The following blog post contains some strong language and possible spoilers. Bloggers Discreation Advised!
Well folks, the moment has arrived. It's finally here, my list of my top 15 movies of 2009.
Why top 15? Because I was wrong about 2009 being a shitty year for films and there were so many great films, 10 was just not enough.
As you look at this list, you'll note that a lot of the films on here were big blockbusters but this year, a lot of these blockbusters were really great movies.
Remember, as always, that it's my personal opinion of my favorite films for this year. So, on with the list:
15. A CHRISTMAS CAROL
A lot of people have criticized this film as being nothing special but for me, the guy who adores this story and loves almost every adaptation that comes out, this is actually one of my favorite ones.
It follows the original story very well, it has its' creepy elements (which I never knew that this was author Charles Dickens' ghost story), and it has a slew of fantastic actors especially Jim Carrey who's really the standout of the film.
While people criticize the visual effects, I actually like this more than both Polar Express and Beowulf. I think the visuals work well and no they're not as fantastic as Avatar, but it's still kick-ass.
A Christmas Carol, while it's nowhere near as great as A Christmas Story or It's A Wonderful Life, is definitely a film that I will watch over and over again at Christmastime.
14. MICHAEL JACKSON'S THIS IS IT
I've been questioning on whether or not that this is one of the best movies of the year and can it be considered as one of the best movies of the year?
I've thought about it and I said that while it's not in my top 10 favorite films of the year, it's still a beautiful tribute film to Michael Jackson. If anybody loves Michael Jackson's music, this is the perfect film that shows the real Michael Jackson.
Granted, his life has been a crazy roller coaster ride, Jackson's music is what we will remember most about him. And director Kenny Ortega puts together a great tribute to the king of pop and also gives us one last great Jackson song that should be considered one of his classics:
This Is It, a fantastic look at the musical genius that is Michael Jackson.
13. THE HURT LOCKER
This past decade has seen a number of entertaining war films like Jarhead & The Kingdom and movies about the war we're in now that haven't really been considered classics but nothing compares to The Hurt Locker which I consider to be the best war movie since Saving Private Ryan.
This is such a fantastic film. The writing is top-notch, the cast delivers the strongest performances of any film I've seen, and the visual look of the film is just fantastic. In fact, my favorite scene in the film is when the soldier picks up a red wire which brings up seven pill-shaped bombs from the ground ready to go off. That was a chilling scene.
The Hurt Locker was a movie that was so close to making my top 10 but nonetheless, if you haven't seen this film, go check it out. It's a fantastic film.
12. JULIE & JULIA
Not much I will say about this film but Meryl Streep & Amy Adams are both great in this film. This was a fun and enjoyable comedy.
It's really tough to tell which one was the better actress because they were both great but I will go with Meryl Streep who really was Julia Child and I think, if she can get enough buzz, she will win the Oscar for Best Actress.
Julie & Julia is terrific, just plain terrific. But not as terrific as another Amy Adams film which bring us to...
11. SUNSHINE CLEANING
Some of you may be saying, What?
For those of you who don't remember this film, here's a gist of the plot. Amy Adams & Emily Blunt are sisters who clean houses for a living and take part in cleaning up crime scenes and by the end of the film, help people out who have been stuck in these kind of situations.
This was such a great film that got completely overlooked by everybody. Adams & Blunt are both wonderful in this and Alan Arkin and Steve Zahn also offer great performances in the film.
If you haven't seen or heard of this movie, go look for it or watch it on Starz!, Sunshine Cleaning has the great hipness that Little Miss Sunshine had and thensome.
Well, those are the honorable mentions, so here's the cream of the crop, the top 10...
10. 500 DAYS OF SUMMER
Speaking of Little Miss Sunshine, this movie also offers the upbeat hipsterness that you saw in Little Miss Sunshine but the film really thrives on the performances of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and the REALLY underappreciated Zooey Deschanel.
It's a great romantic comedy that doesn't end the way you think it would. If you watch the trailer, Gordon-Levitt even tells you he won't get with Deschanel at the end of the film.
The script is also well-written and Marc Webb proves that he can direct more than 3-minute music videos. I want to see this movie have a cult following because it's such a great movie.
500 Days Of Summer, a romantic comedy unlike any other.
9. CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS
A movie that completely took me by surprise. I fell in love with this movie so much that I've already seen this movie on DVD five times.
