Best of 2014

These lists are always subjective and arbitrary, and frequently lacking in any rhyme or reason whatsoever. Under no circumstances should they be taken very seriously – even if you hedge your bet by calling them your favorites rather than The Best.

Maybe a film features a great acting performance, or great script, or cinematography . . . or, in rare cases, all of the above. Maybe the movie touches you in ways you can’t explain. My list includes “A Most Wanted Man,” for example, just because it marks a farewell to one of the greatest actors of our age, Philip Seymour Hoffman. Saying goodbye to Robin Williams was even harder this movie year.

There are a number of movies yet to be seen in the run-up to the Oscars – “Selma,” “Life Itself,” “American Sniper,” “Foxcatcher” and “Still Alice” among them. “The Interview,” not. The movies that did make the list are more or less in order of preference. The first two are sort of a tie. I’d be happy to see either of them take home lots and lots of statues at the Golden Globes and Academy Awards ceremonies.

1. “Birdman”

2. “Boyhood”

3. “Chef”

4. “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

5. “Supermensch.”

6. “Begin Again”

7. “Gone Girl”

8. “Nighrcrawler”

9. “A Most Wanted Man”

10. Can’t decide between “Whiplash,” “Interstellar,” “Wild,” “The Theory of Everything,” “The Imitation Game” and “Into the Woods.”