I've never been a fan of "10 best" lists; they're too arbitrary for my taste. And besides, if there were only 10 outstanding hidden gems over the past decade I wouldn't have nearly enough material to fill my weekly show, Secret's Out. So let's refer to these as "10 Really Good Movies of the Past Decade" or "10 Hidden Gems You Really Ought to See." That way I'll have less guilt about the titles I had to leave out!
Sam Neill heads the cast of this charming Australian film based on the true story of a small community that found itself on the world stage during America's Apollo space program because of their enormous satellite dish.
This haunting British thriller with Audrey Tautou and Chiwetel Ejiofor takes us inside a world we've never seen before in London, where new immigrants struggle to survive and life is cheap.
Nathaniel Kahn set out to make a film that would help him get to know his father — world-renowned architect Louis Kahn — and takes us along on his unexpectedly emotional journey of discovery. This is a genuinely great movie.
Frank Langella gives a great performance as an aging literary lion who's pried out of his shell — against his better judgment — by a young woman (Lauren Ambrose) who's writing a thesis about him in this subtle, moving, beautifully realized story.
This disarming Israeli import didn't qualify for an Academy Award as Best Foreign Language Film because its leading characters — a small Egyptian police band that comes to Israel for a concert but winds up in the wrong village — end up speaking too much English! Oscar or no, it's a wonderful movie.
Melissa Leo earned an Oscar nomination for her exceptional performance in this chilling story of a woman at the end of her rope who winds up partnering with a sullen Indian woman, smuggling people across the Canadian border on the frozen river. An impressive debut feature for writer-director Courtney Hunt.
One of my favorite American independent filmmakers — writer-director Ramin Bahrani — scores a bull's-eye with this penetrating portrait of a 12-year-old orphan boy who builds a life for himself in and around a community of car repair shops in Queens, New York.
Sophie Okonedo stars as the black-skinned daughter of white parents (Sam Neill and Alice Krige) who suffers for her fate in apartheid South Africa. Her extraordinary true story is told with care and skill in this vastly underrated film.