When it comes to movies we like aggression, humor and pain. Throw in some dread and maybe some music and we're down. So here you go:
(1) Punch-Drunk Love/Paul Thomas Anderson (2002). Maximum aggression. Maximum humor. And a terrifically cast Adam Sandler.(9) The Believer/Henry Bean (2001). Bring the hate. And the Gosling? Riveting.
(2) Moulin Rouge/Bas Lurhmann (2001). Our brain is still recovering from the opening sequence.
(3) Brokeback Mountain/Ang Lee (2005). Breathtaking and crushing all at once.
(5) In the Bedroom/Todd Field (2001). And this one too.
(6) Pan's Labyrinth/Guilermo del Toro (2006). Goth and dread. Dread and goth.
(7) Lost in Translation/Sofia Coppola (2003). How do we love Bill Murray, let us count the ways.
(8) The Bourne Ultimatum/Paul Greengrass (2007). Hand-held awesomeness.
(10) Tarnation/Jonathan Caouette (2003). Almost unwatchable, yet still searing and wholly captivating.
The best of the rest (and in no particular order): A History of Violence/David Cronenberg (2005), 40 Year Old Virgin/Judd Apatow (2005), Y Tu Mama Tambien/Alfonso Cuaron (2001), Mystic River/Clint Eastwood (2003), District 9/Neill Blomkamp (2009), The Pledge/Sean Penn (2001), Bowling for Columbine/Michael Moore (2002), Amores Perros/Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu (2000), Man on Wire/James Marsh (2008), Mulholland Drive/David Lynch (2001), 8 Mile/Curtis Hanson (2002), Before Sunset/Richard Linklater (2004), No Country for Old Men/The Coen Brothers (2007), Where The Wilds Things Are/Spike Jonez (2009), Requiem for a Dream/Darren Aronofsky (2000), The Hurt Locker/Kathryn Bigelow (2009).