The whole point of a Top 10 list, a friend recently scolded me, is to number them. (I was declining to do so.)  My friend was wrong, but only because Top 10 lists are artificial exercises,  assertions of critical ego,  capricious and necessarily imperfect.  (I have a suspicion that the sacred 10 is meant to suggest biblical certainty, as if critics are merely worldly vessels for some divine wisdom.)  More than anything they are a public ritual,  which is their most valuable function.  I tell you what I liked,  and you either agree with my list (which flatters us both)  or denounce it (which flatters you). It’s a perfect circle.
Monday, December 31, 2007
Isaac Chotiner at The Plank cites the following paragraph by Manohla Dargis. [my additions indicated]
at 5:08 PM