By brandon

Here are my “top ten” lists since 2000 (most have more than ten), if you care.
These are my favorite movies from each year that I had the chance to see at the time.
Whether the choices are enlightening or embarrassing is for you to decide, dear reader.

2013
ANTIVIRAL (Canada)BYZANTIUM (UK/USA/Ireland)
DANS LA MAISON/IN THE HOUSE (France)
EVENTYRLAND/IT’S ONLY MAKE BELIEVE (Norway)
HER (USA)
MUD (USA)
LE PASSÉ/THE PAST (France/Italy/Iran)
TIAN ZHU DING/A TOUCH OF SIN (China)
UPSTREAM COLOR (USA)
LA VIE D’ADÈLE/BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (France/Belgium/Spain)

AT ANY PRICE (USA)
BREATHE IN (USA)
FUTURE WEATHER (USA)
THE GIRL (USA/Mexico)
LE GRANDE BELLEZZA (Italy)
LORE (Germany/Australia/UK)
MIDDLE OF NOWHERE (USA)
SHORT TERM 12 (USA)
WHAT MAISIE KNEW (USA)
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (USA)

TO THE WONDER (USA)

2012

Amour (Austria)
Beasts of the Southern Wild (USA)
Cloud Atlas (USA/Germany/Hong Kong)
Holy Motors (France/Germany)
The Innkeepers (USA)
Looper (USA/China)
The Master (USA)
Moonrise Kingdom (USA)
De rouille et d’os/Rust and Bone (France/Belgium)
Your Sister’s Sister (USA)

Berberian Sound System (UK)
Chained (USA/Canada)
Compliance (USA)
Killer Joe (USA)
Les Miserables (UK)
Not Fade Away (USA)
Ruby Sparks (USA)
Seven Psychopaths (UK)
Sleepwalk with Me (USA)
Sound of My Voice (USA)

Special Mention: Zero Dark Thirty (USA)

2011
Akmaureul Boatda/I Saw the Devil (South Korea)
Le Bruit des Glacons/The Clink of Ice (France)
Cold Weather (US)
Contagion (US)
Drive (US)
Hugo (US)
Submarine (UK)
Tabloid (US)
The Tree of Life (US)
Womb (Hungary/France/Germany)

Another Earth (US)
Le Havre (Finland/France)
Jane Eyre (UK)
Jodaeiye Nader az Simin/A Separation (Iran)
Like Crazy (US)
Meek’s Cutoff (US)
Melancholia (Denmark)
Midnight in Paris (US)
Le Piel de Habito/The Skin I Live In (Spain)
Tyrannosaur (UK)

2010

The American (Anton Corbijn/US)
Black Swan (Darren Aronofsky/US)
Heartless (Philip Ridley/UK)
Inception (Christopher Nolan/US/UK)
Io sono l’amore/I Am Love (Luca Guadagnino/Italy)
*Kynodontas/Dogtooth (Giorgos Lanthimos/Greece)
Shi/Poetry (Lee Chang-Dong/South Korea)
The Social Network (David Fincher/US)
*Triangle (Christopher Smith/UK/Australia)
Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik/US)

Animal Kingdom (David Michod/Australia)
Burning Bright (Carlos Brooks/US)
City Island (Raymond De Felitta/US)
Creation (Jon Amiel/UK)
The King’s Speech (Tom Hooper/UK/Australia/US)
Mr. Nobody (Jacob Van Dormael/Canada/Belgium/France/Germany)
Paper Man (Kieran & Michele Mulroney/US)
Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1980 (Julian Jarrold/UK)
*Shutter Island (Martin Scorsese/US)
Splice (Vincenzo Natali/Canada)

2009

The obligatory top ten:

*Antichrist (Lars Von Trier/Denmark)
*Ddongpari/Breathless (Yang Ik-Joon/South Korea)
Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino/US)
Julia (Erick Zonca/France/UK)
*The Messenger (Oren Moverman/US)
Moon (Duncan Jones/UK)
Un Prophète (Jacques Audiard/France)
Sin Nombre (Cary Fukunaga/Mexico/US)
*Two Lovers (James Gray/US)
*Das Weiss Band/The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke/Germany)

and a second ten:

*Los Abrazos Rotos/Broken Embraces (Pedro Almodóvar/Spain)
Chéri (Stephen Frears/UK)
An Education (Lone Scherfig/UK)
*Fish Tank (Andrea Arnold/UK)
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (Terry Gilliam/UK)
Martyrs (Pascal Laugier/France)
Orphan (Jaume Collet-Serra/US)
*Passing Strange (Spike Lee/US)
Sugar (Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck/US)
*The Girlfriend Experience (Steven Soderbergh/US)

And a special mention all on its own, for all of its perverted 237 minutes :
Ai no mukidashi/Love Exposure (Shion Sono/Japan)

2008

AREUMDABDA/BEAUTIFUL (South Korea)
DOUBT (U.S.)
AUF DER ENDEREN SEITE/THE EDGE OF HEAVEN (Germany/Turkey)
THE ESCAPIST (U.K./Ireland)
HUNGER (U.K./Ireland)
IN BRUGES (U.K./U.S.)
SHOTGUN STORIES (U.S.)
LOS CRONOCRIMENES/TIMECRIMES (Spain)
WENDY AND LUCY (U.S.)

