Year End Wraps: Ten Best of 2009 and Decade

by Anne Thompson
December 10, 2009 11:40 AM
6 Comments
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Thompson on Hollywood
Without having seen Avatar, I've posted my ten best of the year and the decade.

Here's 2009:

1) Red Cliff

2) Bright Star

3) A Serious Man

4) A Prophet

5) Up

6) Summer Hours

7) Coraline

8) The Hurt Locker

9) Up in the Air

10) An Education

The best of the decade is on the jump.

1) The Best of Youth

2) No Country for Old Men

3) Wall-E

4) 25th Hour

5) A Christmas Tale

6) Talk to Her

7) A.I.: Artificial Intelligence

8) A History Of Violence

9) Spirited Away

10) Red Cliff

Here are best of decade lists from EW, Paste, Cinematical, London Times, Glenn Kenny, and The Playlist. IndieWIRE is keeping a running critics poll.

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6 Comments

  • Brian | December 14, 2009 5:07 AMReply

    I'm glad you've got RED CLIFF on your list. I just saw the North American theatrical cut yesterday and I thought it was a vast improvement over the five-hour-long 2-part original (which I saw on DVD in August). RED CLIFF is a popular epic that recalls, for me, Anthony Mann's EL CID and FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, both of which I saw in neighborhood theaters in the Bronx when I was a kid. Clearly one of Woo's very best films. I'm just annoyed at how badly this film's been dumped in the U.S. It opened very quietly at two out-of-the-way theaters in Manhattan. By the time I got to see it, it was only at one theater and at times that are impossible for working people (11:45 AM, 2:45 PM), so I had to go yesterday in the pouring rain on a Sunday to a Lower East Side theater that takes me four trains to get to from the Bronx. So I can't even recommend it to other Woo fans because it'll be pretty impossible for them to see. Why'd they do that? Surely, this film could have done as well as HERO, Zhang Yimou's much more arty Chinese epic, which opened to #1 at the boxoffice in August 2004 when Miramax released it in the U.S. RED CLIFF's a much greater crowd-pleaser and would have left multiplex audiences begging for more and telling their friends all about it.

  • Jim | December 12, 2009 9:20 AMReply

    My list of the top 10 films of the decade:

    1. Lord of the Rings trilogy
    2. Letters From Iwo Jima
    3. Moulin Rouge
    4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    5. The Aviator
    6. Ratatouille
    7. Syriana
    8. Lost in Translation
    9. Slumdog Millionaire
    10. Gosford Park

  • Christian | December 11, 2009 6:23 AMReply

    Nice lists, Anne, but I can't help but point out: You've put four films ahead of "Red Cliff" for your 2009 list. You then have "Red Cliff" as number 10 of the decade, but none of the four films that topped it this year.

    These things happen. :)

  • mitkid | December 11, 2009 6:12 AMReply

    Of the movies I've seen this year no argument with your first list.

    On the movies of the decade agree strongly with 'The Best of Youth' as number one, '25th Hour' is my favorite Spike Lee ever, and the first 20 minutes of Wall-E is inspired (and the rest not bad). I would add 'City of God' and 'Pulp Fiction' to the list and as much as I enjoyed 'Red Cliff' don't think it will hold its position as the years roll on.

    Lots of fun, as lists tend to be.

  • Brian | December 11, 2009 4:41 AMReply

    Isn't it a little early to determine the Best of the Decade? I mean, we didn't know what the best films of the '30s and '40s were until the 1960s and '70s.
    We're STILL trying to figure out the '70s. And the '80s?!!! It'll be decades before we figure that one out.

  • Crow T Robot | December 11, 2009 4:06 AMReply

    My choices haven't changed much in the last couple years...

    1) Mulholland Dr
    2) Cast Away
    3) Adaptation
    4) The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers
    5) There Will Be Blood
    6) United 93
    7) 4 Months 3 Weeks and Two Days
    8) In America
    9) A.I.: Artificial Intelligence
    10) Bad Santa

    Ten very acclaimed movies in the decade that left me cold...

    1) Lost In Translation
    2) The Dark Knight
    3) Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind
    4) Moulin Rouge!
    5) The Lord of The Rings: The Return of The King
    6) The Royal Tannenbaums
    7) Wall-E / The Incredibles
    8) Zodiac
    9) The 25th Hour
    10) Donnie Darko

    Actor of the decade: George Clooney
    Actress of the decade: Angelina Jolie
    Director of the decade: Michael Bay
    New actor of the decade: Shia Lebouef
    New actress of the decade: Kiera Knightley
    New director of the decade: Christopher Nolan

    Performance of the decade (male): Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York
    Performance of the decade (female): Naomi Watts in Mulholland Dr

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