"The notion that there's an acceptable critical view, that certain movies must - or must not - appear on a list in order for any given critic to be taken seriously, flies in the face of what criticism is supposed to be." Salon's Stephanie Zacharek presents an annotated list of "10 favorites which, beyond the top three, are not necessarily in any particular order." Those top three of 2009: Olivier Assayas's Summer Hours, Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr Fox and Lars von Trier's Antichrist.
For Andrew O'Hehir, "in this year of global recession, the distance between the massive pop-Hollywood spectacles and the little-noticed obscurities way out on the cultural margins seems to have widened into a yawning abyss." And it just got a little wider. As Michael Cieply reports in the New York Times, this holiday weekend just past was a record-breaking one for Hollywood: $278 million at the domestic box office. (Update, 12/29: For the Atlantic Wire, John Hudson gathers off-the-cuff theories as to how this has happened.)
"Actually, though," continues Andrew O'Hehir, "this has been a pretty good year for the independent-film sector, at least in economic terms." He's got the numbers to prove it, too. Further, "despite the unprecedented tumult and upheaval experienced by the indie sector in 2009," writes Mark Olsen in the Los Angeles Times: "There is, to put it frankly, far too much happening, not too little."
But back to Andrew O'Hehir's list: "I want Filipina transgender hookers, imitation mid-'60s crime flicks, opaque Argentine class warfare, mean-spirited Jewish fables and the completely inappropriate glorification of violent British convicts! And here they are." Ten of them, with Steve McQueen's Hunger in the top spot if I'm reading that list right, plus honorable mentions.
Thomas Groh wraps his year in front of screens large and small.
Craig Keller looks back on a good year for Masters of Cinema.
"When I'm not blogging, I'm often out seeing the very worst contemporary film has to offer in the name of film criticism," writes Vadim Rizov for IFC. "As the year comes to a close, here's my gift to you, dear reader: ten of the worst moments in ten of the worst films I saw this year. Because life can't always be positive."
Updates, 12/29: "Last week, indieWIRE published its annual critics poll, with a special question geared toward the best of the decade. Ninety-nine participants decided that David Lynch's Mulholland Drive lead some 200 films that received votes in the category, with Wong Kar-wai's In the Mood for Love, Edward Yang's Yi Yi and Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood just behind. Many of the critics also included their written thoughts on the decade in film, and indieWIRE compiled a snapshot."
At Film Salon, Matt Zoller Seitz carries on counting down his directors of the decade: #4: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne; #3: Joel and Ethan Coen. Also, Robert Kenner (Food, Inc) on Up the Yangtze, Dan Kois on Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away and Will Di Novi on Ramin Bahrani's Chop Shop.
Steven Boone presents his 2009 top ten at the House Next Door. His #1: "Everything my astute friends tell me Jean-Luc Godard was up to in his New Wave touchstones, I find writer-directors Damon Diddit and Natural Langdon doing in their camcorder hood docudrama, Bullets Over Brownsville."
For IFC, Vadim Rizov lists the "seven most influential filmmaking countries of the 00s."
Josef Braun: "There were countless great movies released on DVD in 2009, so what follows isn't 'the best' of them so much as the ones that seemed to cry out most urgently for a wider audience, some quite old, some unjustly forgotten, some previously ill-served on video, all of them very much worth your while."
Listening. IFC's Matt Singer and Alison Willmore "call out some of the other highlights from the year in cinema we feel deserve recognition, from the best fight scenes to the most memorable on-screen chemistry." Parts 1 and 2.
"This past fall, Film Comment conducted an international poll of critics, programmers, academics, filmmakers, and others to identify the top films and filmmakers of the decade." Now the filmlinc blog presents a sneak peak at the results: the top 150 films and the full list of voters. #1: Mulholland Drive.
Tops Stephanie Zacharek's list, too: "A mystery, an anatomy of a nightmare, a saga built on archetypal Hollywood dreams and heartbreak: David Lynch's dawn-of-the-21st-century masterpiece is, for me, the most haunting picture of the decade, rich, disturbing and erotic."
