I have a very different system of reviewing movies than most. It’s based on a number of factors but I’ve come up with a list that sums things up nicely.
The Filmmaker’s Intentions – What did they set out to make? It’s not fair to bash an action movie if you don’t like action movies is it? If they set out to make a fun action movie then that’s how I base my opinion.
The Entertainment Factor – Shocking twists, action sequences, tears, drama, laughs.
The Story – I’m all about story. Love good stories.
The Overall Experience – Going to the movies is supposed to be fun. Disappointing movies feel like a waste of time but some movies leave you with a satisfied smile on your face.
The Lasting Appeal – Movies we love stay with us forever. If I’m still thinking about a movie the next day, it scores high in this category.
No Scores – I don’t give ratings or stars. I make my recommendations based on who I’m talking to and what type of movies they like.
With that in mind, here are my favorite movies of 2009 or as I like to call them:
Honorable Mention: Inglourious Bastards
5 – The Hurt Locker
I was sold 100% on this movie after seeing the trailer. Then the positive reviews came along and finally the release date arrived. The Hurt Locker is an intense movie and I loved it. The premise alone pins you to the edge of your seat. At any moment the bomb could go off. Fantastic movie.
4 – District 9
Viral Marketing at it’s finest. District 9 was one of the most unique experiences of 2009. An ‘indy’ sci-fi action movie with an incredible story. I put District 9 in the category of “Why didn’t they think of this years ago?”. I was pretty disappointed with most of the big summer blockbuster movies but District 9 reminded me that you don’t need a massive budget to entertain. You just need a good story.
3 – Up
My sister and I have seen pretty much all of the Pixar films together and Up was no different. I knew it was going to be good but I didn’t expect it to nearly knock Toy Story off the top spot. While Toy Story remains my favorite Pixar movie, Up is a very close second. It was everything we’ve come to expect from a Pixar film. It was funny, it had heart, it looked gorgeous and it entertained. Bring on Toy Story 3.
2 – The Hangover
One of the funniest movies I’ve seen in theaters in years. Ironically, I saw this the day after seeing Up so it was a pretty great movie filled weekend. There is a tradition among people who enjoy a night out at the bars that is absolutely vital to a successful night. Pre-Drinking. A tradition among pre-drinkers is watching movies together while you drink. (Old School. Dumb & Dumber. Superbad.) The Hangover is a worthy edition to an already stellar lineup of classics. Welcome to the team!
1 – Paranormal Activity
The most FUN I’ve had in a theater in years and hands down my favorite movie of 2009. I saw this movie in a packed house full of terrified people and I was one of them. Every time the scene changed to their bedroom at night, the entire audience began shifting in their seats. It was an amazing experience. I feel bad for those who either waited to long to see it or are waiting for video. You missed out.
So long 2009
2008 was a slow year for me. I couldn’t seem to get to the theater enough but 2009 was a return to form. More movies, more fun, more entertainment and most importantly, more inspiration.
Going to the movies is an addiction. It’s an obsession I can’t live without. I can’t to see what’s in store for 2010.