My Blog, my rules, so I'm gonna have a top 20 list of movies. Screw top 10 - I saw too many movies this year. Many critics' response to this problem (see: Godfrey Cheshire) is to have a 30-film long "honorable mentions" list, but that's a copout. I'm putting together a list of 20 films, in order of awesomeness. I'm also enclosing the number of publications that, according to metacritic, ranked each of these films the best of the year, so you can use that to decide how much my taste sucks - I'll try to find a Top 10 Tracker instead, since that'd be more representative, but I haven't found one yet. Enjoy. Soon, I'll try to add pictures and descriptions! (Try not to laugh if you stumble across this list in the year 2347, as part of your Doctoral Disseration on Film Blawgs of the early 21st century, and you find it without pictures or my comments).
Update: I'm too lazy to get pictures, and I've decided you don't necessarily need to hear from me again on these films, so I'm providing quotes for each of them from reviews by The Only Film Critic Who Matters. If he didn't review it, that film just has to sit without a quote and curse Dargis and Holden.
1.Away from Her
“I can’t remember the last time the movies yielded up a love story so painful, so tender and so true.”
2.Knocked Up (1)
“Mr. Apatow’s critique of contemporary mores is easy to miss — it is obscured as much by geniality as by profanity — but it is nonetheless severe and directed at the young men who make up the core of this film’s likely audience.”
3.No Country for Old Men (20)
“No Country for Old Men” is purgatory for the squeamish and the easily spooked. For formalists — those moviegoers sent into raptures by tight editing, nimble camera work and faultless sound design — it’s pure heaven.
4.The Lives of Others (2)
Georg and Captain Wiesler, though they occasionally waver and worry, remain true to their essential natures, and thus embody the film’s deepest, most challenging paradox: people don’t change, and yet the world does.
6.Michael Clayton (3)
7.There Will be Blood (13)
8.Futurama: Bender's Big Score
10.The Bourne Ultimatum (1)
Part feminist fable, part romantic fairy tale, it is by turns tart and sweet, charming and tough, rather like its heroine and like Keri Russell, the plucky, pretty, nimble actress (still perhaps best known as Felicity, from the television coming-of-age melodrama of the same name) who plays her.
12.The Simpsons Movie
I have long been of the opinion that the entire history of American popular culture — maybe even of Western civilization — amounts to little more than a long prelude to “The Simpsons.”
But its low-key affect and decidedly human scale endow “Once” with an easy, lovable charm that a flashier production could never have achieved. The formula is simple: two people, a few instruments, 88 minutes and not a single false note.
“Persepolis,” austere as it may look, is full of warmth and surprise, alive with humor and a fierce independence of spirit. Its flat, stylized depiction of the world — the streets and buildings of Tehran and Vienna in particular — turns geography into poetry.
15.3:10 to Yuma
Mr. Bale is one of the few screen actors who can convincingly shed the trappings of modernity. Dan is much more than a movie star in costume: with his gaunt, haggard face and wide, awe-struck eyes, he seems to have stepped out of a daguerreotype or a murder ballad.
18.The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (9.5)
Their common subject, however, is freedom, the self-willed liberation of a difficult, defiant individual. But Mr. Schnabel is not content simply to state or to dramatize this idea. Rather, he demonstrates his own imaginative freedom in every frame and sequence, dispensing with narrative and expository conventions in favor of a wild, intuitive honesty.
Honorable Mentions: Hot Fuzz, because everyone seems to have forgotten about it, and it was awesome, although less awesome than both Shaun of the Dead and the preceding 20 movies. Otherwise, I don't think you need a list of other movies I saw that were good, but not as good as these.
Regrets: I didn't see (and wanted or at least felt obligated to see) Lars and the Real Girl, Great World of Sound, No End in Sight, The Savages, This is England, King of Kong, Election and Triad Election, Across the Universe, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Charlie Wilson's War, I'm Not There. I also didn't see 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days, but I blame the film industry/Mr. Stone for that.