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Hit List 

The best movies of 2007.

Daniel Day-Lewis tries out his Jed Clampett look in There Will Be Blood.
  • Daniel Day-Lewis tries out his Jed Clampett look in There Will Be Blood.

Our six critics don't always (or often) agree, but we've combined their Top 10 lists to pretend they do. Their 10 best movies (allowing for ties) of the year:

1. There Will Be Blood: Texas tea bubbles from the ground at the start of this turn-of-the-century oil-prospecting epic starring Daniel Day-Lewis. Nearly three hours later, the blood spilling across the floor of a Beverly Hills bowling alley looks suspiciously like crude. In between, we are held rapt by a big, bold, iconic story of the greed that drives some men to greatness and just as often proves their undoing. Opens January 11 in Cleveland. (Foundas)

2. I'm Not There: For this non-Boomer, having lived through none of the era chronicled, knowing little of Dylan's life, and caring not much more for his music, I'm Not There struck me — hard — as an emotional experience unencumbered by historical baggage. (Lee)

3. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days: The title of this Cannes Film Festival prizewinner refers to the length of a pregnancy — specifically, the one that a college student named Gabita (Laura Vasiliu) seeks to terminate in a midsize Romanian town in 1987. It's clear early on that 4 Months is less interested in the life-vs.-choice debate than in the way people living in a socially repressive society adapt. Scheduled to open in February at Cedar Lee. (Foundas)

4. Killer of Sheep: Charles Burnett's 1977 film about a Watts family man making ends meet with a literal dead-end job proved to be the triumph of the year in its long-delayed theatrical release. Uncommercial, eh? The movie's success showed that its audience was narrowly focused, all right — to roughly anyone who's ever come home beat and soul-sick from a day at work. (Ridley)

4. Southland Tales: Muddled. Self-involved. Overbearingly ambitious. Insufferable. Funny how the critical mud slung at Donnie Darko has the same consistency as the shitstorm that raged against Southland Tales, yet another ultra-convoluted sci-fi satire from Richard Kelly. Southland Tales looks and feels more like life in 2007 than Juno, In the Valley of Elah, and Michael Clayton combined. Plays January 11 and 12 at Cleveland Cinematheque. (Lee)

5. Zodiac: Obsessed with codes, graphs, symbols, and technology, David Fincher returns the serial-killer genre to its roots. (Lee)

6. Ratatouille: With a gourmand rat and a beautifully animated French kitchen, Ratatouille makes a witty argument for passion and co-operative excellence. (Taylor)

7. Colossal Youth: Difficult to describe, but impossible to forget, this film — about a Cape Verdean immigrant named Ventura who wanders dazedly between the gutted-out remnants of his former residence in a Lisbon housing tenement and some prospective new ones — is like a waking dream. (Foundas)

8. Eastern Promises: This gangster flick is a dark, rhapsodic fairy tale set in a world populated by angels, devils, walking corpses, and human wolves — and most impressively by Viggo Mortensen. (Hoberman)

8. King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters: Cynics will grouse that this isn't as important as Sicko or No End in Sight. But it kinda is. Not because the doc about two dudes vying for the title of World's Best Donkey Kong Player in History will change the world, but because it might just change your life. Who doesn't want to be awesome, even at something totally pointless? (Wilonsky)

9. Regular Lovers: Parisian hotties riot in the street, smoke dope, boogie to the Kinks, fuck, mope, pose, lounge, and stare beautifully at the walls of beautiful apartments in Philippe Garrel's film. This, mes amis, is why cinema was invented. (Lee)

10. Knocked Up: Come for the dirty words and bong hits, stay for the trenchant observations. Sure, it's the one-liners that linger ("You look like a cholo dressed up for Easter"), but even they barely obscure life's biggest truth, which is: "Marriage is like a tense, unfunny version of Everybody Loves Raymond, only it doesn't last 22 minutes. It lasts forever." (Wilonsky)

Honorable Mentions:

Hot Fuzz, Private Fears in Public Places, Into the Wild, Black Book, West of the Tracks, No Country for Old Men, Syndromes and a Century, Grindhouse, Offside, Day Night Day Night, Away From Her, Once, Lars and the Real Girl, The Host, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Honor de Cavalleria, The Band's Visit, The Bourne Ultimatum, Terror's Advocate, The Savages, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry

*Our critics are Scott Foundas, J. Hoberman, Nathan Lee, Jim Ridley, Ella Taylor, and Robert Wilonsky

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