7. Brokeback Mountain
The late Heath Ledger helped define the decade as the Joker in The Dark Knight. But for me, the Ledger role that will endure is Ennis Del Mar, the married Wyoming ranch hand daring a forbidden love (it's 1963) with rodeo rider Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) in Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain. The Taiwanese director of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon walked volatile ground with this adaptation of Annie Proulx's story. But Ledger gave the film its soul. He didn't just know how Ennis moved, spoke and listened; he knew how he breathed. Seeing him inhale the scent of a shirt hanging in Jack's closet is a scene that pierced your heart. This landmark movie did the same.