gotten the oppurtunity to see yet because in my town we don’t get alot of the limited release stuff till later but I’m eagerly awaiting There Will Be Blood and Juno among others.

  11. Daniel

    I’d just like to say one more thing, my favorite movie of the year so far isn’t on this list (I haven’t seen Sweeney yet which will probably become my favorite when I do). That movie is Lars and the Real Girl. I highly reccomend it to everyone who likes comedies or dramas, because really its both. Its a definate must see, one of the best I’ve seen in a long time.

  12. Mike Anderson

    Yes. Lars and The Real Girl, Rescue Dawn, Gone Baby Gone, 3:10 To Yuma I would say personally, are missing from this list.

  13. Greetings: Thanks so much for including my list from MSNBC.com. But for future reference, my first name has no “f” in it. Cheers, and Happy New Year.

  14. Joe

    The top three films on this list are killer. “No Country for Old Men,” “There Will Be Blood” and “Zodiac” will be remembered for a long time as masterpieces by The Coen Brothers, Paul Thomas Anderson and David Fincher.

  15. Top 10 list from The Times-Picayune in New Orleans

  16. Tom

    DAVID –

    I loved this movie and paid attention enough to interpret it in my own way…great films are ambiguous.
    This is a film about a man who wishes he could have known his father better…and that he could have ‘saved’ him, had he known him better. At the end of the film it is clear that either time has past and Tommy lee is now retired, or no time has passed and he has BEEN retired. The main action has been his dream.

    Llewellen (Brolin) represented Tommy Lee Jones’s father as “the younger man’ in the main action. Tommy says he had two dreams at the end of the film: one where his father gave him some money and then he lost it…and the other where his father was “the younger man”.

    I decided to read the book to see if it would confirm my take on it…there are things that link and things that don’t…but to me the most profound evidence for my interpretation comes in the final sentence of the novel: “And then I woke up.”

  17. Cool site! I can tell you put a lot of work into it. Here’s my top 10 list from 2007, I write for Study Breaks Magazine, INsite Magazine and keep all my reviews archived on coleandbobby.com. Thanks!

  18. Kurt

    Is it a typo that the text for #31 and #34 are the same?

  19. Jordan

    Any updates coming up?

  20. criticstop10

    I will do one final update this weekend. There aren’t many additional lists coming out, but I do hope to add 2000 – 2005 in the next few weeks as well.

  21. Top10Scout

    I found you another 10 best list. It’s from the Corsair Newspaper in Santa Monica, Ca. I found it in their print edition but it wasn’t posted on their online. It’s done by Jonathan Ramos, their Arts & Leisure editor.
    1. The Kite Runner
    2. There Will Be Blood
    3. Once
    4. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
    5. 3:10 to Yuma
    6. I’m Not There
    7. The Darjeeling Limited
    8. Juno
    9.Away From Her
    10. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

  22. hitesh choudhary

    i am really excited of 2008 version . when will it be posted on this site??

  23. I enjoy checking out this compilation each year. Thanks so much for your hard work.

    Here’s my 2008 list if you’d like to add it to the pot:


    Cheers (and Happy Holidays),

  24. JR

    Time for an update ;)

  25. Send me an email when you get a chance and I will send you our member’s individual top 10 lists–I see you already have our combined list up. I thought I had your email from last year but I guess not. Talk with you soon.

  26. I don’t understand this chart. where are the lists? which lists are being calculated?

  27. JR

    re @Nathaniel

    Its not that hard to figure it out; just click on critics top 10 lists.

  28. Dave

    Is there a final update coming? It’s been saying for weeks that there will be one final one, but so far there’s been nothing!

  29. Emmaline

    Halo! The babes are here! This is my favorite site to visit. I make sure I am alone in case I get too hot. Post your favorite link here.

  30. Oops. I hadn’t checked the individual lists until too late.

    I see you’ve already included the Slant staff’s Top Tens.

  31. Here’s a 2008 top ten from Aaron Dumont:

    10. Death in the Land of Encantos
    9. Rachel Getting Married
    8. Let the Right One In
    7. The Beaches of Agnes
    6. Standard Operating Procedure
    5. My Winnipeg
    4. Hunger
    3. United Red Army
    2. Che
    1. Synecdoche, New York

  32. .

