2014 has been a great year for cinema, so it was difficult to make a list of the best films. From Ralph Fiennes’ performance as M. Gustave in Wes Anderson’s magnum opus, The Grand Budapest Hotel, to Felicity Jones harrowing interpretation of Jane Wilde in The Theory of Everything, we took all of our contributors top ten favorite films of the year and meshed them together to create one that was just right.

Here are A.V. Wire’s best films of 2014:

 

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10. The LEGO Movie – Everything IS awesome. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s take on the LEGO toys we all grew up on ended up being the biggest surprise of the year. What was supposed to be a sub-par kids film ended up being one adults probably enjoyed a lot more than their children.

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9. How To Train Your Dragon 2 – Animation definitely soared this year. With the most wonderful in-your-face and subtle animation the film world has seen, a tightly wound script, and incredible voice acting, it would be a crime to not have it on this list.

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8. Whiplash – How far are you willing to go to be the best? Whiplash explores that question in one of the most intense, beautiful and well-written films of the year.

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7. The Babadook – Probably the best Australian film to arrive in years and the scariest film of the past two decades, The Babadook scares us with very little use of cliche techniques and a very original, very scary monster.



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6. Birdman or (The Virtue of Ignorance) – Nothing, not even the trailers, could have prepared any audience for what was to come in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s masterpiece. The entire film seemingly shot

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5. The Theory of Everything – We never thought the life of Stephen Hawking could be so beautiful. The film focuses on his tumultuous, yet intimate marriage with Jane Wilde and you might shed a tear or five.

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4. Gone Girl – David Fincher never disappoints. Especially not in the adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s best-selling novel. The film features an extremely chilling performance by Neil Patrick Harris and Fincher gets even a novel performance from Tyler Perry.

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3. Nightcrawler – Jake Gyllenhaal embodies a sociopath so rotten deep down in his core and so outlandish, we have no other option but to be drawn in. Especially with Dan Gilroy’s outstanding and entirely thrilling script.

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2. Boyhood – Having been in the works since 2002, Richard Linklater’s magnum opus gives us intimate insight into the adolescence of young Mason. His wonderfully written script makes us feel as if we’re eavesdropping into the lives of those featured. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette give us the performances of their careers.

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1. The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson’s best film and the best film of this past year reads like a carefully and wonderfully written book, each word more vivid than the last. Ralph Fiennes cements himself as one of our best actors today.