2009 was a banner year for me movie-wise. I saw many movies i loved, and in total, i watched 914 films. It's nuts, but that's what it is. Below are the 141 best of them which got at least a B+ in my ratings. Ssome of them are new classics in my book, and others offered some interesting stuff even if they were not the best movies.
Battle Of Algiers, The (1966), a great classic French film about terrorism Vs. counter-terrorism, and Imperialism Vs. Nationalism.
Avatar (2009), an absolute visual feast from maverick director James Cameron.
12 (2007), one of the best remakes ever made. Taking a classic like 12 Angry Men (1957) and bettering it is no small task.
Z (1969), a classic French film about the politics of fascism.
Steep (2007), a great engaging documentary about extreme skying. A must see for anybody who has spent at least 5mn on Skis in their lives.
Girl Next Door, The (2007), an engrossing horror film about an abusive mother who turns her sons into rapist monsters.
Sin Nombre (2009), a stunning and immersive film about Hondurian gang youth that reminded me of City Of God (2002).
Class, The (2008), a gripping French film about a teacher in an inner city high school trying to connect with his disrespectful students.
Inglourious Basterds (2009), a great Quentin Tarantino film about Nazis and an allies plot to end the war, with great dialogs, tension galore, and wonderful actors.
Summer Time Machine Blues (2005), a teen comedy about time travel that will make you laugh as much as it will make you think about the paradoxes of time travel.
Chinatown (1974), a classic film noir from Roman Polanski with a fantastic political story and otherworldly art direction.
Secret Things (2002), an explicit erotic film from France exploring the little pleasures brought about by the forbidden.
Army Of Shadows (1969), a classic French film about the inner workings of the French resistance during WWII.
Batman Begins 2: The Dark Knight (2008), the blockbuster phenomenon of 2008 with great acting, writing and direction for a super hero film classic.
Coraline (2009), visually stunning, creative and enchanting film for kids, wit lots for adults too.
Deadgirl (2008), a visceral horror movie about two teenagers who find a girl who cannot die locked up in teh basement of an abandoned psychiatric asylum.
Reader, The (2008), great WWII film about a woman who did horrible things during the war and is put on trial.
Star Trek (2009), no one could have hoped for a more entertaining revival of the franchise.
Perversion Story (1969), one of the best, if not the best, Lucio Fulci movies. This one feels like a dirty Alfred Hitchcock movie, with al the twists and turns of an excellent thriller, and the sinful feel of a Giallo.
Trapped In The Closet: Chapters 1-12 (2005), a monumental song and great video that will keep you guessing with twists after twists in great story telling.
District 9 (2009), an original and very well done sci-fi film, along with a great social commentary.
Up (2009), Pixar always delivers.
Watchmen (2009), a massive blockbuster that wasn't. But if you are willing to forgive its flaws, this is one hell of a visual ride and super hero classic.
Intimate Confessions Of A Chinese Courtesan (1972), a classic feminist Chinese martial arts romp from the Shaw Brothers.
Tiresia (2003), a disturbing and controversial tale of a Greek myth of a being that is both male and female. Modernized, and set in France, it depicts a priest's obsession with a transsexual.
Crossing The Bridge: The Sound Of Istanbul (2005), a great survey of the independent music scene in Istanbul. Lo of cool music and characters in the bridge of East and West.
Verdict, The (1982), a great performance from Paul Newman and a great script from David Mamet.
Don'T Torture A Duckling (1972), a great and very controversial Giallo from Lucio Fulci with a priest abusing children in his local parish, and eventually killing them slowly one after the next.
Idlewild (2006), great music from the folks of OutKast, a couple of incredible dance numbers, and superb art direction combine to make a cool musical.
Rachel Getting Married (2008), an Indie drama abot a dysfunctional family and a strained sister relationship.
Elevator To The Gallows (1958), a classic French film noir with great performance, a great twist, and a memorable score.
Star Trek: The Original Series, Season 1 (1966), if you have never really been into the original Star Trek series, he remastered collection might just be what the doctor ordered. It worked for me.
Style Wars (1983), a gritty documentary covering New York city in the early 80's and chronicling in particular the rise of the Hp Hop movement, and graffiti artists.
(500) Days Of Summer (2009), a quirky Indie comedy with great performances and a fun story of social misfits.
2012 (2009), massive special effects and destruction on a planetary scale. OK, the story is preposterous, and characters unidimensional, but the action and visuals are spectacular.
Blast Of Silence (1961), a classic thriller about a hitman on a mission.
Lila Says (2004), erotic and provocative French film about the sexual awakening of a young arab man in the south of France, and a blond French girl.
