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Adam Driver in Paterson.

Mary Cybulski

1. Moonlight – In a surprising coming-of-age story, director Barry Jenkins exposes the construction of African-American masculinity.

2. Manchester by the Sea – Kenneth Lonergan directs a magnificently contained Casey Affleck in a bracing family tragedy.

3. Koneline: Our Land Beautiful – Breathtaking and thought-provoking, Nettie Wild's carefully balanced doc considers the dilemma of gold mining in Northern British Columbia.

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4. The Pearl Button – Documentarian Patricio Guzman juxtaposes human-rights abuses and colonial assaults on aboriginal culture in a poetic film built around Chile's watery geography.

5. The Handmaiden – For this chocolate box of a movie, director Park Chan-wook transposes an erotic Victorian melodrama to Japanese-occupied Korea.

6. 20th Century Women – Director Mike Mills casts the impressively perceptive Annette Bening as a confused Californian parent in 1979.

7. The Apology – Tiffany Hsiung reveals the inspiring resilience of Asia's "comfort women," still seeking compensation for their wartime sexual enslavement.

8. The Salesman – Asghar Farhadi (A Separation) returns with another haunting story of marriage in Iran.

9. Paterson – Jim Jarmusch's quirky tale of the routine and the poetic follows a bus-driving bard (Adam Driver) on his daily route through Paterson, N.J.

10. It's Only the End of the World – Canadian auteur Xavier Dolan draws searing performances from a French cast playing the battling members of a painfully unhappy family.

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Bonus movie

Finding Dory – How often do you find yourself contemplating the emotional life of a cartoon fish? Ellen DeGeneres turns Dory into a poignant portrayal of short-term memory loss.

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