15. THE SHIELD: THE COMPLETE SERIES - I was appalled when the final season of this show was overlooked at the 2009 Prime-time Emmys. I can't point to a better-written, directed or acted finale than this one. Yet, I could probably count on one hand the number of people who saw it. But, all episodes leading up to it, every of the 88 episodes, were nothing short of phenomenal. Watch as Vic Mackey, a corrupt cop, puts people in prison while averting it himself.
14. GREY GARDENS - Drew Barrymore stars as Little Edie, in my opinion the best performance she's ever given, bringing to life one of the most interesting, real-life subjects captured in a documentary.
13. EDUCATION OF CHARLIE BANKS - Fred Durst directed this very interesting, indie flick about a young college boy befriending a bully.
12. DEFIANCE - Daniel Craig stars in this WWII adventure about three Polish brothers who led a Jewish resistance. Yes, there are a ton of WWII movies, but director Edward Zwick doesn't merely portray them as victims but as people who fought back.
11. WHIRLWIND - A handsome stranger upends the lives of five gay men living in Manhattan in this sexy drama that features great performances from NYC stage and Broadway actors.
10. MIRAGEMAN - Joe Bilancio gave me a screener of this movie for the 2008 Rehoboth Beach Film Festival. It's about a wannabe comic book hero in Chile. It's almost a spoof of kung fu movies, but it feels fresh.
9. RELIGULOUS - Bill Maher stars in this documentary about his travels around the world, trying to expose the ridiculousness of western religions.
8. BAGHEAD - This is the Mumblecore's version of a horror movie.
7. CHRIS & DON: A LOVE STORY - The details of British author Christopher Isherwood's life are told through the eyes of his lover Don Bachardy who was 30 years his junior. Yet, remarkably, they remained together for 30 years.
6. STUNTMEN - Hilarious mockumentary, revolving around Hollywood stuntmen vying for a ridiculously, invalid prize.
5. FIVE FINGERS - Laurence Fishburne stars as Ahmat, a possible terrorist who kidnaps Martijn, a Dutch traveler, played by Ryan Phillippe. Ahmat believes Martijn is hiding something, so he proceeds to torture Martijn. The whole film becomes a well acted, verbal, chess game. Inspired by the death of Theo Van Gogh.
4. THE NEW TWENTY - Five college friends in New York City are seven years out of college. All of them deal with challenges to their personal relationships. It's an interesting tableau of thirtysomethings still behaving as twentysomethings. Features a great song "End of the World" by Matt Alber.
3. DONKEY PUNCH - This film explores things people talk about but never actually do. Seven, British people go on a yacht for a short party on the Mediterranean Sea, and none of them come back alive. The beauty of youth descends to crazy violence. An excellent genre film.
2. TROUBLE THE WATER - Nominated for the Oscar, this film was intended to be something else when the filmmakers met a family who survived Hurricane Katrina, a family who gathered first-hand footage of the flooding as it was coming into their house. Powerful stuff!
1. MYSTERIOUS CITIES OF GOLD: DELUXE EDITION - This French/Japanese cartoon produced in 1982 has not been made available on video for nearly 20 years. Besides the 39 original episodes, dubbed into English, the box set also includes, deleted scenes, documentaries with the cast and director Bernard Deyries, producer Jean Chalopin & the Composer Shuki Levy, as well as Original Storyboards, a 32-page Collectors Booklet, a 12-page Historical Facts Booklet, 6 Exclusive Postcards, and a Double Sided Fold-Out Poster.