Now we move into the  top 10, where things start getting real…

10 – THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY

Hossein Amini, the writer of Drive and The Wings of the Dove, made his directorial debut in style with this stunning adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel, but even more impressive is its ability to stay with you long after you see it.

The direction is incredibly relaxed but at the same time very engaging; nothing feels like filler, and all of the character interaction feels very natural and relatable. Casting Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac to play the central three roles was a stroke of genius, as each of them bring several additional layers to their complicated characters and work well with the psychological torture and paranoia that Highsmith originally contributed.

Amini embraces the limited hour-and-a-half running time, and uses it to tell a simple but never dull story that’s as easy to follow as it is likable. In short, it’s the Best Directorial Debut of the Year and we’re more than anxious to see what project Amini shall take on next…

(And we’re NOT saying all of this just because the ever-awesome Amini kindly did an interview with us earlier this year, either!)

9 – GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

Definitely the most “out-there” material in Marvel’s cinematic toybox, this was always going to be a difficult but important product to sell – but not only did the gamble pay off wondrously, but audiences accepted it with open arms. And this is a film with a talking raccoon, for crying out loud!

James Gunn, previously best known for comedy-horror Slither and superhero satire Super, directs and co-writes this bonkers but endlessly enjoyable sci-fi outing with the excitement of a ten-year-old and the surprisingly warm heart of any sci-fi geek. Newly-certified movie star Chris Pratt is Star-Lord, one of the many instantly iconic characters in the main ensemble that range from Vin Diesel’s lovable Groot, aforementioned racoon named Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), Zoe Saldana’s green-skinned assassin Gamora and – perhaps most surprising of all – Dave Bautista’s muscular Drax, who turned out to be more than just forearm veins with a brilliant character trait of being metaphor-illiterate, inspiringly winning over fans on the autistic spectrum.

It’s a joyful entry into the Marvel movie canon, and sets itself to be the Best Dumb Blockbuster of the Year. Groot is reported to be celebrating with the words “I am Groot”…

8 – GONE GIRL

David Fincher’s handsomely brutal visions have haunted/entertained audiences for years now, but Gone Girl has catapulted his appeal to an even wider audience than ever before, based on its astounding box office take ($344 million worldwide) and the fact that the original book by Gillian Floyd (who also wrote the screenplay) already had its share of fans.

But elevating Fincher’s adaptation is his ballsy visual approach to Floyd’s description of failing marriages during a recession, media obsession and manipulation (which, after Nightcrawler and in the wake of the Sony hack coverage, is now more relevant and terrifying than ever) and, most of all, a new classic villain. That would be – SPOILER ALERT – Rosamund Pike’s ice-cold, manipulative, intelligent psychopath of a woman who turns out to be even scarier when she’s been scorned in love, particularly by Ben Affleck’s imperfect husband. Pike completely owns the role, and her “Amazing Amy” deserves to be up there with the likes of Hannibal Lecter and other creepy, evil movie villains. Oh, and let’s just say she gives us a far better ending to How I Met Your Mother than the actual one…

A beautifully dark tale anchored by Fincher’s irreplaceable directorial style and a breakthrough role by Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl is the Darkest Crowd-Pleaser of the Year, and one that will make for uncomfortable conversations with your spouse after viewing it…

7 – FRANK

The eccentric nature of late comedian Chris Sievey and his comic creation Frank Sidebottom is alive and well in this strange but unexpectedly tender musical comedy loosely inspired by the comedian’s work.

For its first and second acts, it is a very strong comedy with the humour coming from the bizarre nature of its characters, including Maggie Gyllenhaal’s psychotic Theremin player Clara and especially Michael Fassbender as the titular papier-mâché head-wearing character who acts as the lead singer of his band “The Soronpfrbs” (good luck trying to pronounce that three time fast while drunk). Its unpredictability has you guessing where it’s all going to go even as the film makes sharp geographical relocations around the mid-point, and it’s endlessly entertaining to watch these very odd people interact with the world around them, particularly with audience surrogate Domhnall Gleeson who acts as the straight man here.

Its third act, however, is when it becomes something very special – once we find out more about who Frank really is, and why he was doing everything with the band to begin with, it’s a very sombre and strangely uplifting reveal that struck a very personal chord with this reviewer. What one basically gets out of it is that if you enjoy doing certain things, then do them without caring much about what other people think as long as it makes you happy and comfortable.

That’s why Film Feeder is around today, because the editor just loves doing what he does for this site and for all of you, and Frank – our pick for the Most Uplifting Film of the Year – is a fresh reminder that it can all happen with the right amount of ambition and passion.

With all that under its belt, it seems a little strange that it’s just below our top five – it just so happens there were some actual movies that we preferred, like…

6 – THE IMITATION GAME

If there’s one actor who’s seen his popularity suddenly boost to extreme motions over the past few years, it has to be Benedict Cumberbatch who cements his newly-established place in Hollywood and in popular culture with his strong performance as Alan Turing.

The Imitation Game, directed favourably by Headhunters’ Morten Tyldum, explores the life and times of one of the country’s most unsung war heroes, the man who pioneered the modern-day computer while trying to crack the German Enigma code, and the man who – as a nation’s way of thanks – was later convicted and chemically castrated for his then-illegal homosexuality, leading to his suicide shortly after. Tyldum and debuting writer Graham Moore cover a great deal of Turing’s WW2 career and tragic circumstances to a winning and hard-hitting degree, with the right amount of tension and wit to pass as being unmistakably British. Cumberbatch is also backed up by excellent performances by Keira Knightley, as lady-friend Joan Clarke, Alex Lawther who makes a stunning mainstream debut as the young version of Turing, and many more British talent.

In an age where homosexuality is happily becoming more accepted in society, it’s shameful to even be aware of its criminal likeness back then, and much more so when we realise that a truly great man was a victim to it all. It’s the overall winning, though tragic, nature and approach to it all that makes The Imitation Game the Best British Film of the Year; a film so accepting yet so unapologetic it has to be adored…

Click here to reveal our top 5 best movies of 2014!