10 Best Movies of 2009

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Up (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Seventy-eight year old Carl Fredricksen travels to Paradise Falls in his home equipped with balloons, inadvertently taking a young stowaway. (96 mins.)
“ Pixar has done it again! Life's adventures aren't just "out there." They're here, too, wherever life is lived and love is shared. And it's not photos or mementos that matter, it's the memories of those adventures that keep us warm when we're old. "Up" is a wonderfully touching, openly dark, and surprisingly surreal adventure story. To call the picture 'sentimental' would be an understatement, as it is often an ode to sentimentality. It uses wordless montage and the power of silence every bit as effectively as "Wall-E" and it's often just as action-packed as "The Incredibles". It is a beautiful story, gloriously told with rich and vivid characters, eye-popping visual splendor and acknowledges the complete despairs and utter joys of life in one fell swoop. ” - reh3959
Up in the Air (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Ryan Bingham enjoys living out of a suitcase for his job traveling around the country firing people, but finds that lifestyle threatened by the presence of a potential love interest and a new hire. (109 mins.)
Director: Jason Reitman
“ What you might initially think is a witty comedy about a jerk of a guy who not only thinks he's better than everyone else, but actually is, that either finds the error of his ways or gets dropped down a peg or two, eventually becomes a tale chock full of heart and emotion. Anyone who has ever been fired must see "Up In The Air." Jason Reitman has done again. The director of "Thank You For Smoking" and "Juno" puts real life out there in an incredible way, where we all laugh and then walk out of the theatre thinking about what is really important. A film with a message that's entertaining: what a concept. ” - reh3959
Synecdoche, New York (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A theatre director struggles with his work, and the women in his life, as he creates a life-size replica of New York City inside a warehouse as part of his new play. (124 mins.)
Director: Charlie Kaufman
“ Synecdoche is utterly brilliant! Masterpiece is the kind of title happily bestowed upon rare experiences such as this. "Synecdoche, New York" will not likely find a big audience, as most people will either not want to work at understanding it or won't like what it has to say. But if you're willing to go into it with an open mind, you might just find yourself amazed.

This movie is not for your average viewer. It is thought provoking, emotional, and incredibly difficult to comprehend. I can really only recommend this one to serious movie aficionados. ” - reh3959
(500) Days of Summer (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
An offbeat romantic comedy about a woman who doesn't believe true love exists, and the young man who falls for her. (95 mins.)
Director: Marc Webb
“ "This is a story of boy meets girl. But you should know up front: This is not a love story." This is no love story but rather a "story about love". Tom Hansen, a greeting-card writer and hopeless romantic, is caught completely off-guard when his girlfriend, Summer, suddenly dumps him. He reflects back on their 500 days together to try to figure out where their love affair went sour, and in so doing, Tom rediscovers his true passions in life.

Love story. Fairy tale. Call it what you want."(500) Days of Summer" is a lot more honest and accurate than anything coming out of Hollywood these days. Endearing, fresh and funny, 500 Days also offers insights about fate, attraction, infatuation, heartbreak and the perseverance of hope. ” - reh3959
Star Trek (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The brash James T. Kirk tries to live up to his father's legacy with Mr. Spock keeping him in check as a vengeful Romulan from the future creates black holes to destroy the Federation one planet at a time. (127 mins.)
Director: J.J. Abrams
“ Zachary Quinto has inherited Nimoy’s knack for infusing his matter-of-fact pronouncements with almost subliminal dry wit, and while there’s really no replacing Shatner, Chris Pine is surprisingly adept at evoking the bravado and bluster of Kirk without devolving into parody. He fills Kirk’s space boots with a brashness that easily matches the size of el capitan’s ego. As unlikely as it once seemed, it looks like the ol’ Enterprise has a few more light-years left in it after all. When a familiar face tells young Kirk: "I have been and always shall be your friend." You may even find yourself getting a little choked up. Star Trek fans will love it. Everyone else will mearly think it's a great action sci-fi flick. ” - reh3959
Taken (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A retired CIA agent travels across Europe and relies on his old skills to save his estranged daughter, who has been kidnapped while on a trip to Paris. (93 mins.)
Director: Pierre Morel
“ "Taken" is almost the perfect action film. There's exciting car chases, ample gunplay, knife fight, hand to hand combat with torture, blood, and pain. All this with a body count that would make John Rambo proud. Brian Mills (Liam Neeson) is like Jason Bourne on steriods. There's nothing lofty in the intentions of "Taken." The aspiration here was to make a simple, straight-ahead action thriller. Period. But if you think that's easy, think of all the lousy action thrillers that come out in the course of a year. The level of skill that went into "Taken" is masterly ” - reh3959
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Detective Sherlock Holmes and his stalwart partner Watson engage in a battle of wits and brawn with a nemesis whose plot is a threat to all of England. (128 mins.)
Director: Guy Ritchie
“ Robert Downey Jr. may not be tall or British like
Sherlock Holmes, but he does possess the single most important attribute needed to play England’s famous sleuth. The actor is smart.

