25 December 2011 11:56 AM, PST | blogs.suntimes.com/ebert | See recent Roger Ebert's Blog news »

Making lists is not my favorite occupation. They inevitably inspire only reader complaints. Not once have I ever heard from a reader that my list was just fine, and they liked it. Yet an annual Best Ten list is apparently a statutory obligation for movie critics.

My best guess is that between six and ten of these movies won't be familiar. Those are the most useful titles for you, instead of an ordering of movies you already know all about.

One recent year I committed the outrage of listing 20 movies in alphabetical order. What an uproar! Here are my top 20 films, in order of approximate preference.

1. "A Separation"

This Iranian film won't open in Chicago until Jan. 27. It won the Golden Bear at Berlin and was just named the year's best foreign film by the New York Film Critics Circle. It is specifically Iranian, but I believe the more specific »

- Roger Ebert

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