    Oops. That shouldn’t say Death in the Land of Encantos.

    That should read “Import/Export”. My bad.

  33. Scott

    Hey… when are we getting 2009’s list? Movie City News has their first list up!

  34. David Cochrane

    Nice to see the 2009 list up (and especially nice to see the Coens placing so well again). Will there be a best-of-decade page up as well?

  35. Dave Van

    Am I not seeing it, or is there no page that has the individual lists for 2009 up yet? Is there going to be?

  36. Cliff

    Yay! Glad to see the list up, and already surprised and intrigued by some of the placements (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Headless Woman). I’m sure you’ve got enough work on your hands right now, but I look forward to seeing the quotes to make the case for each one! In the meantime, happy to see Hurt Locker atop the heap, and Coraline sneaking in there.

  37. ron

    thanks for the update
    no.2 film inglourious basterds should have 174 lists, 23 top spots so far if i’m not mistaken.

  38. David Cochrane

    Wow – it doesn’t seem anything is going to catch The Hurt Locker. If it hadn’t come out in the summer and grossed only a tiny amount, I’d say it was a lock for a nomination and perhaps a win.

    I’ve seen a couple of end-of-decade polls but they only cover a couple dozen lists at the most; it would be interesting to see what a big survey would contain. I really hope you’ll put up a best-of-decade page here!

  39. Hey! You have already upload the first 2010 list! That’s awesome!

  40. Dave V

    Any chance you can post the individual lists of the critics for 2010? I am interested in seeing the breakdown, but also in each critics list.

  41. Pope

    This site is pretty cool. Looking forward to see who’ll take the #2 spot.

  42. Anonymous

    Where are these lists?! There’s only been like 5 or 6 lists posted on AwardsDaily yet you’re saying there’s 23 already? Where are they?

  43. Scott

    Where are these lists?! There’s only been like 5 or 6 lists posted on AwardsDaily yet you’re saying there’s 23 already? Where are they?

  44. Scott

    Oops, didn’t realize that double posted…sorry

  45. adithyakantewada

    Here is my list of 10 best movies of 2011
    2.Nader and Simin, A Seperation
    3.The Tree of Life
    5.Margin Call
    7.The Descendants
    8.The Artist
    10.War Horse

  46. Top Ten as of 12/16/11 (Still 10+ films to see)
    01- The Tree of Life
    02- This is Not a Film
    03- Mysteries of Lisbon
    04- Take Shelter
    05- The Muppets
    06- Certified Copy
    07- A Separation
    08- The Kid with a Bike
    09- Midnight in Paris
    10- Melancholia

  47. David Cochrane

    So glad to see The Tree of Life clambering to the top spot – it’s easily my #1 movie of a pretty good year – considering it came out over the summer & I was sure a backlash would have started to build by now. It will get nominated but has no chance in hell of winning (I’d say Hazanavicius, Payne or Fincher will get it – the latter two more in recognition of past films than of their new ones).

    A bigger surprise is Drive doing so well – it’s also been pretty polarizing & I was expecting, like the Malick film, to see its acclaim drop in the months since it came out, but the opposite seems to have happened. I had mixed feelings about it back in September but I really should take another look.

    • Anonymous

      The love for The Tree of Life is unfounded considering that film lacks a remotely entertaining or coherant story…in reality it’s little more then a video art installment. I think the critics were brainwashed or something by the eyegasms from the Planet Earth sequence.

      • Thomas

        “The love for The Tree of Life is unfounded considering that film lacks a remotely entertaining or coherant story”

        I’m glad you can determine that for us. But, in reality, the fact that you found that it lacks a “remotely entertaining or coherent story” doesn’t mean that everyone else feels the same way. I personally found it to be an enormously entertaining film, and one of enormous emotional resonance. While I do have some problems with the structure and overall worldview of the film, I do think it is a pretty exceptional film. Also, the “video art installation” line has been making it’s way around the internet, and the only thing that the line reveals is the fact that most people have never seen a “video art installation,” nor do they have any familiarity with art cinema.

