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.
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.
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!