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Top and Bottom of 2010

December 24, 2009

Top ten lists are among one of the most difficult tasks. You could easily list a top 100 best films of the decade and at least a top 20 of 2009, but for simplicity sake, these are the films that most moved me, not only the first time at the theater, but since then as I have watched and rewatched. Some films I may have loved at first, but with perspective, my admiration of them lessens. The top 10 lists are based on what played theatrically in the state of Mississippi (or Memphis even if just at a film festival — it counts), therefore several great films are not on the list as they have not yet played here including those opening this week.

What are yours?

Top 10 Best of 2009

1. “District 9” – With a limited budget, this little sci-fi managed to have some of the best technical feats of the year, not to mention one of the strongest storylines that embraced what it means to be human.

2. “Fantastic Mr. Fox” – A delightful and quirky use of Wes Anderson’s storytelling, Fantastic Mr. Fox is a charming tale.

3. “That Evening Sun” – A first screenplay by Scott Teems, the film captures the grit and beauty of the living in the south while telling a simple yet profound story.

4. “Food, Inc.” – Never again will any of us be able to ignore labels at the grocery store after this documentary opened many of our eyes.

5. “A Serious Man” – Perhaps one of my favorite Coen Brothers works, the film works because of the performance of its star, Michael Stuhlbarg.

6. “Star Trek” – A brilliant reboot of a famous series, J.J. Abrams managed to captivate fans of the original series while adding new fans for generations to come.

7. “Coraline” – Henry Selick’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel is perhaps one of of the best this year not only for its way of capturing the story without ruining it for fans of the book, but the fantastic animation that manages to be creepy yet open for entire families to gain important lessons.

8. “The Hangover” – The best comedy of 2009 brought us an awareness of just how funny Tyson is and the misadventure that can be men in Las Vegas.

9. “Up” – Pixar finally creates people and somehow makes one of the sweetest stories ever.

10. “The Blind Side” – Hotty Toddy.

Top 10 Worst of 2009

1. “Hannah Montana The Movie” – As bad as when Britney Spears tried to make a movie.

2. “New In Town” – Most formulaic romantic comedy of the decade, let alone the year.

3. “Knowing” – Nic Cage is redeeming himself recently with some better film choices but Knowing definitely was the end of the line for many fans.

4. “Bride Wars” – If these women exist, I am so glad I do not know them.

5. “He’s Just Not That Into You” – What should have been a magical film,arbitrarily plays with the ideas from the book and forces a happy ending with the perfect feminist message. Blah.

6. “Year One” – Really, did anyone see this?

7. “Land of the Lost” – Although some redeeming value, for fans of the original series, the new version fell flat.

8. “The Ugly Truth” – The film was ugly enough without really ever revealing any truths.

9. “2012” – John Cusack is a good driver but not enough to hold for over 2 hours of action.

10. “Public Enemies” – A bitter disappointment with the cast selected for this film – it could have been one of the bes

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