Making a "Best Of" movie list is very difficult because many studios release potentially Oscar worthy films very late in the year in hopes that the Academy and its short attention span might remember only the most recent movie releases. I have dealt with this problem the same way as I did last year. First there's my Best Of 2009 list. It is a top ten list of movies that were released in 2009 that I actually got a chance to see in the calendar year. The second list is called Honorable Mention. This is a list of movies that were either not released in 2009, movies that were either leftovers from the previous year or movies that I got to see for the first time despite the movie's release year. This is followed by the Best Players category. This list comprises of actors, directors, animators or anyone else who I felt had a big impact on the world of movies in the past year. Finally there's the ever popular Worst Piece Of Junk Award. I think you can probably figure out what that's all about.
Well, 2009 has come and gone. There was no real standout for me this year. I really liked Star Trek. I saw it three times in the theater which for me is unusual. I'm not a Trekker or Trekkie or whatever they call themselves but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I also really liked Watchmen. It was dark and looked fantastic. It was also one of those rare instances where the movie is better than the book.
If I had to choose just one film my choice of best movie of 2009 was Up In The Air. The movie had a little bit of everything. It had great performances, an enjoyable story, a great cast, lots of drama and some comedy as well. It was the most complete movie of the year. Watching Clooney try and reconnect with his family was heartbreaking. I guess it was the price he paid for the life he chose.
Note: I did see Avatar. I just did not see it in the 2009 calendar year. Yes, I did like it. Was it the best movie of 2009? Probably not. Was it the best movie experience of 2009? Abso-freekin-lutely. It was a great movie experience. One that shouldn't be missed but it should only be seen in IMAX 3-D in the theaters. It's a movie and an experience that no DVD or BluRay can properly recreate.
1. Up In The Air - This was great! Fantastic performances by George Clooney, Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick.
2. 500 Days Of Summer - Yeah, the John Goodman character being carted around was a little odd but I like a movie that's a little off.
3. Sunshine Cleaners - Quirky but fun film. In the same vein as Little Miss Sunshine.
4. Up - The first few minutes of this film are perhaps the greatest of any Pixar film.
5. Star Trek - This is the only movie I saw more than once in the theaters. One of the most flawless sci-fi films I have seen in some time.
6. Watchmen - I read the book this past year and saw three different versions of the movie. Great adaptation and the changes in the film version were done to perfection. It's not your typical Superhero movie but that's the whole point.
7. Coraline - This is one of the most underrated films of the year. This dark movie is an instant classic.
8. The Road - Dark and depressing but with a small spot of hope.
9. 9 - What a great looking film. I always have a soft spot for animated films. This looks fantastic in BlueRay.
10. Moon - Good, creepy Sci-Fi. What would you do with three years on your own?
1. The King Of Kong - 2007 - A documentary about Donkey Kong can't be good. Yeah, it is. Donkey Kong Kill Screen coming up.
2. Zombieland - Rule number one of Zombieland: See Zombieland!
3. Let The Right One In - 2008 - Excellent take on the vampire genre featuring young children.
4. Public Enemies - Johnny Depp in another great role in a good gangster film.
5. Brothers - Great performaces from Jake Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire.
6. Inglorious Basterds - Didn't love it or hate it but the opening scene and the shoe interrogation scene were classic Tarantino.
7. The Hangover - The naked guy jumping out of the truck cracked me up.
8. District 9 - Another neat Sci-Fi movie. This past year was a great year for Sci-Fi.
9. Paranormal Activity - Made on the cheap but it was not cheap on creep.
10. A Perfect Getaway - Because of this film I am more in tune with my situational awareness.
1. Christoph Waltz - Inglorious Basterds - After I saw this film I turned to my wife and said, "Best supporting Actor right there."
2. George Clooney - Up In The Air - I see a Best Actor award in Mister Clooney's future.
3. Sandra Bullock - The Blind Side - Best Actress award winner? I think so.
4. Mo'Nique - Precious - You hated her character. Best Supporting Actress award?
5. Pixar - Up - Again. Are they always on my list? Another Best Animated Feature award?
6. Tobey MacGuire- Brothers - He could turn on and off the psycho persona at will.
7. Matt Damon - The Informant/Invictus - His performance in The Informant was far superior to the one in Invictus.
8. Viggo Mortensen - The Road - Given his situation, what would you do?
9. Jake Gillenhaal - Brothers - Good performance in Brothers.
10. Jason Reitman - Up In The Air - He won't win Best Director because of Avatar but any other year? Probably.
Halloween 2 - The last things you expect to see in a Halloween movie are visions of a glowing ghost mother and ghost horse. Worst sequel ever.
