I'm disappointed to say that there were many 2007 theatrical releases that I wanted to see, but never got a chance to. That being said, of the many movies I did see, here are my favorites:
10) Paris je t'aime - most of the 18 short segments of this film were quite memorable, including the Coen brothers take on the Paris subway scene starring Steve Buscemi.
9) 300 - This CGI testosterone-fest is a potential preview of the green-screen action movie future. Seeing it with a rowdy packed house at a midnight opening no doubt enhanced the experience.
8) No Country for Old Men - Javier Bardem plays one of the creepiest villains this side of Hannibal Lector, and Tommy Lee Jones is at his grizzled best.
7) 3:10 to Yuma - Despite the climactic scene's stretch of audience believability, this Western was a lot of fun. Christian Bale vs. Russell Crowe makes for an engaging watch, but Ben Foster as Crowe's main henchman steals the show.
6) Knocked Up - Sometimes vulgar, sometimes honest, always funny. A nice ensemble cast really challenged the conventions of modern movie comedy.
5) There Will Be Blood - Daniel Day-Lewis gives a tour de force performance and makes the third act's leaps forgivable. Appearing in virtually every scene of this 2 1/2 hour movie, Day-Lewis is truly mesmerizing.
4) Into the Wild - Hard to live up to one of my all-time favorite books, but Sean Penn's direction and some amazing performances -- led by Emile Hirsch, Hal Holbrook, and a surprising Vince Vaughn -- came darn close.
3) The Bourne Ultimatum - Jason Bourne is a new type of action hero, and Paul Greengrass's inspired direction created a new kind of smart action movie. It's a pity the trilogy is over, but with such big box office, we may not have seen that last of Mr. Bourne...
TIE - sorry, can't decide between...
1) Michael Clayton - A tense, intelligent, taught thriller full of great actors doing their thing. Tilda Swinton is wonderfully detestable. How come we don't get more like this?
1) Once - An extremely low budget gem that checks in at under 80 minutes. Short on time, but long on feeling, Once is the kind of musical I can get behind. Great soundtrack, great performances by some non-actors, and the absence of the typical cliche Hollywood ending make this one an instant classic.
No doubt my list would be different had I seen all of the 200+ movies released theatrically last year, but it is what it is. Objections, suggestions or additions?