6. Anna Karenina
No, I didn’t believe we needed another Keira Knightley costume drama – let alone another adaptation of Tolstoy’s timeless novel – either. But Joe Wright breathes such creative fire into his enthralling interpretation of Anna Karenina that we’re inspired to view Russian aristocracy, tyrannical class structures and forbidden romances in new lights … namely, those that point at a stage. Much has been written about Wright’s decision to playfully skewer the limitations of live theater in his Anna. But that’s only a clever device opening a portal to two devastating performances by Knightley (as Anna) and Jude Law (as her husband, who no longer is the man of her choosing). Karenina is graceful, beautiful, stylish, bold and unconventional filmmaking that helps make several old things feel very new again.

Best Moment: During a horse race, the handsome Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) is thrown from his beast and his lover, the married Anna (Knightley), shocks the world by screaming in fear … betraying her true feelings for her forbidden flame and condemning her in the eyes of the judgmental society that would never let her in their good graces again.

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