I don't like the idea of compiling a year's "best" (too know-it-all for me), so here are my favorites (not necessarily in this order.):
For me, the best film of the year was Precious because it was illuminating. After we saw it, my 12-year-old said, "I will be thinking about that movie for a long time." Unfortunately, the film's tough language kept a lot of people away.
My son, Jack, liked this one a ton. He called it funny, sad, unforgettable—so his movie creds have been partially restored (See Land of the Lost review). As for me, I think Up is probably the best movie I've seen so far this year. Somebody at Pixar is a real genius, but I've never seen much written about whoever this person is.
This movie is based on a novel, and it plays on the screen like a novel, a very good one. George Clooney plays a total prick who somehow manages to be charming and relatable. This is a really well done fable for these crazy times we live in.
A movie about soldiers who dismantle bombs in Iraq pretty much guarantees suspense, and Hurt Locker delivers that–plus fine acting and nice pacing. Still, I wonder who besides me, some critics, and maybe Stephen King will go to see this flick?
The trailer for this flick is brilliant. The movie, for me, wasn't quite as good. Very funny scenes—but the dialog could have been sharper—and for the most part the main characters are just having a lost weekend. They're basically schmucks.
I'm not particularly into fashion, but I love this movie! The star, for me, isn't Anna Wintour. It's the brilliant and very human Grace Coddington, art director at Vogue.
In Hollywood talk, this is 24 meets The Bourne Identity. It delivers too—although I felt punch-drunk and gut-shot by the end.
Here's hoping Clint Eastwood keeps directing movies for the next twenty years, and acting in some of them, too. His latest is probably my favorite—a terrific story about bigotry that is honest, tragic, and frequently very funny.
This is probably my favorite movie of the summer (or at least in the top two). The acting and direction are first rate. So is the suspense, the surprises (a couple of doozies), and especially the unexpected humor.
The ads for this movie proclaim that it's "nonstop action," "exhilarating," "funny," and "deftly written." Amazingly, the ads tell the truth. This is a comic book version of Sherlock Holmes, but a really nifty one. My only nitpick is that it has the standard Hollywood reliance on crazy-over-the-top plot to save the world. But this is a top drawer escapist movie.
The 2nd best Zombie movie that I've seen—the best being Shaun of the Dead. It's very funny, but I caution anyone who doesn't like to watch people biting other people's faces. I'm okay with that.
This is a thriller I'll see for a second time. Director Tony Scott can be a little incoherent at times, but not here. Scott and Denzel Washington always work magically together. John Turturro and John Travolta have rarely been better, especially Turturro. I liked the original film made after John Godey's book, but this one is even better.
This is a very f–ing funny movie, and if anything in this sentence offends you, you probably shouldn't see it.
Fantastic Mr. Fox is as clever and witty as any film for kids (and possibly even adults) that I've seen all year. The one question is who will enjoy it more, you or your kids?