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Criticker’s Twenty Best Films of 2014: #1-10

Here they are: the ten best films of the year, as chosen by the Criticker community. There’s a little of everything in this list… animation, documentary, suspense and comedy, but 2014 seemed to mostly be a year of excellent drama. Did your favorite films make the cut? Take a look at the list, and leave a comment with your opinions!

10. Jodorowsky’s Dune – 7.7025 Average Tier

“Artist/directors such as Jodorowsky straddle the cliched boundary between madness and genius. The fact a film of such creative importance was never made but the ideas were fragmented into hundreds of other films, comics, and books is an interesting concept. Jodorowsky is a man that views the world in a dream state. His Dune reflects that intensity and vision. It’s not surrealism done for surrealism’s sake but an abstraction of our world in the pursuit of exploring and creating realities.” – CinemaAsia

9. Life Itself – 7.7045 Average Tier

“overing the entire life of a man as prolific and popular as Roger Ebert is dangerous territory for a documentary, but Life Itself manages to capture the bigger picture while remaining focused on all the smaller moments that make everyone human. You couldn’t ask for a much better film about someone who devoted his life to the movies.” – doughbaron

8. The Grand Budapest Hotel – 7.8302 Average Tier

“This may be Wes Anderson’s best piece of work to date! The Grand Budapest Hotel, as sometimes mean-spirited as it tries to be sometimes, manages to balance out pure watchability with it’s impressive acting, great writing, really good directing, and all of the fake mustaches. Good production (as usual) anda weird, good feel. My favorite part? Probably the music. I personally liked Willem Dafoe’s character but they are all good. Worth the watch for sure!!!” – Leonardis

7. Force Majeure – 7.9247 Average Tier

“This is a film about expectations, disappointment and openness. It is a wonderful look at a family’s struggle with trust following what could have been a tragic event for them all. It explores the Scandinavian tendency to look the other way when something isn’t right. When we do so, a sense of mistrust can develop. When there is mistrust, there is worry. When there is worry, there is tension. If you build up enough tension, there will be a breaking point, and finally a thunderous collapse.” – sputnik84

6. Nightcrawler – 7.9471 Average Tier

“This is an amazing movie, a mix of Taxi Driver, American Psycho, and Network. Gyllenhal portrays a completely fleshed-out sociopath, likely the best character of 2014. There are maybe only 5 other characters that have lines in the film, and they are also great too. Rene Russo, the mumbly assistant, and Paxton are all great. The cinematography is also extremely captivating and engrossing. There’s also a great car chase in this one, too.” – jspidah

5. Mommy – 7.9620 Average Tier

“One of the most vibrant dramas I’ve ever seen, pulling you into every exhilarating high and heartbreaking low through three astounding lead performances.” – CinematicESP

4. Birdman – 8.0000 Average Tier

“Poses the question: “What is artistic integrity, and how does it relate to actual integrity?” Turns out the answer is pretty fucking complicated, but watching Keaton and his wonderful supporting cast grapple with that issue implicitly and explicitly for two hours, all at an utterly breakneck pace, is enthralling, regardless of what conclusions one draws. Emmanuel Lubezki’s whirlwind cinematography proves again why he’s the best around: you will believe a camera can fly, if not a man.” – Alex Watkins

3. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya – 8.1270 Average Tier


2. Boyhood – 8.1677 Average Tier

“Linklater keeps being better at portraying and reminding us of the wonder of actual life (rather than the Hollywood versions) than any other American director. If the time span was just a gimmick it would still be interesting, but it coheres into something truly astonishing yet graceful.” – caffe

1. Whiplash – 8.4474 Average Tier

“By the end of the film, I was literally on the edge of my seat, jaw agape, marveling at what is one of the most visceral climaxes I’ve seen on screen in years.” – graveyardtan

Criticker’s Twenty Best Films of 2014: #11-20

It’s time for our annual countdown of the year’s best films, as chosen by the users of Criticker. Our methodology was simple: we looked at every film that’s eligible for the 2014 Academy Awards, and that had at least 50 rankings at Criticker. And then we let math do the rest.

Yesterday, we revealed the year’s ten worst films, and today, we’ll start counting down the best, starting at #20. 2014 was a great year for Hollywood; a large number of films in the first half of the top twenty were also among the biggest box-office smashes. How many of these have you seen?