Shinjuku Incident (2009), Chinese diaspora in Tokyo, trying to make a living. Great film, with a great unexpected performance from Jackie Chan in a role few cold have expected him to pull off.
Beyond, The (1981), a classic horror film from Lucio Fulci.
Australia (2008), an underrated beautiful and epic story set in WWII-era Australia.
Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, The (2008), visually spectacular, poetic and epic story of a man born old and aging backwards through life.
Dante'S Inferno (2007), a quirky Indie animated film about a man traveling through hell.
Red Cliff, Part 2 (2009), the second part of John Woo 's return to Chinese cinema. It's an epic film of a grandeur only the Chinese seem able to achieve these days.
Body Of Lies (2008), intelligent and complex look at terrorism and CIA work in the modern world. Ridley Scott directs, and Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe perform.
Flower And Snake 2: Paris (2005), Japanese eroticism that straddles the world of S&M and complex human relationships and emotions.
Naked City, The (1948), classic American thriller that was shot entirely on location in New York City. A no nonsense cop, a dame in distress, and incredible cinematography and score.
It Might Get Loud (2008), if you like rock and roll, and like guitar playing, this is a must see, featuring U2's The Edge, Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and Jack White jamming together.
Next Door (2005), a Scandinavian production from Norway with a man losing his mind in a labyrinthian apartment with 2 very strange neighbors next door. A edge of your seats thriller.
Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008), beautiful, gothic, with surprising performances and great songs. This has "cult" written all over it.
Down In The Valley (2005), a drama with Edward Norton playing a gentle psychopath who has his desperate eyes set on a young girl played by Evan Rachel Wood. Unsettling, and wonderfully performed.
Reign Over Me (2007), a great dramatic role for Adam Sandler in a powerful story.
Prestige, The (2006), directed by Christopher Nolan right in between the 2 Batman movies, with great performances and a wonderful story of magic and science.
Cannibal Holocaust (1980), the classic Cannibal movie that was so extreme its director got arrested for it. To this day, it remains controversial and disturbing.
New York Ripper, The (1982), Lucio Fulci again, in rare form for a horror film like no other. Extreme, misogynistic, violent, and set in a beautiful decaying New York City.
Detroit Metal City (2008), a crazy Japanese movie about a mild mannered nerd by day who is a mysterious swearing metal head superstar by night.
Find Me Guilty (2006), a great dramatic role for Vin Diesel as a low level mob hitman turning against his boss and making friends with the FBI.
McDull, Kung Fu Kindergarten (2009), one of many McDull animated films made in China. It's great for kids, funny, and beautifully hand drawn with aquarel colors.
Milk (2008), a powerful story fr the Gay movement, set in 70's San Francisco, with a powerful performance from Sean Penn.
Epitaph (2007), a Korean horror film about love, that may very wel be one of the most gorgeous film of the year.
Hellboy 2: The Golden Army (2008), every frame of this film is so creative and inspiring. Director Guillermo Del Toro pulled all stops here for a crowd pleasing super hero film with brains and looks.
Orochi: Blood (2008), a gorgeous Japanese horror film that plays on human emotions gone wrong to build up tension and dread.
Slumdog Millionaire (2008), Oscar winner from Danny Boyle which captured the imagination of millions, and introduced Bollywood to many Americans.
Storm (2005), another great Scandinavian thriller with hints of supernatural.
Tokyo! (2008), three short films about Tokyo from Korea, France and America.
Short Night Of Glass Dolls (1971), the first film from Aldo Lado and a classic Giallo imitated countless times since.
Funky Forest: The First Contact (2005), nonsense taken to an art form with a series of sketches that will bend your capacity for the absurd while remaining hypnotic.
Drag Me To Hell (2009), a small but o efective little horror film from cult director Sam Raimi who took a break to have fun in between Spiderman movies.
Maniacs, The (1964), a unexpected comedy from horror meister Lucio Fulci.
School Days With A Pig (2008), a Japanese 6th grade teacher tries to teach his students about the food chain by adopting and raising a pig for the whole school year, and then eat it on the last day of school. It's funny, sincee, and quirky family entertainment.
Ip Man (2008), one of the best martial arts movies of the decade.
Remember Me, My Love (2003), an Italian family drama where everything goes wrong before everything gets right again. It's high in drama, emotions, and has a great cast.
Wanted (2008), visually impressive, and great action scenes one after another.... and Angelina Jolie in great form.
Girl Who Leapt Through Time, The (2006), a gorgeous Anime about a highschool girl who suddenly finds out she can leap through time. It's beautiful family enertainment.
