“Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Interstellar” may have been among the highest-grossing movies of the year, but what were the best movies of the year?
We’ve pulled together the best-critiqued movies of the year, according to review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.
Stars: Tilda Swinton, Chris Evans, and Jamie Bell
$US86.8 million worldwide
Did you know Captain America (Chris Evans) was in another popular movie this year?
This year's sci-fi cult favourite can be easily described as 'The Hunger Games' on a train, minus the kid killing and archery. Instead, it follows Curtis (Evans) leading a passenger revolt between social classes upon a train to nowhere carrying the last survivors on Earth after a failed global-warming initiative kills off most life on the planet.
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Ian McKellen
$US746 million worldwide
Director Bryan Singer ('The Usual Suspects') returned to unite his original X-Men trilogy stars (Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, and Hugh Jackman) with the new younger crop (Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender), and it made for the year's best-rated superhero film.
Sure, the film may have had one of the most confusing titles of the year, but it was one of the best X-Men movies yet. It even wiped away the existence of 2006's critically-panned 'X-Men: The Last Stand' to the pleasure of many fanboys. Don't forget the addition of fan-favourite mutant Quicksilver (Evan Peters).
Narration by Randal Douc, Jean-Baptiste Phou
The documentary follows a man as he looks for a picture taken between 1975 and 1979 by the Khmer Rouge when they ruled over Cambodia. He believes the picture will prove mass murder and searches vainly in archives, old papers, and country villages for the lost object.
The film won the top prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for Best Foreign Film at this past year's Oscars.
Stars: Alejandro Jodorowsky, H.R. Giger, Brontis Jodorowsky
Box Office: $US647,280 worldwide
The documentary follows the director Alejandro Jodorowsky as he worked on his most ambitious project yet: an adaptation of Frank Hervert's classic sci-fi novel 'Dune.' Fans of the sci-fi genre need to see this movie. 'Dune' served as inspiration for future releases including 'Star Wars' and 'Alien.' Entertainment Weekly listed the film among its best of the year. It also won several documentary awards.
Stars: David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth, Oprah
Box Office: n/a
David Oyelowo is masterful and on point as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in film that portrays the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. Now, more than ever, the movie bears a strong parallel to the ongoing marches centered around Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Unsurprisingly, Oyelowo just received a Golden Globe nod for Best Actor while the film received a Best Picture nomination.
Stars: Mary Steenburgen, James Caan, Lucy Liu
$US24 million worldwide
Japan's most famous folktale, 'the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter,' gets a revisit in this hand-drawn animation that took decades to make. The film follows the rapid growth of a tiny girl into a young lady after she's found inside a shining stalk of bamboo. The result is a beautiful rendition of a classic reviews called 'breathtaking' and a 'visionary tour de force' is still largely unknown in the west.
Stars: Timothy Spall, Dorothy Atkinson, Paul Jesson
Box Office: $US1.6 million
The film about British painter J.M.W. Turner is played by 'Harry Potter' actor Timothy Spall. Spall won Best Actor for the film at the Cannes Film Festival. The film was one of several movies leaked only amid the Sony hack.
Stars: Jack O'Connell, Rupert Friend
Box Office: $US54,915 worldwide
Jack O'Connell is quickly becoming an actor worth keeping an eye on between his performance in new movie 'Unbroken' and 'Starred Up.'
In this film, he stars as an arrogant and violent 19-year old transferred to the same adult prison as his estranged father. 'Starred Up' was recognised at the BAFTA Awards for several awards including Best Feature Film.
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton
$US37.9 million worldwide
Critics have been raving about Jake Gyllenhaal's crazed performance as a desperate young man willing to do anything to break into the world of crime journalism.
Gyllenhaal completely lost himself in the role losing 30 pounds to play the lead. His work paid off as he received a nomination for Best Actor at the Golden Globes.
Stars: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman
$US4.4 million worldwide
Forget all of those 'found footage' flicks filled with jump scares. Director Jennifer Kent's debut movie about a monster coming to life from a book is one of the creepiest movies we've seen in a long time.
Years after the death of her husband, Amelia (Davis) struggles to discipline her six-year-old son, Sam. When a story book called The Babadook shows up at their house, with a creepy little monster inside by the same name, Amelia starts seeing visions of Mister Babadook in everyday life.
Stars: Paulina Garcia, Diego Fontecilla
$US2.1 million worldwide
Fans love this look at a strong woman making her own way without apology. Paulina Garcia has been winning praise from Chile, to Bombay, to Berlin and back for her role as Gloria, an ageing woman who fills her nights at dance clubs.
Stars: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons
$US6 million worldwide
Critics have hailed J.K. Simmons' performance as a ruthless music teacher as one of the best of the year. The film follows an ambitious young jazz drummer (Miles Teller) in his attempt to rise to the top of his elite east coast music conservatory. His passion to achieve perfection quickly spirals into obsession as Terence Fletcher (Simmons) continues to push him to the brink of both his ability and his sanity.
Stars: Will Ferrell, Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks
$US468 million worldwide
The toy movie about a series of bricks surprised many as the first break-out hit of the year.
Everything about 'The LEGO Movie' was awesome. Kids loved Will Arnett's take as a dark, overly confident, and sarcastic Batman who teamed up with his girlfriend Wildstyle (Banks), and 'ordinary' LEGO Emmet (Pratt) to overthrow an evil tyrant played by Ferrell. Directors Chris and Phil Lord ('22 Jump Street') are already working on multiple sequels for the film.
Stars: Chaz Ebert, Raven Evans, Ava DuVernay
Based on Roger Ebert's best-selling memoir of the same name, the documentary recounts the life of the beloved film critic and has received universal acclaim. Released after Ebert's passing, 'Life Itself' received the Best Documentary prize at seven different film festivals. The film is currently among the finalists for Best Documentary at the Oscars.
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane
Box Office: $US43.3 million worldwide
Director Richard Linklater worked on this coming of age movie for 12 years, meeting up with the same actors for a few days each year. The result is unlike almost anything else you'll ever see as we watch Mason (Ellar Coltrane) literally grow up on screen as he deals with divorce, his first love, and more. The film is leading the Golden Globes nominations with five nods.
Stars:Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Ralph Fiennes
Box Office: $US172.7 million worldwide
Director Wes Anderson's films are always a treat, but his latest about legendary concierge Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes) and his lobby boy Zero (Tony Revolori), may be his best yet. Must-watch performances by Fiennes and Edward Norton as a cop pursuing him combined with Anderson's quirky style make this one of the year's best films. It's not difficult to see why it was nominated for four Golden Globe Awards including Best Picture and Best Actor.
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