Top 5… Films from 2009

Continuing my countdown of the best films of every year, here are my top films from 2009. This was a really tough year to pick only five from so the honourable mentions list is fairly long to compensate!

5. Up in the Air

George Clooney’s job is to go into companies and fire people. He spends most of his life in hotels and aeroplanes so when he is grounded and replaced by a remote firing system he has to adjust to staying in once place. This is an excellent film led superbly by Clooney but Anna Kendrick and Vera Farmiga give brilliant supporting turns that make this endlessly enjoyable.

4. An Education

A bright young girl in 1960s London has her life turned upside down by a rich playboy twice her age. That sentence doesn’t begin to express this film but I don’t want to say more as it just has to be seen. After this Carey Mulligan got a lot of attention and praise and now I know why. She is amazing!

3. Up

Pixar rarely put a foot wrong (only the Cars series lets them down) and with Up they even managed to make grown men weep with a tear-jerking opening montage. Even if the rest of the film can’t quite live up to this stunning beginning it is still a brilliant film with great characters.

2. Avatar

Avatar was a very divisive film with some people dubbing it “Smurfahontas”. All I can say is I loved it. It ticked all the boxes for a big sci-fi action film and I don’t care one bit if the plot is unoriginal. This is about simple story told in a very loud and bombastic way that burns itself onto your retinas with it’s gorgeous colours. I can even forgive this film for making 3D the latest gimmick!

1. District 9

Without a doubt though District 9 is the best film of 2009. A film that can get me to perch on the edge of my seat and gasp and wow through the screening is always going to do well. The way the story parallels the apartheid of South Africa is brilliant and the story grips through to the end. With Peter Jackson’s help Neill Blomkamp burst onto the directing scene with this film and I can’t wait to see if his sophomore effort (Elysium) can match this when it is released in 2013.

Honourable Mentions

  • Invictus – Rugby has never looked so good!
  • Mother – A mesmerising Korean film about a mother out to defend her son.
  • The Hangover – I thought I would hate it but it totally surprised me and was actually very good!
  • Sherlock Holmes – It shouldn’t have worked but it did. Guy Ritchie is back!
  • Watchmen – It stunned me on first viewing but sadly hasn’t maintained that awe too well.
  • Zombieland – Very funny and full of zombies. Fab combination!
  • Coraline – The best non-Pixar animated film of the year. Spooky!
  • Adventureland – Teen angst played out in a crappy theme park.
  • Inglorious Basterds – Tarantino creates an amazing collection of scenes. If only they hung together better!
  • The Race to Witch Mountain – A surprisingly entertaining kids film.
  • Fish Tank – Gritty, painful and brilliant. Fassbender as always steals the show.
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