Before we get to the Top 10, the best of the rest
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20. "Bastards" (Claire Denis)
Claire Denis's last two films, "35 Shots of Rum" and "White Material," both made my 2009 Top 10; the latter is among my favourite films of all time, and "Bastards" therefore entered 2013 as my most anticipated film by some distance. The burden of expectation, therefore, was inordinately high, and this icy human thriller sustains them with cool aplomb, even as the opening minutes make violently clear that Denis is out to make no friends with this one. A single viewing so far has me captivated as ever by her violent formal serenity, her insidious manipulation of the camera, her quivery command of score and sound. (Tindersticks are really on punishingly good form here.) True love may come, as with "Trouble Every Day" and "The Intruder," with further dates, but for now, consider me seduced.