Something You Said’s best films of 2014

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Here are the best films of 2014, as voted for by’s team of contributors. We reckon it’s the strongest top 20 we’ve ever had (oh, and for the pedants amongst, the release dates of films vary between countries, so something that was released where you are in 2013 will have come out this year where some of our contributors are based). Here we go:

With stunning cinematography, storyline and characters, Wes Anderson directs the most Wes Andersony film yet, which sees Ralph Fiennes as the hilarious Gustav H, unravelling a web of intrigue that has led to him being framed for murder. The film provides an even richer, more delightful visual feast of meticulously designed colourful sets and dioramas then in the past, leaving to absolute creative awe. This combined with a funny, quirky, well-scripted storyline and excellent guest appearances, makes it the standout film of 2014. Review by Peter Watts, Heather Vousden and Addy Fong

What’s there to say about Gone Girl that hasn’t already been said? It was the most tense, chilling and exhilarating 149 minutes of sitting in a cinema this year. I distinctly remember coming out of the cinema in a slight daze. A mixture of fascination, shock and just amazement, I guess. And perhaps feeling a sense of catharsis tinged with a chilling apprehension for all things female. I jest. But it was a genuinely memorable experience. Desmond Chan

Boyhood is exceptional. What an amazing director Richard Linklater is and what a vision – to see through a 12-year project with such results is testament to how brilliant he is at his craft and what an innovative director he is. Joe Haddow

under the skin4. UNDER THE SKIN 
One of the most haunting, perfectly written and shot films I have ever seen. It left me numb, at one point – shocked, confused, scared, dark, questioning… it moved me and stayed on my mind for days. The fact there are scenes that have been filmed with Scarlett Johansson interacting with actual Glaswegians unknowingly contributing to the film’s dialogue makes for a perfect experience. Oh and the score by Mica Levi is an absolute masterpiece. Try giving ‘Love’, ‘Lonely Void’ and ‘Creation’ a go on a dark quiet evening. Melissa Barrass

Early Oscar frontrunner Gyllenhaal is incredible as the gaunt nightowl Lou Bloom – weird, unsettling, engaging – with the occasional subtle wide-eyed look of a predator zeroing in on his prey. Sumptuously shot, the film presents Los Angeles as a dark canvass on which those who are prepared to forego any moral and ethical concerns can paint their twisted take on the American Dream. Peter Watts

Another astonishing performance from Brendan Gleeson in John McDonagh’s follow-up to the brilliant black comedy The Guard. Calvary starts in a seemingly similar blackly comedic vein but gradually reveals itself to be a far more complex, philosophical beast. The film expertly explores a series of theological debates through an array of finely crafted performances but it is Gleeson who towers over the whole film with a truly immense, tender and heartfelt performance. Neil Martin

Steve McQueen’s film takes its audience on an extraordinary, emotional, painful journey and his cast are brilliant in their portrayals of characters both good and unspeakably bad. Perhaps one of the most brutal films of the year, but also one of the most worthwhile. Liana Gow-Killingbeck and Bobby Townsend

When it was announced there was going to be a Lego film, did you think you would bother going to see it? When the positive reviews came out, did you think you would bother going to see it? When your mates told you it was brilliant, did you think you would bother going to see it? But then you reluctantly caved, just to see what all the fuss was about and you laughed yourself silly at the most inventive and witty comedy of the year, right? This was the absolute surprise hit of 2014, with multilayered jokes that deserve repeated viewing. Everything is, indeed, awesome. Bobby Townsend

From enjoying, to actively disliking, enjoying again, to really appreciating it the day after watching. Frank was a roller-coaster. It’s a movie that anyone who follows and reads news about bands should see. Felix Englund Örn

We Are The Best10. WE ARE THE BEST 
It’s hard to praise this beautiful, heartwarming movie too highly. At times it is laugh-out-loud funny, elsewhere cringeworthy in its accurate portrayal of young teenagers discovering who they are. You can pretty much tick off moments from your own youth while watching it.We Are The Best! stamps its feet and yells at the top of its voice that it’s okay to be different. No, that being different is THE BEST. Bobby Townsend

