Top Ten

Chris Dashiell
Chris Knipp
Don Larsson
Shari L. Rosenblum
Howard Schumann
Mark Sells

Cinescene's Top 10 Movies of 2005

It was an interesting year. While a few films managed to snag some semblance of consensus among our reviewers (namely the ten listed below), none walked away with an overwhelming majority. For every film that showed up on multiple lists, there were three or four that showed up on only one or two. Whether that indicates a good year or a bad is up to others to determine. Below you will find our top ten films of 2005 in alphabetical order (to see a particular reviewer's individualized list, click on their name in the menu on the left).

1. 2046 (Wong Kar Wai)
"The most lush and complicated of Wong's period fantasies yet, the end of an epic series. It's so pretty and plot-encrusted it almost makes you sick, but what sweet sickness!" --Chris Knipp

"He compels a kind of surrender from the viewer, an immersion in the picture's overwhelming mood of heartsickness. It's terrific filmmaking, and it's one of a kind." --Chris Dashiell

2. Brokeback Mountain
(Ang Lee)

"Directed with perfect pacing and subtlety by Ang Lee, the film is beautifully cinematic and simple, profoundly engaging."
--Mark Sells

"The directorial contrasts of open air love with the dark closet secrecy, and the actor-invested exhilaration of connection, matching soul to soul unquenchably evoke an emotional truth that lingers on." --Shari L. Rosenblum

3. Capote (Bennett Miller)
"Dominated by Philip Seymour Hoffman's amazing performance in the title role, the film respects its audience enough to allow it to struggle through the difficult issues raised by the story."
--Chris Dashiell

"Philip Seymour Hoffman doesn't just inhabit Truman Capote, he resurrects him." --Don Larsson

4. A History of Violence
(David Cronenberg)

"Succeeds through its restraint and a screenplay that has skillfully reworked the graphic novel on which it was based."
--Don Larsson

"A slow-burn meditation on "family" violence that meticulously, thoughtfully, and engagingly winds its way back on itself in both expected and unexpected ways.." --Ed Owens

5. Mysterious Skin
(Gregg Araki)

"...a sensitive film, held together by authentic and heartfelt performances..."
--Howard Schumann

"This is tough material handled with imagination and taking us somewhere very dark and real." --Chris Knipp

6. Nobody Knows (Hirokazu Koreeda)
"Though his latest film is primarily a coming-of-age film about the transformation of a pre-adolescent boy, no film I've seen in recent memory has filled me with as much sadness for the failure of modern society to provide a coherent set of values for people." --Howard Schumann

"Rather than manipulate us, it scrapes the superficiality until we feel ourselves raw." --Shari L. Rosenblum

7. Broken Flowers (Jim Jarmusch)
"...really a slow feast of choice acting turns."
--Chris Knipp

"Though flawed in other ways, Flowers is damn near tonally perfect, managing to effectively and precisely capture a mood through the help of Murray's own wistful melancholy." --Ed Owens

8. The Constant Gardener
(Fernando Mereilles)

"...propels us into its intricate world of intrigue and corruption with a combustible energy that holds our attention from start to finish." --Howard Schumann

"Filled with pulsating energy and charm, the film goes backward and forward through time without missing a beat." --Mark Sells

9. Munich (Steven Spielberg)
"With quiet confidence and restraint, Eric Bana has to be the most underrated performance of the year. " --Mark Sells

"Haunting for what it fails to detail, excruciating in the details it cannot escape, Spielberg's historical account of massacre and vengeance, fictionalized and falsely balanced, succeeds nonetheless in getting fists to clench and pulses to race and breath to catch in one's throat." --Shari L. Rosenblum

10. The Squid and the Whale (Noah Baumbach)
"The style is sharp and observant, the humor is dry, and the movie's serious side attains a special poignance, with particular attention paid to the real agonies of adolescence..." --Chris Dashiell

"Witty and sincere, Baumbach's script is a gem, focusing on each character individually and giving them the right amount of sensitivity, care, and fallibility." --Mark Sells

©2006 CineScene

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