Sunday, January 13, 2008

Favorite Movies of 2007

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?


  1. A few, not so much "additions", as ruminations...

    "Gone Baby Gone" got me. There was something campy/amateurish about the whole operation that I found endearing.

    "In The Valley of Elah" - Had a cup of coffee at the multiplexes, but great little movie with a quiet and harrowing conclusion.

    "This is England" - Small foreign indie that hit the art house circuit for a few weeks. A less (in a good way) stylized Brit version of "American History X". This movie is unbelievably good.

  2. Been spending more time reading than going to films...usually wait for them on 'ondemand' or DVD release.
    And I call myself a film-lover!
    Anyhow one cable recommend: Martin Scorcese on Val Luten (msp?) excellent.
    JDW - ex Bachrach


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