Only Lovers Left Alive is much more a road-movie than one about vampires or love – a sensible meditation about being. Lisa Says

It has the ambition of Inception without quite ever hitting those heights but, like all Christopher Nolan films, it is visually stunning and impressively thought-provoking. Nolan is clearly an artist who credits his audience with intelligence and offers them stories with a brain as well as a sense of adventure. Bobby Townsend

13.  20,000 DAYS ON EARTH
It’s a rock and roll documentary unlike others thanks to creators’ Jane Pollard and Iain Forsyth’s experience in the arts as well as filmography. Also, their familiarity and comfort with the singer is obvious and seems unforced due to their long-term attachment to Nick Cave through previous collaborations with music videos and short films. Carol Bowditch

The blockbuster of the summer, due to its superb script, Guardians of The Galaxy is funny and incredibly likeable. Bobby Townsend

blue ruin15. BLUE RUIN 
Taut and minimal thriller film-making at its best. This is one of the most suspenseful films I’ve seen in a long while and it’s quite possible I was holding my breath for the whole of the first hour. Simply one of the most singular and well made crime movies of recent years and a fine entry into the canon of revenge films. Neil Martin

This year’s most lateral movie saw us moving forward in director Joon-ho Bong’s carefully constructed train. Giving us a riveting ride from cart-to-cart, working beautifully as a metaphor for the film’s theme. Snowpiercer gave us one of the smartest action movies of recent years. Felix Englund Örn

The best horror film I’ve seen in a couple of years by a long stretch. Intelligent, thoughtful and, like all great horror movies, so clearly about much much more than just the bogeyman under the bed. Neil Martin

18. PRIDE 
When the credits role and once you’ve wiped away the tears, you will want to stand up, beat your chest, put your fist to the sky and shout Victory to the Miners and the Gays! Then you’ll want to go and give your mum a cuddle. Once you’ve done all that, you can jump online and read up on this marvellous true story, these remarkable people and their incredible act of solidarity. It also features Imelda Staunton waving a dildo around. Bobby Townsend and Peter Watts

Blue is the Warmest Colour follows a teenage girl who craves love and explores her sexuality. Arthouse French cinema, soft-core lesbian erotica (which caused a stir amongst certain lesbian YouTube personalities for portraying unrealistic sex between two women) and raw acting. Overall, a great movie and not gonna lie… some of the scenes were pretty damn hot. Tammy Potakh

I, like many others, feared that this would be yet another shoddy British cash in flop like Thunderbirds or Postman Pat the Movie, but Paddington is probably the most charming and heart-warming kids film of the year from Bunny and the Bull and Mighty Boosh director Paul King. Such attention to the details and a perfectly judged script making us realise how truly great Britain can be when it looks after people and bears. Peter Watts

Here are some movies that didn’t quite get enough votes to make the Top 20, but that our contributors think are worthy of your attention:

Jenny Slate’s golden project is a super sassy film. Having written and executive produced it, she’s a shining beacon of hope in not only the film industry, but the arts full stop. Obvious Child examines the morbidly undervalued presence of cool, smart, confused and sarcastically humoured women. And I fucking love Gabi Hoffman in everything she ever does. Golden Lady

The Theory of Everything has some personal connotations for me, so it makes the list primarily on theme rather than exact content. Kaya Strehler

Blackfish is a movie that creates conversations to change and educate the world for the better. It is not only my pick for 2014 – but one of the most important films I have ever seen. Rose Ashton

Both book and film had me in a blubbering mess. Great casting, acting and plot development (albeit it did chop and change parts of the book which is expected). It’s rare for a movie to be as good as the book but these guys did pretty well in making John Green’s imagination come alive on screen. Absolutely loved it. Tammy Potakh

Did we miss your favourite movie of 2014? Tell us in the comments section.

To keep up to date with all of our other end of year lists, follow us on Facebook. And if you happen to be in Australia, then you can catch a few of these films at the Moonlight Cinema over the summer. For details and tickets, go here