The Top 10 Shots of 2018

Posted by · 8:30 am · December 19th, 2018

(This article originally appeared at Variety.com.) The best cinematography of 2018 has come in black and white. It’s come in vibrant color. It’s come as photochemical reaction and as streams of ones and zeroes. It’s crossed genres and approaches, from horror and satire to costume porn and blockbuster action. It’s taken us from the hearth […]

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The Top 10 Shots of 2017

Posted by · 8:30 am · December 19th, 2017

(This article originally appeared at Variety.com.) “It’s a weird year.” That’s been a common refrain in virtually all circles over the last several months, mostly because this Oscar season has refused to conform to any typical paradigm. There is no best picture frontrunner. There isn’t even a consensus on the year’s best movie. One glance […]

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The Top 10 Shots of 2016

Posted by · 8:30 am · December 28th, 2016

(This article originally appeared at Variety.com.) For a decade now I’ve written about the year in single images. It’s an annual tradition that started on a whim — certain shots from “No Country for Old Men” and “The Bourne Ultimatum” spurred a desire to seek out other potent imagery and chew on it — and […]

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The Top 10 Shots of 2015

Posted by · 8:30 am · December 30th, 2015

(This article originally appeared at Variety.com.) This is the ninth year I’ve sat down to digest and meditate on the year in single cinematic images, and every time I do it, it’s an absolute joy. Happy accidents, intriguing intentions, strong visual thematic ideas and unique directorial vision can be found under every stone. You just […]

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The Top 10 Shots of 2014

Posted by · 9:00 am · December 29th, 2014

(This article originally appeared at HitFix.com.) As more try to co-opt our patented, eight-year-strong “shots of the year” feature, it seemed like maybe I should start trying to get the package ready sooner rather than later. So I tried to hit it as hard as I could to get 2014’s list out to you by […]

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The Top 10 Shots of 2013

Posted by · 9:00 am · February 11th, 2014

(This article originally appeared at HitFix.com.) If you look here and there on the web these days, you might notice that more than a few outlets are now cooking up their own “top 10 shots of the year” pieces. Here we are in our seventh year of producing such a collective, but imitation is flattery, […]

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The Top 10 Shots of 2012

Posted by · 9:00 am · February 12th, 2013

(This article originally appeared at HitFix.com.) I decided to do something a little different with the shots column for this, its sixth year (and finally imitated — we’re flattered). I thought I’d go with a metric of instinct rather than analysis. First let me introduce the overall concept for those perhaps unfamiliar. Every year I […]

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The Top 10 Shots of 2011

Posted by · 9:00 am · February 14th, 2012

(This article originally appeared at HitFix.com.) They’re heeeeeeerrrrreeeeee. That’s right, the images have been assembled, the conversations have been had and the top 10 shots of 2011 are ready for their close-up (or over the shoulder, or two-shot, or insert, etc.). It’s become a bit of a tradition to note in this space that the […]

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The top 10 shots of 2010: part two

Posted by · 10:49 am · February 23rd, 2011

In case you missed part one of this year’s top shots column, be sure to catch up before digging into the final five selections today. As I mentioned yesterday, it wasn’t exactly a banner year for singular images from films in 2010. And that’s certainly not a crime. But more to the point, what I […]

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The top 10 shots of 2010: part one

Posted by · 11:06 am · February 22nd, 2011

I have to admit, I procrastinated this column quite a bit this year. It has become a favorite staple for me, and, I’m happy to see, for our readers. But something was holding me back from pulling the trigger on getting the list together this time around. It’s a lot of work, of course. So […]

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The top 10 shots of 2009: part two

Posted by · 12:46 pm · February 17th, 2010

In case you missed the first part of our look at the best shots of 2009, go ahead and catch up here.  Before getting into the top five, however, I’d like to spotlight a few examples that almost made the cut but just missed. First and foremost, “Inglourious Basterds” is obviously a favorite around these […]

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The top 10 shots of 2009: part one

Posted by · 12:49 pm · February 16th, 2010

Assembling the assets for my annual take on the best single shots of the year was more of a chore this time around than ever.  Perhaps one need only look to a lackluster list of Oscar nominees in the Best Cinematography category to gauge just how underwhelming much of the work behind the camera was […]

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The top 10 shots of 2008: part two

Posted by · 11:55 am · January 15th, 2009

Today we wrap up my list of the year’s best shots.  In case you missed it, have a look at part one here. Before digging into the top five today, I thought I would give a shout out to the images that almost made the cut, and there were a few.  For instance, who can […]

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The top 10 shots of 2008: part one

Posted by · 9:03 am · January 14th, 2009

I’m hoping to make this an annual tradition here at In Contention.  It’s no secret we have a lot of respect for below-the-line talent around these parts, but it’s nice to have a visual way of showing that appreciation.  I sat down to write this piece for the first time last year, taken by the […]

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The top 10 shots of 2007: part two

Posted by · 3:08 am · February 22nd, 2008

Today we round out the top 10 shots of the year with the final five.  Check out part one if you missed it. Let’s dive in: #5 “MICHAEL CLAYTON” Director of Photography: Robert Elswit We were completely ripping off New York filmmaking from the 1970s, things like “Klute” and pretty much everything Owen Roizman has […]

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The top 10 shots of 2007: part one

Posted by · 12:22 am · February 21st, 2008

2007 was, to my mind, the greatest year for cinematography in a long, long time.  I can’t recall the last time I was so thoroughly impressed with the visual artistry of film after film like I was last year, and I attribute that to the intriguing spark of creativity underway in the film medium as […]

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