1. MYSTIC RIVER
Clint Eastwood’s crime drama is so moving, just seeing the trailer again gives us goose bumps. And no holding him back: Sean Penn is terrific.
2. THE OFFICE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SERIES
Big ups to Brit TV (see No. 4) — especially for this DVD of BBC America’s funny faux-doc ode to miserable desk jockeys.
3. BUS 174
This spectacular documentary makes Speed look like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Using jaw-dropping news footage, it reconstructs a 2000 Rio bus hijacking by a sad, gun-wielding crazy.
4. THE SINGING DETECTIVE
When it first aired on the BBC in 1986, this genre-blending miniseries (on DVD since April) was hailed as classic, groundbreaking television. It still is. So what, Robert Downey Jr., are you doing in a pointless remake?
In a post-season filled with themes Homeric (heroism, rivalries, age-old curses) and homer-ific (Sammy Sosa), our grand ol’ game is back on the national pedestal.
6. LOST BOY LOST GIRL, BY PETER STRAUB
A lost boy and a lost girl, a serial killer and a haunted house, a suicide and a kidnapping — Straub’s masterful tale of ultra-horror is all that and a bag of chips!
7. THE SLIPPERY SLOPE, BY LEMONY SNICKET
Imagine the inventive wit of the Harry Potter books, steeped in the arch humor of Roald Dahl.
8. WORLDWIDE UNDERGROUND, ERYKAH BADU
A challenging but oh-so-rewarding EP from our reigning hip-hop/R&B laureate.
Romeo and Juliet gets Jerry Bruckheimer-ized (Pretty actors! Lots of cool editing! No annoying iambic pentameter!) on Fox’s new show, with D.J. Cotrona and Olivia Wilde as the star-cross’d lovers.
10. CHIAKI KURIYAMA IN ‘KILL BILL – VOL. 1’
As the bobby-soxed killer Go Go, she can come over and beat up on us anytime she wants. Please?