Thursday, January 28, 2010

Best Films of 2009

The end of January officially means it is time to close off the best of 2009 list. As much as I strive to see every film (both good and bad), there is only so much I can squeeze in before the “Best of…” deadline. Here is my selection of the 10 films I enjoyed the most from 2009.

Best of 2009 (click on titles for full review)

10) (500) Days of Summer – This film has made as many “worst of 2009” list as it has “best of 2009.” Regardless, it has been a longtime since I have enjoyed a romantic comedy as much as I did this one.

9) Coraline – The best animated film of 2009 in my opinion. Yes the first half of Up is brilliant but the film quickly loses steam and becomes formulaic in the second half. Coraline was consistently good the entire way through. The story is far more original and took bigger risks than Pixar’s latest.

8) District 9Avatar was the film that wowed everyone with its stellar 3D visuals. Yet District 9 was the science fiction film that entertained me the most. The film featured a great story, an original premise, and dazzling special effects. All of which was done on a relatively small budget when compared to most blockbuster such as Avatar.

7) Polytechnique – Denis Villeneuve took a tragic event and managed to tell the story in a beautifully artistic way. Polytechnique is powerful while still managing to avoid sensationalizing such a horrific event.

6) A Serious Man – This brilliant dark comedy from The Coen Brothers just did not catch on with mainstream audiences. I still think it is one of the Coen’s Brothers better films in recent years. If you happen to miss it in theatres, make sure you catch it on DVD.

5) Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire – Raw, dark, and powerful. Whether you love it or hate it, there is no denying that the film features two of the finest female performances of 2009.

4) More Than A Game – A vastly underrated hidden gem. Not only one of the better documentaries to come out in 2009, but also one of the best sports documentaries to come out in a longtime.

3) Up in the Air – This film resonated with me on a very personal level. A great film that was lucky enough to hit theatres at just the right time.

2) Inglourious Basterds – Tarantino’s latest may have divided many but I still think it rivals his best works: Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown.

1) Hunger – No other film impacted me the way Steve McQueen’s debut did. Hunger is a tough film to watch at times but also extremely rewarding. Michael Fassbender was merely good in Inglourious Basterds, but he is simply brilliant here.

Honorable Mention: Advertureland; Where the Wild Things Are; Tyson; The Hurt Locker; New York, I Love You; Pontypool; I Love You, Man; Star Trek, Treeless Mountain. Here is the full list of Big Thoughts From A Small Mind’s 2009 Reviews .

Want to see what other bloggers listed as their top 10 films of 2009? Be sure to keep and eye on The LAMB as they are currently compiling the definitive 2009 top ten list voted on by movie bloggers from around the globe.


  1. Great job! I agreed with you on a lot here. I definitely need to see Hunger. I agree that as a piece of original storytelling, District 9 is much more advanced than Avatar, and Sharlto Copley is brilliant.

    More Than A Game is one I never really had any desire to see, but maybe I'll give it a spin now.

  2. @Danny - Hunger never really got the theatrical push it deserved. It is a tough film to market to the masses. Still it worth a look on DVD.

    More Than A Game hits DVD next week, so you may want to give it a spin as well. I was pleasantly surprised by this one. Thought it was merely going to be an hour long Lebron highlight reel and it turned out to be something much deeper.

  3. Jesus Christ, one more reason Hunger needs to get released on DVD asap. Still haven't seen it, keep on hearing unreal things though. Good list, man. Haven't seen about half of the movies on it, but good calls all the same. No love for Inglourious Basterds?

  4. @Aiden - I have nothing but love for Inglourious Basterds. It would have been my number one film had Hunger come out in any other year. I will admit Inglourious Basterds has the higher rewatch value of the two films though.

  5. So much to think about. I like some, don't like some. I really appreciate the love for Coraline. Not so much on IB but that's fine and DEFINITELY not on Up in the Air. Still, good list.

  6. @Andrew - These type of list will always evoke strong reactions for or against certain films. I saw Up in the Air a few weeks after my office had major layoffs, so the film spoke to me on a certain level. IB was a lot of fun, not what I was expecting from Q.T. at all. Hans Landa is still one my favourite character of the year.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.