The Best Movies of 2009
Below is my list of the best movies that I have seen that were released in 2009 (even if some were made in 2008). I have included trailers for each movie. Click on any of the highlighted titles for my full review of that film. I highly recommend all of these movies. I will continue to add to this list if I see any more movies from 2009 that are worthy of this list.
Public Enemies (2009)
The Hangover (2009)
The Box (2009)
The Road (2009)
Movies that were good, but did not quite make the list are:
State of Play (2009)
The Messenger (2009)
The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (2009)
Law Abiding Citizen (2009)
Terminator Salvation (2009)
The Proposal (2009)
The Hurt Locker (2009)
The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009)
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (2009)
Couple’s Retreat (2009)
Crank: High Voltage (2009)
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)
Dark humor in an edgy looking story jammed packed with character actors galore. Why wouldn’t I want to see this film?
The movie is about a broken woman whose daughter had been raped and murdered less than a year earlier and the crime is still unsolved. She decides to purchase advertisements on three billboards outside of Ebbing, Missouri, essentially publically calling the police out for not doing their jobs. This gets the attention of the police station and stirs things up around town.
The film was written and directed by Martin McDonagh and the noteworthy cast includes Frances Mcdormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Peter Dinklage, Caleb Landry Jones, Abbie Cornish, Lucas Hedges, Zeljko Ivanek, Christopher Berry, John Hawkes, Clarke Peters, and Darrell Brit-Gibson.
The casting is superb. The characters are excellent. Rockwell and Harrelson are likable jerks (as they often are). They play their parts well. Mcdormand steals the show with her best performance in years.
The multiple characters stories join together well in a web of darkness. The movie allows its cast to take their time to develop their characters in an overly dysfunctional drama. They really did not disappoint.
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri is a blunt force. It has the right amount of dark humor carefully thrown into the mix to break up the brutal honesty of the film.
This film is a miserably twisted tale that goes to some dark places. You can really feel the pain and anguish on screen. However, it leaves those places leaving you feeling better about the whole thing afterwards.
There is more cussing in this film than I have heard in a newer film for a while. The dialogue and writing are top notch. I enjoyed how the film did not really edit itself. It may not be much for the politically correct crowd. If you cannot handle harsh language, this movie is not for you. Given some of the horrible situations in this film, I feel that the language was justified and also more realistic. It served as another tool to get the point across.
The movie pushes the boundaries on what you expect. Lots of surprises keep you guessing throughout. It’s witty and charming, but in a dysfunctional, hellish way.
I rate this movie a 9 on a scale of 1-10.
If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:
North Country (2005)
Mr. Right (2015)
Matchstick Men (2003)
Triple 9 (2016)
The Battle of the Sexes (2017)
Although I did not live during the time that this film is supposed to have taken place, I knew a little bit about the battle of the sexes. OK, all I really knew was that men and women played tennis against each other in the 1970s to prove which sex was better at sports. I did not know any specifics. I knew nothing.
The movie is a true story about how the best women’s tennis player, Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and former men’s tennis champion, Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) come to play an exhibition tennis match against each other for the battle of the sexes in 1973.
The rest of the noteworthy cast includes Andrea Riseborough, Bill Pullman, Natalie Morales, Sarah Silverman, Alan Cumming, Elisabeth Shue, Eric Christian Olsen, Fred Armisen, Jessica McNamee, Austin Stowell, Wallace Langham, Lewis Pullman (son of Bill Pullman), and James Mackay.
The movie was written by Simon Beaufoy and directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris.
The Battle of the Sexes was very formulaic and predictable. However, it was a true story that I was truly unfamiliar with. An exhibition tennis match suddenly becomes a fight for equal pay and equal rights. It is a feel-good film about working to right a wrong in society. The movie is an exploration in sexism and surprisingly, sexuality.
This would have been a great time to experience in American History. To witness this symbolic tennis match (even just on TV), would’ve been witnessing an important time for women’s rights.
The movie does a good job showing just how slanted peoples’ views of men and women were back in the 1970s. Even though lots of people believe that we still have a lot of work to do when it comes to equals rights for all, this film is definitely a big reminder that we have come a long way.
Emma Stone and Steve Carell were superb pitted against each other (as they were together in Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011). The costume design in the movie was excellent. Stone and Carell looked very much like the people they were portraying. So much so, that it was a little scary. The 1970s was recreated very artistically down to every detail.
The movie had a nice recipe of goofy humor, and serious drama. Like many sports films, it was quite predictable. It is a formula that we have seen 100 times and it doesn’t get old. We still enjoy watching the underdog. It’s a David and Goliath story. Danielle and Goliath, if you will.
I rate this movie a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10.
If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:
The Natural (1984)
Now You See Me (2013)
Now You See Me is a film about a group of 4 magicians brought together by an unknown person. They are convinced to become a team and eventually they land their own show in Las Vegas. When one of their tricks involves stealing a large amount of money, they become part of a cat and mouse chase with the FBI.
The film was directed by Louis Leterrier. The cast includes Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo, Dave Franco, Isla Fisher, Melanie Laurent, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Michael Kelly, Common, and David Warshofsky.
Now You See Me hypnotized me with its excitement. It was certain to amaze. The cast of characters were all clever and quite entertaining. For a while I was caught up in the illusion of the promise of something great. Eventually I was let down. The ride was a thrill. The destination however, was a disappointment.
I enjoyed seeing Eisenberg and Harrelson teamed up together again for the first time since Zombieland (2009).
This is the 4th time that Freeman and Caine have been in the same film. The previous 3 films were The Dark Knight Trilogy.
Now You See Me could be Dave Franco’s best performance to date.
It was nice to see Laurent in another American made movie. This is the first film that I have seen her in anything since Inglourious Basterds (2009).
The story was unfinished and sort of lacked a point. The movie became dependent on sleight of hand in order to entertain. You can only one-up a magic trick so many times before it starts to get a little worn out.
The ending of the film acted like it was a big grand conclusion when in reality it just fizzled. Don’t get me wrong, the movie was fun and amusing. It was worth seeing, just not in the theatre. The film is like any magic trick, once you know the secret behind it, it is no longer exciting.
I rate this movie a 7 on a scale of 1-10.
Buy, rent, or run? Rent.
The movie is a comedy about the end of the world brought on by the devil. A couple of friends join together to try to save the world by defeating the antichrist.
The movie looks a little Zombieland (2009) -esque, at least in the comedy sense. But, I’m sure it won’t be anywhere near as funny or as clever as that film.
I’m not gonna rush out to the theatre to see this one, but I’ll probably catch it when it comes to DVD.
The movie is set to release on 6/7/13.
Now You See Me (2013) (click on the title for my full review)
The movie is about a group of famous magicians turned bank robbers. It appears that the sleight of hand in the film will mess with your mind and keep you entertained just like real magicians are supposed to do.
The casting is a reunion of sorts. Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson are together again for the first time since they were teamed up in Zombieland (2009). Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine are reunited for the first times since the Dark Knight Trilogy. The film also has Mark Ruffalo, Isla Fisher, Melanie Laurent, Michael Kelly, Elias Koteas, rapper/actor: Common, and James Franco’s little brother Dave Franco (proved himself in 21 Jump Street (2012).
It looks like a cross between Ocean’s Eleven (2001) and The Prestige (2006). Looks like it could be missing something, but maybe we will be pleasantly surprised.