The decade's #1 for Andrew O'Hehir: Kings and Queen, by Arnaud Desplechin, "a great storyteller who understands the satisfactions of old-school melodrama and who loves to spin yarns of love, murder and madness, of damaged femmes fatales and rakish, self-destructive men."
And, at Film Salon, Rosemary Picado on Ridley Scott's Gladiator.
The L Magazine is rolling out "Movies of the Decade" lists from its contributing writers. Up first are Michael Atkinson's 25 (#1: Peter Watkins's La Commune; more here) and Henry Stewart's 20 (#1: Michel Gondry and Charlie Kaufman's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind).
"By and large, the decade in film was one of maturing talents, as opposed to new arrivals," argues Ryan Stewart, introducing his top ten at Suicide Girls. His #1: Richard Linklater's Before Sunset.
Jeffrey Sconce picks his TV shows, movies and albums of the decade.
For T Magazine, Adam Kepler looks back to the fashion statements made in the movies of the 00s.
More on the decade from Hitfix and Drew McWeeney.
"Here at the [San Francisco Bay Guardian], some of us make top ten lists, and some of us make whatever kind of list we want." In the first batch: Louis Peitzman, Erik Morse, Max Goldberg and Matt Sussman, variously, on 2009. And in the second: Dennis Harvey, Cheryl Eddy and Jesse Hawthorne Ficks.
José: "To chose ten best films from 2009 and reducing it to that date and to the openings that mainstream distribution made possible it's not logical or interesting. The films that I loved the most in this ending year were mainly showed at Lisbon's Cinemateca and, in its majority, weren't chronologically recent or from the international hypes or 'who's who' between our beloved, extraordinary, critics." Three batches of "10 + 1" and more.
Josef Braun's year in movies.
The Boston Phoenix's Gerald Peary and Peg Aloi present their 2009 top tens. #1s, respectively: Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker and Lone Scherfig's An Education.
Collider's Matt Goldberg: "I'm probably the only critic out there that has [Rian Johnson's] The Brothers Bloom as their #1 film of the year."
"The Documentary Blog's Top 10 Documentaries of 2009." #1: Sacha Gervasi's Anvil! The Story of Anvil.
From Jim Tudor at Twitch: "An American Film Geek's Bottom 5 for 2009." #1: X-Men Origins: Wolverine. As for the Top 5, #1's JJ Abrams's Star Trek.
Updates, 12/30: Dennis Harvey kicks off the San Francisco Bay Guardian's "Year in Film" package with a salute to Woody Harrelson: "I'm sure there was no intentionality involved - dig the randomness of his 2008 output - but 2009 turns out a year that insisted attention be paid."
"Not only were Quentin Tarantino's epical Inglourious Basterds and Kathryn Bigelow's anti-epic The Hurt Locker two of the best releases of 2009, they represented a startling mutation in the zeitgeist's popular narratives of geopolitics, absenting the requisite leitmotifs of nationalism, ethic, and archive," writes Erik Morse.
"If 2008 was the year of the bromance, 2009 likely sounded its death knell," writes Michelle Devereaux: "confused hetero men-children have returned to their first loves, idealized pretty-girl ciphers who fulfill their wanton need to worship and be 'understood.'"
Max Goldberg: "Many of the most indelible, mood-lifting moments of my sporadic year of film-going arrived in the deepened presence of ritual: two shots of espresso, in separate cups; dismantling a bomb; shaving radishes; sheering sheep; the ecstatic sweat of a Lightning Bolt concert; the murderous talk surrounding a stand-up act."
Watching Pablo Stoll's Hiroshima, Johnny Ray Huston remembers Juan Pablo Rebella, "Stoll's co-director on 2001's 25 Watts and 2004's Whisky, who killed himself with a gun three years ago, at 32." Then: "Last week, rummaging through a drawer, I came across Alexis Tioseco's card. My heart hurt more than usual."
"[G]oing to see a horror movie became a kind of respite from the constant feed of depressing shit plastered across news crawls, posted to blogs, and bolded in headlines," writes Matt Sussman.