20. We Are the Best! – 6.9756 Average Tier

“A spirited and intimately affecting take on early adolescence and female friendship. It embraces the raucous joyfulness of youth and steers clear of coming-of-age cliches. And yes, I hated P.E./gym class, too.” – RaymundLi

19. Edge of Tomorrow – 6.9964 Average Tier

“Edge of Tomorrow remarkably manages to rip off so many films and video games whilst feeling refreshingly original also. Obviously you can argue that theres plot holes, as with any film of this kind. But it’s smartly edited and it moves at such a rampant pace that you don’t have time to dissect or question the flaws. Cruise & Blunt carry the film well and it’s Cruise’s best Sci/Fi to date. Visually its spectacular and the action is some of the craziest and most exciting I’ve ever experienced.” – LookJabba

18. Guardians of the Galaxy – 7.0339 Average Tier

“Arguably Marvel’s best: a group of interplanetary misfits get caught up in the plans of a warlord (Lee Pace) who seeks a mysterious stone that will allow him to destroy whole planets with one blow. Hugely entertaining, funny, touching, well-acted (by a very strong cast; Dave Bautista is a particular revelation) and very well directed by James Gunn, who brings a dash of his own quirky humor to the table. Instant-classic soundtrack adds a lot; “We are Groot” brings tears to the eyes. Well, mine.” – xacviant

17. The Lego Movie – 7.1203 Average Tier

“A colorful, entertaining, and clever satire that boasts beautiful animation, a heartwarming and engaging story, and biting social commentary. It’s hilarious, inventive, and a lot of fun.” – Cro$by

16. The Raid 2 – 7.1576 Average Tier

“Holy shit, holy shit holy shit holyshit. Highly awesome, if you liked the first one you will adore this. If if you haven’t seen the first one and like action then go watch it. Then this. Now. Right now.” – Difontaine

15. The Lunchbox – 7.1788 Average Tier

“mmaculate debut movie from Ritesh Batra features the enigmatic Irrfan Khan as a loner approaching retirement age, Nimrat Kaur as a housewife who yearns for her husband’s love and Nawazuddin Siddiqui who feverishly run after Irrfan to impress him. The story is in Mumbai, India – where a lunchbox made by Nimrat goes to an unintended recipient, Irrfan. They start to talk in letters hidden in the lunchbox, opening their hearts. A story of love, sadness, melancholy confided in a steel lunchbox.” – DarkCloud

14. Finding Vivian Maier – 7.4464 Average Tier

“Keeps pulling the rug out from under your feet. One of the key quotes attributed to Maier is “I’m a spy here”, which is how she saw herself in a seemingly hostile world. It’s the perfect mystery – tangible as only docs can be – because it deals with the psyche of people, and thereby explains her art.” – schnofel

13. Gone Girl – 7.6527 Average Tier

“So tense that it literally gave me a panic attack in the theater. Packed with great performances, which isn’t even beginning to mention the job Rosamund Pike does with her role. Filled with an underlying line of irony, satire and dark-as-night humor. This one’s a thrill ride from beginning to end.” – jthusky

12. Leviathan – 7.6719 Average Tier

“Finally, a film by Zvyagintsev I can get fully on board with. Bringing his usual visual excellence to bear, the Russian director pairs nuanced characterization with careful plotting against a backdrop of marital infidelity and dispiriting corruption. And he does so without lulling us into a state of comatose boredom.” – fredericg54

11. Interstellar – 7.6811 Average Tier

“I dunno, I loved it. It does veer into ‘Event Horizon’ territory at one point and the characterization can be a bit hit or miss, but the long shots are worth it. I liked how we got to do without a Matt McConaughey training sequence and as a summer blockbuster sci-fi flick I thought it was just fine.” – joseywales

The Ten Worst Films of 2014

There were a lot of great films in 2014… but then, there were also a lot of stinkers. We’ve examined the ratings made at Criticker.com, crunched the numbers, and produced a list of the worst films of the year. From horror to comedy, action to romance, Hollywood’s least-talented filmmakers are adept at screwing up any genre!

