Top ten Films 2009 Plus 1
UP IN THE AIR
No other film this year gave me so much pleasure. George Clooney is terrific as a happily unattached man who earns his living by flying around the country, firing people. As close to perfect as a romantic comedy-drama can be, UP IN THE AIR is director Jason Reitman's follow up to JUNO.
THE HURT LOCKER
Kathryn Bigelow has made one of the best anti-war movies ever about a team of men who defuse I.E.D's in Iraq. The film really helps you see why someone who's served in Iraq has so much trouble adjusting to life back in America.
A SINGLE MAN
Colin Firth deserves an Oscar for his quiet but emotional performance as a gay man planning suicide after the death of his partner. Director Tom Ford creates a heart breaking film with elegant style.
(500) DAYS OF SUMMER
An absolutely delightful romantic comedy about a failed relationship. The story is not told in chronological order and that creativity boosts its charm.
Carey Mulligan stars as a 16 year old British girl who's romanced by a man in this 30's (Peter Sarsgaard). Sound sleazy but it's not; instead it's a wise and highly entertaining coming-of-age story that will likely earn Mulligan a best actress nomination.
This is simply the funniest movie I've seen in years. Four guys head to Vegas for a weekend bachelor party and creative mayhem ensues.
Best animated film of the year, hands down. A delightful fantasy about a little boy and an old man whose condemned home is lifted into the sky by scores of helium balloons.
Jeff Bridges gives an Oscar caliber performance as an alcoholic country singer who's reduced to gigs in bowling alleys.
A powerful drama about a gang member and a young girl who try to get out of Mexico and into the U.S. by climbing onto a passing train.
THIS IS IT
I'm not a big Michael Jackson fan, but this extremely well made documentary about preparations for his last big show is exciting to watch.
James Cameron's two hour and forty minute sci-fi adventure is not in my top ten, but I have to say that its ground breaking "performance capture animation" and its spectacular 3D cinematography are tremendous achievements that should not be missed.