My favorite movies of 2009

I’m a bit late to the game, but just having refreshed my blog layout, I’m posting this now rather than never. I’ve also been updating my movie records, so here’s my recap of 2009.

The formula:

I watched just 8 movies in theaters in 2009, down from 18 the year before (a 55% dip). In previous years, when preparing my “best of” list, I’ve limited the list to only movies I saw in theaters during that calendar year. This time around, I’m amending that formula to include any movie I’ve watched in theaters or at home, as long as it was released in 2009. For comparison, I’ve starred (*) the 8 movies in the list that I saw in theaters during the calendar year 2009.

The downside to this new formula is that I’m essentially picking an arbitrary date (April 17, 2010) to declare my 2009 list closed; in the past I marked it closed on Dec. 31st of that year. While the old formula makes it easy understand, I simply saw both too few movies in 2009, and too many from that year in early 2010, to not expand the criteria. While purists might complain, I would rather my list be comprehensive rather than drastically incomplete.

The results:

Overall, I felt the quality of movies released in 2009 was up significantly over those released in 2008; this year I found it noticeably more difficult to order the list. Some other notes:

  • While I consider comedy my favorite genre, this is the 2nd year in a row that an action movie has made the top of the list.
  • Last year, my top drama came in at #12 (and it wasn’t even a clear drama); this year my 10 includes 4 dramas; my top 3 includes 2.
  • My favorite actors of the past two years would appear to be Paul Rudd, Robert Downey Jr., and Jason Segel. They are the three actors who have appeared in a top 10 pick in both ’08 and ’09.

The list:

Here’s my list for 2009:

Didn’t like:
19. GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra


18. The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard
17. The Invention of Lying
16. Avatar
15. Angels & Demons
14. Funny People*
13. Up
12. Monsters vs. Aliens*
11. Extract*


10. I Love You Man*
9. Adventureland
8. Observe and Report*
7. The Hangover
6. Star Trek*
5. Inglourious Basterds
4. An Education
3. Up in the Air*
2. (500) Days of Summer*

My favorite of 2009:

1. Sherlock Holmes (Top action)

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