William Goss' Top 10 List

<i>The Babadook</i>
The Babadook

1)

Boyhood Sorry, haters. Richard Linklater's masterpiece of conceptual ambition and casual profundity will rightfully endure, corny plumbers and all.

2)

Blue Ruin Anchored by Macon Blair's devastating performance, this stomach-knotting revenge saga marks a significant leap forward for filmmaker Jeremy Saulnier.

3)

The Babadook Jennifer Kent's well-acted and confidently creepy directorial debut brings back respect and restraint to the horror genre.

4)

Gone Girl David Fincher and Gillian Flynn tackled gender roles, class conflict, and media sensationalism with a sure hand and sharp tongue.

5)

Selma Ava DuVernay's docudrama restores urgency to the civil rights movement while revealing how far we still have to go.

6)

The Lego Movie Phil Lord and Christopher Miller transformed a feature-length commercial into a super-sly commentary on the struggle between art and commerce.

7)

Citizenfour This fly-on-the-wall account of Edward Snowden's decision to leak classified documents feels like history in the making.

8)

Under the Skin A strikingly enigmatic exploration of man's capacity for cruelty and caring, it certified Scarlett Johansson's evolution beyond humanity (Her, Lucy).

9)

Force Majeure Formally rigid and cleverly conceived, Ruben Östlund's he-said-she-said look at relationships provides an infectious catalyst for arguments.

10)

Whiplash Writer-director Damien Chazelle turns the uplifting mentor-student relationship into something toxic and visceral, culminating in a ferocious climax.



Near Misses

Beyond the Lights, John Wick, Foxcatcher, Snowpiercer, Edge of Tomorrow

<i>Birdman ...</i> director Alejandro González Iñárritu
Birdman ... director Alejandro González Iñárritu

Most Overrated

Only Lovers Left Alive, Birdman, The Imitation Game

Most Underrated

Big Bad Wolves, Night Moves, They Came Together

Wild Card

Best Small-Screen Experience: I can't speak to the recent renaissance in TV programming, but I do know that True Detective's eight-hour run constituted the year's finest crime drama.

Acting Kudos (Male)

Macon Blair (Blue Ruin), Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler), Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Ben Mendelsohn (Starred Up), J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

Acting Kudos (Female)

Essie Davis (The Babadook), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Beyond the Lights), Patricia Arquette (Boyhood), Tilda Swinton (Snowpiercer), Scarlett Johansson (Under the Skin)

Best Director

Richard Linklater (Boyhood), Jennifer Kent (The Babadook), Ava DuVernay (Selma)

Best Original Screenplay

Force Majeure (Ruben Östlund), The Lego Movie (Phil Lord and Christopher Miller), Dear White People (Justin Simien)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn), Snowpiercer (Bong Joon-ho and Kelly Masterson), Venus in Fur (Roman Polanski and David Ives)

Worst Film

Don Peyote never tainted Austin screens on its way to VOD, and you're all the better for avoiding Dan Fogler's exhaustingly indulgent vanity project.

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Steve Davis' Top 10

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

film, Top 10s, Boyhood, Blue Ruin, The Babadook, Gone Girl, Selma, The Lego Movie, Citizenfour, Under the Skin, Force Majeure, Whiplash

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