You may remember The Past‘s director Asghar Farhadi from the acclaimed A Separation from 2011, which made my Top 10 from that year. Farhadi has a knack for communicating crucial pieces of his stories through the images onscreen rather than through dialogue, as if the stage directions written into included even the quickest glance between characters. This gives his movies an unmatched richness. The knock on The Past from some critics is that the final third is contrived. I don’t disagree, but I don’t think it’s any less compelling for it. Where A Separation showed us lives unraveling as a result of compounding mistakes, The Past peels back the layers of mistakes to show us how the lives have already unraveled.