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The Top Tens

The Top Ten Lists: And Boyhood Stands Alone

Two Days, One Night and Only Lovers Left Alive move into the Top 20, displacing Interstellar and The Lego Movie. And Boyhood stays alone at the top.

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The Top Ten Lists: The Lists Keep Coming

It’s still early, but Boyhood has a pretty commanding lead so far. The Lego Movie is falling back a little, and Foxcatcher, Ida and Citizenfour have made the top 20. Stay tuned!

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The Critics Top Tens of 2014: The First Lists

With the lists just starting to come in, Boyhood sits alone at the top of the chart.

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The Top Tens of 2013: 155 Lists and Counting

With 231 films on the list, 12 Years a Slave, Inside Llewyn Davis and Gravity continue to hold the top three spots. The Act of Killing has broken into the top five, and Lone Survivor makes its debut on the scoreboard.

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The Top Ten Lists: 2013

With more than 70 lists, there are 146 films on the scorecard. There’s a lot of agreement in the top spots, with Gravity still leading the lists, but a few are climbing the chart. Dallas Buyers Club and Short Term 12 break the top 20.

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The Top Ten Lists of 2013: 60 and Counting

With sixty lists counted, Gravity now sits at the top of the list. American Hustle has moved into the top five, and Leviathan has jumped onto the list at #15.

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The Top Tens of 2013: The Big Scoreboard

The first of the Top Ten lists are in and counted. 12 Years a Slave, Gravity and Inside Llewyn Davis lead the chart by a wide margin. But there are still a lot of lists yet to be tallied.

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The 2012 Top Tens: Updated

Another 30 lists … and the top 10 remain the same. A little bit of a shuffle in the next ten, with Looper and Skyfall moving up the chart. The next update may find The Grey stepping forward to take the #20 spot from The Sessions, but Zero Dark Thirty seems safe at the top.

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Critics Top Tens Update

The first 100 lists and Zero Dark Thirty leads the Top Tens by a significant margin. Further down the list, The Dark Knight Rises and The Sessions move into the Top 20, and The Master makes a leap forward. Still lots more lists to come …

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2012 Top Tens: The First of the Lists

As the first lists roll in, Zero Dark Thirty and Amour lead the chart. With just 21 lists, there are more than 85 movies mentioned so far… seems to be a lot of love to go around.

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Critics Top Ten List 2012: David Edelstein, New York

David Edelstein, New York 1. Zero Dark Thirty 2. Lincoln 3. Amour 4. The Gatekeepers 5. The Deep Blue Sea 6. Life of Pi 7. How to Survive a Plague and Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry 8. Pitch Perfect 9. Oslo, August 31st 10. Friends With Kids

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Critics Top Ten List 2012: Richard Corliss, TIME

Richard Corliss, TIME 1. Amour 2. Beasts of the Southern Wild 3. Life of Pi 4. Anna Karenina 5. The Dark Knight Rises 6. Zero Dark Thirty 7. Dark Horse 8. Dragon 9. Frankenweenie 10. Invisible War

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Critics Top Ten List 2012: John Waters, ARTFORUM

John Waters, ARTFORUM 1  The Deep Blue Sea 2 Paradise: Faith 3 Paradise: Love 4 Amour 5 Killer Joe 6 Beasts of the Southern Wild 7 Compliance 8 Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present 9 Beloved 10 The Imposter  

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The Top Tens of 2011: 210 Lists And Counting

The top 20 stay the top 20, but Drive has moved around The Artist into the third position. The Tree of Life is too far out in front to chase, but overtaking The Descendants may still be possible.

See the individual Top Ten lists here.

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The Top Tens: Updated December 30

164 lists, 220 films, and The Tree of Life continues to sit on the top of the
scoreboard. As new lists come in, The Artist is closing in on the The Descendants and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is making a play for the top ten .. stay tuned.

See the individual Top Ten lists here.

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The Top Tens of 2011: December 27

With over 100 top ten lists in, Tree of Life and The Descendants are firmly at the top of the scoreboard, while Drive makes a play for the number three spot.

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The Top Tens of 2011: December 23

Still a lot of lists to go, but it’s still Clooney and Pitt at the top of the chart, with The Tree of Life edging out The Descendants. The girls aren’t far behind, though – Bridesmaids and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo are quickly catching up.

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2011 Top Tens: The First of the Lists

As the first of the Top Ten Lists start to roll in, George Clooney and Brad Pitt top the leaderboard with The Decendants and The Tree of Life. With Moneyball in the fifth spot, Pitt has two horses in the race. Only 14 lists so far .. a couple of hundred yet to go.

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Quote Unquotesee all »

“The core fear is what can happen to you, personally. Your body. That’s what horror films deal with, precisely. We are a very thin skin wrapped around a pumping heart and guts. At any given moment it can come down to that, be it diseases, or somebody’s assault, or war, or a car wreck. You could be reduced to the simple laws of physics and your body’s vulnerability. The edged weapon is the penultimate weapon to disclose that reality to you.”
~ Wes Craven, 1996, promoting Scream

MAMET
Well, that, to me, is always the trick of dramaturgy; theoretically, perfectly, what one wants to do is put the protagonist and the audience in exactly the same position. The main question in drama, the way I was taught, is always what does the protagonist want. That’s what drama is. It comes down to that. It’s not about theme, it’s not about ideas, it’s not about setting, but what the protagonist wants. What gives rise to the drama, what is the precipitating event, and how, at the end of the play, do we see that event culminated? Do we see the protagonist’s wishes fulfilled or absolutely frustrated? That’s the structure of drama. You break it down into three acts.

INTERVIEWER
Does this explain why your plays have so little exposition?

MAMET
Yes. People only speak to get something. If I say, Let me tell you a few things about myself, already your defenses go up; you go, Look, I wonder what he wants from me, because no one ever speaks except to obtain an objective. That’s the only reason anyone ever opens their mouth, onstage or offstage. They may use a language that seems revealing, but if so, it’s just coincidence, because what they’re trying to do is accomplish an objective… The question is where does the dramatist have to lead you? Answer: the place where he or she thinks the audience needs to be led. But what does the character think? Does the character need to convey that information? If the answer is no, then you’d better cut it out, because you aren’t putting the audience in the same position with the protagonist. You’re saying, in effect, Let’s stop the play. That’s what the narration is doing—stopping the play… It’s action, as Aristotle said. That’s all that it is—exactly what the person does. It’s not what they “think,” because we don’t know what they think. It’s not what they say. It’s what they do, what they’re physically trying to accomplish on the stage. Which is exactly the same way we understand a person’s character in life—not by what they say, but by what they do. Say someone came up to you and said, I’m glad to be your neighbor because I’m a very honest man. That’s my character. I’m honest, I like to do things, I’m forthright, I like to be clear about everything, I like to be concise. Well, you really don’t know anything about that guy’s character. Or the person is onstage, and the playwright has him or her make those same claims in several subtle or not-so-subtle ways, the audience will say, Oh yes, I understand their character now; now I understand that they are a character. But in fact you don’t understand anything. You just understand that they’re jabbering to try to convince you of something.
~ David Mamet

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