1. Let the Right One In Stunning from first shot to last, Tomas Alfredson's mesmerizing Swedish coming of age/love story/horror film redefined the vampire genre.
2. Encounters at the End of the World Werner Herzog's breathtaking tour of Antarctica. Funny, poetic, cranky and visionary.
3. Wendy and Lucy Michelle Williams is superb as a struggling girl who loses her dog in Kelly Reichardt's wise, deceptively simple tale.
4. Frost/Nixon Ron Howard's enthralling screen version of Peter Morgan's play was the rare Hollywood film that delivered the goods.
5. Man on Wire How Philippe Petit pulled off his astonishing wire-walk between the World Trade Center towers. A hugely entertaining doc.
6. Silent Light Carlos Reygadas's miraculous art film about love, adultery, death and resurrection in a Mexican Mennonite community.
7. The Wrestler Mickey Rourke slays in Darren Aronofsky's tough-tender story of a washed-up wrestler body-slammed by mortality.
8. Tropic Thunder There was no funnier movie this year than Ben Stiller's send-up of narcissistic actors making a Vietnam War movie that turns hilariously real.
9. Wall-e and Waltz With Bashir (tie) Pixar's enchanting post-apocalyptic fable and Ari Folman's hallucinatory Israeli documentary expanded our notions of what animation could achieve.