Related Articles: Movies, All

The Best (and Worst) Films of 2009

An Inglourious, Wild Year

Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds), George Clooney (Up In the Air) and Wild Things rule our lists for best films of 2009.

Rossiter Drake

Best Films
1. Up in the Air
Jason Reitman’s third feature taps into the fears of a corporate axeman increasingly troubled by his own isolated existence, and those of the devastated workers he’s hired to fire. It is the young director’s best work to date, and considering his résumé (Thank You for Smoking, Juno), that’s saying a lot.

2. Inglourious Basterds

3. The Cove


5. Food, Inc.

Honorable Mentions: Watchmen, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Hurt Locker, In the Loop, Broken Embraces

Worst Film
1. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Loud, long and utterly incomprehensible, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is an exquisitely painful experience that pummels the senses as it confounds the intellect. Fans showed up anyway, and director Michael Bay gave them less than they deserve in the form of a singularly wretched piece of work punctuated by adolescent jokes and mindless mayhem.

2. Orphan

3. Bride Wars

4. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

5. Year One

Martin Malloy

Best Films
1. Inglorious Basterds: Only Quentin Tarantino could rewrite history in such an entertaining and satisfying way.

2. A Serious Man

3. Moon

4. Fantastic Mr. Fox

5. Up in the Air

Honorable Mentions: The Brothers Bloom, Big Fan, Bronson, Funny People, Where the Wild Things Are

Worst Films
1. Jennifer’s Body: Diablo Cody should spend more time crafting a story and less time creating witty quips.

2. Imagine That

3. The Proposal

4. X-Men Origins: Wolverine

5. Land of the Lost

Mel Valentin

Best Films
1. Where the Wild Things Are: Five years in the making, Where the Wild Things Are confirms Spike Jonze (Adaptation, Being John Malkovich) as a filmmaker worthy of the word. Jonze’s adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s beloved children’s classic is respectful and faithful to the source material and a standalone work of art. It’s not, however, a children’s film for children. Instead, it’s a film about childhood for adults.

2. A Serious Man

3. Hunger

4. Up

5. Coraline

Honorable Mentions: Inglourious Basterds, Up in the Air, The Road Moon, Watchmen

Worst Films
Gentlemen Broncos: The word “execrable” aptly describes Jared Hess’ (Nacho Libre, Napoleon Dynamite) third film, a film so condescending, so contemptuous of its characters that it’ll make all but the most unfeeling of audience members sick to their stomachs. To be avoided at all costs.

2. Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen

3. Paul Blart: Mall Cop

4. Year One

5. Whatever Works