And one exception:
STELLET LICHT/SILENT LIGHT (Mexico)

secondary ten:
CHUGYEOGJA/THE CHASER (South Korea)
DOOMSDAY (U.K./U.S.)
FUNNY GAMES (anti-U.S.)
A L’INTERIEUR/INSIDE (France)
IL Y A LONGTEMPS QUE JE T’AIME/I’VE LOVED YOU SO LONG (France)
MEDUZOT/JELLYFISH (Israel)
SUN TAAM/MAD DETECTIVE (Hong Kong)
THE PROMOTION (U.S.)
REDBELT (U.S.)
SAVAGE GRACE (U.S./Spain)

2007

THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD (Andrew Dominik/US/UK)
BLACK BOOK (Paul Verhoeven/Netherlands)
BRAND UPON THE BRAIN! (Guy Maddin/Canada)
GONE BABY GONE (Ben Affleck/US)
I’M NOT THERE (Todd Haynes/US)
THE LOOKOUT (Scott Frank/US)
MICHAEL CLAYTON (Tony Gilroy/US)
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (Joel & Ethan Coen/US)
THERE WILL BE BLOOD (Paul Thomas Anderson/US)
VHS KAHLOUCHA (Nejib Belkadhi/Tunisia)

my secondary ten (one of these could easily, and probably should, swap with one of the above on any given day):
BUG (William Fredkin/US)
I AM A CYBORG, BUT IT’S OK (Chan Wook-Park/South Korea)
INTO THE WILD (Sean Penn/US)
MARGOT AT THE WEDDING (Noam Baumbach/US)
NUOVOMONDO (THE GOLDEN DOOR) (Emanuele Crialese/Italy)
ONCE (John Carney/Ireland)
OSTROV (THE ISLAND) (Pavel Lungin/Russia)
ROCKET SCIENCE (Jeffrey Blitz/US)
LA SCONOSCIUTA (THE UNKNOWN WOMAN) (Giuseppe Tornatore/Italy)
THIS IS ENGLAND (Shane Meadows/UK)

2006

Babel
Brothers of the Head
Children of Men
The Descent
The Departed
The Fountain
Kekexili: Mountain Patrol
The Notorious Bettie Page
The Prestige
Time (Shi gan)

2005

A History of Violence (David Cronenberg – Canada)
The Descent (Neil Marshall – UK)
Samaria / 3-Iron (Kim Ki-Duk – Korea)  – can these be a tie?
Turtles Can Fly (Bahman Ghobadi – Iran/Iraq)
Caché (Michael Haneke – Austria)
Palindromes (Todd Soldonz – US)
Good Night, and Good Luck (George Clooney – US)
Funny Ha Ha (Andrew Bujarski – US) (2003)
The Constant Gardner (Fernando Meirelles – UK/US?)
Mysterious Skin (Gregg Arraki – US)
Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee – US)
Munich (Steven Spielberg – US)
YES (Sally Potter – UK)

On any other day I might have included a few of the following:
Akeelah and the Bee, Ask the Dust, Brick, Dasepo Naughty Girls, A Dirty Carnival, Half Nelson, Hard Candy, The Lady in the Water, Little Children, Little Fish, Lonesome Jim, The Proposition, Slither, Suite Dreams, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance

2004

tops:
The Aviator
Closer
Dogville
The Dreamers
Japanese Story
Oldboy
Samaria
The Village (don’t laugh)

middles (meaning if I were making a top ten at least 2 of these would move up):
Before Sunset
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Garden State
Hotel Rwanda
House of Flying Daggers
Kill Bill Vol. 2
Maria Full of Grace
Oasis
Safe Conduct
The Saddest Music in the World
Tae Guk Gi
Vera Drake

bottoms:
The Ladykillers
The Punisher
Secret Window
Shrek 2

2003

Apparently I didn’t make a list, but I think I remember liking Lost in Translation best.
I distinctly remember going over a month (maybe even 6 weeks?) without seeing a movie, because of student teaching.
I’m surprised I didn’t die. When I finally had the chance, it happened to be The Core (the disaster movie about drilling to the center of the Earth to keep it from spinning off its axis). It was terrible, but, at the time, it might as well have been the best movie ever made.

2002

The Cat’s Meow
Brotherhood of the Wolf (Le Pacte des Loups)
Y Tu Mama Tambien (And Your Mother Too)
The Believer
Insomnia
About a Boy
Full Frontal
Birthday Girl
Signs

Road to Perdition
Changing Lanes
Minority Report

2001

Mulholland Drive
Memento
Donnie Darko
The Pledge
Le Fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain (Amelie)
A.I.:Artificial Intelligence
Der Krieger und die Kaserin (The Princess and the Warrior)
Ghost World
Vanilla Sky / Waking Life / A Beautiful Mind
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Moulin Rouge

(??) In the Mood For Love

2000

Requiem for a Dream
Waking the Dead
Almost Famous
Tigerland
Dancer in the Dark
Wonder Boys
What Lies Beneath
Traffic
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
You Can Count On Me

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featured Short film (9 min)

Blue Shining (Richard Vezina, 2015)

great scene from a great film

Sullivan's Travels (Preston Sturges, 1941)

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