It's that time again, the year's best and worst . . . well, it can't really be avoided, can it?

So here we go, with that annual critic ritual - listing the loved and the loathed movies of 1994:

BEST

1. "QUIZ SHOW"

Though audiences declined to embrace Robert Redford's superb look at television in its infancy in the 1950s, and specifically the scandal of rigged quiz shows, it is riveting filmmaking and, in my book, the year's best by far.

2. "LITTLE WOMEN"

Director Gillian Armstrong ("My Brilliant Career") has come up with a remake that is right up there with the best film adaptations of literature, and Winona Ryder makes the character of Jo March her own.

3. "THE LION KING"

Though this Disney animated feature isn't quite up there with the brilliance of "Beauty and the Beast," it is still a wonderful film, and certainly captured the fancy of audiences like no cartoon in history.

4. "FORREST GUMP"

Tom Hanks is marvelous - and the film is too. If you haven't seen it yet, I envy you.

5. "HOOP DREAMS"

This riveting 3-hour documentary about two Chicago teens who aspire to become pro basketball stars is so entertaining and emotionally compelling that it feels like a dramatic motion film. A winner at the Sundance Film Festival this past January, it begins its Salt Lake City run at the Tower Theater on Friday, Jan. 13.

6. "I.Q."

Whimsy, screwball comedy and sweet, gentle romance combine perfectly in this delightfully lighthearted look at love, as Albert Einstein (Walter Matthau) plays Cupid to bring his niece, a distracted mathematician (Meg Ryan), together with a humble auto mechanic (Tim Robbins).

7. "THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION"

An uplifting, delightfully entertaining prison picture? That's what this adaptation of a Stephen King story manages to become, as Tim Robbins, playing an out-of-step prison inmate, takes on the establishment. Sort of a "Nerd Hand Luke." Morgan Freeman, as the con who befriends him, steals the show.

8. "ED WOOD"

Audiences stayed away from Tim Burton's quirky, black-and-white comedy, the true story of Hollywood's "worst filmmaker of all time." But Johnny Depp and especially Martin Landau (as Bela Lugosi) helped make the film an eccentric delight.

9. "BULLETS OVER BROADWAY"

Woody Allen strikes gold again with this hilarious comedy about gangsters and artists on the Great White Way during the Roaring Twenties, with special kudos to Dianne Wiest as a grande dame.

10. "NOBODY'S FOOL"

It's hard to think of anything to say about Paul Newman that hasn't already been said, but his performance in this comedy-drama is such a knockout that it speaks for itself. A gentle small-town yarn from writer-director Robert Benton ("Kramer vs. Kramer"). There's no firm date yet, but look for this one to open in Salt Lake theaters in January.

Runners-Up: "Clear and Present Danger," "True Lies," "That's Entertainment III," "The Hudsucker Proxy," "The Paper," "The River Wild," "Red Rock West," "Ruby in Paradise," "Four Weddings and a Funeral," "When a Man Loves a Woman," "Thirty-Two Short Films About Glen Gould," "Speed," "Where the Rivers Flow North," "Black Beauty," "The Mask."

Foreign films: "Blue," "White," "Far Away, So Close!" "The Scent of Green Papaya," "Belle Epoque," "Fiorile," "The Legend of Fong Sai Yuk," "Eat Drink Man Woman," "Police Story III: Supercop," "Ciao Professore," "Bahji at the Beach," "Drunken Master II."

WORST

1. "ACE VENTURA, PET DETECTIVE" AND "DUMB & DUMBER" (A TIE)

Yes, it's a Jim Carrey double-bill, and despite the big box-office bucks they've racked up, together they tie as my choices for worst movies of the year. Though I really enjoyed "The Mask," these two Carrey comedies that bookended it, were stupifyingly unfunny and far too vulgar. In fact, "Dumb & Dumber" is just one gross-out gag after another. Ugh.

2. "CLIFFORD"

There are few things more painful than a comedy that doesn't work, and this farce with Martin Short playing a child hurts a lot, despite the presence of Charles Grodin and Mary Steenburgen.

3. "THE SPECIALIST"

This thriller with Sharon Stone and Sylvester Stallone was a box-office hit, but it remains one of the most embarrassing action yarns to come out of Hollywood in years. James Woods takes acting honors . . . though there's not much competition here.

4. "COLOR OF NIGHT"

OK, so "The Specialist" isn't the only embarrassing thriller of the year. Bruce Willis was great in "Pulp Fiction" (and he's good in the upcoming "Nobody's Fool") but here he is just as awful as the movie, playing a psychiatrist embroiled in murder and a deadly affair.

5. "ON DEADLY GROUND"

Jean-Claude Van Damme is directing a movie for release next year, and we can only hope that he's not calling up Steven Seagal for tips. Seagal's directing debut here, as an environmentally correct action hero, is amazingly awful. Even Michael Caine, as an over-the-top villain, looks chagrined.

6. "THE GETAWAY"

Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger do Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw in this idiotic remake, on the run from bad guy James Woods. Does Woods get extra pay for out-acting everyone else in movies like this?

7. "COPS AND ROBBERSONS"

The only thing worse than this half-hearted comedy from Chevy Chase was his late-night talk show. Jack Palance chews the scenery and Dianne Wiest looks like she wishes she were elsewhere.

8. "EXIT TO EDEN"

A whips-and-chains farce? This exercise in bad taste has Dan Aykroyd and Rosie O'Donnell going to an X-rated "Fantasy Island" to find a killer. O'Donnell's wisecracks help a little . . . but only a little.

9. "WAGONS EAST"

Unfortunately, John Candy's final film is also one of his worst, a misfired off-the-wall Western that has him as a drunken wagonmaster taking disgruntled Easterners back home.

10. "THE PRINCESS AND THE GOBLIN"

If you wonder why audiences are afraid of non-Disney animated features, take a look at this one and wonder no more.

Runners-Up: "Intersection," "My Father the Hero," "The Chase," "Clean Slate," "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues," "A Low Down Dirty Shame," "Clerks," "China Moon," "Jimmy Hollywood," "The Cowboy Way," "Baby's Day Out," "Airheads," "In the Army Now," "Terminal Velocity," "Silent Fall," "The War," "Trapped in Paradise," "Mixed Nuts," "Richie Rich."

*****

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The year's top draws

Top 10 moneymakers for 1994:

1. "Forrest Gump," $297 million

2. "The Lion King," $295 million

3. "True Lies," $144 million

4. "The Flintstones," $128 million

5. "Clear and Present Danger," $121 million

6. "Speed," $120 million

7. "The Mask," $117 million

8. "The Santa Clause," $107 million

9. "Maverick," $100 million

10. "Interview With the Vampire," $98 million

*****

Made in Utah

Movies released in 1994 that were shot in Utah:

"City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold," "Maverick," "Lightning Jack," "Dumb & Dumber."

Movies shot in Utah during 1994:

"Walking Thunder," "Plan Ten From Outer Space," "Sight Unseen," "Species," "Halloween 6," "Shadow of Evil," "Tall Tales."