5. Star Trek
Great cast (particularly charismatic Chris Pine as a steel balled Captain Kirk) led to big fun. I touched briefly on it here, and anxiously await the sequel.
4. District 9
Science fiction and bigotry mixed with a lot of heart. I was putty in its low-budget hands. Read my original review here.
Even when planning mass, whole-sale slaughter, one should still take a moment to look their best.
3. Inglourious Basterds
This movie contained my single favorite scene of the year. No, not that intense opening scene or the suspenseful "wait for the cream" lunch conversation featuring mean Nazi Colonel Hans Landa (the creepy Christoph Waltz, easily given The Wedgie for best male performance 2009). No, not even that truly spectacular burning cinema climax. It was that breathtaking moment when the luminous Mélanie Laurent (perfect as vengeance driven, Shosanna Dreyfus), slipped into that skin tight yet tasteful, square necked, fire red dress, applied a matte red lipstick, pulled down her facial veil and then sashayed out onto the top of the stairs to peer down at the clueless film-goers who will become the key ingredient in her recipe for Nazi flambé. I still get goose-bumps just thinking about it.
I was so blindsided by this uplifting and life-affirming movie that I carried on in an embarrassing bout of lost composure at its beginning and end. Shockingly melancholy yet sweet, absolutely nothing made me laugh harder (Three words: Old Man Fight) or cry more than this instant classic. Added points for the suspense of having a geriatric hero. I sat on edge the entire film, worried he'd drop dead from the stress of the some of those stunts he was pulling off.
Perhaps my writers block is due to my longing for the floating islands of Pandora?
Movie magic so wondrous and intoxicating that withdrawal symptoms may include bouts of depression. I previously gushed about it here.
Honorable Mention: The timely and relevant Up in the Air with George Clooney just missed the list at #6. And although I thought the film Precious was flawed; Mo'nique's performance, filled with fury, hairy armpits and acne, was not.
Worst In Film: The waft of funk that was Wolverine (which I verbally roughed up here) and the putrid blast of gas that was 2012.