1: A Separation: The blade twists after the slow stabbing we’ve only just felt in our guts.
2: War Horse: The final shots give rise to an almost holy nobility. Reminds of when “oscar bait” meant quality reaching for an then-uncorrupted symbol of excellence.
3: Mysteries Of Lisbon: Ruiz built two treasure houses before his death: the body of work before Mysteries of Lisbon, and Mysteries Of Lisbon itself.
4: Drive: Hardly “cool.” More in love, in hate, lost in itself and several degrees past recovery.
5: Melancholia/The Tree Of Life: Our world began with empathetic dinosaurs and ended with the resignation of a sad woman who found it in herself to reach those creatures and bookend this damn thing.
6: House Of Pleasures: Knights In White Satin only cry semen tears.
7: Kaboom: Bisexuality is dread. How could it not be?
8: Take Shelter: A storm is coming. Rec center bellows and blues. The ending is another dream, and they’ll only get worse.
9: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: Fincher’s is the definitive telling of this story. It’s pulp, right down to Enya trancing out a madman. Women’s bodies are destroyed in the beginning; their hearts at the end.
10: Cold Weather: Mysteries Of Portland. It’s fun to play movie. Foggy beacons of plot, a .com porn girl, one MacGuffin, a skeletal set-piece that provides the most thrills since De Palma’s Femme Fatale Cannes heist. And it gets at that quiet love between siblings in a way few other films have.