Film Break: Five Favorites of 2009 (So Far)

With the blockbuster season ending and the Oscar race gearing up– and with a few of the year’s best pictures still in theaters, at least for another couple of weeks– this seems like a good time to offer a few quick, official recommendations: My five favorite movies of the year, chosen at the halfway point (give or take a month):

01. The Brothers Bloom
Dir. Rian Johnson
bros bloom 1

It’s hip, but it has heart; it’s witty, but it’s not ironic; and it plays with storytelling conventions, but it’s not postmodern. What it is is my kind of comedic caper: Charming, stylish, literate, and full of heart. I love this movie. Click here for a slightly-longer take.

02. The Hurt Locker
Dir. Kathryn Bigelow
hurt locker 1

A war film where the deadliest ticking time bombs are the ones inside the men themselves. This one’s scorchingly intense, edge-of-your-seat suspenseful, and utterly gripping in its psychological drama. Here’s my capsule review.

03. Up
Dir. Peter Docter
up 1

A fantasy that flies as high as the balloons that grace its frames, Pixar’s latest combines B-movie homage, Saturday morning cartoon silliness– and one of the most moving, genuinely profound meditations on marriage I’ve ever seen. Here’s my short take on it.

04. Summer Hours
Dir. Olivier Assayas
summer hours 1

A film about separating the stuff from the stuff. Poetic and profound, Summer Hours is a rich and contemplative picture about art, family, and the passage of time. I reviewed it for CT Movies.

05. The Class
Dir. Laurent Cantet
the class

Think Star Trek is the fastest-moving, most action-packed movie of the year? Well, maybe… but this one comes close. It’s a classroom drama with documentary-style realism, high stakes, and plenty of surprises. Here’s my blurb.

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2 responses to “Film Break: Five Favorites of 2009 (So Far)”

  1. Doug says :

    thanks for this, Josh. Careful – this might become a film review site!

  2. Josh Hurst says :

    Ha! Wishful thinking, Doug. Not that I’d mind being able to write more about film… if only there were more hours in the day!

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