Note: Had I seen A Serious Man in 2009 that would have won this award. Talk about a stinkfest of epic proportions. The Coen brothers dropped a load on this one.
5 - Excellent 4 - Good 3 - Fair 2 - Poor 1 - Terrible 0 - What In God's Name Were They Thinking? - (No longer used. Created and used in 2001 only for A.I.) Revolutionary Road - 2008 - 4 Bigger, Stronger, Faster - 2008 - 3 Gran Torino - 2008 - 4 Man On Wire -2008 - 4 The Visitor - 2007- 5 The Wrestler - 2008 - 4 Vicky Christina Barcelona - 2008 - 3 Taken - 2008 - 4 Bleu - 1993 - 3 Nothing Is Private Towelhead - 3 - 2007 Defiance - 2008 - 4 Frozen River - 2008 - 4 Severance - 2006 - 2 A Good Woman - 2004 - 3 Lavatory Lovestory - 2007 - 4 Oktapodi - 2007 - 4 Le Maison en Petits Cubes - 2008 - 4 This Way Up - 2008 - 4 Presto - 2008 - 4 Varmints - 2008 - 4 John and Karen - 2007 - 3 Gopher Broke - 2004 - 4 Skhizein - 2008 - 3 Hot Dog - 2008 - 3 Night On Earth - 1991 - 3 Coraline - 2009 - 5 Waitress - 2007 - 3 The Duchess - 2008 - 3 Persepolis - 2007 - 4 Run Fat Boy Run - 2007 - 3 Watchmen - 2009 - 5 Operation Valkyrie The Stauffenberg Plot To Kill Hitler - 2008 - 3 Charlie Wilson's War - 2007 - 3 Beowulf - 2007 - 3 Suspect 0 - 2004 - 3 Let The Right One In Låt den rätte komma in - 2008 - 4 The Lookout - 2007 - 4 Sunshine Cleaners - 2008 - 4 Moby Dick - 1956 - 4 The Kingdom - 2007 - 3 State Of Play - 2009 - 3 X-Men Origins: Wolverine - 2009 - 3 Star Trek - 2009 - 5 Monsters Vs Aliens - 2009 - 3 Life Boat - 1944 - 4 Terminator Salvation - 2009 - 3 Angels and Demons - 2009 - 2 Jindabyne - 2006 - 2 Shoot Em Up - 2007 - 3 Night at the Museum 2 - 2009 - 2 Up - 2009 - 4 Westworld - 1973 - 3 The TV Set - 2006 - 2 Drag Me To Hell - 2009 - 4 Untraceable - 2008 - 3 The Hangover - 2009 - 4 The Abandoned - 2006 - 2 Awake - 2007 - 3 Transformers Revenge Of The Fallen - 2009 - 3 Public Enemies - 2009 - 4 Cheri - 2009 - 3 Ice Age 3 - 2009 - 3 Moon - 2009 - 4 The Uninvited - 2009 - 3 Before The Devil Knows You're Dead - 2007 - 3 The Savages - 2007 - 3 500 Days Of Summer - 2009 - 4 Creature From The Black Lagoon - 1954 - 5 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - 2009 - 3 Dr. Zhivago - 1965 - 4 A Perfect Getaway - 2009 - 4 Gake no ue no Ponyo - 2008 - 4 GI Joe - 2009 - 3 District 9 - 2009 - 4 Halloween 2 - 2009 - 1 The Final Destination 3D - 2009 - 2 Sweeney Todd - 2007 - 2 The Man Who Cried - 2000 - 3 Inglorious Basterds - 2009 - 4 9 - 2009 - 5 Pandorum - 2009 - 4 The Informant - 2009 - 3 Surrogates - 2009 - 3 Saw VI - 2009 - 2 Paranormal Activity - 2007 - 4 The King Of Kong - 2007 - 4 Zombieland - 2009 - 4 The Invention Of Lying - 2009 - 2 The Fourth Kind - 2009 - 3 My Best Friend Mon meilleur ami - 2006 - 4 This Boy's Life - 1993 - 3 Law Abiding Citizen - 2009 - 4 2012 - 2009 - 3 Armoured - 2009 - 3 I'm Not There - 2007 - 3 The Road - 2009 - 4 - dark, gritty, feeling of dread, doom, paranoia driven, untrusting Deadgirl - 2008 - 2 Rendition - 2007 - 3 Bankok Dangerous - 2008 - 3 Ghost Rider - 2007 - 2 Up In The Air - 2009 - 4 The Thing - 1982 - 5 Brothers - 2009 - 4 Grace Is Gone - 2007 - 3 The Blind Side - 2009 - 3 Precious - 2009 - 3 The Eye - 2008 - 3 Donnie Darko - 2001 - 4