I saw 169 films for the first time this year, about 70 of which were films actually from 2009, and 30 of which were foreign films. 37% of my total were dramas, 28% were documentaries, 18% were comedies, and 17% were thrillers or action flicks.
1. Invictus: moralizing, expositional, tension-free… strong performances couldn’t save Eastwood’s mediocre telling of an interesting, complex story.
2. Up: the first minutes are gold, up until the house lands in S. America. The introduction of Indiana Jones-esque pseudo-adventure and talking dogs sadly killed this.
3. The Hurt Locker: I would’ve liked this better if it were called GI Joe: Rise of the Defusers. That way I would’ve gone in prepared for wildly unrealistic scenarios and larger-than-life superheros. At least the acting & direction were superb.
Surprisingly terrible: The Box
Surprisingly good: Away We Go
Predictably terrible: 2012
Predictably good: 500 Days of Summer
First seen: Synecdoche, New York on 01/01/09
Last seen: Nos Que Aqui Estamos Por Vos Esperamos on 12/31/09
My favorite films, loosely ranked in order:
1. I Killed My Mother
2. A Prophet
3. Everyone Else
4. 500 Days of Summer
6. The Cove
7. You, the Living *
8. The Road
9. It Felt Like a Kiss
12. Food, Inc.
13. District 9
14. The Class *
15. Where the Wild Things Are
* These were released overseas earlier, but Roger Ebert (using US release/distribution dates) counts them for ’09 so I will too.