4. A History of Violence
Is Canadian director David Cronenberg the most unsung maverick artist in movies? Bet on it. I could have picked 2007's Eastern Promises to prove my point. But I'm going with 2005's A History of Violence — both films starred Viggo Mortensen at his best — because it just slammed me with its subversive wit. Things look normal in the small town where a reformed hit man (Mortensen) runs the diner and runs home to his hot wife (Maria Bello). Then the past shows up. Cronenberg knows violence is wired into our DNA. His film showed how we secretly crave what we publicly condemn. This is potent poison for a thriller, and unadulterated, unforgettable Cronenberg.