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Yearly Roundup – 2009

Posted by martinteller on November 13, 2012

The Cream of the Crop

Let me preface this by reminding everyone that I use Criticker to determine years.  The most recent years tend to be more debatable in terms of release dates, so if you don’t see a particular 2009 film here, check what Criticker has it listed as.  I’m also adding a new section to the Yearly Roundup: “Also Love”.  Because the “Varying Degrees of Like” section was often getting too big and feeling too broad, this new category falls between that and the “Slightly Less Creamy” category.  Yay for obsessive, arbitrary ranking systems.  I don’t know yet if I’ll go back and update the previous Yearly Roundups with this new category.

Anyway, on to my favorites of 2009.  This post is a somber reminder to me that Ming-liang Tsai hasn’t released a feature film since Visage, an entry from my top 100 of all time.  Certainly not a good entry point for Tsai, but a delight for fans, as incomprehensible as it may be.  Also from my top 100, one of the few comedies on that list: In the Loop.  Hilarious political satire, an ideal companion to “The Thick of It”, the brilliant show it was spun off from.


Slightly Less Creamy, But Still Tasty

Despite being a Wes Anderson fan, I didn’t expect much from Fantastic Mr. Fox.  Shame on me, it’s absolutely charming and a refreshing antidote to the usual slick CGI animation.  It took two viewings for A Serious Man to click with me, but now I’m looking forward to third.  Really funny stuff from the Coens.  Straddling the line between neo-noir and black comedy, Bong Joon-ho’s Mother is a very compelling film.  Also from the East, the excellent documentary Last Train Home finds a lot of drama in a simple story.


Also Love

Black Dynamite
An Education
L’enfer d’Henri-Georges Clouzot
Fish Tank
The Girlfriend Experience
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
A Letter to Uncle Boonmee
The Milk of Sorrow
Phantoms of Nabua
A Single Man
White Ribbon


Varying Degrees of Like

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans
Big Fan
Broken Embraces
City of Life and Death
The Cove
Good Hair
The Hangover
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
The Informant!
The Most Dangerous Man in America
Mundane History
My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?
No One Knows About Persian Cats
Paranormal Activity
A Prophet
Red Riding: 1980
Up in the Air
Which Way Home
White Material


Varying Degrees of Hate

3 Idiots
The Blind Side
Harry Brown
The Limits of Control
Whatever Works


Some Notable Films In The Middle

(500) Days of Summer
Air Doll
Bright Star
The Brothers Bloom
District 9
I Love You, Man
Julie & Julia
Observe and Report
Police, Adjective
Red Riding: 1974
Red Riding: 1983
The Secret in Their Eyes
The Secret of Kells
Star Trek
Where the Wild Things Are
Winnebago Man
A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop


Uncharted Territory

2012, About Elly, Adventureland, Anvil! The Story of Anvil, Away We Go, Be Sure to Share, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Coraline, Crank: High Voltage, Crazy Heart, Drag Me to Hell, Funny People, The Human Centipede, Let Each One Go Where He May, Life During Wartime, Looking for Eric, The Lovely Bones, The Men Who Stare at Goats, Nymph, The Proposal, Public Enemies, Rage, The Road, Sherlock Holmes, Sun Spots, Taken, Taking Woodstock, Terminator Salvation, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Trash Humpers, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Written By, Yuki & Nina, Zombieland


8 Responses to “Yearly Roundup – 2009”

  1. JamDenTel said

    In my opinion, one of the best ever years for film–easily the best since the turn of the millennium. Inglourious Basterds and In the Loop are both very dear to me, I’m a strong defender of Watchmen, Up is a lovely entry from Pixar, A Serious Man is a great absurdist portrait of a man, just as A Single Man is a great romantic portrait of one. And District 9, Antichrist, Star Trek, The Hangover, Sherlock Holmes, Avatar, Paranormal Activity, Moon, An Education, and Black Dynamite are all films I really enjoy, and in many cases admire. That’s 16 excellent films–and that doesn’t take into account what I still haven’t seen.

    • I suppose I should cave in and watch Sherlock Holmes at some point. Not a big RDJ fan, though.

      • JamDenTel said

        I think he offers a pretty good interpretation of the role, and I quite like Jude Law’s Watson; they have a good by-play, and given what I’ve heard about the Rathbone-Bruce films, it’s good to have a competent Watson on film. But I can understand your reluctance.

  2. I have to agree with JDT that this is possibly my favorite year of the new millennium in film. I have Where the Wild Things Are, A Serious Man and District 9 in my top 100. It was also a great year for animation. FMF got a lot of acclaim, but Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Up, and Coraline were all at least as fantastic as Mr. Fox. I recently caught up with Zombieland and it was surprisingly hilarious, with a classic scene where Bill Murray plays himself. Great, great year.

  3. JC said

    For someone who knew nothing about the band Anvil, their documentary was one of my highlights for 2009 and one you should seek out.
    Also this is yet another reminder to see many of these, including In The Loop. Political comedies aren’t usually my sort of thing, but the praise has been so high I shouldn’t hold off much longer.
    Also in my opinion, you can skip Sherlock Holmes. Certainly not a bad movie, but one that I forgot about 5 minutes after it ended. Nothing spectacular. Like JamDanTel said, only thing to note is the banter between Law and RDJ, which was pretty entertaining at times.

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