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Movies for Grownups

2014 Movies for Grownups Awards

From space-age thrills to historic shame, we pick the year's best films and performances

Best Comedy: The Way, Way Back

"The Way Way Back" is a movie about a teen and his well-meaning-but-clueless grownups. — Fox Searchlight

Best Comedy

The Way Way Back

We meet 14-year-old Duncan (Liam James) during the summer when he learns how to fit into a world that seems to be populated solely with girls and grownups. It's his movie but it's the grownups we love here: an all-star cast of well-meaning (if often clueless) folks including Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Steve Carell, Maya Rudolph and Sam Rockwell.

We Also Loved: Don JonLast Vegas | Mental | The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Best Director

Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity

In the exquisite opening scene, the Mexican-born director, 52, confirms every would-be astronaut's dreams of the tranquil romance of space. One mind-bending disaster scene later, he has those potential space cowboys asking, "What, was I crazy?"

Watch: 'Gravity' movie trailer

We Also Loved: J.C. Chandor, All Is Lost | Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips | Nicole Holofcener, Enough Said | Stephen Frears, Philomena


Best Screenwriter

Richard Linklater (with Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke), Before Midnight

We’ve hung in there with this couple (Delpy and Hawke) for three movies spanning 20 years. Now in middle age with two daughters, they ask each other the inevitable deep questions about love, commitment, and the wax and wane of each. Their conversations are so heartfelt they seem improvised; so ingeniously constructed they should be required reading.

We Also Loved: Joel and Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis | Richard Curtis, About Time | Nicole Holofcener, Enough Said | David O. Russell and Eric Singer, American Hustle

Best Intergenerational Film

Nebraska

David (Will Forte) is willing to suffer his insufferable dad (Bruce Dern) in the hope of having one warm moment with him. When the moment finally comes it’s far from a sentimental gusher, but you’ll find yourself choking back a tear all the same.

We Also Loved:  Bless Me, Ultima | The Book Thief | Philomena | The Way Way Back

Best Grownup Love Story

Enough Said

Middle-age love arrives at your door with a baggage cart, and that's what makes this rom-com starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the late, great James Gandolfini so darned irresistible. Mismatched in every way, their characters yell, laugh, cry and throw emotional haymakers. It's all part of burrowing through the strata of their lives and finding there's gold there.

Watch: 'Enough Said' movie trailer

We Also Loved: Before Midnight | Lee Daniels' The Butler | Still Mine | Unfinished Song

Best Documentary

20 Feet From Stardom

They sang backup for the greatest stars of the past half-century; this triumphant musical documentary finally gives the folks in the back their due.

We Also Loved: Herb & Dorothy: 50x50 | Muscle Shoals | Running from Crazy | Running Wild: The Life of Dayton O. Hyde

Best Foreign Film

Renoir (France)

Writer/director Gilles Bourdos' lush telling of the last years of the impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir — and the early years of his son, the film director Jean — is as painterly as its elder protagonist.

We Also Loved: The Act of Killing (Denmark) | Child's Pose (Romania) | Gloria (Chile) | Hannah Arendt (Germany/Luxembourg/France)

Next page: Best Movie for Grownups Who Refuse to Grow Up award and more. »

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