Airplane! – 1980 – J. Abrahams and D. Zucker

Never saw it till Leslie Nielson died. Before this movie, Leslie was an unsuccessful dramatic actor but this role redefined his career. I assumed the humor would be dated. Wrong! There are too many great one-liners to list. If you’re a diehard comedy-fan, then you should love this one. Bill Hill

Brother – 1997 – Aleksei Balabanov

Mesmerizing despite the poorly translated subtitles. Two brothers who become hit-men in St Petersburg. Oddly surreal in that despite the violence in the foreground, the story is in the background – immigration, sub-cultures, castes, and more. People that try to disconnect from their reality create a distorted sense of morality. Bill Hill

Kick-Ass – 2010 – Matthew Vaughn

This is the under-the-radar comedy of the year. Even Nicolas Cage couldn’t sully this gem. Einstein said genius is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration. A lonely high-school student takes similar logic in reasoning why can’t he be a superhero. Before long he finds out that he isn’t alone. Bill Hill

A Prophet – 2009 – Jacques Audiard

If film reviews are sometimes a roll call of adjectives then A Prophet is grim, brutal, brilliant. The eponymous prophet,  a Machievellian prototype,  serving six years in a Paris jail, gets played and plays.  The soundtrack, plot, production and acting – all magnifique. Audiard just gets better.  More please. JJ

Inception – 2010 – Christopher Nolan

Indisputably well-produced but it’s nothing more than a solid action flick. Hailed as imaginative, it lacks honest creativity. Hailed as intellectual, it is mundane. Add to that wooden characters that aren’t interesting or convincing and it’s a bit of a dud for Nolan compared to his best movie yet…MementoBill Hill

The Fantastic Mr. Fox – 2009 – Wes Anderson

Some screamed blasphemy over this Roald Dahl adaptation but having never read the book I can only sing praise for this stop-animation masterpiece. Anderson nails everything about this – pacing, script, dialogue, and even the voices: Clooney, Streep, Schwartzman and Murray. I watched and re-watched…my favourite from 2009.  Bill Hill

The Killer Inside Me – 2010 – Michael Winterbottom

Winterbottom sets off a shit storm with that scene – extreme violence meets Jessica Alba’s pretty face – and the camera never looks away. Casey Affleck is a piece of work as Texas lawman Lou Ford who kills the things he loves, but he can’t explain it and neither can the film. JJ