        A general clue for life: If your best argument is “I didn’t like the film therefore anyone who did must be brainwashed,” you automatically fail. That is to say, your opinion that the film isn’t very good is perfectly valid – your opinion on the “brainwashed” nature of those who do like it isn’t valid, and the fact that you think it is says a lot about your own maturity.

        No matter how strong your feelings are on the subject, you do not have the one true reading of the film, nor is your opinion strong and definitive enough that anyone who disagrees with it reveals themselves to be “brainwashed.”

        Or, to use your tactics of assigning ulterior motives to those who disagree with your opinion and/or questioning the legitimacy and “objectivity” of opinions that differ from your own, it’s too bad you’re such a contrarian that, even though you loved it, you feel obligated to bash “The Tree of Life” just because other people praised it. Stop being brainwashed by anti-conformists and start learning to express your true feelings.

  48. Anonymous

    The love for The Tree of Life is unfounded considering that film lacks a remotely entertaining or coherant story…in reality it’s little more then a video art installment, lol

  49. Anonymous

    Do you consider foreign list? Here is Norway’s largest paper, VG’s list. They do a pretty good list every year.
    1. Drive
    2. Kongens tale
    3. Melancholia
    4. Winter’s bone
    5. Under huden
    6.Black Swan
    7. Another Year
    8. True Grit
    9. Rango
    10. Tree of Life
    source: http://www.vg.no/film/artikkel.php?artid=10016729

  50. Anonymous

    I don’t want this to become a slippery slope, but I’d really love to see a list for 1999. It’s often considered one of the best years in film history, and this site goes back to 2000… just one year away, come on now!!!

  51. Jesse

    The problem with including foreign lists are that release dates are different. Black Swan, True Grit, Another Year were released in 2010 in North America, but several other countries got them in 2011. Also, not all of these movies will open in every country so that’s a bit of a disadvantage when you include a country’s list that had no access to said film.

  52. Anonymous

    Very true Jesse. Although most festival titles have opened as far as I know, while missing some studio titles like J.Edgar.

  53. Anonymous

    Annual list from different critics by allocine:


    another foreign list however, from France.

  54. Anonymous

    Thanks for the list! The other lists doesn’t even come close to the number of lists you have here.

    And if you haven’t already have these, here’s a few top 10s from the folks at Film Threat: http://www.filmthreat.com/features/44746/comment-page-1/

  55. Kirk

    Thanks so much for maintaining this page. It’s an invaluable resource for me every year.

  56. AJC

    First: awesome site. I love trying to record this stuff.

    Secondly: you really need to get some citations. I would love to see which lists gave which movies top spots. Please? Thanks.

  57. David Cochrane

    I’ll add to the thanks – every year this is always fascinating to look at.
    As you mentioned at the top of the page, it’s interesting that there’s been no real runaway winner this year, or even any films making a majority of lists – Brokeback Mountain, I think, was the last ‘winner’ not to reach that threshold.

  58. Anonymous

    I love this site. But nobody seems to make any comments any more.

  59. I don’t understand why Drive only recieved one Oscar nomination

    • Andrew Sidhom

      It’s not very accessible, is it? You need to invest some thought and a special appreciation for it cause otherwise it could seem like an empty arthouse exercise about nothing in particular. Same reason MMMM, Take Shelter and Shame didn’t have a shot last year. Not to mention the extreme violence in Drive…

  60. Awesome site. Keep up the great, hard work. I use this as a main resource for 2000s movies, while I use They Shoot Pictures for older films.

  61. Anonymous

    What’s happening with the 2004 list?

  62. Anonymous

    Great site. (one mistake: in 2006 I don’t think you spell ”The Queen” —> ”The Qeen”)

    2011 IMO:
    1. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
    2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
    3. Rundskop
    4. Margin Call
    5. The Tree of Life
    6. Drive
    7. The Artist
    8. Ides of March
    9. Carnage
    10. Moneyball
    11. A Separation
    12. Les Intouchables
    13. Hugo
    14. Rango
    15. The Help

  63. Anonymous

    So when’s the party kicking off this year?

