Terrence Malick's magisterial tone poem, The Tree of Life, has topped the annual Sight & Sound critics poll for 2011.
Here is their top ten:
1. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick)
2. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi)
3. The Kid with a Bike (Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne)
4. Melancholia (Lars von Trier)
5. The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius)
tie 6. Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan)
tie 6. The Turin Horse (Bela Tarr)
8. We Need to Talk About Kevin (Lynne Ramsay)
9. Le Quattro Volte (Michelangelo Frammartino)
tie 10. This is Not a Film (Jafar Panahi)
tie 10. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Tomas Alfredson)
It's interesting that two Cinema Guild titles, The Turin Horse and Once Upon a Time in Anatolia always seem to be tied with each other, although both will be considered 2012 releases in the US. Ditto the Dardennes' The Kid with a Bike.
Overall though this is the best top ten list I've seen so far this year. Several of these titles will show up on my own list in a few weeks.
To view the complete poll, click here.