Three of our favorites, the Chicago Reader‘s Jonathan Rosenbaum and LA Weekly‘s Scott Foundas and Ella Taylor, have gone live with their lists. Even discounting Taylor’s admitted cheating by grouping in the second spot on her list essentially all of the year’s children’s films that weren’t "Chicken Little" (and Rosenbaum has plenty of ties on his list too) the three have plenty in common, including "A History of Violence," "The World," "Tropical Malady" and "2046." Jia Zhang-ke‘s "The World" has appeared on plenty on year-end lists, but Rosenbaum offers it the highest praise we’ve seen yet:
Not just the best film of 2005, Jia Zhang-ke’s feature was better, or at least more important, than my first choices for 2004 ("The Big Red One") and 2003 ("25Th Hour" and "Crimson Gold"). Those earlier masterpieces lack its vital and complex vision of what the whole planet is like at the moment.
Foundas swings a little wild with "Land of the Dead" at #5 on his list, though he makes an interesting case for the film. Also worth a look in the LA Weekly is Robert Abel‘s list of the year’s best performance in small roles.