For its intimacy and economy alone, the film feels like a preview of the scrappy decade to come. The combination of screwball dynamics and the garishness of the 1980s is perfectly calibrated and fun.—Abbey Bender, Shot over 12 years with a cast of actors that ages before our eyes, Richard Linklater’s modern-day coming-of-age classic is a peerless artistic gamble, comparable only to Michael Apted’s Up series and Francois Truffaut’s Antoine Doinel films. But Battleship Potemkin is full of powerful images and heady ideas, and director Sergei Eisenstein is rightly considered one of the pioneers of early film language, with his influence felt through the decades.—Dave Calhoun, The only Charlie Chaplin movie to see the Little Tramp go on a massive cocaine binge, this relentlessly inventive silent classic hardly needs the added kick. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), 90. Ryan Reynolds, Gemma Arterton, Anna Kendrick, Black Comedy  •  Comedy Thriller  •  Crime Comedy, Anton Corbijn The stunts are awesome, the dialogue is endlessly quotable, and Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman are a white-hat–black-hat duo straight out of a classic Western.—Phil de Semlyen, In Mussolini’s Italy, a repressed homosexual (Jean-Louis Trintignant) joins the Fascist party in order to blend in and hide his true self. Starring: But there once was a moment when he needed to get serious, and this is it.—Joshua Rothkopf, Forget The Artist—sorry Uggie—and relish instead the sheer, serotonin-enhancing verve of MGM’s glorious epitaph to cinema’s silent era. Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Based-on-20th-Century-Literature  •  Based-on-a-True-Story  •  Biopic, Ava DuVernay  •    •   Top Grossing Movies of 2014.  •    •   Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi • Starring: Taika Waititi, … Starring: Don’t Look Now is a primal cry of grief that shakes you to your core.—Phil de Semlyen, Arthur Penn’s game-changing action film was made in the same spirit of the revisionist Westerns of the ’60s and ’70s—irreverent, fun, morally all over the place, and unafraid of blood and bullets. Orson Welles’s iconic film, made when he was just 25, forever altered the language of cinema and set the auteur on a long path of fiercely iconoclastic work (and the Hollywood misunderstandings that unfortunately came with it). Tyler James Williams, Tessa Thompson, Kyle Gallner, Angelina Jolie One of the most romantic films ever made about the pains and purity of first love, the immaculately styled The Umbrellas of Cherbourg challenged the lighter Hollywood musicals of the era (like The Sound of Music and My Fair Lady) and launched the sensational Catherine Deneuve into international stardom. The film’s runaway box-office success, along with its critical acclaim, made it a phenomenon that reshaped Hollywood. Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Gaby Hoffman, Laura Dern, Josh Boone  •   Menu. Clarke was actually living in Ceylon (not in India, or a tree), but the pair met, hit it off, and forged a story of technological progress and disaster (hello, HAL) that’s steeped in humanity, in all its brilliance, weakness, courage and mad ambition. Starring:  •   But for our money—and that of superfan Martin Scorsese—this dazzling ballet-set romance is first among equals. See Top 2014 Movies at the Domestic Box Office for the total domestic box office for the top 100 movies released in 2014, and Movie Index 2014 for an overview of all movies released in 2014. But the intense close-ups give free reign to Maria Falconetti’s marvelously expressive turn as the doomed Maid of Orleans. Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi, Marshall Manesh, Drama  •  Female-Directed Film  •  Foreign Language Film, Michaël R. Roskam  •    •   Across the 100 top films of 2014, only 5 of the 107 directors (4.7%) were Black.  •   Nicole Kidman, Ben Whishaw, Peter Capaldi, Animal Picture  •  Comedy  •  Family-Oriented Comedy, Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig  •   Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Based-on-a-True-Story  •  Biopic  •  Crime Drama, Charlie McDowell The film also sports a perfect cast, with a top-of-his-game Jack Nicholson as a cynical private eye, an impossibly alluring Faye Dunaway as the femme fatale with a past so dark her final revelation still shocks, and the legendary John Huston as the monstrous millionaire at the heart of it all.—Bilge Ebiri, Not just any film gets homaged by Bill and Ted. Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Nick Hurran Its trio of dancers—rubber-faced (and heeled) Donald O’Connor, sparkling newcomer Debbie Reynolds and co-director and headline act Gene Kelly—are a triple threat, nailing the stellar songs, intricate and physically demanding dance routines and selling all the comic beats with consummate skill. Can there ever be one list to rule them all? A rescue mission? Starring: Even more prophetically, The Blair Witch Project is about a generation that can’t stop filming itself, even when lost in the woods—it’s ground zero for selfie horror.—Joshua Rothkopf, With the ink barely wet on Richard Nixon’s 1974 resignation, director Alan J. Pakula, actor-producer Robert Redford and screenwriter William Goldman created a hot-off-the-presses docudrama about the Watergate break-in that crackles with live-wire tension.  •   Starring:  •   Starring: It may not sound like your average love story, but that’s exactly what Buster Keaton’s deadpan and death-defying silent comedy is: a majestic demonstration of trick photography, balletic courage and comic timing, all underpinned by genuine heart. Written by Abbey Bender, Dave Calhoun, Phil de Semlyen, Bilge Ebiri, Ian Freer, Stephen Garrett, Tomris Laffly, Joshua Rothkopf and Anna Smith, RECOMMENDED:– The best movies on Netflix right now– The 100 best comedy movies– The best romantic movies of all time– The 101 best action movies ever made– The best documentaries on Netflix, The greatest film ever made began with the meeting of two brilliant minds: Stanley Kubrick and sci-fi seer Arthur C. Clarke. It reimagined the Western genre and became a part of the zeitgeist.—Tomris Laffly, Biting political satires don't have to be long and complicated: This 68-minute masterpiece is perfectly pithy, exposing the absurdities of international politics with swift wit and spot-on slapstick. Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Krysten Ritter, David Dobkin Starring: A landmark of independent black cinema, it’s set to a great soundtrack ranging from blues and classical to Paul Robeson. Starring: At its heart it’s a coming-of-age story that follows a young Belarusian boy (Aleksei Kravchenko) through unspeakable horror as Nazi death squads visit an apocalypse on his region. Starring: Often regarded as the funniest of the Marx Brothers’ oeuvre, the film is also—sadly—timeless, as its portrayal of a war-mongering dictatorship remains relevant to this day.—Anna Smith, An unlikely pick? gag. Plus, it’s the perfect primer to get kids into subtitled movies.—Ian Freer, Popcorn pictures hit hyperdrive after George Lucas unveiled his intergalactic Western, an intoxicating gee-whiz space opera with dollops of Joseph Campbell–style mythologizing that obliterated the moral complexities of 1970s Hollywood. Intricately designed as a tribute to the craft, Steven Spielberg’s funnest blockbuster has it all: rolling boulders, a barroom brawl, a sparky heroine (Karen Allen) who can hold her liquor and lose her temper, a treacherous monkey, a champagne-drinking villain (Paul Freeman), snakes (“Why did it have to be snakes?”), cinema’s greatest truck chase and a barnstorming supernatural finale where heads explode. 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