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Video Verdict: Reviews of ‘The Judge,’ ‘Fury,’ ‘The Book of Life’ and ‘Before I Go to Sleep’

From left to right, Shia LaBeouf, Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman (rear), Michael Peña and Jon Bernthal star in the war drama “Fury”   Photo courtesy of Sony

From left to right, Shia LaBeouf, Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman (rear), Michael Peña and Jon Bernthal star in the war drama “Fury”Photo courtesy of Sony

There is a strong slate of home video releases this week, and it is anchored by a movie that helped actor Robert Duvall earn his seventh Academy Award nomination.

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RiffTrax names the worst movies of the 1990s

The funny folks at RiffTrax have announced results of their fan poll for the worst movies of the 1990s. Among the 20 films that made the cut are “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” “Spice World,” “Bio-Dome” and “Battlefield Earth.” Check out the FULL LIST.

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Video Verdict: Reviews of ‘The Boxtrolls,’ ‘Lucy’ and ‘Annabelle’

The title characters from the stop-motion animated movie “The Boxtrolls” are sadly misunderstood.   Photo courtesy of Focus Features

The title characters from the stop-motion animated movie “The Boxtrolls” are sadly misunderstood.

Photo courtesy of Focus Features

This week’s major home video releases include two R-rated thrillers and a family friendly animated film.

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Winners of the 20th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards

"The Grand Budapest Hotel" won the Critics' Choice Movie Award for best comedy.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” won the Critics’ Choice Movie Award for best comedy.

The 20th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards were handed out at the Hollywood Palladium Thursday, Jan. 15. The show was broadcast live on A&E, but as a longtime member of the presenting organization — The Broadcast Film Critics Association — I received a couple tickets. The life of an entertainment journalist (particularly one who spends much of his time teaching) is relatively low on glitz and glamour, but it’s nice to spend at least one night a year checking out the sights and sounds in Hollywood.

Traditionally, the Critics’ Choice Awards have been a good predictor of the movies and filmmakers who go on to win Oscars. Of course, that’s not always the case. For instance, “The Lego Movie” won the Critics’ Choice award for best animated feature Thursday, but did not receive an Oscar nomination.

Following is the full list of winners …

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Nominees for the 87th Academy Awards

"Birdman" was nominated for nine Academy Awards.  Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight

“Birdman” was nominated for nine Academy Awards.
Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight

Following is a list of all nominees for the 87th Academy Awards. The show will be held Feb. 22 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

BEST PICTURE
“AMERICAN SNIPER”
“BIRDMAN OR (THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE)”
“BOYHOOD”
“THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL”
“THE IMITATION GAME”
“SELMA”
“THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING”
“WHIPLASH”

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
STEVE CARELL, “Foxcatcher”
BRADLEY COOPER, “American Sniper”
BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH, “The Imitation Game”
MICHAEL KEATON, “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
EDDIE REDMAYNE, “The Theory of Everything”

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
MARION COTILLARD, “Two Days, One Night”
FELICITY JONES, “The Theory of Everything”
JULIANNE MOORE, “Still Alice”
ROSAMUND PIKE, “Gone Girl”
REESE WITHERSPOON, “Wild”

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Video Verdict: Reviews of ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘Love Is Strange’

Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) becomes the chief suspect when his wife goes missing in the David Fincher thriller “Gone Girl.”  Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) becomes the chief suspect when his wife goes missing in the David Fincher thriller “Gone Girl.”

Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox

A pair of R-rated dramas anchor this week’s major home video releases.

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Top 10 Movies of 2014

From left to right, Zoe Saldana plays Gamora, Bradley Cooper plays Rocket, Chris Pratt plays Peter Quill, Vin Diesel plays Groot and Dave Bautista plays Drax in “Guardians of the Galaxy.”  Forrest ranks the film among the best of 2014. Photo courtesy of Disney

From left to right, Zoe Saldana plays Gamora, Bradley Cooper plays Rocket, Chris Pratt plays Peter Quill, Vin Diesel plays Groot and Dave Bautista plays Drax in “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Forrest ranks the film among the best of 2014.

Photo courtesy of Disney 

As we march into the new year and prepare ourselves for upcoming awards shows, it’s appropriate to reflect on the best movies of 2014. As usual, the year produced sure bets from well-known auteurs and a strong crop of art-house darlings, but we also had terrific pictures emerge from the much-derided cinematic mainstream. In fact, a number of blockbusters cracked my top 10. Following is the cream of the 2014 movie crop, complete with notes on how you can see them.

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