In the highly entertaining "Sherlock Holmes" busy plot, vivid locations, thorny relationships, fights, chases and explosions all vie for attention. Yet amid these many moving parts, the film ultimately succeeds for one simple reason: Downey makes his character’s impossibly brilliant deductions seem almost believable.

Based on this exhilarating introductory chapter, I'm more than eager for another ride, provided it's as mentally stimulating as this. ” - reh3959
The Hangover (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Three buddies wake up from a bachelor party in Las Vegas, with no memory of the previous night and the bachelor missing. They make their way around the city in order to find their friend before his wedding. (100 mins.)
Director: Todd Phillips
“ "The Hangover", in which a group of guys try to piece together what actually happened at a Vegas bachelor blowout so wild they can't remember any of it, is crude, audacious, and a laugh riot. Two days before his wedding, Doug and his three buddies drive to Vegas for a blow-out night they'll never forget (or never remember). But when the three groomsmen wake up the next morning with pounding headaches, they can't remember a thing. Their posh hotel suite is beyond trashed and the groom is nowhere to be found.

"Hangover" is sick, twisted and funny. This is a movie where you WANT to stick around for the credits. The beauty is that you are totally set up for it, and you don't mind one bit. That final sequence ties the movie together in an awesome fashion. ” - reh3959
An Education (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A coming-of-age story about a teenage girl in 1960s suburban London, and how her life changes with the arrival of a playboy nearly twice her age. (100 mins.)
Director: Lone Scherfig
“ Literature is full of cautionary tales of innocent young women seduced by smooth-talking rakes. Jenny, a dutiful student and a passionate consumer of modern novels and French pop records, has surely encountered more than a few such stories. But at 16 and in a terrible hurry, she seems less inclined to learn from the mistakes of wayward romantic heroines than to join their ranks.

Peter Sarsgaard, sporting a workman like posh dialect, receives top billing, but the film belongs to Carey Mulligan as Jenny. As the character's sexual initiation gives way to a new chapter, director Lone Scherfig plays the developments for as much truth and sensitivity as the material allows. Mulligan seizes the day. Parts like these do not come around very often. ” - reh3959
District 9 (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth suddenly finds a kindred spirit in a government agent who is exposed to their biotechnology. (112 mins.)
Director: Neill Blomkamp
“ "District 9" is the definition of smart science fiction. "District 9" is the brainchild of a first-time director who displays real talent. Neil Blomkamp has crafted an astonishing debut. In many ways this story is an anecdote to apartheid, but the message is never pandering nor ineffective. Many will proclaim the film’s main intention as trying to be a complete message filled commentary - it isn't. This is ultimately a sci-fi action film that happens to contain genuine well thought-out ideas and a few questions on human nature. There is nothing clean-cut or contrived in "District 9" and it doesn't even resolve traditionally. The lack of complete closure naturally leaves open the potential for a sequel but it also feels true in the sense of that the racial conflict at the heart of the film is not something that can be neatly resolved. This is the most original, innovative and entertaining science-fiction film in years and contains the best mix of politics and spectacle I can recall. ” - reh3959