Best Movies of 2005

10. THE CONSTANT GARDENER

The Constant Gardener

146 LISTS | 8 TOP SPOTS
Fernando Meirelles | 129 mins | Drama/Mystery/Romance
Ralph Fiennes | Rachel Weisz | Danny Huston | Hubert Koundé

“A visually intelligent and richly textured film about drug-company atrocities in Africa that touches on the residual shame of colonialism, the inherent amorality of global capitalism and the indestructibility of love. It is frankly remarkable in that it challenges rather than reassures its intended audience.
You can feel the tension between the cool intelligent architecture of John Le Carre’s novel and director Fernando Meirelles’ raging cinematic fauvism. In conspiracy with cinematographer Cesar Charlone, Meirelles pushes hand-held cameras into the faces of his actors – used to working with “real people,” he seems affronted by the implicit artifice of the profession – goading them to pull something authentic out of this melodrama. And his cast – which includes Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz – are more than up to the challenge.” – Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

9. GRIZZLY MAN

Grizzly Man

164 LISTS | 10 TOP SPOTS
Werner Herzog | 103 mins | Documentary/Biography
Timothy Treadwell | Amie Huguenard | Werner Herzog | Carol Dexter

“Out this week on DVD, Werner Herzog’s documentary about the life and death of self-styled grizzly bear defender Timothy Treadwell didn’t even make the final list of Oscar-eligible docs, owing to the idiots at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. (See Tim Appelo’s thoughts on the matter.) That organization, much like Seattle International Film Festival voters this year, prefers cheerier, overcoming-the-obstacles fare—March of the Penguins, Murderball, Mad Hot Ballroom, etc.— as opposed to Herzog’s dark vision of nature (“chaos, hostility, and murder”), where the obstacles eat people.” – Brian Miller, Seattle Weekly

8. MUNICH

Munich

167 LISTS | 23 TOP SPOTS
Steven Spielberg | 164 mins | Action/ Drama/History
Eric Bana | Daniel Craig | Marie-Josée Croze | Ciarán Hinds

“The word suspense has a fanciful, only-in-the-movies aura. Steven Spielberg’s brilliant political thriller is a work of spectacular and unsettling excitement, but it’s driven, in every frame, by the heightened suspense of reality. Taking off, with jittery media urgency, from the 1972 Olympics hostage crisis, which ended with the murder of 11 Israeli athletes by Palestinian terrorists, Spielberg plunges the audience into Israel’s legendary shadow mission of reprisal. Eric Bana, as the leader of a clandestine hit squad of furious, quibbling, at times comically earnest Jewish journeyman-soldiers, creates a hero of naive and wrenching nobility: a deadly mensch. As he and his fellow operatives navigate a world of jerry-rigged explosives, sleazy Continental information peddlers, and split-second getaways through the labyrinth of urban Europe, their trek of vengeance teeters between the holy and the unholy, and Spielberg, mixing fact and speculation, stages the mission as it might actually have occurred — the victories, the cataclysmic mistakes, the raw nerve colliding with anxiety. Munich demands to be viewed as a statement on our world of terror, but not because Spielberg or co-screenwriter Tony Kushner take any incendiary stand on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Rather, it’s because the movie, in the mesmerizing hair-trigger truths of its action, reveals how political murder, even when it’s justified, is less a solution than a virus, one that infects the attackers as much as the enemy.” – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

7. THE SQUID AND THE WHALE

The Squid and the Whale

194 LISTS | 19 TOP SPOTS
Noah Baumbach | 81 mins | Comedy/Drama
Owen Kline | Jeff Daniels | Laura Linney | Jesse Eisenberg

“There isn’t a false note in this darkly funny story about married writers who are divorcing, and how the split affects their sons. Writer-director Noah Baumbach’s film, loosely based on his own ’80s adolescence in Brooklyn, is poignant and observant, hilarious and achingly sad, often at the same time. Jeff Daniels is perfect as the pompous patriarch whose glory days have long since passed; he gets excellent support from Laura Linney as his wife and Jesse Eisenberg and Owen Kline as their confused kids.” – Christy Lemire, Associated Press

6. CRASH

Crash

198 LISTS | 32 TOP SPOTS
Paul Haggis | 112 mins | Crime/Drama/Thriller
Don Cheadle | Sandra Bullock | Thandie Newton | Karina Arroyave