10. Endless Love – 2.7736 Average Tier

“LOL HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS DIDN’T WANT YOU IN THEIR PICTURE! “Long, Awkward Stares: The Movie”, featuring Poor Boy and Rich Girl falling in love. There’s talent here — Wakefield is a good actor, Pettyfer has a name and has been in stuff I liked. This is performance amateur hour; they just throw plot points together with no real sense of pacing, setup, backstory or character development. Okeniyi is the best part of this movie, he’s hilarious. There’s a good movie to be made here… just not this one.” – TheRealJ-Ro

9. Devil’s Knot – 2.5890 Average Tier

“I struggle to find a reason to recommend Devil’s Knot. Anyone interested in this case will have already watched some of the documentaries, while those who haven’t heard of it will see this and not get the full picture. Instead, they’ll be treated to a narrative and characters who exist not to be interesting or compelling, but to act as vessels through which the film can add doubt to a not-at-all clear-cut case. The story is interesting, but the way it was told here just doesn’t work.” – Marter

8. Tammy – 2.5556 Average Tier

“The biggest comedy misfire in recent years. None of the jokes had me laughing, and when the story turns serious the character’s journey just isn’t interesting. The writing lacks flow and scenes feel disconnected. Worst of all, it completely wastes a talented cast, giving great actors like Toni Collette, Kathy Bates and Allison Janney nothing interesting to work with. The more serious scenes worked better than the comedic elements, and I did think McCarthy had nice chemistry with Mark Duplass.” – DougieD

7. The Other Woman – 2.5498 Average Tier

“Haha look the dog CGI-pooped on the floor that’s hilarious. Two funny scenes: Coster-Waldau’s estrogen mannerisms and Leslie Mann stretching in a bush. The rest is unfunny garbage which goes on for about twice as long as it should. Some of the “pranks” concocted by the trio are more mean-spirited than anything they were subjected to, so it’s hard to find someone to root for here.” – Rufflesack

6. Vampire Academy – 2.4574 Average Tier

“The director of Mean Girls needs to go back to school. Would I be using too many puns to say that this movie sucks or bites? Well, it does a bit of both. The dialogue was bad enough to burst a sparkly vampire into flames. Zoey Deutch is smoldering until she speaks, but let’s be honest this movie is a terrible clone of Harry Potter and Twilight…” – Ryan Lueders

5. Devil’s Due – 2.2381 Average Tier

“Remember how Rosemary’s Baby totally sucked? And how we all waited years for someone to make use of that wonderful concept that Polanksi really fucked up? Wouldn’t it be awesome if some guys took that conceit and stuck it in a blender with a handheld video camera, the worst bits of Chronicle, and that one guy from the Friday Night Lights who really should have moved on to things that are so much better now? Wouldn’t that be an absolutely, 100% necessary, surefire recipe for critical success?” – Wezzo

4. I, Frankenstein – 2.2233 Average Tier

“A complete mockery of Shelley’s character. A terrible Underworld wanna be script, with awful dialogue, strange plot devices, and weird characters. Eckhart does his best but to no avail. The real shame that there was cool franchise potential here but all this was, was a cash-in antihero attempt at reviving a monster. Visuals were ok and Eckhart was alright, but not much else worked in the slightest.” – bwpello

3. Sex Tape – 2.1991 Average Tier

“A heart-warming family tale about a dirty porno, which works about as well as you would think. It’s unfortunate that this is so resolutely unfunny (and oddly detailed in its product placement), because the actors involved are quite likable. I’m going to blame the writing: who the fuck just gives away iPads anyway?” – mwgerb

2. Ouija – 1.8276 Average Tier

“The first act feels like a horror movie from the 90’s. Pack every horror cliche and cast 30 year olds playing high schoolers. Than the movie becomes jump scare central as the characters test to see who can be the dumbest character ever created. Spoiler: All of them are dumb and shallow.” – FoxyRussian

1. The Legend of Hercules – 1.7459 Average Tier

“The rumors are true: This is a profoundly dull, drab, generic movie, with fight/battle scenes that offer nothing fresh, nary an interesting character, relationship, or line of dialogue to be found. I don’t know Kellan Lutz – he may well rescue kittens and feed the homeless in his spare time in real life – but onscreen he looks like an asshole meathead fratboy and is one of the least appealing leading men in recent film history. The movie also wastes Liam McIntyre, who was great in Spartacus.” – Ytadel

New Enhancement: Film Type Filter

We’ve recently introduced a great new enhancement on Criticker — the ability to filter on “Film Type”. Currently, there are five different “types” classified:

1) Regular Films
2) Short Films
3) TV Movies
4) TV Mini-Series
5) Straight to Video

As of right now, you can do things like filtering Short Films and TV Movies out of lists. You could look at all TV Mini-Series from the 90’s. You can load a list of “Straight to Video” films from Britain.

