Thursday, 31 December 2009
Best Films of 2009
Bearing in mind that I haven’t seen every movie released in the UK this year, here are the top 20 films that have made such an impression that I can fearlessly call them the best of the year, plus links to my extended thoughts on them where available:
1. The White Ribbon
Simply peerless filmmaking. I have no doubt that the second time I watch this there will be a thousand things I didn’t notice the first time, which will leave me even more amazed at Haneke’s artistic control and accomplishment.
Probably the most universally brilliant film of the year. Wonderful storytelling and brilliant characterisation combined in a truly life-affirming tale.
3. Fish Tank
Bruised and beautiful. Read my full review here.
Steven Soderbergh’s two part epic is an amazing fimmmaking achievement, with a career-best performance from Benicio Del Toro.
5. Bright Star
Romantic perfection. Read my full review here.
6. Star Trek
The best film of the blockbuster season by a million light years, this confirms JJ Abrams as the popcorn director of the 21st century. Eat that, Spielberg!
Duncan Jones low-budget sci-fi gets everything right, from the classic genre feel to Sam Rockwell’s moving performance(s).
8. The Wrestler
Mickey Rourke should have won the Oscar; his performance gave wonderful depth and reality to Darren Aronofsky’s beautiful broken-down character study.
The kind of children’s film that I thought they didn’t make any more; properly scary and imaginative and with a fearless heroine, brought to amazing life in painstaking stop-motion.
10. A Serious Man
Life’s biggest questions, confronted as only the Coen Brothers can. Read my full review here.
11. Burma VJ
12. The Hurt Locker
13. Inglourious Basterds
14. Synecdoche, New York
15. Rachel Getting Married
16. Slumdog Millionaire
17. The Class
18. Monsters Vs. Aliens
20. Let The Right One In
And the worst? No contest, it’s got to be Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen. 160 plus minutes of meaningless rubbish that fails on every level. Michael Bay, please retire now!
Here’s to another great year at the movies in 2010.