Hit the jump for the full top ten, and click here to check out our other contributors’ picks.
#10 – NOBODY’S DAUGHTER HAE-WON directed by Sang-soo Hong
A simple, honest, and refreshing piece of cinema. When all a filmmaker needs are a couple of great actors and two different locations to walk through, it earns my respect when it turns out this beautifully.
#9 – UPSTREAM COLOR directed by Shane Carruth
A fever dream with little to offer the audience in terms of compass, the point may simply be to become lost for the sake of it.
#8 – BEFORE MIDNIGHT directed by Richard Linklater
An eloquently, and quietly, accomplished film.
#7 – A HIJACKING directed by Tobias Lindholm
The film doesn’t extend itself beyond the situation of a hijacking which has a great dramatic effect. There is no false ending on this film, and after seeing it, you might wonder why films like Mud needed three.
#6 – FRANCIS HA directed by Noah Baumbach
This black and white Allen-esque film has a warmth to it that allows a smile to creep on your face for the entirety of the film, even if it is sometimes embarrassed.
#5 – FIRST COUSIN ONCE REMOVED directed by Alan Berliner
An essay, art film, and brilliant documentary all rolled into one, this is one way to try and experience what it may be like to lose your memory.
#4 – STORIES WE TELL directed by Sarah Polley
Maybe everyone has wanted to make a version of this film, this particular execution is undeniably rich. Reaches out for the place between the fact and the myth of where we come from, of our own personal narrative.
#3 – PARADISE: LOVE directed by Ulrich Seidl
Satire. Ugly, uncomfortable satire. Stellar film.
#2 – ONLY GOD FORGIVES directed by Nicolas Winding Refn
Digital “film” mastery with a composed sense of restriction.
#1 – AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS directed by David Lowery
The cinematography, performances, and story structure all weave an incredible film.