So like you all I know, I watch a LOT of movies and yeah I look forward to all the famous critics' picks for their Top 10 because I like to compare and contrast. Anyhoo, heres my pics starting with number 10. These were the films that kept me coming back and made for a great time at the theater by myself or with a group of friends.
10. Surf's Up While most people I knew fell in love with the Ratatouille, I'd have to go with this as my favorite animated flick of the year. The film, which invented new technology for camera capture, just oozed charm and cool. The people involved took it seriously and set out to make a "true documentary" of Cody, the amateur surfer with big dreams. All the whole while making it seem perfectly ok to the audience that yes, penguins do surf. I've been known to make fun of the crazy amount of penguin movies that have come our way but this was just too cool of a concept for me. Terrific voice talent, great animation, and a very well put together piece of work.
9. Stardust When it comes to these type of fantasy films, I'm very picky because it has to have the right blend of just about everything. Now, I wish more people went and saw this movie because it truly deserved an audience. It completely sucked me in from the beginning. A great cast, lots of thrills, swordplay, and most importantly it was funny. All these elements made for a great fantasy film experience. Something I hadn't felt since I first saw The Princess Bride.
8. Death Sentence I'd be lying to you and myself if I didn't put this movie on the list. It's the story of a family man who becomes a vengeful killer after his son is murdered in a gang initiation. Kevin Bacon's performance is very raw and real and by the film's end, it's like he becomes the person he wants to kill most. Great stuff. It also has one of the best foot chases on film since the cinema classic that is Point Break. (hehe)
7. Live Free, Die Hard I saw this movie more then any other film on my list. Why? Why not! Yippie Kay Yay Motherfucker!
6. Michael Clayton I'm not usually one who likes to watch those legal drama/thrillers. I just can't seem to get into them. I took a chance on seeing Michael Clayton because in the trailer George Clooney was being super cool and Tom Wilkinson was acting like a crazy person. So I thought "hmm whats up with that?" Turns out this movie was just really amazing. Great story even better acting. A really well written character like Michael Clayton can only get better when Clooney's the one spittin' the lines and being damn cool while he does it.
5. Superbad The more and more I watched this film, the more I liked it then the other Apatow effort, Knocked Up. Don't get me wrong, Knocked Up is truly truly funny but Superbad had more style. I never did any crazy shit when I was in highschool I played it total dork: kept up grades, always on time, did my work. I never got a chance to let loose. Watching this movie makes me live all that nonsense through Seth and Evan. Because it's so grounded, you laugh when they laugh and bitch when they bitch. Layered with crudeness and raunchy, it has heart and it's honest. You're right there with'em.
4. No Country For Old Men Wow. A very tense and captivating movie. Javier Bardem's performance pretty much shook my core. Go see this movie, it's great!
KUDOS to Josh Brolin kicking ass and taking names with this movie, American Gangster, and Grindhouse. I hope his career really takes off even more next year.
3. Gone Baby Gone Ben does a great job of letting you feel the city of Boston and it's people. The ensemble really work together but Casey Affleck really knocks it out of the park. With it's twist and mysteriousness lurking throughout the movie, it really plays with morality and makes you ask yourself, "What would I do?".
2. Once It's the simplest stories that are sometimes the most powerful and uplifting. A treat for the eyes and ears but most importantly, for your heart. Two people who are forever affected by the beautiful music they share and you get to watch and listen. Amazing.
1. Juno Yup, I'm gonna have to go with Ebert on this one. I love freakin' love this movie. I knew nothing about it initially except that it starred two people who I think are absolutely hilarious:
But seriously, a perfect film. It's so well written and Ellen Page gives the performance of the year. By the movie's end you've been on such a personal level with these characters you don't really want to say goodbye. It's great to watch a movie with strangers and completely "get it" as an audience. You laugh when they laugh, you "aww" when they "aww". It's such a shared experience and an enjoyable one at that. I can't describe it in any fancier kind of way, just go see it.
After three viewings, I still leave the theater smiling and humming. Honest to blog.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: American Gangster, Ratatouille, Grindhouse, Hot Fuzz, Knocked Up, Shoot'em Up (which happens to contain one of the best lines of the year: "Fuck you, you fuckin' fuckers." LOL), Eastern Promises, TMNT Bourne Ultimatum, 30 Days Of Night, The Lookout.