AND THE BEST FILMS OF 2007 ARE . . .
December 30, 2007 -- CRITICS' end-of-the-year lists of the best movies fall into two general categories.
Most prevalent are the lists dominated by high-profile movies released in the year's final months.
Other critics, including this one, choose their movies more democratically.
They realize that a movie released early in the year with little fanfare can be just as worthy as, say, "No Country for Old Men" or "The Orphanage." (I recommend both, but can't in good conscience count them among the 10 best.)
And now, without further ado, Cine File's favorite films of 2007, in order of preference:
1. "12:08 East of Bucharest," a hilarious satire from Romanian helmer Corneliu Perumboiu. And the fact that I am quoted on the cover of the DVD has no bearing on my decision.
2. "The Host," South Korean director Bong Joon-ho's delightful mixture of horror and black comedy. A creature emerges from a river in Seoul. Officials have no idea what to do, so it falls to a middle-class family to save the world.
3. "Exiled," a bloody gangster yarn inspired by spaghetti Westerns and directed by Hong Kong cult star Johnnie To. The final shootout is a classic of its kind. Go, Johnnie, go!
4. "Away From Her," in which Julie Christie breaks hearts as a woman afflicted with Alzheimer's. An auspicious feature-directing debut by sweet and talented Canadian actress Sarah Polley.
5. "Rescue Dawn," Werner Herzog's unfairly forgotten drama in which Christian Bale leads an escape from a guerrilla prison camp in 1966 Laos.
6. "Glass Lips," a hypnotic and often shocking beauty from Polish-American filmmaker Lech Majewski.
7. "Flanders," French director Bruno Dumont's anti-war shocker. Not for everyone.
8. "The Band's Visit," a comedy about eight musicians from Egypt who travel to Israel for a concert and immediately gets lost. The feature debut for Israeli director/writer Eran Kolirin.
9. "The Wayward Cloud," Taiwanese favorite Tsai Ming-liang's ode to watermelon as a sex toy.
10. "The GoodTimesKid," a minimalist, micro-budget oddity about a woman (Sara Diaz) and two men of the same first name. Directed by Azazel Jacobs, offspring of avant-garde ace Ken Jacobs. In case you're wondering, it unspooled for a week in January at the Anthology.
V.A. Musetto is film editor of The Post