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My Favorite 10 Films of 2009 ( So Far )

10. Anvil! The Story Of Anvil

This is a great story of doing what you do for the sheer enjoyment of doing it.  Yes, Anvil had a lot of influence on tons of metal bands of the eighties while never finding success themselves.  And to a lot of people, they view this movie as something of a tragedy.  I view it as telling people you just need to be content with being, not with being successful.


9. The Cove

If you are in anyway human this movie will leave you sad, angry and disappointed in your fellow man.  This is an incredibly important film to see.  What I find most interesting is how the story is ignored by Japanese media and the local law enforcement cloisters off the town.  In otherwords, they know what they are doing is wrong, yet still do it.


8. The Hangover

I didn't know what to expect going going into this.  I heard from people it was funny, but I am not really a fan of what passes for cinematic comedy these days, so I was surprised at how laugh-out-loud this movie was for me.  This is a classic comedy that will be watched and rewatched for years to come.


7. Star Trek

How do you take a beloved franchise that has 42 years of history, satisfy it's rabid fan base, and make a movie that is approachable to people who don't know or actively dislike it?  Easy.  You throw it all out and start over.  JJ Abrams wonderful little flick was a great start to the summer.  It had great action sequences, a great story, and great, classic characters re-invented by a talented cast.  What's not to love?


6. Food, Inc.

Put the burger down and go see this movie.  Then realize how hard it is to get actual food anymore.


5. Moon

Quiet, introspective and driven by an amazing performance by Sam Rockwell, Moon is great science fiction.  It asks some serious questions about business, the nature of reality, and the true, high cost of energy.  A brilliant film.


4. Inglourious Basterds

Quentin Tarantino's best since Pulp Fiction.  Tarantino is a master craftsman.  His long, dialog driven scenes give this writer an unctuous treat to wrap my brain around.  What is truly amazing is how he managed to keep his style of dialog without modern pop references or even the english language.


3. In The Loop

I didn't think any movie this year would leave me laughing more than "The Hangover", but this did.  Classic British wit, wrapped up in politics.  The biggest problem with this film is you are laughing so hard you miss the next joke.


2. Up

Usually a film lets you get situated and settled in before they hit you with an emotional suckerpunch.  Not Up.  No, Pete Doctor hits you square in the gut with a montage that shows a mastery of storytelling I envy.  And it only gets better from there.  Plus, it has a zeppelin.  That makes it extra awesome.


1. The Hurt Locker

An unbelievably tense film driven by perfectly rendered, real characters wonderfully acted.  A brilliantly directed, tense film.  Go see it.  Then go see it again.  This is amazing movie making on every level and should be supported.  I don't see this losing it's top spot.


So there it is, my top 10 films of 2009 so far.  Here are the ones I am looking forward to for the rest of the year, and some look to be contenders for the list.  Some, like 2012, just look like FX fests...


The Informant!

Capitalism: a Love Story

The Surrogates


The Road


The Fourth Kind


Ninja Assassin

Up in the Air

The Lovely Bones


Sherlock Holmes



* Avatar obviously is disqualified from any of my "Best of... " Lists.




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Reader Comments (1)

Re: The Cove - haven't seen it yet, but I just heard an NPR interview w/ the director. It's made a difference. Their twin town in Australia cut them off and so far no dolphins have been harmed 'cause the media is all over them. Still, got to wait and see if it sticks.
Great list, I've got some watching to do...

September 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJames B

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