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10. “At Berkeley”

Frederick Wiseman’s four-hour documentary provided a fascinating look at the triumphs, troubles and contradictions at the heart of America’s best public university -- and featured the most gripping climax seen in any film this year.
Photo: Zipporah Films

9. “Enough Said”

Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini as middle-aged divorcees who tiptoe into a relationship, Nicole Holofcener's sharp, richly insightful latest was the best romantic comedy of the year.
Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures

8. “Frances Ha”

In his graceful, glowing black-and-white comedy, Noah Baumbach observed the passive-aggressive social behaviours and private yearnings of Brooklyn hipsters with an infectious fondness.
Photo: IFC Films

7. “Blue Jasmine”

Woody Allen's haunting and timely film succeeded in eliciting a complex mix of responses to Cate Blanchett's financially ruined, mentally unravelling anti-heroine: disgust, schadenfreude, amusement, affection and, finally, compassion.
Photo: Mars Distribution

6. “A Touch of Sin”

Jia Zhangke's scorching four-segment examination of violence and corruption in current-day China played with various genres, conjuring images of terror and sensuality that seared themselves into your memory.
Photo: Ad Vitam

5. “Laurence Anyways”

In this under-seen stunner, 24-year-old Québecois wunderkind Xavier Dolan used his excitingly baroque style to convey the volcanic inner states of a male cross-dresser and his long-suffering girlfriend.
Photo: Breaking Glass Pictures

4. “To the Wonder”

Abstract, elliptical and unabashed in its lyricism, Terrence Malick's latest was also a bracingly lucid examination of the lonely space that opens up between a free-spirited European and her stoic Oklahoman husband.
Photo: Magnolia Pictures

3. “12 Years a Slave”

Steve McQueen's previous two films (“Hunger” and “Shame”) were sterile and self-involved. But this one had a soul-shaking power, the painterly beauty of its images pulling us into the nightmarish horror of a slave’s life.
Photo: Mars Distribution

2. “Inside Llewyn Davis”

The Coen brothers' best yet, about a struggling singer (the wonderful Oscar Isaac) in 1960s New York, blended their trademark irony with layers of warmth, mystery and regret, echoed in the glorious folk tunes.
Photo: Alison Rosa ©2012 Long Strange Trip LLC

1. “Blue is the Warmest Colour”

Abdellatif Kechiche’s deep, devastating exploration of first love, heartbreak, and socioeconomic differences in today’s France was by far the best film of 2013 -- and, powered by its peerless leading ladies, Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux, the most emotionally immersive movie-going experience in years.
Photo: Wild Bunch

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