For Kimberly Chun, Drew Barrymore's Whip It and Karyn Kusama's Jennifer's Body "embodied a dual-minded ambivalence concerning girl power in the late 00s."
Susan Gerhard introduces more Bay Area top tens at SF360, "not just films released this year locally, but occasionally films that have had festival-only screenings elsewhere or films made in '08 that had local releases in '09. We gave wide berth to our well-traveled respondents, a few of whom offered comments on films, or limited their selections to moments within films." And the decade lists.
"The important thing to remember here is that these are favorite films." 22 from the 00s from Jim Emerson (#1: Joel and Ethan Coen's No Country for Old Men), followed by a couple of dozen more lists from readers posted as comments.
Sean Burns and Matt Prigge present their Philadelphia Weekly top tens. Respectively: Pete Docter's Up and Armando Iannucci's In the Loop.
Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell list the "ten-plus best films of... 1919."
The AP has the list of the 25 films being added to the National Film Registry, as announced Tuesday by the Library of Congress.
Thom Powers, who programs the Real to Reel section of the Toronto International Film Festival and the Stranger Than Fiction series at New York's IFC Center, list the "Top 10 Documentary Events of 2009."
For weeks now, Cinematical has been busily listing the best and worst of everything of the year and the decade.
At Slate, Grady Hendrix presents a "highly subjective list of the Top 10 movies (plus two extras) that were overlooked in 2009."
"The precise year a movie was 'made' is in many ways becoming less and less relevant," argues Chicagoist Rob Christopher: "Any movie you see for the first time is a new movie. So we're steadfastly refusing to limit our 'best of' list to movies that happened to be made in 2009. And 10 is an arbitrary number anyway, so instead here are 14."
Twitch rolls out more lists: Kurt Halfyard and Onderhand.
The Boston Globe's Wesley Morris: "Some acting I liked in 2009."
The latest from Film Salon's decade countdown: Matt Zoller Seitz on Hayao Miyazaki and Pixar, Peter Debruge on Lars von Trier and Jørgen Leth's The Five Obstructions and NP Thompson on Rebecca Miller's The Ballad of Jack and Rose.
Listening. The New Yorker's David Denby and Richard Brody discuss their favorite films of the year and decade.
The L Magazine begins its review of the decade that was with Benjamin Strong, Michael Joshua Rowin, Mark Asch and Matt Zoller Seitz reflecting on the years 2000 through 2004 and a half-hour online viewing extravaganza, MZS's "End-of-Decade Clip Party, Part One." More tomorrow.
"Furnish a Room: surveying film books of 2009." Ray Pride for Newcity Film.
At the House Next Door, Miriam Bale presents an annotated list of "the films with images that shifted around most in my mind throughout the aughts. Not the best or worst, but the most enduring." #1: Eric Rohmer's The Lady and the Duke.
"Although we might not agree on which ones, we all know that there were some truly wonderful movies," writes Brandon Harris, introducing his list of "50 essential movies of the aughts" at Filmmaker. "Too many were made for their not to be! But whoever heard of the Smith Brothers' The Slaughter Rule? How many people saw Lynne Ramsay's Morvern Callar or Ronald Bronstein's Frownland theatrically? Long live Robinson Devor's Police Beat... in obscurity. Could these films ever speak to mass audiences? If there such special works, why can't they? If they truly can't, then what does that say about mass audiences and by extension, our entire citizenries' capability of decoding a century old visual language? Our schools teach people to read (just barely), but not to watch, an activity that is the first thing we consciously begin to do, one that shapes much of our biases, our reasoning capacity, the rhythm of our lives, an activity that the most fortunate of us never stop doing until we die."
"For two decades now, the Cinematheque Ontario in Toronto has polled film curators, historians, archivists, and historians for their lists of the best films of the previous decade," notes the Wexner Center for the Arts. You may remember that one. But Wexner also points to James Quandt's analysis of the poll - and posts the individual ballots of all three of its Film/Video curators.
Topping Michael Sooriyakumaran's list of the decade's best movies: Todd Haynes's I'm Not There.
