March 27, 2020
“The Tree of Life” (2011). Terrence Malick’s masterpiece, no stranger to best-of-the-century lists, plunges the viewer into a philosophical exploration of grief, theodicy and the duality of grace and human nature as a mid-century Texas family learns about the death of one of their three sons. The film’s experimental cinematography, replete with gratuitous nature shots, along with its extended special-effects sequence depicting the creation of the universe, cemented Malick’s signature aesthetic as well as his reputation for creating soul-searching films. This Palme d’Or winner earns a special mention on this list for its final beach scene, which we humbly but confidently laud as the greatest film depiction of eschatological bodily resurrection ever.