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Top 10 of 2009

The Cove

The Cove

I’ve said before on this blog that I’ve never really been a huge fan of documentaries. To be fair, I don’t watch all that many (maybe three or four per year on average, although a quick survey of 2010’s slate of non-fiction tells me that number will be much higher). I think the reason I […]

Up Review

Up Review

RATING: (4 STARS) Up is without a doubt one of Pixar’s best films. The film’s first scene is one of the most sublime cinematic moments I’ve ever experienced. And while the rest of the film doesn’t quite measure up to that level of greatness, it’s still a rousing adventure, complete with all the humor and […]

Inglourious Basterds Review

Inglourious Basterds Review

RATING: (4 STARS) You know something, Quentin Tarantino. I think this just might be your masterpiece. Inglourious Basterds is a truly audacious film from one of my all-time favorite directors. Not many filmmakers can rewrite history, but Tarantino does and succeeds with flying colors. The film, a fusion of war films and spaghetti westerns, has […]

In the Loop Review

In the Loop Review

RATING: (3.5 STARS) Fuck! In the Loop is a fucking funny movie! Never has a movie used profanity in such large fuckin’ amounts or in such a great fucking way, but it makes this movie. A satire about the ineptitudes of government, In the Loop doesn’t make any thought-provoking points (except that members of government […]

Up in the Air Review

Up in the Air Review

RATING: (4 STARS) Sometimes a film comes along and does more than simply entertain; it speaks to people, sends them a clear message. Jason Reitman’s “Up in the Air” is such a film. It so perfectly captures the zeitgeist of American today, it’s almost scary. It says to those millions of unemployed Americans “It’s OK. […]

Avatar Review

Avatar Review

RATING: (4 STARS) James Cameron’s “Avatar” is unlike any experience I’ve ever had at the movies. It’s the kind of movie I expect people will feel like they need to see in order to be part of the popular culture. In ten years, when people look back on the films of 2009 (and of this […]

Fantastic Mr. Fox Review

Fantastic Mr. Fox Review

RATING: (4 STARS) I’m not the biggest Wes Anderson fan. Other than “The Royal Tenenbaums,” I’ve found his work to be one-note and somewhat pretentious. With that said, “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” was anything but. It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, full of wit and charm. In a year when animation seems to be one-upping […]

An Education Review

An Education Review

RATING: (4 STARS) “An Education” is a brilliant coming-of-age story in 1960’s England. A clever, pretty young girl named Jenny (Carey Mulligan in a star-making performance) learns the true value of a woman’s education and the heartbreaking consequences of taking shortcuts. It’s a fascinating film that’s well-written and brilliantly acted and should be in line […]

A Serious Man Review

A Serious Man Review

RATING: (4 STARS) A Serious Man is the latest film from the masters of the unconventional—Joel and Ethan Coen—and it certainly lives up to expectations (if there are such things as expectations from these two). Here, they take a turn toward more personal filmmaking and tackle questions that relate to God, fate, and consequence. Of […]