From Josef Braun, "31 films to remember from the first decade of our 21st century." #1: In the Mood for Love.
Jean-Michel Frodon at Slate.fr: "Les meilleurs films de 2009 : 51 + 1."
James Rocchi's 2009 top ten for Red Blog: Parts 1 and 2. His #1: The Hurt Locker.
A top ten plus a "Baker's Dozen of Delights Just Shy of The Tippy-Top" from the Oregonian's Shawn Levy. His #1: An Education.
Kyle Buchanan presents his 2009 top ten in pairs. #1: The Hurt Locker and Oren Moverman's The Messenger. And Movieline itself revisits the lists it made throughout the year.
From Erik Childress at Hollywood Bitchslap: "Criticwatch 2009 - The Whores of the Year." Plus, "Quotes of the Year."
At IndianAuteur, Maithili Rao on 2009 and Anuj on the 00s.
Matt Dentler: "There are a lot of lists going around about Top 10 films of the year, so I wanted to ask a bunch of film people to list their Top 10 'something else.' No movies, but their 10 favorite/best/notable things of 2009." He'll be rolling 'em out in batches over the next several days.
More viewing: Kevin Lee posts his "Top Five (or so) Videos of 2009." Earlier: #s 10 through 6.
Updates, 12/31: "And so another year comes to an end, and with it a decade (Gregorian contrarians notwithstanding) in which the answer to the question 'What is cinema?' underwent more radical transmutations than in any comparable period since the dawn of moving images." Scott Foundas introduces the LA Weekly end-of-the-decade package with a long view of the 00s and two annotated lists, "Best Films of the 2000s (in Chronological Order)" and the "Best Films of 2009." His #1: Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon.
Also: Karina Longworth: "Formally playful and acidly reflective of pervasive popular anxieties, The Girlfriend Experience and The Informant! are good enough, and innovative enough, to usher in their own new Soderberghian era. These two films illustrate the contemporary zeitgeist better than anything else to hit theaters this year. So why have they failed to become a major part of that zeitgeist?"
Then, Charles Solomon on the year in animation.
Cargo editors Ekkehard Knörer, Bert Rebhandl and Simon Rothöhler post their lists for 2009; new filmkritik adds lists from Michael Baute, Johannes Beringer, Daniel Eschkötter, Bettina Klix, Rainer Knepperges, Sebastian Markt, Volker Pantenburg and Stefanie Schlüter.
"Concluding a decade in which specialty film distribution boomed and busted, and in which the identity and composition of filmed entertainment itself was challenged, perhaps it's not surprising that David Lynch's Mulholland Drive, the ultimate unstable cinematic text, wound up on top of Filmmaker Magazine's Editor's Poll of the Best American Independent Films of the 00s." Also, Jason Sanders's "Viewing Zeitgeists and the Best US Indies of the Decade." His #1: David Gordon Green's George Washington.
Nick Davis completes his countdown of the top 100 of the decade. His #1: Lynne Ramsay's Morvern Callar.
Yoel Meranda's "50 greatest films & videos of the 2000s." His #1: Robert Breer's What Goes Up.
Darren Hughes: "I'll follow Tom Hall's lead and call this my 'Incredibly Personal, Completely Subjective List of the Best Films of The Decade.'" His #1: Claire Denis's Beau Travail. And his #1 for 2009: 35 Shots of Rum.
To the Boston Globe. "As absurd as it is to read meaning and currency into a slate of films put into production years ago, 2009 was a transitional year at the multiplex and in the greater culture alike," writes Ty Burr. "Last year's dark night at the movies lifted and a kind of pop dialectic seemed underway: Should movies be good, or good for you?" His #1 for 2009: Joel and Ethan Coen's A Serious Man. And for the decade: Roman Polanski's The Pianist.
"One of the most exciting things I saw in a movie this year was a shootout down the spiraling ramp of the Guggenheim Museum," writes Wesley Morris. "The movie that contains it, The International, was a decent suspense thriller with Clive Owen and Naomi Watts that came and went last winter. I spent the year with that film, and that sequence, on my mind because it was the first of several Hollywood movies for thinking adults that adults didn't think they wanted to see." His #1 for 2009: Claire Denis's 35 Shots of Rum. And the decade: Mulholland Drive.