  64. Anonymous

    Exactly? You still have some followers here.

  65. Anonymous

    Hurrah. Been checking up on this page for a couple of weeks now. Glad it’s back.

  66. David Cochrane

    Given what the critics’ groups have been saying so far, looks like Kathryn Bigelow will top the list again – it may even be by a margin like The Social Network or No Country for Old Men managed, but of course it’s too early to tell for sure. Looking forward to seeing what other films place in the top ten – hopefully Looper won’t get squeezed out.

  67. ajcfood

    Hey, this is a great blog, but some suggestions:
    1. PLEASE update your banner pictures.
    2. Try to make the comments MOST RECENT on top, instead of seeing comments from 2007
    3. You need to show citations and data, because I’m not sure how accurate some of these numbers are.

  68. Anonymous

    I always look forward to this site in December. Keep up the great work!

  69. Bellissima lista ma non trovare film come On The Road o Snow White & the Huntsman è una vera delusione….! Ma si sa i critici quest’anno ce l’hanno con Kristen Stewart e così facendo non si accorgono che con il loro fare ci rimettono grandi attrici e attori come CharlizeTheron , Chris Hemsworth , Sam Claflin, Hedlund, Sam Riley , Tom Sturridge, Kirsten Dunst, e una grande Amy Adams che sicuramente si porterà a casa molti premi a gennaio tra cui il Golden Globes e può essere anche un Oscar!!!!

  70. Anonymous

    I would like it if you could supply a database of links to every top 10 used.

  71. Anonymous

    yay!!! The Master is leading!!!

  72. Anonymous

    I really hope Killer Joe gets a place.

  73. I’d love to see if Killer Joe gets a place.

  74. Andrew Sidhom

    Hmm, where are The Sessions, Monsieur Lazhar, Middle of Nowhere, Elena, Frankenweenie, Sister, Footnote, Chico and Rita, Keep the Lights On and In Darkness?

    All of these received great reviews – in general descending order. Are critics schizophrenic or is some stuff missing here??

    • Melvin

      I was wondering that too. The Master was not well received by critics with only 85% at RT but it’s at No. 1. The same thing happened last year with The Tree of Life.

    • ericmvan

      There are definitely some movies that are legitimate critical hits but fare poorly in Top 10 rankings, because they seem to be a lot of people’s #15 choice but somehow nobody’s #10. (This is especially true of documentaries, by the way.) End of Watch is another.

      It’s paradoxical, in a way. How many of the movies you named were in your top 10? I’m disappointed to not see Monsieur Lazhar — but it’s #11 on my list right now. If we see a ton of films, we would like this top 40 list to match our own, but that requires some people liking our number 11 to 40, which we really, really liked, even better than we did — much better, in fact. I thought it scandalous that The Prestige got 0 votes in the Sight and Sound Poll and hence does not rank among the 1000++ movies of all time, when I have it as #20 … but if I had been voting, I wouldn’t have voted for it myself! Given that, it’s surprising that the system works as well as it does.

      To answer your general question, though, there are way more than 40 movies in a year that get significant critical love.

  75. It’s fabulous to see this site back up (when did that happen?). The re-design, with the photos and critic blurbs, makes for a very attractive experience.

    However, for a true film buff, it’s frustrating. There’s no longer any links to the actual separate lists, from which I used to compile my own rankings, rankings that included any film that got a mention. I’d include mentions from previous years for films that were making the rounds of festivals, and eventually from subsequent years for critics who came to a film late.

    And I suspect that the person compiling the lists is not a math fan, because the proper way to do this is to not simply count the number of list inclusions, but to give points depending on where a film is ranked 1 through 10 (18 points down to 9) — the problem of course then being that any critic who futzes with a strict 1 to 10 ranking (like giving a top 3 and listing 7 more films alphabetically, or worse yet, 8 more films) needs to be treated correctly, and that requires a certain comfort level with the math.

    And of course the biggest problem now is that you’re showing just 40 films a year. I think that’s a good number to show (50 might be better), but you also have to have a list that goes much deeper. You probably would have missed Blade Runner entirely in its year! I’d say that there are easily 100 films truly worth seeing in any given year, and I’ve discovered a bunch by spotting them in the 41-100 range of previous lists.