We’re really excited about this new functionality, and hope that you are too!

Order Filmmaker List by Percentage Seen

We’ve implemented a new bit of functionality on the list of directors, screenwriters and actors. You can now sort this list by the percentage of films you’ve seen, by filmmaker. For example, if you’d like a list of all the actors which have 20 or more films in our database, ordered by the percentage of films you’ve seen, you could just click here.

We hope this extra ability proves both interesting and useful!

Criticker's Twenty Best Films of 2013: #1-10

Here they are: the top ten films of 2013, as selected by the Criticker community. From sports to romance, outer space to Wall Street, Italy to Denmark, but overall the winner this year seems to have been serious-minded drama. Which of 2013’s excellent films brought home the coveted #1 spot? Just scroll down…

Check out #11 – 20 of our countdown, or take a peek at the worst films of the year.

10. Rush – 7.7224 Average Tier

“For one who groans at the mere thoughts of biopics and sport films, respectively, the combination of these two subgenres was far from alluring. But Ron Howard managed to keep me very entertained, and both Hemsworth and Brühl inhabit their roles well. As much as I did enjoy it, though, I also came away with the feeling that the experience had been a somewhat vacuous one.” – KasperL

9. The Wolf of Wall Street – 7.7639 Average Tier

“It’s official – Leo’s at his best when he’s playing a complete psychopath.” – TrixRabbi

8. Blue Is the Warmest Color – 7.7948 Average Tier

“If you read a book, it’s between the lines. If you see this movie, it’s between the scenes. I don’t know how, maybe it’s because of the non-judging attitude that surrounds everything, maybe it’s the great actors, maybe it’s the fantastic script, that always knows what is necessary and what’s not – but in the end this is a perfect movie.” – Hofschneider

7. Gravity – 7.8919 Average Tier

“Alfonso Cuaron’s space epic is narratively slight, but what it lacks in depth it more than makes up in terms of technical wizardry and spectacle. Cuaron’s precise direction and Lubezki’s series of long takes make it a space opera that is much like a outer space ballet. Sandra Bullock does surprisingly well carrying the film for 88 minutes and brings some much needed emotional heft to the story. Gravity is also the first film that I would say is essential to be seen in 3D.” – DougieD

6. Short Term 12 – 8.0175 Average Tier

“A great movie that is optimistic without being saccharine, and kept together almost entirely by Brie Larson’s outstanding performance.” – yoshifan

5. Inside Llewyn Davis – 8.0315 Average Tier

“My favorite Coen Brothers movie. Unassuming and utterly devastating; Greenwich Village turned into a glowing, overcast haven of artists, with the struggling Llewyn Davis in the center of it all. Llewyn is an incredible protagonist – a selfish asshole, without a doubt, but an inspiration as well, especially when he picks up his guitar and sings. It’s an incredible and beautiful film, mesmerizing from start to finish. I’ll be surprised if it’s not the best film of the year.” – wetwillies

4. The Hunt – 8.0470 Average Tier

“It’s been a while since I cried like that. People are hideous, sickening creatures, and a story like this is a magnifying glass to all the horror we can become.” – sherlock1024

3. The Great Beauty – 8.2605 Average Tier

“A must-see for all the pretentious artists in the world! Hoping they’ll notice the joke is on them… This is a beautiful, poetic and (mostly) profound movie about art and the decadence of Italian society, maybe even the humanity altogether.” – walkabout

2. Before Midnight – 8.4035 Average Tier

“Finds our characters as the same bickering couple they had wished to evade at the beginning of the first film, having supplanted their spontaneous idealism for some relevant cynicism while maintaining their keen perspectives on long-term commitment and unwavering love. And all the better for it.” – frederic_g54

