3. About Time
My wife and I watched the first hour of Richard Curtis’ endearing time-travel romance one evening, but stopped it right around the wedding of Domhnall Gleeson and Rachel McAdams. It was sweet, but nothing special. We agreed to finish it the next evening.

The second hour of About Time is the reason why the movie is on this list… and in the No. 3 slot. It devastated me. Reduced me to a blubbering mess. No other film released this year affected me on such an emotional level. I was happily demolished. After establishing the rules of its imaginative premise, Curtis plunges his characters on a roller coaster ride I never expected to endure. About Time relies on the classic "butterfly effect" storytelling clause, as a son and husband (played with warmth and wit by Gleeson) tries to use his unusual power to create a perfect life, only to learn that such an existence isn’t possible. McAdams is her usual adorable self. The brilliant Bill Nighy is as engaged as I’ve seen him in years. And the scene on the beach is perfection.

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