    I wouldn’t complain like this if I weren’t actually willing to *do all the work to provide corrected, complete lists for each year.* Just give me the raw data! Besides being an insane film buff, I’m a nationally-known stats guy for my work in baseball; in fact, ESPN Magazine is interviewing me next week for an article they’re doing on former baseball statistical consultants.

    You’ve done an incredible service to the film-buff community by collecting these lists. It would be a shame to have that data languish with its full potential untapped, and I’d love to help you extract the maximum value from it (I’ve got ideas that go way beyond just listing the results.) Please e-mail me!

    • Andrew Sidhom

      Why would you specifically start at 18 points for Number 1 and end with 9 points for Number 10 ? You could choose any range for this allocation of points, depending on whether you most value consensus or passionate support in your rankings (though it’s arguable that any movie listed even at 10th place from a film critic is already a passionate choice given the amount of films they see every year). You could also scale the range (of points awarded) with a multiplier. Since you have an infinite number of choices isn’t it almost impossible to get a sense of what it means really when you choose this range instead of that one? I know you just have to choose whatever in the end and get on with it, but it’s just that your 9 to 18 method seems like such a random choice.

      • ericmvan

        It’s admittedly somewhat arbitrary. You want the ratio of points awarded for #1 to points awarded for #10 to reflect the ratio of perceived excellence or worth of the two films. Obviously, no one thinks their favorite film of the year is ten times as good as their tenth favorite film. A 2:1 ratio seems right to me. It makes the #1 film 20% better than the #4 film, and 50% better than the #7 film. When I look at last year, that means A Separation is 20% better than Poetry, 50% better than Take Shelter, and twice as good as Incendies. All of that seems reasonable to me. (I didn’t invent the 9 to 18 scale, by the way.)

        Having established the ratio of values for #1 and #10, you then need to construct the scale for the intervening ones. In reality, it’s probably not linear, but assuming it is makes the math much easier. And the linear scale where #1 is twice as large as #10 is 18 to 9.

        In practice what you’re really doing is giving 1 to 10 points for the ranking, plus X for just getting mentioned at all. I’m saying I believe the best value for X is 8, because it produces the 2:1 ratio. But I would be open to counter-arguments: if most other people thought the 2:1 ratio should be higher or lower, I’d go with the consensus.

      • ericmvan

        Oh, in case it wasn’t clear, those 2011 movies were from my personal top 10. Anyone testing whether the 2:1 ratio feels right to them, obviously, should use their own top 10 from some year. But for the opinion to be valid, I think you have to have seen essentially everything of merit (I’ve seen 122 films from 2011). If you miss a film that would have actually made your top 10, that will make the 2:1 ratio seem too small.

  76. Ronald Trull

    This is my favorite website for approx. 8 weeks every year.

    Thank you.

  77. Anonymous

    Now that some mentioned it I am quite confused that End of Watch and The Sessions aren’t even in the top 40. Both hugely popular movies with the critics this year.

    • Anonymous

      Having said that, looking at other Top 10 aggregated lists at Indiewire and Metacritic, I can see that neither of these made their top 50/20s either. I suppose that’s the difference between a review aggregator like Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic, and a Top 10 list aggregator, which doesn’t measure how many critics liked a movie, but how much they LOVED it.

  78. Anonymous

    And so he said they shall be 50, and there were 50.

  79. Terry

    The “always extraordinary” Michelle Williams!?!?!?! She and Anne Hathaway RUINED Brokeback Mountain.

  80. David Lowrey

    You say Toy Story got 1st place in 1995, where are the critics compilations of 90s films?

  81. My top 10 films of 2012

    10. Compliance
    9. Les Miserables
    8. Silver Linings Playbook
    7. Zero Dark Thirty
    6. Moonrise Kingdom
    5. Searching for Sugar Man
    4. Life of Pi
    3. Looper
    2. Beasts of the Southern Wild
    1. The Master

  82. Ed Kargir

    Thank you for doing this. This a great amount of work.

