The 30 Best Films of 2009

by ZachMatsonVsTheWorld | created - 24 Apr 2011 | updated - 28 Dec 2014 | Public
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1. (500) Days of Summer (2009)

PG-13 | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

76 Metascore

An offbeat romantic comedy about a woman who doesn't believe true love exists, and the young man who falls for her.

Director: Marc Webb | Stars: Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Geoffrey Arend, Chloë Grace Moretz

Votes: 420,350 | Gross: $32.39M

2. Inglourious Basterds (2009)

R | 153 min | Adventure, Drama, War

69 Metascore

In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a plan to assassinate Nazi leaders by a group of Jewish U.S. soldiers coincides with a theatre owner's vengeful plans for the same.

Directors: Quentin Tarantino, Eli Roth | Stars: Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth, Mélanie Laurent

Votes: 1,036,935 | Gross: $120.54M

3. Up in the Air (I) (2009)

R | 109 min | Drama, Romance

83 Metascore

Ryan Bingham enjoys living out of a suitcase for his job, travelling around the country firing people, but finds that lifestyle threatened by the presence of a potential love interest, and a new hire.

Director: Jason Reitman | Stars: George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Jason Bateman

Votes: 289,402 | Gross: $83.82M

4. Avatar (2009)

PG-13 | 162 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

83 Metascore

A paraplegic marine dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez

Votes: 984,145 | Gross: $760.51M

5. Watchmen (2009)

R | 162 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

56 Metascore

In 1985 where former superheroes exist, the murder of a colleague sends active vigilante Rorschach into his own sprawling investigation, uncovering something that could completely change the course of history as we know it.

Director: Zack Snyder | Stars: Jackie Earle Haley, Patrick Wilson, Carla Gugino, Malin Akerman

Votes: 430,016 | Gross: $107.51M

6. Up (2009)

PG | 96 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

88 Metascore

Seventy-eight year old Carl Fredricksen travels to Paradise Falls in his home equipped with balloons, inadvertently taking a young stowaway.

Directors: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson | Stars: Edward Asner, Jordan Nagai, John Ratzenberger, Christopher Plummer

Votes: 780,493 | Gross: $293.00M

7. Star Trek (2009)

PG-13 | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

82 Metascore

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.

Director: J.J. Abrams | Stars: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Leonard Nimoy

Votes: 542,109 | Gross: $257.73M

8. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009)

PG | 90 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

66 Metascore

A local scientist is often regarded as a failure until he invents a machine that can make food fall from the sky. But little does he know, that things are about to take a turn for the worst.

Directors: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller | Stars: Anna Faris, Bill Hader, Bruce Campbell, James Caan

Votes: 173,175 | Gross: $124.87M

9. Moon (2009)

R | 97 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

67 Metascore

Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems.

Director: Duncan Jones | Stars: Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey, Dominique McElligott, Rosie Shaw

Votes: 294,749 | Gross: $5.01M

10. Paper Man (2009)

R | 110 min | Comedy, Drama

37 Metascore

A washed-up writer forms an unlikely friendship with a teenager from Long Island.

Directors: Kieran Mulroney, Michele Mulroney | Stars: Jeff Daniels, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Lisa Kudrow

Votes: 16,776 | Gross: $0.02M

11. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

PG | 87 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

83 Metascore

An urbane fox cannot resist returning to his farm raiding ways and then must help his community survive the farmers' retaliation.

Director: Wes Anderson | Stars: George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman

Votes: 163,069 | Gross: $21.00M

12. Zombieland (2009)

R | 88 min | Adventure, Comedy, Horror

73 Metascore

A shy student trying to reach his family in Ohio, a gun-toting tough guy trying to find the last Twinkie, and a pair of sisters trying to get to an amusement park join forces to travel across a zombie-filled America.

Director: Ruben Fleischer | Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Abigail Breslin

Votes: 431,818 | Gross: $75.59M

13. The Hurt Locker (2008)

R | 131 min | Drama, History, Thriller

94 Metascore

During the Iraq War, a Sergeant recently assigned to an army bomb squad is put at odds with his squad mates due to his maverick way of handling his work.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow | Stars: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Guy Pearce

Votes: 371,743 | Gross: $17.02M

Theatrical release date: Friday June 26th, 2009.

14. District 9 (2009)

R | 112 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller

81 Metascore

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.

Director: Neill Blomkamp | Stars: Sharlto Copley, David James, Jason Cope, Nathalie Boltt

Votes: 580,190 | Gross: $115.65M

15. Paranormal Activity (2007)

R | 86 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

68 Metascore

After moving into a suburban home, a couple becomes increasingly disturbed by a nightly demonic presence.

Director: Oren Peli | Stars: Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat, Mark Fredrichs, Amber Armstrong

Votes: 200,394 | Gross: $107.92M

Theatrical release date: Friday September 25th, 2009.

16. An Education (2009)

PG-13 | 100 min | Drama

85 Metascore

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.

