The Best Films of 2014

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At the end of every year, the assembling and organizing of a best-of list becomes an exercise in incongruity; it seems like we spent all of our time complaining about blockbusters and avoiding dystopian YA adaptations, and yet, when you look at the sum total of a year of cinema, there are enough great films for not only this list of 25 (27, really), but two supplementaryones. And yes, the environment for intelligent, mature, original movies may be hostile (and the future looks even bleaker), but ingenious filmmakers continue to find a way, whether it’s making the best of low budgets, smuggling subversion into commercial enterprises, or enlisting movie stars to open doors. Some film writers (particularly Oscar bloggers) have taken this year’s shortage of clear-cut “favorites” as the sign of a weak year. I say just the opposite: the wide swath of quality releases, from personal…

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