Yeah, Sam, I agree with your
Frankly, Malick communicates. He does it in a particular way and I don't find it pretentious at all.
If our list only had art films or classic oldies, that would be pretentious, because we would be ignoring other genres that have good work like BttF and Die Hard. I love the fact that we take Alien/Aliens as seriously as Le Samourai.
I don't think it would be right to "dislike" any film on the list. It is a group list, not a personal list, and I like the fact that there are some films I don't care for (Oldboy) and some I haven't seen (Hoop Dreams) on the list. The annual list is vibrant and a powerful statement about the living nature of film in our lives.
But one film I don't understand: The 400 Blows. I finally caught up with it this year, and I don't understand the deep and abiding love for this film. It's fine, I don't dislike it, but it didn't impact me at all. Why is it so loved? What makes it so great? (Of course, I have the same questions about Casablanca, but I'm going to go there...)