The definitive list of Sun-Times end-of-the-year lists for 2014

SHARE The definitive list of Sun-Times end-of-the-year lists for 2014
SHARE The definitive list of Sun-Times end-of-the-year lists for 2014

As a new year begins, it’s customary to look back on the year that went before.

In the media, we customarily do this with lists. Lots and lots of lists. Lists of the most memorable TV moments or lists reviewing the year in movies. Lists that recap what happened that year in the most incredible and heartbreaking images captured by our staff and contributors.

Not to get too meta, but we’ve compiled all those lists here into one definitive list to end all lists, the easier to reminisce with as you settle in to watch the ball drop on 2014 with a glass of champagne. Think of it as the Best of the Best of 2014 Lists. We’ll be adding to it throughout the day.

Without further adieu, here are the lists:

The top 10 stories of 2014 in Chicago and Illinois

<small><strong>Gubernatorial candidates Republican Bruce Rauner, left, and Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn  debate at the DuSable Museum of African American History, Tuesday. | AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast</strong></small>

Gubernatorial candidates Republican Bruce Rauner, left, and Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn debate at the DuSable Museum of African American History, Tuesday. | AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

By almost any measure, it was a hectic year in the city and state. Any number of stories in 2014 demanded towering headlines: local fears about preparing for the Ebola virus, the CTA Blue Line train crash at O’Hare International Airport, the “polar vortex” and the controversial and swoopy design for filmmaker George Lucas’ museum along the lakefront.

And those were some of the stories that weren’t among our picks for biggest news stories of the year.

Our favorite photos of 2014

<small><strong>Lightning strikes the Willis Tower following a severe thunderstorm as seen from Solidarity Drive, Monday, June 30, 2014. | Guy Rhodes/For Sun-Times Media</strong></small>

Lightning strikes the Willis Tower following a severe thunderstorm as seen from Solidarity Drive, Monday, June 30, 2014. | Guy Rhodes/For Sun-Times Media

The people and events that made for the best photos of 2014 by Sun-Times staff and contributing photographers.

Richard Roeper breaks down the year’s best movies

<small><strong>AP Photo</strong></small>

AP Photo

One could argue the biggest movie star of 2014 was the guy previously best known for playing the semi-flabby and always funny Andy Dwyer on “Parks & Recreation.”

Not only did a toned-up Chris Pratt topline the No. 1 movie of the year, “Guardians of the Galaxy” (more than $332 million in domestic box office gross and more than $770 million worldwide), he voiced the lead in “The Lego Movie,” which brought in more than $257 million in the United States and some $468 million total.

Our most-shared tweets of 2014

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Thank you – all 151,000 of you – for following the Chicago Sun-Times on Twitter this year. Here’s a list of the 10 tweets you retweeted and favorited the most this past year.

Biggest Chicago sports stories of 2014

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The Bears crumbled with their worst season in a decade. Derrick Rose’s comeback has been sluggish. But the Jackie Robinson West Little League team gave us something to cheer for this year, winning the Little League U.S. championship.

Lori Rackl’s top TV moments of the year

“These are simply the TV moments that — for a variety of reasons — stuck with me the most. They’re the ones that stood out in a crowded field and made me cry, laugh, think or feel more than the rest.”

Chicago’s cutest baby animals of 2014

<small><strong>Photo courtesy of Brenna Hernandez/Shedd Aquarium</strong></small>

Photo courtesy of Brenna Hernandez/Shedd Aquarium

There’s no contest: The clear winner of Chicago’s cutest baby animal of 2014 was Luna, the Shedd Aquarium’s rescued sea otter pup, who captured hearts across the country in addition to the top spot on our list. But you may have forgotten about these other adorable baby animals born at Chicago-area zoos.

Chicago’s most notable barge stories of 2014

<small><strong>The submerged barge caused dozens of people to stop and gawk from nearby bridges. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times</strong></small>

The submerged barge caused dozens of people to stop and gawk from nearby bridges. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Hear us out! There was a lot of barge news this year.

Chicago barges sank when they shouldn’t have, weren’t quite as flammable as we had hoped, and came off as a surprisingly fun place to hang out under the right conditions. Here are the five most notable stories involving Chicago barges in 2014.

Bill Zwecker chooses his best interviews of 2014

<small><strong>Joan Rivers makes the list. | AP Photo</strong></small>

Joan Rivers makes the list. | AP Photo

“During a year I was fortunate enough to talk to literally hundreds of people, most of them extremely accomplished and utilizing their talents in many creative ways. Here are 10 of them whose conversations revealed insights into their lives and careers that, I feel, gave Sun-Times readers added value as this column reported on our contemporary popular culture.”

Best theater productions of 2014, chosen by Hedy Weiss

<small><strong>The Hypocrites’ “All Our Tragic” was a marathon of all the existing Greek tragedies. | Evan Hanover</strong></small>

The Hypocrites’ “All Our Tragic” was a marathon of all the existing Greek tragedies. | Evan Hanover

This has been a year of impressive artistic productivity, as well as a time of personal and professional loss. Particularly noteworthy as a trend was a slew of outstanding productions of musicals (many with huge casts) by the city’s smaller theaters. Hedy Weiss lists them all.

Chicago’s best concerts of 2014

<small><strong>Lorde lit up the Aragon in March. | Matt Sayles/Invision/AP</strong></small>

Lorde lit up the Aragon in March. | Matt Sayles/Invision/AP

In a year of new music clubs opening on all sides of the city and major festivals popping up all summer, here are 10 concerts that stood out.

Hedy Weiss picks Chicago’s best dance events of 2014

<small><strong>Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and The Second City in “The Art of Falling.” | Todd Rosenberg</strong></small>

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and The Second City in “The Art of Falling.” | Todd Rosenberg

Did 2014 make you want to dance? Or are you ready for it to dance on out of here? Hedy Weiss lists Chicago’s best dance events of 2014.

Chicago’s best classical music and opera of 2014

<small><strong>The Lyric Opera of Chicago’s “Rusalka.” | Todd Rosenberg Photography</strong></small>

The Lyric Opera of Chicago’s “Rusalka.” | Todd Rosenberg Photography

If you weren’t following the local classical and opera worlds, 2014 was a year of much news. It’s OK, Andrew Patner will get you caught up on the year that was.

3 DVD workouts that were tops in 2014

<small><strong>Photo courtesy of Shazzy Fitness</strong></small>

Photo courtesy of Shazzy Fitness

Need to burn off some of the calories you consumed over the holidays? Columnist Sue Ontiveros has you covered with her favorite DVD workouts of 2014.

Check out our “Best of 2014″ board on Pinterest for a quick look at even more of the year’s most memorable moments.

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