“Much of the world’s misery is caused by conflicts of race and religion. Paul Haggis’ film, written with Robert Moresco, uses interlocking stories to show we are in the same boat, that prejudice flows freely from one ethnic group to another. His stories are a series of contradictions in which the same people can be sinned against or sinning. There was once a simple morality formula in America in which white society was racist and blacks were victims, but that model is long obsolete. Now many more players have entered the game: Latinos, Asians, Muslims, and those defined by sexual orientation, income, education or appearance.
America is a nation of minority groups, and we get along with each other better than many societies that criticize us; France has recently been reminded of that. We are all immigrants here. What is wonderful about “Crash” is that it tells not simple-minded parables, but textured human stories based on paradoxes. Not many films have the possibility of making their viewers better people; anyone seeing it is likely to leave with a little more sympathy for people not like themselves. The film opened quietly in May and increased its audience week by week, as people told each other they must see it.” – Roger Ebert

5. KING KONG

King Kong

205 LISTS | 27 TOP SPOTS
Peter Jackson | 187 mins | Action/Adventure/Drama
Naomi Watts | Jack Black | Adrien Brody | Thomas Kretschmann

“There isn’t a false note in this darkly funny story about married writers who are divorcing, and how the split affects their sons. Writer-director Noah Baumbach’s film, loosely based on his own ’80s adolescence in Brooklyn, is poignant and observant, hilarious and achingly sad, often at the same time. Jeff Daniels is perfect as the pompous patriarch whose glory days have long since passed; he gets excellent support from Laura Linney as his wife and Jesse Eisenberg and Owen Kline as their confused kids.” – David Germain, Associated Press

4. CAPOTE

Capote

267 LISTS | 43 TOP SPOTS
Bennett Miller | 114 mins | Biography/Crime/Drama
Philip Seymour Hoffman | Clifton Collins Jr. | Catherine Keener | Allie Mickelson

“Some have claimed that Philip Seymour Hoffman’s portrayal of the eponymous novelist is so incandescent and consummate that it overpowers everything else in the movie. Hoffman’s a wonder, but so is Catherine Keener’s shrewd, understated take on Harper Lee. And what about Chris Cooper, Clifton Collins Jr., Amy Ryan and Bruce Greenwood, along with Bennett Miller’s direction and Dan Futterman’s script? They all glow in this sad, gray story. Rarely has the thin, jagged line between being an artist and being human been isolated and captured so poignantly.” – Gene Seymour, Newsday

3. GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK.

Good Night and Good Luck

268 LISTS | 22 TOP SPOTS
George Clooney | 93 mins | Biography/Drama/History
David Strathairn | George Clooney | Patricia Clarkson | Jeff Daniels

“A complete artistic about-face from his superficial Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, George Clooney’s sterling Good Night and Good Luck. casts Edward R. Murrow’s battle against Joseph McCarthy as a modern parable about media responsibility and popular dissent. With marvelous turns by David Strathairn (as the CBS broadcaster) and Frank Langella (as love-him-and-hate-him network boss William Paley) as its bedrocks, Clooney’s compact newsroom drama exudes a claustrophobic mood of repression and intimidation. And courtesy of Robert Elswit, the film’s smoky black-and-white cinematography beautifully visualizes its real-life tale’s central clashes between truth and deceit, facts and hearsay, image and reality.” – Nick Schager, Slant Magazine

2. A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE

A HIstory of Violence

289 LISTS | 42 TOP SPOTS
David Cronenberg | 96 mins | Drama/ Thriller
Viggo Mortensen | Maria Bello | Ed Harris | William Hurt

“The best movie of the year. Why? Because it stays with you the longest, stands up to repeat viewings and shoots out exciting ideas with a velocity and power no gun could match. Thank David Cronenberg for that, and for turning a genre film about a small-town husband and father (Viggo Mortensen), who may be a stone killer, into a study of how we wrap our jones for violence in God, country, family and any other excuse that’s handy. You know the drill. So does George Bush. Mortensen is so good that you don’t fully appreciate the gravitational pull of his performance until you take it home and let it live inside your head. Maria Bello is a force of nature as his lawyer wife, who is both frightened and turned on by the stranger she finds in the man she married. The acting is flawless, with a special nod to the mesmerizing, mind-bending William Hurt for a demonically funny portrait of evil. You won’t forget the words “Jesus, Joey” once you hear Hurt say them. What Cronenberg offers here is a master class in directing. The slaughter in the front yard is a scene for the time capsule. The man with a genius for locating what festers beneath fragile flesh in films such as The Fly, Dead Ringers, The Brood Videodrome and Spider has never won an Oscar, or even been nominated for one. Jesus, Joey.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

1. BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN

Brokeback Mountain

320 LISTS | 72 TOP SPOTS
Ang Lee | 134 mins | Drama/Romance
Jake Gyllenhaal | Heath Ledger | Michelle Williams | Randy Quaid

