Film

Film Poll: Top 10 Movies by Year, 1999–2016

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If nothing else, the movies remain the culture’s supreme form of self-actualization.” That was former Voice film critic J. Hoberman in his introduction to the first annual Village Voice Film Poll, published in the January 4, 2000, issue. Hoberman’s remark would almost certainly be disputed in today’s digital media–saturated environment. And yet ranking and debating the year’s best films remains a time-honored tradition, one the Voice has kept up for nearly twenty years. (The one exception occurred in 2006, when former Voice editor Dennis Lim moved the poll over to IndieWire due to what he generously called “recent developments.”)

Sure, the film industry, not to mention this publication, has undergone huge changes over the years. But movies keep being made, and we keep watching them and arguing about them. You might recall some of your own debates scrolling through this list of the top ten films of the year from 1999 to 2016, as chosen by the Voice’s critics.

1999

1. Being John Malkovich

2. Topsy-Turvy

3. All About My Mother

4. Rosetta

5. Election

6. The Straight Story

7. Boys Don’t Cry

8. Magnolia

9. Flowers of Shanghai

10. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut

2000 

1. Beau travail

2. Yi yi

3. The House of Mirth

4. The Wind Will Carry Us

5. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

6. Dancer in the Dark

7. Humanité

8. Ratcatcher

9. In the Mood for Love

10. Marcel Proust’s Time Regained

2001

1. Mulholland Drive

2. In the Mood for Love

3. Ghost World

4. Memento

5. A.I. Artificial Intelligence

6. Waking Life

7. In the Bedroom

8. The Royal Tenenbaums

9. The Circle

10. Fat Girl

2002

1. Far From Heaven

2. Y Tu Mamá También

3. Adaptation

4. Time Out

5. Russian Ark

6. Punch-Drunk Love

7. What Time Is It There?

8. The Fast Runner (Atanarjuat)

9. Talk to Her

10. About Schmidt

2003

1. Lost in Translation

2. Elephant

3. Demonlover

4. Capturing the Friedmans

5. The Son

6. The Fog of War

7. American Splendor 

8. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

9. Kill Bill: Vol. 1

10. Unknown Pleasures

2004

1. Before Sunset

2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

3. Dogville

4. Sideways

5. Goodbye, Dragon Inn

6. Notre musique

7. Crimson Gold

8. I Heart Huckabees

9. Vera Drake

10. Moolaadé

2005

1. A History of Violence

2. 2046

3. Kings and Queen

4. Grizzly Man

5. The World

6. Tropical Malady

7. The Squid and the Whale

8. Caché

9. The Holy Girl

10. Last Days

2006

1. Army of Shadows

2. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu

3. United 93

4. The Queen

5. Letters From Iwo Jima

6. The Departed

7. Three Times

8. L’enfant

9. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

10. Pan’s Labyrinth

2007

1. There Will Be Blood

2. No Country for Old Men

3. Zodiac

4. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

5. I’m Not There

6. Syndromes and a Century

7. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

8. Killer of Sheep

9. Ratatouille

10. Colossal Youth

2008

1. WALL-E

2. Flight of the Red Balloon

3. Happy-Go-Lucky

4. Still Life

5. A Christmas Tale

6. Waltz With Bashir

7. Milk

8. Wendy and Lucy

9. Let the Right One In

10. Synecdoche, New York

2009

1. The Hurt Locker

2. Summer Hours

3. A Serious Man

4. Inglourious Basterds

5. 35 Shots of Rum

6. The Headless Woman

7. Police, Adjective

8. Fantastic Mr. Fox

9. Two Lovers

10. Up

2010

1. The Social Network

2. Carlos

3. Winter’s Bone

4. The Ghost Writer

5. Everyone Else

6. Dogtooth

7. Black Swan

8. Mother

9. Wild Grass

10. Toy Story 3

2011

1. The Tree of Life

2. A Separation

3. Melancholia

4. Certified Copy

5. Mysteries of Lisbon

6. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

7. Margaret

8. Meek’s Cutoff

9. Drive

10. Take Shelter

2012

1. The Master

2. Zero Dark Thirty

3. Holy Motors

4. Moonrise Kingdom

5. This Is Not a Film

6. Amour

7. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

8. The Turin Horse

9. Lincoln

10. Tabu

2013 

1. Inside Llewyn Davis

2. Her

3. 12 Years a Slave

4. Before Midnight

5. The Act of Killing

6. Leviathan

7. Upstream Color

8. Gravity

9. Frances Ha

10. Blue Is the Warmest Color

2014

1. Boyhood

2. Under the Skin

3. The Grand Budapest Hotel

4. Only Lovers Left Alive

5. Goodbye to Language

6. Two Days, One Night

7. The Immigrant

8. Inherent Vice

9. Whiplash

10. Gone Girl

2015

1. Mad Max: Fury Road

2. Carol

3. Spotlight

4. Phoenix

5. Tangerine

6. Anomalisa

7. Clouds of Sils Maria

8. Inside Out

9. Brooklyn

10. The Assassin

2016

1. Moonlight

2. Manchester by the Sea

3. Toni Erdmann

4. Paterson

5. O.J.: Made in America

6. La La Land

7. Elle

8. The Handmaiden

9. Cameraperson

10. Certain Women

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