Also: Tom Russo looks back on the best DVDs of the year.
Vue Weekly critics Josef Braun and Brian Gibson present the "Best Films of the 2000s: The Complete Hit List." Their #1: Lukas Moodysson's Lilya 4-ever. Plus, David Berry and Josef Braun on the best DVDs of 2009 and a note from Braun: "No single movie from Gus Van Sant made my best-of-the-decade list, but Van Sant himself sure as hell ranks high on my list of the decade's best filmmakers."
"Synecdoche, New York is the best film of the decade," writes Roger Ebert. "Charlie Kaufman understands how I live my life, and I suppose his own, and I suspect most of us.... He's like a novelist who wants to get it all into the first book in case he never publishes another. Those who felt the film was disorganized or incoherent might benefit from seeing it again. It isn't about a narrative, although it pretends to be. It's about a method, the method by which we organize our lives and define our realities." The list follows.
On a related note, Matt Zoller Seitz reaches #1 in his countdown at Film Salon: "Why are two people known mainly as writers sharing the top slot on this list of the decade's most important directors? They're here because they spent the decade working within the same entertainment industry that otherwise prizes reassuring clichés and flashy stupidity, and produced work that was more compelling and unified than the work of all but a handful of full-time movie directors." And they are: David Chase, creator of The Sopranos, and Charlie Kaufman.
Also at Film Salon: Jack Patrick Rodgers on Martin Campbell's Casino Royale, Eric Kohn on Don Hertzfeldt's "mesmerizing animated short film," Rejected, and Patrick Z McGavin on In the Mood for Love.
But back to Matt Zoller Seitz. Here's the way he actually concludes that countdown: "The image of the burning towers defined this decade. It dominated waking and sleeping life, political debates and Sunday dinners, birthday parties and weddings and funerals, for a solid year, maybe two, then lurked in the background for the rest of this decade, haunting elections and re-elections, military debacles and constitutional fights. And it forced every artist in every medium to start each new piece by first asking if the work was meant to confront the image of the burning towers or deliberately avoid it (avoidance is also a response).... As a friend of mine put it a few days later, 'Whoever did this knows what scares us.' It's still considered insensitive to talk about 9/11 in this way. But it needs to be talked about in this way, because the last eight-plus years of popular culture has treated the atrocity as both art and history."
Jeremy Nyhuis's "Top 80 + 20 Guilty Pleasures (2000-2009)," in alphabetical order.
"Heckled at its 2002 Cannes premiere, and dismissed ever since as arthouse Eurotrash, demonlover, Olivier Assayas's sleazy, globe-trotting corporate-espionage thriller, wasn't a film that this decade wanted; instead, it was the film the aughts deserved." Argues Benjamin Strong. Also at the L: Jesse Hassenger's "Top 25 Mostly Americanish Movies of the Decade." His #1: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
Anthony Kaufman's "10 Most Relevant (Foreign) Films, Directors and Nations of the Decade." His #1: Laurent Cantet's Time Out.
"Every day for the past month, indieWIRE has been republishing profiles and interviews from the past ten years (in their original, retro format)." And now there's an index to all 31 of them.
Duncan Shepherd presents his 2009 list in the San Diego Reader: "A Serious Man, to start at the top and work my way down, is the most personal, the most autobiographical work of the foremost American filmmakers of their generation, Joel and Ethan Coen, and an indispensable supplement, with the tangy additive of Judaism, to their previous portrait of their - and my - native state of Minnesota, Fargo."
Sean Axmaker's "DVD Discoveries and Rediscoveries 2009" are "not necessarily the best or most important releases or of the finest video or audio quality, but they are all much appreciated releases of forgotten, unavailable or otherwise enigmatic foreign rarities and cult items with tantalizing credentials or intriguing underground reputations."
This week's Austin Chronicle is just about all 2009 lists all the way through. The film critics: Marjorie Baumgarten (#1: Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are), Kimberley Jones (the Coens' A Serious Man) and Marc Savlov (Tom Ford's A Single Man).