  83. Bartender

    My Top films for the century:
    NOTE: I’m still missing some acclaimed masterpieces like Yi Yi, In the Moo for Love, Before Sunset, Walking Life….

    1. L’enfant
    2. There Will Be Blood
    3. Mulholland Drive
    4. The Master
    5. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
    6. Punch-Drunk Love
    7. Lost in Translation
    8. Capote
    9. The Ghost Writer
    10. (Memento, it’s from 2000 so I don’t know if this counts)
    10.’ WALL-E

  84. Mike

    Does anyone have guesses on what will make the list for 2013? I think the following all have great shots at the top 50:

    Top 10 Bound:
    12 Years a Slave
    Inside Llewyn Davis
    Before Midnight
    Captain Phillips
    American Hustle

    Top 25:
    Blue is the Warmest Color
    Dallas Buyers Club
    Fruitvale Station
    Blue Jasmine
    All is Lost
    The Wolf of Wall Street
    Star Trek: Into Darkness
    Short Term 12
    The Past
    Enough Said
    The Butler

    Top 50:
    Catching Fire
    Saving Mr. Banks
    Stories We Tell
    The Spectacular Now
    Frances Ha
    Side Effects
    Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

  85. Adam

    My best guess at top 10:
    1. Gravity
    2. Her
    3. 12 Years a Slave
    4. Inside Llewyn Davis
    5. Before Midnight
    6. Captain Phillips
    7. Blue is the Warmest Color
    8. Nebraska
    9. The Wolf of Wall Street
    10. Blue Jasmine

  86. Nik

    In no particular order

    1. Blue Jasmine
    2. Gravity
    3. Her
    4. August: Osage County
    5. 12 Years a Slave
    6. Blue is the Warmest Color
    7. The Wolf of Wall Street
    8. Captain Phillips
    9. Saving Mr. Banks
    10. Inside Llewyn Davis

  87. moviewatcher

    You need to add Django and Lincoln’s mentions to the 2012 list. They’re clearly 2012 films.

  88. Nasir

    He cannot split a list between two years can he. He has to count the list itself in one year.

  89. Nasir

    Can you please create a page ans post the lists themselves too with the name of the critics. That would be immensely helpful. I can help out with that, you can contact me on my email address. Thanks.

  90. Ed Kargir

    Are you going to post individual lists?

  91. Anonymous

    I’ve asked this before, but you reference 90s movies that topped your compilations in the past, is there a way to see those compilations?

  92. Anonymous

    You reference 90s movies that topped your compilations in the past, is there a way to see those compilations?

  93. Ben

    Amazed there’s been no mention of The Spectacular Now so far.

    • Andrew Sidhom

      Damn, you’re right. How come it’s not in the Top 46 so far? I thought it would be more like a Top 20 film. Had lots of raves around its release…

  94. Edkargir

    We all appreciate the hard work you do to product this poll , but it’s lost some of the fun with out the critics lists. I think these lists tells more about the individual critics than it does about the movies.


  95. Ben

    C’mon Inside Llewyn Davis! Great a technical achievement as Gravity was, I’d hate to see such a poorly written movie come out on top in the end.

    • Andrew Sidhom

      Poorly written? How is that??

      • Ben

        Dire dialogue. A poorly conceived main character with a story (concerning her daughter) that not one person I’ve met has warmed to.

        Perhaps poorly written is overboard, but very basically written, to the extent where if its technical accomplishments were any less than immense, it would have been a largely forgettable film.

  96. Edkargir

    Good job, now it’s time to publish all 825 lists.

  97. Ben

    Thanks for your excellent work again. Your website is one of the things I look forward to the most towards the end of the year. See you again in December

  98. printthelegends

    Oh, man. I LOVE that it looks like you’re going back to the past years and expanding them all to 50. This is something I’d hoped you would do since last year, but I get that this page takes a lot of work to keep up so I never wanted ask. Thanks, and keep up the good work!

  99. Anonymous

    When will you begin complying the list for the top films of 2014?

    • Mike

      Once critics’ Top Ten lists start coming in, so not until closer to the end of the year.

