Monday, January 4, 2010

My Favorites of 2009

It's time again for the annual list of my favorite movies.  A few caveats, as usual: 1) these are my personal favorite films of the year, I'm not trying to claim they are the best, 2) they are movies I saw during 2009 (some had early releases in 2008) and 3) there were many, many movies released this year that I didn't see, some of which might have ended up on this list if I had -- but there's always next year!

10) The Cove - doc about the emotional intelligence of dolphins and the annual dolphin slaughter in Japan was the most difficult to watch movie of the year, and a damning indictment of a culture that lets something like this happen.

9) 500 Days of Summer - quirky, fresh romantic comedy with a kickin' soundtrack.

8) This Is It! - doc about Michael Jackson's preparation for his final tour is a peek into the creative process of a singularly talented performer and is unmissable, no matter what you think of Jackson the man.

7) Fantastic Mr. Fox - smart, visually interesting stop-motion take on the Roald Dahl classic featuring some great voice performances and clever dialogue.

6) The Road - nearly pitch-perfect translation of the desolate, hauntingly beautiful novel.
5) Star Trek - big budget reboot that was entertaining while remaining true to the spirit of the original.

4) The Hurt Locker - a non-political war film?  yes.  and likely the most intense film of the year.

3) An Education - beautifully acted, deliberately paced coming-of-age story that hits all the right notes.

2) The Wrestler - saw this last January, and it stuck with me all year.  mickey rourke was amazing, and heartbreaking, as Randy the Ram.

1) Up in the Air - a wonderfully acted, perfectly crafted little slice of what life is like at this moment in time; from the economic recession, to the impact of technology on work & life, to the lack of interpersonal connection in modern society.  Clooney was great, as was the supporting cast, and there were some spot-on cameos as well.  nice work, Mr. Reitman.

Honorable Mention: Angels & Demons - Ron Howard's action-packed thriller/mystery!  (and my first SAG principal credit ;)

Among other movies I really enjoyed this year: Whatever Works, Up, Inglorious Basterds, Moon, Taken, Paranormal Activity, The Visitor, Drag Me to Hell, District 9, Let the Right One In, and Every Little Step.

Am I way off on any of these?  Other favorites?  Let me know!


  1. Great list! Sad I missed "An Education" - that good, eh?

    Here's mine:
    Top Five Movies
    1. The Hurt Locker
    2. Inglourious Basterds
    3. Up In The Air
    4. District 9
    5. (tie) I Love You Man; (500) Days of Summer

  2. 'An Education' is definitely worth checking out...

    Haven't seen I Love You Man, but I keep hearing it pop up on some year-end lists, so I'll have to check it out. Thanks!

  3. There are a ton of 2009 movies I intended to see, but never got around to or had easy access to, of what I did see, here are my top 8...

    9. Avatar (IMAX 3D, can't speak on other viewing mediums :) )
    8. 500 Days of Summer
    7. The Hurt Locker
    6. Star Trek
    5. Up In The Air
    4. Adventureland
    3. The Wrestler
    2. An Education
    1. Inglorious Basterds

    And here are the 3 worst I saw this year:

    3. Sherlock Holmes
    2. The Ugly Truth
    1. Public Enemies

    Check out this link, top 10 original songs written specifically for a movie of the decade... can't argue with a single entry on that list. Some unbelievably brilliant songs.


  4. nice list, Ford! keep hearing great things about Adventureland...

    As for your worst: I actually kind of liked Holmes. And where was The Men Who Stare at Goats??? ;)

    Thanks for the link.

  5. CRAP! It was so bad, my psyche must have forced it completely out of my conscious mind!

    Revised Worst List:
    4. Sherlock Holmes
    3. The Ugly Truth
    2. Public Enemies
    1. (with a bullet) MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS


  6. ha! indeed, pal. my list is coming soon...and Goats may find its way onto it.


Thanks for commenting!