Anyone who says that two people can't both write and direct an animated feature, look at this movie and see that that statement is completely false. The writing in the movie is great, there's a lot of great humor jokes, and a great voice cast is in the film with Bill Hader, Bruce Campbell, and Mr T. standing out.
It's a movie that keeps getting better every time I watch it and I really believe that if you watch it, you'll feel the same way.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that a lot of people are hating on Avatar now but you know, SHUT THE FUCK UP.
Avatar is a visual achievement and it welcomes James Cameron back with a bang. Remember, I didn't like Titanic all that much.
While this is not an original story at all, the movie offers some fantastic performances by many of the cast with Zoe Saldana being the best one as Neytiri.
As I've said, this has the greatest visual effects I've seen in a long time and as much as I love A Christmas Carol, those days of motion capture are over.
While people are ready to take a huge shit on this movie because it won the Golden Globe for Best Picture and will probably do the same for the Oscars, I'm glad it won.
While the dialogue and the story could've used some work, Avatar really is a cinematic and visual achievement.
7. UP IN THE AIR
We get it, George Clooney is one of our great actors. As much as I like him in this movie, the real stars are the director and co-writer Jason Reitman, who will surely become one of our great directors and Anna Kendrick from the Twilight movies, she steals the film and is really great as Clooney's co-star in this movie.
But that doesn't mean she's the only great actress in the film. Vera Farmiga as Clooney's squeeze, Danny McBride, Jason Bateman, J.K. Simmons, & Zack Galifianakis also deliver great performances for the time they're in.
Up In The Air, while it's not one of George Clooney's strongest films, is still one of the year's best.
This is probably the one I'm going to get the most complaints from but I can't help it, I really enjoy this movie. I don't think it's as great as Chicago but at the same time, I didn't want it to be as great as Chicago, I just wanted it to be good and thankfully, I got my wish and thensome.
The actors in the movie are all fantastic, Daniel Day Lewis, Marion Cottilard, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson, Judi Dench, Fergie, and Sophia Loren, they are all great in this film.
I totally disagree with everybody's criticisms about the film.
I know people are going to give me shit for putting this on my list but you know what, I don't give a fuck, I dug the shit out of this film.
5. THE PRINCESS & THE FROG
While I don't consider it one of Disney's future classics, I think I consider this to be the best Disney animated movie from this decade barely beating out Bolt.
I was very worried about how Disney would treat the first african-american princess character but thankfully, they treated her character right. Princess Tiana (voiced by Anika Noni Rose) is a character that really works as does a lot of the many characters in the film like Prince Naveen and even the villian, Dr. Faciller (voiced by the great Keith David) who is such a great villian and at the same time, you actually like him too.
The Princess And The Frog is also the best song-based Disney movie since The Lion King (not to say it's one of Disney's classics but the songs steal the film).
Offering beautiul visuals, great characters, and working with a basic cookie-cutter Disney story, The Princess & The Frog is a great time for anybody.
4. THE HANGOVER
What can be said that hasn't already been said? The Hangover is so goddamn funny.
This really is a comedy classic in the making with some of the funniest scenes ever put on film. The cast is great and the writing is at its' best.
The Hangover, a comedy classic in the making.
3. STAR TREK
If there's ever been a perfect franchise to do a reboot with, it's Star Trek.
With time traveling a major part of the franchise, you can pretty much do whatever you want to Star Trek...well, almost anything.
That being said, this is the second best Trek film after Wrath Of Khan. The cast works very well in this movie, the visuals are fantastic, and the story is well-written.
This surpasses Batman Begins as the best reboot of the decade and it deserves to be. Star Trek is just a kick-ass good time.
Not going to say a lot because this is another movie where I have to ask, What is there to be said that hasn't been said?
It's such a beautiful movie and it ties with Wall-E as my favorite Pixar movie. Up really is an Up-lifting story.
And finally, say it with me...
1. DISTRICT 9
Yeah, no big surprise. District 9 is the best movie of the year but honestly, it's really the best film of the year.
By the time you watch this movie, you will be asking yourself, "How did they make this with only $30 million?" I still ask myself this question everytime I watch it.
District 9 is, without a doubt, the best film of the year, hands down.
So, that's my top 15 movies of the year. Come back later this week for my 10 worst movies of the year.