Serious impact: Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker, with Jeremy Renner, was one of three 2009 films in which moviemakers finally came convincingly to grips with the Iraq War.
Jonathan Olley/Summit Entertainment
Collective Action: When mysterious violence plagues their town, village elders (including the local baroness, played by Ursina Lardi) set out to pinpoint a cause. The trouble, suggests director Michael Haneke, is that causes are everywhere.
Films du Losange/Sony Pictures Classics
Free All That You Can Be: George Clooney and Kevin Spacey starred in The Men Who Stare at Goats. The film's tone, as Ronson told NPR's Guy Raz in November, is much more humanistic and warm-hearted than his book — "like Little Miss Sunshine Goes to War."