Top 10 Films of 2009

I am addicted to these lists.

So I thought I'd add my own.

Disclosure: I haven't seen all the films of 2009 that I'd like to. Most notably: Hurt Locker, Pirate Radio, Julia and Julia and a few others. But I've seen most of what I've wanted to see. So here it is-- my personal favorite films from the past 365 days.

10. It Might Get Loud

This little gem gets as close as you're going to get into three of the best guitarists in the world's minds about their craft. Beautifully done and completely inspiring if you have a musicians inclination or a love of music.

9. Duplicity

Totally overshadowed by a much worse Clive Owen film "The International" -- this poorly marketed and subversively funny film takes two rival toiletry companies and imagines them with intelligence budgets that rival the U.S. Government. Actually, it's not that hard to imagine.

8. Invictus

I am falling deeper in love with Clint Eastwood as a director. His methodical story telling style might drive some crazy...but the subtle greatness that plays out during the course of this film is worth reflecting on and Clint paints the picture beautifully.

7. Sherlock Holmes

What I'm calling the (hopefully) Indiana Jones for our generation. Shia Lebouf isn't going to be him. Brendan Frasier tried to be with "The Mummy" franchise. And with all it's flaws, Sherlock Holmes is still a clever period piece that rips through it's story in a way only Guy Richie can.


6. Inglorious Basterds

Not for the vengeance stuff (I never like vengeance movies) but for the way Quinton knows how to hold you in suspense with simple set pieces and dialogue that slowly winds its way down the plot like a lazy river...that eventually drops into a amazon waterfall of drama.

5. Funny People

This movie touched me with Adam Sandler's lonely artist surrounded by nothing but stale success. The fact that they told the story and made me laugh out loud at the same time makes it one of my favorites of the year.

4. (500) Days of Summer

Best romantic comedy of the year. Sure, it was shamelessly marketed to hipsters. But a choreographed dance sequence the morning after a great night-- complete with animated birds-- has got to make you feel good. And feelin' good makes my day.

3. A Serious Man

I can't stop thinking about this movie. It is hauntingly original. It starts with a yiddish folk tale and ends with...well...it's the Coen brother's commentary on the book of Job. I loved it.

2. The Hangover

Not only is this the funniest movie of the year, it also was a pretty good "who dunnit?" film that was artfully remixed as a "what happened?" film. You didn't always know where the story was taking you...(not that you cared)...but that it actually took you someplace was totally satisfying.

1. Up In The Air

I totally loved this movie. So does the Golden Globes. So will the Academy. Go see it tonight. It won't necessarily make you feel good (I mean, I felt good...but I've heard other people didn't)...but it will make you reflect-- something increasingly rare these days.

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