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The Best Movies of 2014

40. Frank

The TF Verdict: Lenny Abrahamsons off-piste comedy lifts the mask of an outsider-pop savant. Michael Fassbender nails every note alongside Domhnall Gleeson in a riff on music and mental illness plays to its own key.

39. Citizenfour

The TF Verdict: Laura Poitras eye-opening doc on whistleblower Edward Snowden locks you in a hideaway with Snowden, just as his inside info breaks to alert the public that Big Brother is watching.

38. '71

The TF Verdict: A lone squaddie separated from his unit runs for his life in 1970s Belfast. The action sees Jack OConnell excel in a nail-biting thriller with a foot chase to rival Point Breaks.

37. Lucy

The TF Verdict: A super-drug boosts Scarlett Johanssons skills in Luc Bessons sci-fi brain scrambler, full of set-pieces, pulp metaphysics and superhero origin riffs. From down-at-heel victim to super-smart ass-kicker, Johansson owns every giddy moment.

36. Mr. Turner

The TF Verdict: Mike Leigh paints a rich picture of Romantic artist J.M.W. Turner, played to perfection by Timothy Spall. One great British artist pays tribute to another in a lengthy but rewarding homage that boasts a titanic turn at its centre. Rarely has watching paint dry been so fascinating.

35. The Maze Runner

The TF Verdict: James Dashners novel about an entrapped teenager is Lord Of The Flies-meets-Lost. This this lean sci-fi thriller is hoisted above YA fatigue with Dylan OBriens energised lead, with help from three essential ingredients: mazes, running, and monsters.

34. Oculus

The TF Verdict: On reflection, only The Babadook beat Mike Flanagans time-hopping chiller in spooky dread. The creepy supernatural horror stars ex-Doctor Who companion Karen Gillan as a young woman investigating the possibility that an old mirror is responsible her family's misfortune. Mirror, mirror on the wall, why do you want to kill us all?

33. Two Days, One Night

The TF Verdict: The Dardennes capture the panic, sadness and desperation of the recession that sets off Marion Cotillard on a quest: she must persuade her co-workers to give up their bonuses to save her job. A small drama with great import.

32. The Wind Rises

The TF Verdict: Hayao Miyazaki tells the life and love of Japans foremost aircraft engineer Jiro Horikoshi in a deeply personal biopic which forms a fitting swansong for Studio Ghiblis guru.

31. The Guest

The TF Verdict: A war veteran cosies his way into a familys life and, of course, the shit hits the fan. Adam Wingard and Simon Barretts high-grade B-pic smarts, as Dan Stevens terminates Downton Abbeys shadow with muscular ease.