“If Heath Ledger has attracted so much attention for his performance in ”Brokeback Mountain” it’s partly because he has finally made good on his early overhyped promise and partly because his character in Ang Lee’s romantic tragedy, Ennis Del Mar, represents a kind of impacted masculinity that a lot of us recognize: I don’t know a single straight woman who hasn’t been involved with a man as emotionally thwarted as Ennis, the man who can’t tell you how he feels because he may not honestly know. And because the film is, in many respects, about how difficult it is to live in a culture that punishes men who give the appearance of being too soft, too weak and too feminine, I imagine that a lot of men, gay and straight, recognize Ennis, too.
Unlike Ennis, Jake Gyllenhaal’s doe-eyed Jack Twist wears desire as openly as pain. Without his sensitive performance, without his ache and yearning, ”Brokeback Mountain” wouldn’t work half as well as it does. The beauty of the performance is fully evident in the scene in which the older Jack remembers when Ennis gently wrapped his arms around him during the men’s first summer together. It’s a devastating moment both because it juxtaposes the men’s idyllic past with their difficult present, and because it reminds us of how memories live inside us as promises, rebukes and ghosts. When the scene returns to the present, you see in this man’s face a lifetime of hope blur together with a lifetime of disappointment, as well as the beginning of the lovers’ end.” – Manohla Dargis, New York Times

Full Top 50:

RTITLEL#1ARL%#1%TCLTCL1TCL%TCL1%
1Brokeback Mountain320723.4150%13%1933752%11%
2A History of Violence289424.1845%8%1913751%11%
3Good Night, and Good Luck.268224.1042%4%1451139%3%
4Capote267434.0542%8%1461839%6%
5King Kong214274.8933%5%1221433%4%
6Crash198324.2431%6%971926%6%
7The Squid and the Whale194194.4430%3%1291034%3%
8Munich167234.2526%4%981126%3%
9Grizzly Man164104.3126%2%103628%2%
10The Constant Gardener14685.1523%1%74520%2%
11Sin City10984.9417%1%57315%1%
12Syriana10874.5717%1%53414%1%
13Batman Begins10565.1216%1%46412%1%
142046101194.4216%3%741220%4%
15Cinderella Man98115.1515%2%47713%2%
16The 40-Year-Old-Virgin9615.9015%0%53114%0%
17Match Point9155.7514%1%55515%2%
18Walk the Line8874.8214%1%3519%0%
19Pride & Prejudice8645.0013%1%52214%1%
20Wallace & Gromit8625.6613%0%61216%1%
21Cache8374.0513%1%67518%2%
22March of the Penguins7925.1412%0%3419%0%
23Kung Fu Hustle7835.6612%1%52114%0%
24Me and You and Everyone We Know7734.7512%1%3529%1%
25The New World74144.9612%3%48913%3%
26Murderball7574.7112%1%43211%1%
27Hustle & Flow7085.8511%1%39310%1%
28Mysterious Skin6875.0211%1%36310%1%
29Oldboy6554.8610%1%36310%1%
30Broken Flowers6535.4410%1%39010%0%
31Nobody Knows6334.7210%1%38310%1%
32Kings and Queen6184.4010%1%50613%2%
33Tropical Malady5454.488%1%42511%2%
34Kiss Kiss Bang Bang5235.238%1%2707%0%
35Millions5135.788%1%2517%0%
35Downfall5135.058%1%3339%1%
37Junebug5015.328%0%2807%0%
38War of the Worlds4916.008%0%3018%0%
39Head-On4854.948%1%3359%2%
40Last Days4874.978%1%36510%2%
41The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada4634.697%1%3439%1%
42The World4685.047%1%36610%2%
43Paradise Now4205.287%0%3108%0%
44Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith4035.916%1%1935%1%
45My Summer of Love3824.076%0%2827%1%
46The Holy Girl3805.236%0%2908%0%
47Saraband3654.076%1%2657%2%
48Serenity3515.575%0%1705%0%
49Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire3415.925%0%1313%0%
50Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room3205.965%0%2106%0%
50Howl's Moving Castle3205.755%0%2005%0%

Lists Included 640 | Top Critics’ Lists Included 374

R Rank
L Total number of lists where the film was selected as one of the top 10 films of the year
AR Average position on ranked top 10 lists
#1 Total number of lists where the film was selected as the best film of the year
L% Percentage of total lists where the film was selected as one of the top 10 films of the year
#1% Percentage of mentions where the film was selected as the best film of the year
TCL Number of times that the film was selected as one of the top 10 films of the year on top critics’ lists
TCL1 Number of times that the film was selected as the best film of the year on top critics’ lists
TCL% Percentage of times that the film was selected as one of the top 10 films of the year on top critics’ lists
TCL1% Percentage of lists where the film was selected as the best film of the year on top critics’ lists

Advertisements

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.