As of July 2, the year officially is half over. What kind of a year has it been? The summer blockbuster are struggling to surpass Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s The LEGO Movie on the box office charts (though Captain America: The Winter Soldier rode its late-spring release date to a massive financial win). And early film festivals like Sundance, SXSW, Cannes and Tribeca started introducing a few movies into the awards-contending conversation – but we have plenty of time left to tell which features will earn Oscar’s favor.

We decided that today would be a great day to regroup, reflect and single out the best movies we have seen on screen so far in 2014. The outstanding team of Cinema Blend movie writers have chosen to champion movies both massive and small, passionate and intimate. Even by expanding our list to 10, there are titles we had to leave off of the list. Be sure to tell us your favorite 2014 movie (so far) in the comments section below. For now, these are the best movies we’ve seen this year, starting with…

The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Wes Anderson’s crippling OCD finally merges seamlessly with his distinct visual palette for The Grand Budapest Hotel, a dizzying sprint through a meticulously orchestrated murder mystery. This is Anderson perfecting every single one of his trademark quirks, from the lyrical dialogue to the brilliant cast hired to recite phrases that could only come from Anderson’s fountain pen. Appearing in an Anderson film always feels like a badge of honor for gifted character actors, and several familiar faces crowd the screen for The Grand Budapest Hotel. Skilled comedians like Edward Norton and Jason Schwartzman prove they understand the ticking-clock nature of Anderson’s prose, and scenes stealers such as Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Tilda Swinton and Adrien Brody make the most out of small cameos.

But in Budapest, Anderson finds yet another exceptional lead performance in Ralph Fiennes, and his dry, condescending portrayal of Gustave places this odd character in the Anderson pantheon alongside Royal Tenenbaum (Gene Hackman) and Herman Blume. The Grand Budapest Hotel instantly becomes a tangible place we’ll want to revisit time and time again. It’s one of the year’s best films.

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