I’m thrilled to have finally finished my sixth year of this Blindspot series, even if this collection of cinema ended up spilling over into 2023. Overall, I think it was a largely positive year, with all twelve films being worth the watch and the top two being new entries for my Top 365 List. Going in, I never would have guessed this worst-to-best ranking, so it’s proof that a good Blindspot list should always have surprises. Now to pick out a new list for 2023…

12. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

Campy but perverse horror musical with some solid tunes propping up an incoherent story

11. The Road Home (1999)

Slow but nostalgic tale of rural young love under Chinese Communist rule

10. Apu Trilogy (1955, 1956, 1959)

Classic Indian saga of Apu growing from a poor boy to young scholar to a father; not the most entertaining but artistically important

9. The Frighteners (1996)

Enjoyable Peter Jackson horror comedy with a muddled tone and impressive-for-the-time effects

8. Grand Canyon (1991)

Poignant ensemble of city dwellers facing crossroads in their lives; tries a bit too hard to be meaningful

7. Murder by Death (1976)

Silly pastiche of mystery novel tropes and characters with a splendid ensemble cast

6. Better Off Dead (1985)

Scattershot dark comedy that thrives on its 1980s-ness and John Cusack as a likable slacker with a death wish

5. Shutter Island (2010)

Ominous psychological thriller with DiCaprio in fine form and a predictably unpredictable plot

4. Chef (2014)

Feel-good culinary saga of Jon Favreau’s chef-turned-food-truck-operator finding the perfect outlet for his passions

3. Children of Men (2006)

Gripping dystopian thriller with piercing social commentary and brilliant direction from Alfonso Cuarón

2. Short Term 12 (2013)

Deeply personal, insightful, and well-acted glimpse into the shattered lives of troubled youth in need of trust and connection

1. National Velvet (1944)

All-time classic about an English country girl and the horse she believes in, bolstered by a family who believes in her