A stellar year boils down to this
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10. "Out of the Furnace" (Scott Cooper)
Scott Cooper's follow-up to his 2009 debut "Crazy Heart" took some time to find its way out of him and onto the screen, and when it did, it was a deeply personal drama clothed in the accoutrement of a revenge thriller. But it's so much more, a depiction of culture and character ravaged by economics and hardship, set in the smoldering hell of a once thriving rust belt. The grasp of craft throughout is extraordinarily elegant, atmospheric music and striking chiaroscuro photography coming together to paint a hard-bitten portrait of desperate Americana. Cooper's cast is full of well-known actors who nevertheless deliver surprising performances, all of it led by the finest work of Christian Bale's career.