The Dark Knight ranks No. 12. Andrew Klavan offer this explanation:
This film gives us a portrait of the hero as a man reviled. In his fight against the terrorist Joker, Batman has to devise new means of surveillance, push the limits of the law, and accept the hatred of the press and public. If that sounds reminiscent of a certain former president — whose stubborn integrity kept the nation safe and turned the tide of war — don’t mention it to the mainstream media. Our journalists know that good men are often despised by the mob; it just never seems to occur to them that they might be the mob themselves.
NR’s list has some great movies (The Lives of Others at No. 1, Groundhog Day at No. 6) but some real stinkers as well. Red Dawn? And (on the list of “Also-Rans”) The Patriot? As one Harper’s editor remarked, “With so many actually great movies made about the American Revolution, they chose the worst piece of shit imaginable? I mean, I’ll give them Air Force One, ’cause there aren’t really any other movies about the President killing a bunch of terrorists all by his lonesome, but they let Mel Gibson tell the story of America’s birth?”