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10. The Interview

There were better comedies in 2014 (see: “22 Jump Street”) but only “The Interview” would find its way into the history books. (No, really. It will literally be in history books.) All the bonus points for blowing up a vicious dictator to the strains of Katy Perry’s “Firework.” Full Review…

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9. Nightcrawler

Deeply flawed but featuring Jake Gyllenhaal’s best performance to date, “Nightcrawler” is immediate and chilling and doesn’t merely command attention – it demands it. Full Review…

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8. Fury

Apart from a lull in act two, David Ayer’s “Fury” is a masterful WWII movie that manages to be both virile and sensitive – a rarity in the genre. Full Review…

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7. Wild

In “Wild,” Reese Witherspoon sneakily subverts expectations of what a female movie star should be, all while telling a compelling story that affords Laura Dern a career best performance. Full Review…

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6. Interstellar

Coming off the tepid “The Dark Knight Rises,” Christopher Nolan corrected course in a major way with “Interstellar.” It’s esoteric and opaque in ways that blockbusters aren’t allowed to be anymore, and Matthew McConaughey is as good as ever in it. Full Review…

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5. Boyhood

Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” is the ultimate “journey-without-a-destination” movie, marking his best work since 2004’s “Before Sunset.” Full Review…

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4. Foxcatcher

A deeply uncomfortable anti-crowd pleaser, “Foxcatcher” is everything great about American cinema in a 130-minute package. A must-see for cinephiles. Full Review…

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3. Whiplash

The best ending in years is just a microcosm of the greatness of “Whiplash.” J.K. Simmons is brilliant in it, Miles Teller is excellent, and it’s propulsive in a way few movies are. One of the year’s greats. Full Review…

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2. Birdman Or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance)

“Birdman” is a fever dream reflected through a Viewmaster, scored by classic stand-up comedy records. If that doesn’t make any sense, that’s because nothing about “Birdman” makes any sense. It just is. And it’s just transcendent. Full Review…

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1. Under The Skin

“Under The Skin” is pitch-perfect, pitch-black science fiction. Rod Serling, Richard Matheson, Philip K. Dick, et al. would be proud. The hordes of one-star reviews on Amazon make clear that it’s not for everyone, but it’s their loss. Full Review…

-J. Olson