1. 12 Years a Slave – 8.4943 Average Tier

“A free man captured and forced into slavery. Sometimes uncomfortable to watch, but to look away would be a disservice. This heart wrenching, brutal look at one of America’s darkest periods is a must watch. McQueen, in his best film yet, shies away from nothing, and it makes for an emotional and intense movie. Ejiofor gives the performance of a lifetime as Solomon Northup. 12 Years a Slave will either leave you speechless or in tears when the credits roll.” – Zio

Criticker’s Twenty Best Films of 2013: #11-20

2013 is coming to an end, which means it’s time for our annual round-up of the year’s best films. For this list, we considered the films which have 50 rankings or more at Criticker, and are eligible for 2013’s Best Picture Oscar. Some of Hollywood’s biggest stars make appearances in the first half of our Top Twenty list, though a couple of non-American flicks make the cut as well. Tomorrow, stay tuned for the best of the year. And if you’re interested, check out the year’s worst ten films.

20. Wadjda – 6.9216 Average Tier

“It’s a subtle but sharp indictment of how a society oppresses half its population while telling them they’re “separate but equal” – as long as they take care to police themselves to *keep* themselves separate, that is. “You can do anything if you put your mind to it,” but it doesn’t matter, since it will be taken from you anyway. At the same time, it’s really a quite effective and dare I say cute drama about a young girl who just wants a bike. Not perfect, but very promising.” – bof

19. Blue Jasmine – 7.0389 Average Tier

“Woody’s best since Deconstructing Harry. If Blanchett doesn’t get the Oscar for this I’m boycotting that shindig for life.” – Henrik

18. American Hustle – 7.2121 Average Tier

“This movie really needs to put ‘Special Thanks to Martin Scorsese’ in the credits. This movie is just so fun and ridiculous, it’s truly amazing. There’s a few things holding it back from being a classic; namely some of the monologues at the beginning (really borrowing from Goodfellas) and Lawerence seeming just a bit out of place compared to the rest of the cast. But even still she’s fine and Bale, Cooper, C.K., Adams, Renner….and whoever else was great. Seriously, Cooper has an excellent perm” – dylanwilson6

17. Dallas Buyers Club – 7.2209 Average Tier

“Turns out a little overly gooey at the end, but damn if these characters aren’t great. Leto was amazing, McConaughey in a difficult role pulls it off with style. Seriously good stuff.” – Shellish

16. Captain Phillips – 7.2225 Average Tier

“Excellent stuff. Intense, thrilling and moving. The military operation towards the end is the weakest part, but the acting from Hanks in the last five minutes or so is the best from him since Forrest Gump.” – bentien

15. Mud – 7.2769 Average Tier

“An extraordinary coming-of-age film that explores love, chivalry and masculinity to beautiful effect. It all feels so organic and comes together so naturally – Nichols has a gift for storytelling that always puts character first but never obscures his themes. McConaughey once again demonstrates that he’s the most interesting star working right now.” – Alex Watkins

14. Nebraska – 7.4632 Average Tier

“Bleak and dreary, northern prairie winter backdrop doesn’t affect these characters who are so focused on the mundane, they’re incapable of recognizing the humor or the irony of their profound everyday b&w existence. They’re so busy lying to themselves, the lies they tell others are spewed out unchecked–except for Kate, Woody’s fishwife, who tells it like it is no matter what. Good to see Dern again, though I kept wondering if he grew those nose hairs for the part or if they were wardrobe.” – Stewball

13. Prisoners – 7.4879 Average Tier

“The direction and the performances are absolutely amazing. I don’t usually go for big acting, but it worked for me in this movie. If there’s anything wrong with it it’s that, in the end, it perhaps doesn’t live up completely to its full potential. But even though that might mean that it misses the mark (and only barely so) of becoming an instant contemporary classic, it’s still the best crime thriller in recent memory and one of my favorite films of the year.” – KasperL

12. The Past – 7.5707 Average Tier

“Farhadi’s first venture into a foreign language (French from Farsi) does not mark a substantial change for him artistically. This is a good thing. His characters still enter the film as black boxes rather than blank slates, and the dramatic peaks consist of expositions and revelations. The name of the film is almost ironic, because we like to think of the past as absent, gone, while Farhadi teaches us that it is ever-present. A highly intricate and intensive film with an ingenious final shot.” – Moribunny

11. Frances Ha – 7.5740 Average Tier

“It’s always refreshing to see a film that perfectly captures the feeling of being young and aimless. Fantastic storytelling.” – yesistasty