A very good slate of movies were released this year including some staple directors (The Coen Brothers, Chan-Wook Park) and a few new ones.
Cal’s Top 10 Films of 2009
- A Serious Man – This is the third year in a row with a Coen Brothers film in my top ten and the second time in that same span that it has been my favorite. No other movie this year stuck with me as much as this one. My head was spinning as I opened the doors to the theater trying to take in every last minute detail of the film. One of their more difficult films to digest, but well worth the time.
- In The Loop – Most of the comedies this year were simply boring, but this film did a great job of combining a great story with top-notch acting and some seriously funny dialogue. A lot of people missed this film because of its lack of a mass release, so don’t delay when it comes out because it is a must buy on DVD.
- Moon – What a sad, sad movie with a desolate tone complete with a downer soundtrack. My kind of movie. This film had a profound effect on me as Sam Rockwell put in the performance of a lifetime….well I should say multiple performances of a lifetime.
- Zombieland – I must say that I had my doubts when I walked into the theater but this movie to me was the biggest surprise “great film”. Can Woody Harrelson actually act? After seeing this movie I would say yes. So well put together, kept me laughing even in the zombie moments.
- Tokyo Sonata – This movie did a brilliant job depicting the clash between old and new ideals in Japanese culture and how they can tear a family apart. The turmoil builds and stubbornness holds the family back from healing their wounds. A difficult film but a must watch film.
- Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – I know there will be a few shocked people when they get to this movie on the list, but the latest installment in the Potter franchise was mature, enthralling, fun and has me salivating for the final two. A bonus tip, if you buy the Blu-ray version of the film the standard def version is included.
- 500 Days of Summer – Great story of love going in two different directions. Zooey Deschanel did a great job and the film had the right balance of comedy and drama to keep it from slowing up. A nice heart-felt movie that slipped through the cracks for most.
- Up – Pixar hit another home run with this film. Touching, funny and clever throughout it is hard to imagine how great live action cinema would be if writers and directors followed the lead of Pixar.
- Thirst – Had no clue what to expect going into this one (except a wacked out story and brilliant cinematography) and I can’t really say that I get excited about vampire movies, but this movie was all together different. Great story and to the truest form of Chan-Wook Park in the fact that is one messed up story.
- Revanche – A crime thriller that will have you talking for days. The best part of the film was that they didn’t spoon feed the ending to you, instead letting you fully digest what you had just seen beautiful cinematography and all.
- Whatever Works – Panned by lots of critics, I found this movie to be one of Woody Allen’s funniest since Annie Hall. Larry David did a perfect job playing the sad sap, morose lead character and Evan Rachel Wood was charming.