My tastes have changed so much over the last decade it would be impossible for me to do a best of the decade list, but I can definitely put together a couple lists of the best and worst of the year. Spoilers do follow for movies you probably should have seen already.
10. Zombieland- The logical progression from 2004’s Dawn of the Dead remake, this film made the zombie apocalypse look as fun as some people imagine it would be. Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, and the rest of the cast are funny and likable, and the celebrity cameo in the 2nd act is simply too funny to be missed.
9. Coraline- I didn’t see Up, but even if I did this would probably still be my pick for the best animated movie of the year. Beautiful (especially in 3D), funny, and genuinely creepy, this is the perfect example of a kids’ movie that’s also enjoyable for adults.
8. Public Enemies- Not as good as Collateral or Heat, but still a solid crime flick from Michael Mann. Loved the performances from Johnny Depp and Christian Bale, and the shootout was pitch-perfect in its intensity.
7. Watchmen- A flawed but still enjoyable adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ classic comic. Rorschach set the bar for badassery in 2009.
6. The Hangover- This one really came out of nowhere. Even with such a great comedic cast and a proven director, The Hangover became way more than the sum of its parts. Ranks just behind Superbad for me as the funniest movie of the decade.
5. Star Trek- The first of an unusual number of great sci-fi flicks this year. JJ Abrams and a talented turned the most nerdy franchise this side of Dungeons and Dragons into something with universal appeal and an almost unrivaled entertainment value.
4. Moon- A low budget hard sci-fi flick from newcomer Duncan Jones, son of Ziggy Stardust himself, by the way, Moon rose above the herd with great performances from Sam Rockwell and a mind-bending plot.
3. Inglourious Basterds- Quentin Tarantino makes a nazi almost-likeable, a dialogue-heavy period drama into a crowd-pleaser, and Hitler a bullet-ridden, blown up corpse. ‘Nuff said.
2. Avatar- The story was derivative (though some would say mythic), and someone probably should have looked at the script in the 15 years the movie was in production, but the visuals will define the future of special effects for years to come. Truly a one-of-a-kind cinematic experience.
1. District 9- If Avatar is all about putting humans into an artificial world, District 9 is all about bringing the fantastic into reality. Neill Blomkamp’s film is gritty, funny, and endlessly entertaining.
5. Terminator Salvation- It’s not as bad as T3 and the third act is pretty cool, but this movie didn’t come anywhere close to the great standard set by the first two films in this franchise.
4. The Ugly Truth- Bland rom-com garbage with a terrible performance from Katherine Heigl (probably my least favorite actress) and Gerard Butler’s atrocious American accent.
3. Dragonball Evolution- This film isn’t even watchable when you’re high. It’s just bad enough to be awful without coming back around to so-bad-it’s-good territory.
2. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen- What the fuck, Michael Bay? Giant Robots+Megan Fox+Nostalgia for the 80’s SHOULD = Success, or at least guilty pleasure. Instead, you turned it into incoherent, borderline racist trash that was terrible even by your low standards.
1. X-Men Origins: Wolverine- Simply the Worst. Hugh Jackman’s a pretty good Wolverine, but this movie shit on everything that makes the character fun in the first place. I had more fun getting sick in the Galleria bathrooms at my senior prom then watching this “film.”
Here’s every movie I saw in 2009, in order of release date, and the number of times I saw it.
- I Love You, Man
- Dragonball Evolution
- X-Men Origins: Wolverine
- Star Trek (x3)
- Angels & Demons
- Terminator Salvation
- Drag Me to Hell
- The Hangover (x2)
- Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
- Public Enemies
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- The Ugly Truth
- District 9
- Inglourious Basterds (x2)
- Paranormal Activity
- Zombieland (x2)
- Avatar (x2)