Revolutionary Road (2008), high drama about a couple dissolving into tragedy. Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in rare form.
20 Centimeters (2005), scandalous and subversive story of a narcoleptic transsexual in search of happiness in Spain.
5x2 (2004), a French drama about a couple on the ropes, as only the French can do it: incisive and raw.
Tipping The Velvet (2002), a uncharacteristically sexy BBC masterpiece theater mini series about a young woman who escapes home and finds a life in the theater business in Victorian London.
Last Mimzy, The (2007), smart and visually pleasing, this technological fairy tale is a great family treat.
Right Now (2004), a coming of age story about a young girl from the Parisian bourgeoisie who discovers the thrills associated with a life of crime. Features rising French star Isild Le Besco.
Tale Of Mari And Three Puppies, A (2007), another family treat from Japan retelling the true story of a dog and her 3 puppies who survived an earthquake that destroyed several villa
Kekexili, Mountain Patrol (2004), a Tibetan movie about the men who patrol the high plains to try and safeguard the Antilopes who live there from unscrupulous poachers. It's gorgeous, and gripping.
Nick And Norah'S Infinite Playlist (2008), a sweet coming of age story about two 18 or 19 year old kids in new york city.
Princesa (2001), a Brazilian transsexual in Italy tries to escape a life of prostitution and find a man who will love her.
Madame Curie (1943), a classic biography movie of Marie Curie and her husband, researching and proving the existence of Radium. It's beautifully acted, and exposes the scientific process with great details.
School Of The Holy Beast (1974), Ah... Japanese nunsploitation. Lots of beautiful nude nuns running around, and all that you expect from a classic exploitation movie from 1970's Japan.
Casi Divas (2008), a nice Mexican film about 4 young women from all walks of life participating in a contest to find a new TV star.
JCVD (2008), who would have expected Jean-Claude Van Damme to not only be in a good movie, but also do a really good acting job? No one. And so when he did, most people were taken by surprised.
Man From Deep River (1972), a classic Italian movie that has he honor of being the first film with an explicit on-screen scene of cannibalism. Otherwise, it's a good "remake" of Man Called Horse, A (1970)
Murder Rock (1984), all that you'd want in an Italian horror film of the 80's: nudity, a cool soundtrack, and a fun overall experience with some bloody moments.
Splinter (2008), a very original horror flick with a monster like you have never seen. It's fun, well done, and exciting.
True Blood, Season 1 (2008), an interesting take on the Vampire theme, with a great setting, cast, and overall execution. A great start for this series.
Who Saw Her Die? (1972), Director Aldo Lado is a lesser known Italian Giallo/Horror director, but his films are no less fabulous and gorgeous. Add in a sacrilegous story of a pedophile murderous priest, and you have all that is needed for an explosive cocktail.
Guerrilla: The Taking Of Patty Hearst (2004), a detailed documentary about Patty Hearst and her stint amongst the Symbionese Liberation Army, a far left terrorist group who was active in the 70's. Radical, and disturbing ideology.
Beast Stalker (2008), a surprisingly dark cop and gangster film for Hong Kong star Nicholas Tse at the top of his work here. Great action you can only expect from a Hong Kong film. Directed by Dante Lam who has had a very uneven career after delivering the 90's classic Beast Cops (1998).
Eden Lake (2008), a scary as hell film about a young couple going off the beaten track to a remote lake, only to be confronted with a group of the scariest kids you have ever encountered. This is violent, edge of your seat terror that will surely leave you unsettled.
Food, Inc. (2008), a
Before The Fall (2004)
Wendy And Lucy (2008)
Since Otar Left (2003)
Rape Of Europa, The (2006)
I Want Someone To Eat Cheese With (2006)
Julie And Julia (2009)
Lizard In A Woman'S Skin (1971)
Strictly Sexual (2008)
Zombie 2 (1979)
Whatever Works (2009)
Glass: A Portrait Of Philip In Twelve Parts (2007)
Public Enemies (2009)
Singing Revolution, The (2006)
All Ladies Do It (1992)
Beatrice Cenci (1969)
Cannibal Ferox (1981)
Brutal Hopelessness Of Love, The (2007)
I'Ve Loved You So Long (2008)
Lie To Me, Season 1 (2009)
Off The Map (2003)
You Kill Me (2007)
Trick 'r Treat (2008)
All Around Us (2008)
Talk To Me (2007)
I Not Stupid 1 (2002)
Conversation, The (1974)
Home Run (2009)
Mountain Of The Cannibal God (1978)
Mystery Of Rampo, The (1994)
Angels And Demons (2009)
Daughters Of Darkness (1971)
Manhattan Baby (1982)