    • Eric M. Van

      However, for folks who want to get a head start on the best reviewed movies to date, here are some high scores fro Rotten Tomatoes (their Average Score, which is a better number to look at than the Tomato Meter, and better than the Metacritic score). Bracketed movies had limited exposure and are not at all guaranteed to get end-of-year support, movies in braces may not be regarded as eligible by all voters:

      9.4, Boyhood (a slam dunk for this year’s top spot; the second best score ever for a wide release is 9.0)
      [9.2 Stray Dogs]
      8.5, Whiplash (so far; it’s in limited release and expanding)
      8.4 The Grand Budapest Hotel, Birdman (q.v. Whiplash)
      8.3, Ida
      {8.2, Ernest & Celestine: had Oscar-qualifying run only in LA in 2013}
      8.1, The LEGO Movie, Snowpiercer, [Ilo Ilo]
      8.0 Gone Girl, Blue Ruin, Gloria, [Love is Strange, Norte the End of History, Stand Clear of the Closing Doors]
      7.9 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Under the Skin, We Are the Best!, 7 Boxes, [Closed Curtain]
      7.8 How to Train Your Dragon 2, {The Normal Heart (HBO)}, Starred Up, {Stranger by the Lake}, [Manuscripts Don’t Burn]
      7.7, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Lunchbox, Pride, [{Archipelago}, Honey (Miele), (Once Upon a Time) Veronica, The Retrieval]

  100. Anonymous

    You wouldn’t happen to have any top 10 lists for years prior to 2000, would you?

  101. Anonymous

    So it begins.

    Guess on what the top 10 will look like:
    1. Boyhood
    2. The Grand Budapest Hotel
    3. Birdman
    4. Under the Skin
    5. Selma
    6. Inherent Vice
    7. Gone Girl
    8. Whiplash
    9. Nightcrawler
    10. Interstellar (I know it wasn’t well received by critics but it seems like the kind of film where the people who love it love it and will put it on their lists)

    11-20 I see: Guardians of the Galaxy, Foxcatcher, A Most Violent Year, Mr. Turner, Goodbye to Language, Winter Sleep, The Imitation Game, Citizenfour, Snowpiercer, Life Itself

    Probably missing 3-4 things that, despite not super high scores, will be super embraced by certain critics, like Spring Breakers last year.

    • Andrew Sidhom

      You forgot:
      The LEGO Movie
      Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

      • Anonymous

        to be honest I don’t really see Gloria or Dawn even getting in the list, or at least if they did it’d probably be in the 30s+ at least.

        LEGO Movie is a good one, probably switch that ut for Winter Sleep. Ida I see being 20-25

      • Andrew Sidhom

        We’ll see. I think Ida and Dawn will surprise you. Gloria maybe not as much but it will figure somewhere. On the other hand, I think Guardians of the Galaxy won’t be anywhere near the 20s.

  102. lcbaseball22

    No Interstellar on the list yet? Surely it’s had at least 3 mentions, right? Here’s two alone from both the NYPost critics- http://nypost.com/2014/12/06/the-posts-critics-declare-their-top-10-movies-of-2014/

  103. Ben

    I’d be shocked and dismayed if Winter Sleep didn’t even crack the top 50. Brilliant film. It’s been an exceptionally strong year for movies I think. 2013 was a great year but I honestly don’t think 2014 is that far behind.

    The number of very good to excellent movies that aren’t in the list so far is a measure of the year’s strength:

    Listen Up Philip
    A Most Wanted Man
    Magic in the Moonlight
    The Wind Rises
    The Tale of Princess Kaguya
    The Unknown Known
    Merchants of Doubt
    A Most Violent Year
    Life Itself
    The Drop

  104. Bryan

    1. Where are the lists from the 1990’s? I see them mentioned in some section headings…
    2. How many lists were tallied in 2000, 2001, 2002, and 2009?
    Love the site!

  105. Tom

    Do you have the lists from the 1990s?

  106. lcbaseball22

    Another notice to the webmaster, individual lists for RogerEbert.com critics-


  107. Edkargir

    Please post the individual lists as you have done in the past .

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