Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The 10 Best, No, the 100 Best Films of 2009

by Kam Williams


Headline: Kam’s Annual Accolades for the Cream of the Cinematic Crop


It’s a little unfair to rank the year’s movies, when they are so often sui generis and simply don’t lend themselves to comparison with one another. Nonetheless, since this seasonal task is part of the job description, far be it from this critic to shrink from responsibility. However, in prefatory remarks, let me remind you that I am taking into consideration all the films released over the course of 2009, not simply those released since Thanksgiving which are being hyped as Oscar-worthy by the studios.

Also, rather than limit my list to just the 10 Best offerings, I’ve expanded it, as usual, to 100, and included documentaries, independents and foreign flicks, along with the obligatory Hollywood blockbusters. After all, while everybody is well aware of the films which benefited from a big advertising budget, part of my purpose here is to encourage you to check out some of those lesser-known, cinematic delights which might not have made a blip on your radar.



10 Best Big Budget Films of 2009


1. Precious

2. Avatar

3. Inglourious Basterds

4. Taken

5. A Serious Man

6. My Sister’s Keeper

7. Drag Me to Hell

8. District 9

9. Star Trek

10. Up


Big Budgets Honorable Mention


11. Julie & Julia

12. Up in the Air

13. The Soloist

14. Taking Woodstock

15. The Proposal

16. Ninja Assassin

17. Next Day Air

18. Invictus

19. Adventureland

20. Michael Jackson: This Is It

21. X-Men: Origins

22. State of Play

23. The Taking of the Pelham 1 2 3

24. Zombieland

25. Madea Goes to Jail



Best Foreign Films


1. Revanche (Austria)

2. Silent Light (Mexico)

3. The Wedding Song (Tunisia)

4. Taipei 24H (Taiwan)

5. Cloud 9 (Germany)

6. Owl and the Sparrow (Vietnam)

7. Not Quite Hollywood (Australia)

8. Bliss (Turkey)

9. Jerichow (Germany)

10. Defamation (Israel)


Foreign Films Honorable Mention


11. Skin (South Africa)

12. Afghan Star (Afghanistan)

13. Lemon Tree (Israel)

14. Hunger (Ireland)

15. Endgame (South Africa)

16. The Girl from Monaco (Monaco)

17. Paris (France)

18. My Fuhrer (Germany)

19. Ghosted (Taiwan)

20. Treeless Mountain (South Korea)

21. Revue (Russia)

22. Big Man Japan (Japan)

23. Dead Snow (Norway)

24. Sin Nombre (Mexico)

25. Police, Adjective (Romania)



10 Best Independent Films


1. (500) Days of Summer

2. The Messenger

3. Afterschool

4. Downloading Nancy

5. The Burning Plain

6. Medicine for Melancholy

7. Away We Go

8. Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench

9. Skills Like This

10. Amreeka



Independent Films Honorable Mention


11. Julia

12. Rebirth of a Nation

13. Two Lovers

14. White on Rice

15. Fragments

16. Phoebe in Wonderland

17. American Violet

18. Uncertainty

19. The Blue Tooth Virgin

20. Black Dynamite

21. The Great Buck Howard

22. The Hurt Locker

23. Loren Cass

24. Jazz in the Diamond District

25. Offshore



10 Best Documentaries


1. William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe

2. We Live in Public

3. No Impact Man

4. Examined Life

5. The Cartel

6. The End of Poverty

7. Four Seasons Lodge

8. A Wink and a Smile

9. The Good Soldier

10. Tyson


Documentaries Honorable Mention


11. California Company Town

12. American Swing

13. Forbidden Lie$

14. Capitalism: A Love Story

15. More Than a Game

16. This Is the Life

17. Food, Inc.

18. Enlighten Up

19. Good Hair

20. The Cross

21. Pressure Cooker

22. The Jazz Baroness

23. Harlem in Montmartre

24. Must Read after My Death

25. Chelsea on the Rocks

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