Thursday, January 07, 2010

My Favorite Movies of 2009, So Far

Despite being a movie glutton for about the last month, devouring just about every well-reviewed year-end theatrical release while catching several others on cable and DVD, I still have not seen every significant film released in 2009 (and probably never will).

But while I will still be watching movies from last year well into this year, and for years to come, knowing that the world (or even just my mom) will care even less about this list if I publish it in June, I figure I've reached a good demarcation point.

I will follow my "Best of" list with a recap of major movies I have not yet seen, and will be sure to let you know if any of those turn out to be outstanding. But for now, here are My 25 Favorite Movies of 2009:

1. The Hurt Locker - Somewhat contrary to the the title of this list, this might not have been my favorite movie in terms of acute enjoyment, but was clearly the best in terms of quality and importance.
2. Avatar - Be sure to see it in 3D; it's worth it.
3. Crazy Heart - Jeff Bridges should win the Best Actor Oscar; great songs too.
4. Me and Orson Welles - Richard Linklater's fine film stands on its own, but you might want to read a bit about Welles and his mythology before seeing it, at least on Wikipedia
5. An Education - See it and then read this (or vice versa)
6. Capitalism: A Love Story - Best documentary; not as preachy as Michael Moore can sometimes be, and right on target
7. Up - Best animated film, though Fantastic Mr. Fox is also good; didn't see The Princess and the Frog
8. Goodbye Solo - Look this small gem by Ramin Bahrani (who Roger Ebert called the Director of the Decade) up on Netflix or your local library
9. A Serious Man - I often don't love Coen Bros. flicks, but this one was excellent
10. The Young Victoria - Somewhat surprised by how well I liked this, but it was perfectly made
11. Brothers - There will be 10 Best Picture Nominees for the Oscars this year; Capitalism either can't or won't qualify, so this would be my 10th choice
12. Star Trek - I've never been much of a Star Trek fan, but really enjoyed this movie
13. Broken Embraces - Best Foreign Language Film
14. Anvil: The Story of Anvil
15. The Hangover
16. Nothing But the Truth - This was officially a late-2008 release, but never hit theaters in Chicago
17. Precious
18. Invictus
19. Up In the Air
20 In the Loop
21. Sunshine Cleaning
22. Public Enemies
23. District 9
24. The Blind Side - I just finished reading the book; the movie is actually just as good except for some of the Left Tackle evolution stuff
25. Knowing

I liked these movies, but the list doesn't go to 30

Fantastic Mr. Fox
Police, Adjective
The Soloist

I didn't like these nearly as much as friends & reviewers did, though I didn't hate them

Inglorious Basterds - Maybe I need to see it again
(500) Days of Summer
The Class
Of Time and the City - An acclaimed documentary about Liverpool, but I was bored

Acclaimed movies of 2009 I have not seen; feel free to tell me which ones I should

A Single Man
The Lovely Bones
Drag Me to Hell
Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
Lorna’s Silence
Sin Nombre
The Damned United
The Road
Julie & Julia
Summer Hours
The Informant

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