Well, it’s that time of year again. I have to say that despite the fact that 2009 was not a fantastic year for cinema overall… there were still a decent number of very solid movies that made it all worth while. Yes… we may have had to sit through “Transformers 2”, but at least we had “District 9”. “G.I. Joe may have only been 1/10th as good as it should have been… but at least we had “Up In The Air”.
Remember, all film is subjective, so I’m sure no one on the planet is going to have the exact same list as mine.
With all that out of the way, here is your definitive list of the top 10 movies of 2009:
|#1 – UP|
To me nothing else even came close this year. A touching and moving story that had the audience in tears one moment… and then a few minutes later laughing themselves sick. This film is a flat out masterpiece and easily the best film of 2009. It was also the #1 critically rated film of the year on both Rotten Tomatoes AND Meta Critic.
|#2 – UP IN THE AIR|
I should have learned by now to always give Jason Reitman the benefit of the doubt. I didn’t even think this movie looked any good… let alone completely fantastic. Reitman has to be listed up there with Christopher Nolan in the new breed of genius directors. Great story. Great performances. Great movie.
|#3 – AN EDUCATION|
Another great example of why first impression can be misleading. What appeared to me to be a boring 60’s period piece turned out to be perhaps my biggest surprise of the year. Peter Sarsgaard is fantastic in the film, but to me Alfred Molina should get an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
|#4 – JULIE AND JULIA|
An absolutely beautiful mix of moving and hilarity. Add on top of that a flat out OSCAR worthy performance by Meryl Streep and you’ve got a winner of a film. Also has to be ranked up there amongst my biggest surprises of the year. Seriously… did many of you think this movie would be THIS good?
|#5 – STAR TREK|
I had to eat a lot of crow over this one. I was very public about the fact that I didn’t think this movie would be any good… and WOW did it prove me wrong. So much charm, so much swagger, so exciting… it was just awesome. They pulled off the nearly impossible… keeping the traditional Star Trek, while re-inventing it at the same time. Perfect casting didn’t hurt either.
|#6 – AVATAR|
One of the most visually beautiful and stunning films I have ever seen in my life. James Cameron has indeed changed the way films will look at doing visual effects forever. Critics will say the story itself was a bit lacking, and I don’t necessarily disagree, but as a cinematic EXPERIENCE, this film will blow your socks off.
|#7 – THE HURT LOCKER|
Such an intense film. It’s not an action film per se… but it drags you into it. You feel the intensity… the tension is palpable… the performances are engaging and you leave the theater feeling a little staggered.
|#8 – NINE|
The last film on this list that I actually had the chance to see and man I’m glad i did. I’m not a big fan of musicals at all, but this movie just dazzles you from the word go. I’ve always found it difficult to connect with CHARACTERS in musicals… but this one does a masterful job of it as it actually comes off as a character films somehow.
|#9 – THE HANGOVER|
I don’t care what anyone says. This movie deserves a spot on here because of the pure experience it offers. The best pure comedy of the year that had you laughing almost from the first minute. Maybe the best comedy since “The 40 Year Old Virgin”. I love this film and make no apologies for including it on this list.
|#10 – DISTRICT 9|
District 9 proves thatyou can indeed have a great visual effects movie without it needing a $300 million dollar budget. Yet unlike Avatar, this movie is not carried by the effects… it’s carried by the amazing performance of Sharlto Copley in the lead role. There is probably no way in hell he’ll get an Oscar nomination, but I honestly believe he deserves one.
So there you have it folks, my list of the best of 2009. Now, just for some fun and debate:
THE WORST FILMS OF 2009 (in no particular order)
– Halloween II
– Observe and Report
– Transformers 2
– Paul Blart Mall Cop
– Year One
– Old Dogs
– The Invention Of Lying
– Imagine That
MOST OVERRATED FILMS OF 2009 (not necessarily horrible movies, just overrated)
– Inglourious Basterds
– Where the Wild Things Are
– Drag Me To Hell
So that does it folks! My final “Best of the Year” list for “The Movie Blog”. What films did I leave off there that you would include? And if you name any, you have to name which films you’d take off the list to make room for them. Let the debate begin!