The year’s best-of lists have begun piling in (here’s a personal favorite), and one selection that always earns a bit more attention — at least when put up against the glut that pours in — is the National Board of Review’s. This year’s selection is fairly dull, even by their English-language-skewing standards, with only a few surprises: screenplay nods to Paul Thomas Anderson and Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, as well as a fair amount of love for Fury. Could a tank roll into the Dolby Theatre?

One can see it below, along with AMPAS’ 15 frontrunners for Best Documentary, pared down from 134 eligible titles (via Variety):

Best Film: A Most Violent Year

Best Director:  Clint EastwoodAmerican Sniper

Best Actor (TIE):  Oscar IsaacA Most Violent Year; Michael KeatonBirdman

Best Actress: Julianne MooreStill Alice

Best Supporting Actor:  Edward NortonBirdman

Best Supporting Actress:  Jessica ChastainA Most Violent Year

Best Original Screenplay:  Phil Lord & Christopher MillerThe Lego Movie

Best Adapted Screenplay:  Paul Thomas AndersonInherent Vice

Best Animated Feature:  How to Train Your Dragon 2

Breakthrough Performance:  Jack O’ConnellStarred Up & Unbroken

Best Directorial Debut:  Gillian RobespierreObvious Child

Best Foreign Language Film:  Wild Tales

Best Documentary:  Life Itself

William K. Everson Film History Award:  Scott Eyman

Best Ensemble:  Fury

Spotlight Award:  Chris Rock for writing, directing, and starring in – Top Five

NBR Freedom of Expression Award:  Rosewater

NBR Freedom of Expression Award:  Selma

Top Films

American Sniper




Gone Girl

The Imitation Game

Inherent Vice

The Lego Movie



Top 5 Foreign Language Films

Force Majeure

Gett: The Trial of Vivian Amsalem


Two Days, One Night

We Are the Best!

Top 5 Documentaries

Art and Craft

Jodorowsky’s Dune

Keep On Keepin’ On

The Kill Team

Last Days in Vietnam

Top 10 Independent Films

Blue Ruin


A Most Wanted Man

Mr. Turner

Obvious Child

The Skeleton Twins


Stand Clear of the Closing Doors

Starred Up

Still Alice

Documentary Short List

Art and Craft,” Purple Parrot Films
The Case against 8,” Day in Court
Citizen Koch,” Elsewhere Films
CitizenFour,” Praxis Films
Finding Vivian Maier,” Ravine Pictures
The Internet’s Own Boy,” Luminant Media
Jodorowsky’s Dune,” City Film
Keep On Keepin’ On,” Absolute Clay Productions
The Kill Team,” f/8 filmworks
Last Days in Vietnam,” Moxie Firecracker Films
Life Itself,” Kartemquin Films and Film Rites
The Overnighters,” Mile End Films West
The Salt of the Earth,” Decia Films
Tales of the Grim Sleeper,” Lafayette Film
Virunga,” Grain Media

What do you think of these selections? Is anything clearly missing?

See more best of 2014 lists and features.

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