As 2010 comes to a close, the deluge of Top 10 lists is finally slowing to a trickle. Of course, there are Top 10's for every conceivable thing—for instance, the "silliest calls" received by police dispatchers in Chatham-Kent, Ontario—but year-end list-making seems to be a particularly hallowed tradition for film critics. The website Movie City News even tallies up a master list by assigning point values to the individual rankings made by notable critics; indieWIRE and The Village Voice conduct massive polls.
A whole lot of worthy films get recognized both as idiosyncratic passion picks and consensus favorites in this annual list assault, but just as many inevitably get lost in the shuffle. And many of those have long since made their way to home video. Never a better time, then, to consider a few rentable films that haven't received their due in the past month's best-of-the-best clamor.
In addition to being a critical nonstarter and a full-on commercial disaster upon its release, Paul Greengrass's Green Zone has been cited in nary a Top 10—though the critic J. Hoberman did give it an honorable mention. I've stumped for the kinetic thriller on this site before, and, given the state of its reputation, I think it's worth doing again. The film's combination of belated war-in-Iraq outrage and perhaps by now over-familiar shaky-cam makes it appear at first glance slow-witted than it really is. Green Zone is not a mere collection of fashionable political and aesthetic poses, but rather an immersive investigation into the vagaries of fact-finding, starring a wonderfully no-nonsense Matt Damon.