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10 Best Movies of 2014

From a growing boy to a gone girl, the top films of the year hit hardest by going rogue

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Ellar Coltrane, left, and Ethan Hawke from 'Boyhood.'

Various images provided by Courtesy Everett Collection, Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures

It was a year when even a few of the movies that made shameless profits (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1, The Lego Movie) weren’t anything to be ashamed about. But the lion’s share of 2014’s best movies came in small, intimate packages, beholden to no one except the sensibilities of their creators. Screw Hollywood. From a boy to a birdman, from a gone girl to the potently present talents of two women directors, the best movies of 2014 hit hardest by going rogue.

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‘Boyhood’

The smallest, quietest, least pushy film of 2014 is also the year's best and biggest emotional powerhouse. For Boyhood, writer-director Richard Linklater carved out shooting time over 12 years to tell the story of a then-six-year-old Texas boy (stellar newcomer Ellar Coltrane) growing up as the child of divorced parents, indelibly played by Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette. But what about the risk if the actors got sick or worse? Who does that? Linklater does that. Boyhood, sculpted from the highs and lows of his own life, is his landmark, his purest personal expression.

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