From Richard Linklater's "Boyhood," filmed across 11 years with the same cast, to Amy Adam's portrayal of '50s painter Margaret Keane in "Big Eyes," here are the 10 best films Newsday film critic Rafer Guzman saw this year.
Somewhere between drama and documentary lies Richard Linklater's deceptively modest masterpiece about a little boy (Ellar Coltrane) who becomes a man. Shot over the course of 11 years, "Boyhood" tracks Coltrane's physical and emotional growth as he grapples with problems big and small: bullies, parents (Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke), girls and, ultimately, finding a place for himself in the big, wide world. It's a lovely, heartbreaking film -- especially when it's over, and that little boy has grown and gone.
The Michael Keaton black comedy, "Birdman."
3. 'THE LEGO MOVIE'
"The Lego Movie," voiced by Chris Pratt, Jonah Hill, Elizabeth Banks, Channing Tatum, Will Ferrell, Morgan Freeman and more.
4. 'LISTEN UP PHILIP'
"Mad Men" actress Elisabeth Moss and Jason Schwartzman star in Tribeca Film's "Listen Up Philip."
5. 'GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY'
Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" brought the comic characters to the big screen, with: Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) and Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel).
6. 'BIG EYES'
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz are Margaret and Walter Keane in the biographical drama "Big Eyes," based on the life of the phenomenally successful 1950s painter and the husband who took credit for her work.
David Oyelowo portrays the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in "Selma," based on the history-changing civil rights marches of the '60s.
"The Spectacular Now" star Miles Teller as Andrew and J.K. Simmons as Fletcher in "Whiplash," directed by Damien Chazelle.
Jake Gyllenhaal as Lou Bloom and Riz Ahmed as Rick in "Nightcrawler."
10. 'DEAR WHITE PEOPLE'
Kyle Gallner, left, and Tessa Thompson in "Dear White People."