June 23rd, 2010
With June marking the halfway point on the calendar, we can finally get a grasp of how this year’s movies are stacking up against 2009, a great year for moviegoers by all accounts. In case you’ve already forgotten what last year gave us, this countdown of 2009′s best should refresh your memory.
10. New Moon Based on box office numbers it would place towards the better half of any list, but with so many loose ends leading into the saga’s third movie, Eclipse, New Moon is more of a stepping stone than a complete film.
9. Adventureland Kristen Stewart’s other movie in 2009 didn’t register nearly the same mainstream response, but Adventureland quickly developed a significant cult following. Starring Jesse Eisenberg alongside Stewart, this coming of age story is set in the late 80′s and explores a post-graduate virgin’s struggle to make ends meet both socially and financially.
8. The Blind Side Based on the true story of Michael Oher’s improbable rise to the NFL stage, The Blind Side is carried by Sandra Bullock’s Oscar winning performance. In addition to Bullock’s first career Best Actress award, the film itself received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.
7. District 9 This mock-umentary tracks alien life on earth after their 1982 arrival, as the extraterrestrial “prawns” are relegated to slums inside South Africa. More than a mere science fiction flick, District 9 explores issues of race and segregation inspired by the country’s apartheid history.
6. The Hangover Four friends embark on a Vegas bachelor party they will never forget remember in Todd Phillips’ blockbuster comedy. Hilarity ensues as they try to retrace their steps in an effort to find Doug, the missing would-be groom.
5. Up In The Air George Clooney plays the part of corporate terminator and motivational speaker Ryan Bingham, intentionally devoid of personal relationships with the single goal of reaching the mythical 10 million sky mile mark. At the urging of his company’s young new hire Natalie, Bingham is forced to challenge his own philosophy and explore emotions he’s made a career out of ignoring.
4. Up Pixar’s second highest grossing film worldwide, behind fellow animated film Finding Nemo, Up follows the skyward journey of an unlikely pairing: neighborhood grouch Carl Fredricksen and Russell, a youngster with a flair for exploring.
3. Avatar James Cameron’s visual masterpiece raised the bar for special effects, even if the resounding themes of the movie are a bit clich.
2. The Hurt Locker The 2009 Best Picture award winner offers an intense look at the stresses and pressures, both mental and physical, of a military bomb squad in the Middle East.
1. Inglorious Basterds Quentin Tarantino’s World War II film centers around a team of 8 Jewish soldiers, led by eccentric commander Aldo Rain, hell-bent on taking as many Nazi “scalps” as possible. Full of laughs, suspense and sheer shock value, Inglorious Basterds has something for everybody, except maybe Nazis.