Five Best 10 Bests (and then some)

My favorite part of the year-end (or year-beginning) “Best Of” lists is how these lists serve as a kind of aggregator for the movies that I should give my time to in the coming year. Let’s face it, if you live in the USA and you don’t live in New York or L.A. (I don’t), and/or you didn’t make it to the Toronto Film Festival or Cannes last year (nope), and/or you’re not a member of the press with access to advance screenings (ditto), you might have had the chance to see only three of, say, J. Hoberman’s picks for the ten best.

That’s what region-free DVD players and video projectors are for. So, without further ado, here are my five favorite Top 10 (or more) lists of 2007.

indieWire Critics Poll
Village Voice/LA Weekly Film Poll
Two polls that are virtually identical in their results… because they poll virtually the same group of people. Don’t ask me why there are two polls.

IndieWire 2007 Critics Poll: Best Undistributed Film
Village Voice/LA Weekly Film Poll: Best Undistributed Film
Same as above.

Michael Atkinson’s Straight Outta Digi: The Best Non-Theatrical Debuts of ’07

DVD Beaver’s Best DVD Releases of the Year

Jonathan Rosenbaum’s Top Movies of the Year


Oh, and the best film I saw last for the first time last year? The restoration of The Whole Shootin’ Match at SXSW. Over twenty-five years since it was produced, it’s still not available on DVD.

3 Responses to “Five Best 10 Bests (and then some)”

  1. Jerod Says:


    I just moved to Baton Rouge 5 months ago, and this lack of films is really frustrating. Only one of the Hoberman top ten–“Eastern Promises” played in the city. A suburb got “Jesse James” for a week, and New Orleans had “I’m Not There” for a two week run. It sure makes me miss home thinking that Knoxville has had or will have 7 of the ten within the next few weeks. I live within a 2 mile radius of 4 movie theatres with a collective 58 screens, 13 of which were showing “Alvin and the Chipmunks” when I came home for the holidays. Maybe “There Will be Blood” will open. Maybe…

    All that aside. I was wondering if you knew about the IFC on demand service offered to digital cable subscribers? When an IFC-released film opens limited, they release it on demand the same day for a price of about 6 dollars. I saw “Day Night, Day Night” using the service as well as “The Exterminating Angels,” the new Loach, and the new Von Trier. It makes living in the “fly over” states just that much more bearable. I hope things are going well, and that you have a great year.

  2. Kwality Blogging » Blog Archive » More 2007 Lists… Says:

    […] Call me geeky, but I love end-of-the-year lists.  It helps me get the most out of the year before it is too late.  One of the blogs that I subscribe to, Self-Reliant Filmmaking, recently posted this great list of links that rank the years best films. Be sure to check out this user-generated list from LA Weekly. […]

  3. Dan Kremer Says:

    Looked at the lists. Here are my thoughts.

    I was with Hoberman on a good deal of his choices. I saw There Will Be Blood the other night and, barring the melodramatic final scene, I believe it is the best recent American film I have seen in quite some time. It is a major step forward for P.T. Anderson, shedding the gimickry and pseudo-hard-edgeness of his previous work (not that I don’t still think highly of Magnolia). Southland Tales…I saw it with a bunch of friends during its few-day stint here in Philadelphia. It just kind of disappeared. My friends and I thought that we were the only ones who saw the film for its real over-the-top brilliance (it is one of the most scathing satires I have ever beared witness to), and even I was a self-appointed president of the Donnie Darko skeptics/dislikers club. An underrated movie…although it did give me the same feeling that I imagined seeing a film like 1968’s Candy and Skidoo was like back on their initial releases.

    As for his #1 choice, I’m Not There…Lachmann’s photography and Blanchett’s performance (far and away the best cross-gender performance I have ever seen, and that includes Hilary Swank and Linda Hunt) are the best things about it. It looked like Lachmann eschewed using a Kodak stock…maybe Fuji (?)…and it lended to the film an anomalous beauty. The film itself was kind of a mess with a lot of moments to keep it afloat. I would gauge that you can catch a Fellini reference every two minutes (including the usage of Rota’s Casanova score in one scene). And Charlotte Gainsbourg doesn’t hurt.

    As for DVD Beaver, I am surprised that Killer of Sheep ranks that low on their list. I loved Beaver’s Berlin Alexanderplatz transfer comparison, illuminating Criterion’s recent tendency to windowbox. One of my favorite DVD review sites. They overlooked Criterion’s Two-Lane Blacktop. That is nearly unforgivable.

    In my opinion, 2007 was one of the best movie years in a long while. I don’t recall being so widely impressed with the range of films a year has had to offer since 2001 (I believe).