"Hirokazu Kore-eda's Still Walking is a master class in doing more with less," writes Sam Adams at the top of his 2009 list for the Philadelphia City Paper. And he posts "Addenda and Apologia" at his new blog, Breaking the Line. Also in the Paper: Shaun Brady (#1: 35 Shots of Rum) and Cindy Fuchs (seems to be Agnès Varda's The Beaches of Agnès).
"Favorite Films of the 00s: Two Lists." And Andrew Chan puts Edward Yang's Yi Yi at the top of both of them (decade overall and Chinese films).
Dave McDougall presents his list of the "best films I saw for the first time in 2009, in rough order of preference." His #1: Up.
Jonn Kmech presents See Magazine's films of the year (#1: The Hurt Locker) and decade (Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men).
From Mike Russell: "The 10 Best Movies I Saw in 2009, with Alternates and Regrets." #1: In the Loop.
Topping Gabriel Shanks's list of the best films of the decade: Kim Ki-duk's Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... And Spring. And topping his 2009 list: Jason Reitman's Up in the Air.
More listing at the Boston Phoenix: Michael Atkinson and Tom Meek.
Ambrose Heron's films of 2009 are listed alphabetically. And then, the Best Films of the 2000s.
From GreenCine's Craig Phillips: "15 (and more) Best Films of 2009." His #1: Ramin Bahrani's Goodbye Solo.
At Twitch, Todd Brown's "Top and Bottom of 2009, Plus Directors to Watch For!" And Jim Tudor: "An American Film Geek's Best of the Decade, 2000 - 2009." His #1: Brad Bird's The Incredibles.
Paul Matwychuk's #1 for 2009: In the Loop.
For Peter Nellhaus, John Woo's Red Cliff is the best film of 2009.
Steve McQueen's Hunger tops Marc Mohan's list of ten 2009 movies for the Oregonian.
Vince Keenan follows his list with another: "Thrillers More People Should Have Seen."
Jim Emerson chases the "Worst Movie of the Decade Relay" as various bloggers count the ways they despise Paul Haggis's Crash.
At AICN: The best of '09 from Capone and Massawyrm.
"To paraphrase Churchill, 2009 did not mark the end of old way of making and distributing films, and it was not even the beginning of the end," writes Jim Barratt, revisiting the watershed moments of the year for the industry. "But it was, perhaps, the end of the beginning... The global banking crisis, the explosion of social networking, audience fragmentation, digital media convergence, the rise of multi-platform story-telling, the profusion of free online content and rampant file sharing: individually and collectively they pose a challenge to the status quo, as well as untold opportunities for those less wedded to the Twentieth Century way of doing things."
After nearly a year of reviewing silent films, Chris Edwards looks back on some of his favorites.
"We asked New Yorker contributors to select a moment that represents the decade, and to make a prediction for the teens (or whatever we'll end up calling the decade to come). Some chose multiple moments; some preferred not to prognosticate; some sent pictures instead of words."
Zach Campbell looks back on a year of viewing.
Xan Brooks presents the Guardian's 2009 film quiz.
Browsing. The New York Times presents a slide show, "The Arts in 2009."
More browsing from Ignatiy Vishnevetsky: "Some Images, 2000 - 2009."
Viewing. "Movieline's 15 Favorite Videos of 2009." Also (not viewing, but still): Michelle Orange's top ten for 2009. #1: Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. Back to the viewing: "Movieline's 2009 Award Winners."
"My god, can we please put this recession-wrought year out of its (and our) misery?" asks Aaron Hillis at GreenCine Daily. "Not that 2009 didn't have its pleasures, especially when it came to film, as it was a fruitful year for the cinema. My own New Year's resolution for 2010 - again, when it comes to film - is about the same as it was last year. I'm going to strive to be progressive, pragmatic and curatorial as a critic, innovative as a distributor, and motivated enough to write and direct a second feature. I thought it might be fun to ask fellow members of the film community to share their own pledges for 2010, and was excited that less than 24 hours' notice yielded responses from over 40 filmmakers, critics, distributors, publicists, and other noteworthy voices. Be safe tonight, friends... Nah, screw that. Get into some trouble, try something radical, and let's shake things up in the new year."
