Why is it that the best films (according to one definition) are always ones you admire more and feel a lot better about after watching them than during the actual sit-and-contemplate? It’s true. I’m not being facetious. The movies that seem to finally matter are the ones that…okay, are clearly delivering a profound or thoughtful undercurrent as you watch them, but which don’t kick in big-time until a day, a week or a month later. These are the films you want to write home to grandma about.

Scene from Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon (Sony Classics, 12.25).