Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Good Stuff: Films of 2009

No, I haven’t seen Avatar yet. I haven’t seen Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, either, so this whole endeavor could be a fool’s errand. Still, onward. Favorite films of the year, listed in order seen.

The Hurt Locker
In the Loop
Inglourious Basterds
District 9
The Informant!
A Serious Man
Anvil!: The Story of Anvil
The Damned United

Two exclamation points. That’s a record.

Cinematic highlight of the year: same as always, baby. Noir City. 2010’s installment is coming up fast.

And a holdover from last year’s list, Thrillers More People Should Have Seen. All currently available on video.

Just Another Love Story. Classic noir elements repurposed and updated in a twisty film from Denmark.

The Limits of Control. Calling Jim Jarmusch’s movie a thriller may be something of a stretch. I’m not sure what happens in it. I’m not sure anything happens in it. Simply allow its beauty to wash over you, though, and you’ll be alright.

The Merry Gentleman. I’m a fan of Michael Keaton’s directorial debut. But it will now always have a special place in my heart. Why? Because it made me big in Canada.

A Perfect Getaway. David Twohy is the last of the old-school genre storytellers (Pitch Black, Below). The slow build-up and the lead character being a screenwriter only add to the meta-fun. If this movie were French, it would be a cult classic praised to the rafters by hipster critics. But because it was filmed in Hawaii and stars recognizable actors like Steve Zahn and Timothy Olyphant, it’s fated to be the best movie nobody saw this year.