Director: Lone Scherfig | Stars: Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina, Olivia Williams

Votes: 119,410 | Gross: $12.57M

17. Adventureland (2009)

R | 107 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

76 Metascore

In the summer of 1987, a college graduate takes a 'nowhere' job at his local amusement park, only to find it's the perfect course to get him prepared for the real world.

Director: Greg Mottola | Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, Kelsey Ledgin

Votes: 141,808 | Gross: $16.03M

18. The Education of Charlie Banks (2007)

R | 100 min | Drama

50 Metascore

College student Charlie Banks has to face old problems when the bully he had an unpleasant encounter with back in high school shows up on his campus.

Director: Fred Durst | Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Jason Ritter, Eva Amurri Martino, Chris Marquette

Votes: 4,608 | Gross: $0.01M

Release Date: February 27th, 2009.

19. The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)

R | 94 min | Comedy, War

54 Metascore

A reporter in Iraq might just have the story of a lifetime when he meets Lyn Cassady, a guy who claims to be a former member of the U.S. Army's New Earth Army, a unit that employs paranormal powers in their missions.

Director: Grant Heslov | Stars: Ewan McGregor, George Clooney, Kevin Spacey, Jeff Bridges

Votes: 117,680 | Gross: $32.42M

20. Sherlock Holmes (2009)

PG-13 | 128 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

57 Metascore

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.

Director: Guy Ritchie | Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams, Mark Strong

Votes: 524,878 | Gross: $209.03M

21. The Hangover (2009)

R | 100 min | Comedy

73 Metascore

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.

Director: Todd Phillips | Stars: Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, Justin Bartha, Ed Helms

Votes: 638,007 | Gross: $277.32M

22. Nine (2009)

PG-13 | 118 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

49 Metascore

Famous film director Guido Contini struggles to find harmony in his professional and personal lives, as he engages in dramatic relationships with his wife, his mistress, his muse, his agent, and his mother.

Director: Rob Marshall | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Penélope Cruz, Sandro Dori

Votes: 39,798 | Gross: $19.66M

23. A Serious Man (2009)

R | 106 min | Comedy, Drama

79 Metascore

Larry Gopnik, a Midwestern physics teacher, watches his life unravel over multiple sudden incidents. Though seeking meaning and answers amidst his turmoils, he seems to keep sinking.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen | Stars: Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Kind, Sari Lennick, Fred Melamed

Votes: 114,296 | Gross: $9.19M

24. Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

PG | 101 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

71 Metascore

Yearning for escape and adventure, a young boy runs away from home and sails to an island filled with creatures that take him in as their king.

Director: Spike Jonze | Stars: Max Records, Catherine O'Hara, Forest Whitaker, Pepita Emmerichs

Votes: 93,630 | Gross: $77.23M

25. Pirate Radio (2009)

R | 117 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

58 Metascore

A band of rogue DJs that captivated Britain, playing the music that defined a generation and standing up to a government that wanted classical music, and nothing else, on the airwaves.

Director: Richard Curtis | Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Nick Frost, Michael Hadley

Votes: 97,842 | Gross: $7.99M

26. New York, I Love You (2008)

R | 103 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

49 Metascore

Several love stories set in one of the most loved cities of the world, New York City.

Directors: Fatih Akin, Yvan Attal, Randall Balsmeyer, Allen Hughes, Shunji Iwai, Wen Jiang, Shekhar Kapur, Joshua Marston, Mira Nair, Natalie Portman, Brett Ratner | Stars: Shia LaBeouf, Natalie Portman, Bradley Cooper, Hayden Christensen

Votes: 41,902 | Gross: $1.59M

27. The Blind Side (2009)

PG-13 | 129 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

53 Metascore

The story of Michael Oher, a homeless and traumatized boy who became an All American football player and first round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman and her family.

Director: John Lee Hancock | Stars: Quinton Aaron, Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Jae Head

Votes: 251,064 | Gross: $255.96M

28. The Road (I) (2009)

R | 111 min | Adventure, Drama

64 Metascore

In a dangerous post-apocalyptic world, an ailing father defends his son as they slowly travel to the sea.

Director: John Hillcoat | Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Robert Duvall

Votes: 197,043 | Gross: $0.06M

29. Monsters vs. Aliens (2009)

PG | 94 min | Animation, Action, Adventure

56 Metascore

A woman transformed into a giant after she is struck by a meteorite on her wedding day becomes part of a team of monsters sent in by the U.S. government to defeat an alien mastermind trying to take over Earth.

Directors: Rob Letterman, Conrad Vernon | Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Rainn Wilson, Stephen Colbert, Seth Rogen

Votes: 127,960 | Gross: $198.35M

30. The Lovely Bones (2009)

PG-13 | 135 min | Drama, Fantasy, Thriller

42 Metascore

Centers on a young girl who has been murdered and watches over her family - and her killer - from purgatory. She must weigh her desire for vengeance against her desire for her family to heal.

Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Rachel Weisz, Mark Wahlberg, Saoirse Ronan, Susan Sarandon

Votes: 137,890 | Gross: $43.82M