By Lisa Schwarzbaum
December 30, 2009 at 07:49 PM EST

It’s almost New Year’s Eve. I’m ready. Let’s party!

1. There Will Be Blood (2007), Paul Thomas Anderson. The entire decade, summed up in a singular American masterpiece.

2. Sideways (2004), Alexander Payne. The decade’s most adult film about men and women.

3. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), Peter Jackson. The grand conclusion to the decade’s best epic.

4. Yi Yi (2000), Edward Yang. The decade’s most beautiful family story.

5. The New World (2005), Terrence Malick. The decade’s most imaginative history lesson.

6. Zodiac (2007), David Fincher. The decade’s most unnerving crime story.

7. The Dark Knight (2008), Christopher Nolan. The decade’s best comic-book adaptation.

8. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005), Cristi Puiu. The decade’s most profound expression of the personal as political.

9. Moolaade (2005),  Ousmane Sembene. The decade’s most potent handling of terrifying material.

10. Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005), Park Chan-wook. The decade’s most thrilling tale of revenge.

Image credit: Melinda Sue Gordon