Updates, 1/1: Dave Kehr wishes us all a happy new year, adding, "If anyone has ten best lists to post - for the year, the decade, or any other arbitrary division of time - this would be an excellent moment to do so." And of course, many have already taken the opportunity.
The "Top 50 Hong Kong Films of the Decade." LoveHKFilm has counted the votes and the results are in: "All other films had best get out of the way, because Infernal Affairs just owned them. Andrew Lau and Alan Mak's crime thriller received 879 points, a full 367 more than its closest competitor. That is an obscene margin of victory, turning this 'Best of the Decade' vote into a full-on blowout. Whereas Shaolin Soccer and In the Mood for Love duked it out until the very last day for second place, Infernal Affairs took charge on day one and never looked back."
The Guardian's long countdown of the best "films of the noughties" finally arrives at #1. Peter Bradshaw on There Will Be Blood: "Towards the end of the decade, director Paul Thomas Anderson unburdened himself of this strange and disquieting masterpiece, a mesmeric and utterly distinctive movie, loosely based on Upton Sinclair's 1927 novel Oil! The film was of a higher order of intelligence and innovation than anything he had attempted before, and anything else in noughties Hollywood." Also, Andrew Pulver presents the "10 films that make up the shortlist for the 2009 Guardian First Film award."
"FirstShowing's Writers Choose the Best Movies of the Decade."
For SF360, Susan Gerhard has solicited comments from "Bay Area film-industry professionals as well as everyday fans on the trends that moved them. We found love for animation and hate for the ascendancy of the first-person narrator-star in documentary films. We saw pleas for more collaboration and less ego. We encountered disdain for CGI and hope for independent exhibitors and filmmakers."
Dan Sallitt updates his favorite films list. This would be the one tracking all films ever seen. Ever.
Bob Turnbull's "Decade of Favourites." There are clips or trailers for the top 20 (#1: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and honorable mentions for 30 more.
Patrick Z McGavin lists his "top ten of the decade, in order of preference." We already know his #1 (In the Mood for Love). His #2: Cristi Puiu's The Death of Mr Lazarescu.
From Dark Room: "The Best 'Horror' Films of the Aughts."
"Confessions of a Pop Fan." Jamie S Rich's top 15 movies and top ten DVDs of 2009.
Looker (Lawrence Levi) looks back on a year of viewing.
Rodney Perkins at Twitch: "Cults, Cops and Basterds: Top Ten of 2009."
Neil Young rates the books he read in 2009.
Horses Think: "This is not a top ten list by any means, moreover it's just a compilation of things (not necessarily new) that kept me interested and inspired throughout the year."
Robert Horton's favorite film of 2009: A Serious Man. And here's an hour of online viewing: He, Kathleen Murphy, Andrew Wright and Jim Emerson discuss the year at the movies.
More viewing. Matt Zoller Seitz (who must've been crazy busy all December-long): "We Love the Aughties: An End-of-Decade Clip Party, Part Two." Also at the L, "2005-2009 in Film," from Michael Joshua Rowin, Michael Atkinson and Nicolas Rapold.
"Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds led the nominations of the Online Film Critics Awards, with James Cameron's Avatar a surprise omission in the best picture category." And indieWIRE has the full list.
Updates, 1/2: The Oregonian's Shawn Levy and checked his files and discovered that he's seen "2463 new films since January 1, 2000, which came as something of a shock, on the one hand, but certainly seems like a full decade of movie-watching and makes me feel a whole lot better about being paid to do it." And now, of course, he's got a list: "The Top 25 Films of the 00s." #1: Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings, a "titanic achievement, taking a massive literary treasure, adapting it more or less faithfully, breaking new technological ground and, perhaps above all, providing more than a dozen hours of fabulous entertainment. People will be watching this for generations and on technologies we can't even imagine. I'm frankly jealous of them."
From Adrian Curry: 20 "Movie Posters of the Year."