Here are my films, ranked from shoulder shrug (9) to rapturous delight (1):
9. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Manages to make Daniel Craig unsexy. Also zero chemistry between Mara and Craig; there was nothing more preposterous than Mara's Lisbeth Salander climbing into bed with Craig's Mikael Blomkvist. "Even I have standards," he says as he tries to resist. WELL. Also, the identity of the killer was obvious from the first frame in which he appeared. And yet, in spite of all of these things, I was entertained for 2+ hrs.
8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II
A rather disappointing final film for the franchise with awkward pacing and confusing character motivation, but I like the franchise, which keeps it from the bottom of the list.
7. Midnight in Paris
Woody Allen playing some of his best character cards: neurotic protagonist, shrewish female, tiresome pedant, gorgeous women, charming city. Palatable.
6. In a Better World
Danish people trying to be good, plus a large helping of first-world guilt. Suzanne Bier charts her characters' experience of violence, both mundane and extreme in ways that are disturbing and sympathetic. It's like "Crash" if "Crash" was global in scope and good.
5. Jane Eyre
I saw this twice and liked it better the second time. It's impossible to do justice to the sweep of the novel in a 2 hour film, so if a movie version of this novel is to be successful, the director has to choose one element to focus upon, which in this case was the romance and eroticism that pervaded Jane and Rochester's exchanges.
The coolest movie around. Also, that soundtrack!
3. The Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Not to get all cheeseball, but this movie really "took me somewhere." Like, to a cave in France. Thousands of years ago. Weird coda with the albino crocodiles aside, it was a thrilling ride. Seriously, though--this was just astonishing and Herzog at his least annoying.
2. The Tree of Life
Malick actually pulled off a movie about the sweep of human existence and of *a* human existence.
1. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
I don't think a movie of mostly people talking has ever had me so riveted. The flashback structure was complex, but totally paid off if you were paying attention for every moment. Rule no. 1 for this movie is "no spacing out!"--it should probably appear after the opening credits, and it's worth heeding.