The most critically acclaimed films of 2014 were "Boyhood," "The Grand Budapest Hotel," "Birdman" and "Under the Skin," according to data compiled by Metacritic. Of 201 critics who published year-end Top 10 lists, 72 chose "Boyhood" as the 2014's best film. Twenty critics, the second-highest total, chose "Under the Skin" as the year's best film.
Director Richard Linklater's "Boyhood" is a coming-of-age drama, shot over an unprecedented 12-year period and chronicling a boy's development from age 6 through 18. Critics praised the film's uniqueness and its honest depiction of humanity. The New York Film Critics Circle, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and many other critics' groups awarded "Boyhood" their top awards.
"Birdman," 2014's Academy Award winner for Best Picture, stars Michael Keaton as an actor who endeavors to produce a Broadway show. Critics praised Alejandro Inarritu's technique of shooting the entire film as a single shot.
"The Grand Budapest Hotel," directed by Wes Anderson, is a period piece set between World War I and World War II. Ralph Fiennes plays a concierge who is wrongly accused of murder. The film won accolades for its cinematography and Fiennes' performance.
"Under the Skin" is a science fiction film that views human civilization in Scotland from an extraterrestrial perspective. Scarlet Johanssen won accolades for her performance as an alien seductress.