Few contemporary films manage to span the critical and popular culture divide to capture the collective imagination in electric, unifying ecstasy, but Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind makes the feat look easy. Did any other film this decade communicate on such an emotionally immediate level to both crowds? To some extent it probably could’ve succeeded purely on the fumes of its brilliant premise, so tapped into a universal yearning—nearly everyone has at some point dreamed of erasing the pain of heartbreak by expunging an ex from memory—that the layers of built-in resonance might have easily been squandered. Lucky for us that Eternal Sunshine encapsulates a perfect storm of talent coming together, raising a sci-fi rumination on memory, love, and loss to the heady heights of modern masterpiece. Read Kristi Mitsuda on Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.