There Will Be Film

2007 opens up a vein of cinematic riches

A clear sign that 2007 was a good year for good films is that the compilation of these Top 10 lists seemed easier than usual. All too frequently, it's a strain to come up with 10 films that can be considered worthy of such lists. This year, however, a common complaint among Chronicle critics was that they had difficulty pruning their lists down to the 10 best. (One corollary of this phenomenon is that the 2008 home-rental market should benefit from this bounty of quality selections – at least in the first half of the year.)

Josh Brolin in <i>No Country for Old Men</i>
Josh Brolin in No Country for Old Men

Unsurprisingly, the only film to receive a vote from all five critics contributing lists this year – No Country for Old Men – is also the movie that scored the highest in the total compiled vote tally. Following in the No. 2 position is The Lives of Others, the only film to receive a vote from four out of five critics. (A note on Germany's Lives: Although it won the Oscar in February for Best Foreign Film, the drama was not released in the U.S. until 2007, and the Chronicle is therefore counting it as belonging to that year, a choice that has varied from publication to publication.)

Taken together, a total of 32 different films is mentioned throughout the five individual critics' lists (which appear on the following two pages). Including the other voting categories (overrated, underrated, best performances, etc.), a wealth of titles appears here for your consideration. Remember, these lists are opinions, not facts – and we offer them in the spirit of the season. – Marjorie Baumgarten

'Austin Chronicle' Top 10

1) No Country for Old Men

2) The Lives of Others

3) There Will Be Blood

4) Persepolis

5) The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

6) Juno

7) Atonement

8) 3:10 to Yuma

9) The Bourne Ultimatum (tie)

9) Eastern Promises (tie)

9) Ratatouille (tie)

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Top 10 films 2007, No Country for Old Men, The Lives of Others, There Will Be Blood, Persepolis, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Juno, Atonement, 3:10 to Yuma, The Bourne Ultimatum, Eastern Promises, Ratatouille

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