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7. “Chicken With Plums”

This quirky, allegorical tale brings to life the fanciful graphic novel by Iranian-born artist and filmmaker Marjane Satrapi. She’s best known for her graphic novel and animated film “Persepolis,” based on her childhood amid the revolution in Iran and her adolescence in European exile. Set in Tehran in 1958, “Chicken With Plums” tells the story of a renowned musician who despairs of replacing his broken instrument, and instead chooses to lie still and wait for death. The filmmakers contrive a wonderful live-action visual style that conveys the idea of panels in a comic book throughout.

8. “The Secret World of Arrietty”

This sumptuous animated Japanese feature brings to life the quaint English children’s book series “The Borrowers,” about a tiny people who forage for survival in the floorboards of human homes. Arrietty, a young Borrower who has just discovered the wider world outside her tiny shelter, meets up with the young human boy Shawn, whose own world is narrowing because of his terminal illness. It’s a beautiful story told without many complexities or contours — and without glossing over for its audience of young viewers the central themes of death and displacement.

9. “The Cabin in the Woods”

Cleverness isn’t everything, but it goes a long way in this parody of horror-movie conventions. Even to describe the basic outlines of the plot is something of a spoiler. Suffice it to say that horror-movie geeks will delight in the homage paid to the genre with references to legendary filmmakers, but it’s also a satire that ranks as an exemplary specimen of the style it’s sending up.

10. “Sound of My Voice”

“Sound of My Voice” manages to convey the mood of a dystopian sci-fi thriller without any visual effects or narrative tricks. It tells the story of a journalist trying to infiltrate a cult built around a young woman who claims to have traveled from the year 2054 to prepare her followers for the dark times to come. The movie amplifies suspense using ordinary, everyday interior settings placed in its eerie, jangled context. There’s no technology in “Sound of My Voice” that’s more advanced than a remote garage-door opener, but the mix of cultish devotion, prophecy and conspiracy imparts a sense of foreboding and menace that is hard to shake.