It’s been an amazing year in film with so many diverse movies — you’ve laughed, cried, learned and been entertained. Whether it was Mo’Nique’s gut-wrenching performance in Precious, Michael Moore’s biting commentary in Capitalism: A Love Story, or the high-octane energy from Star Trek — films may have been the only thing that got you through a year of global economic distress.
I have seen countless movies this year; here are my selections for the 10 most impactful, entertaining and well done films of 2009. Sound off in the comments!
10. Star Trek (Zoe Saldana, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto)
“Normally, 11 versions equates disaster, but somehow, some way, director J.J. Abrams and the creators of Star Trek managed to pull off the best sci-fi movie since The Matrix.”
9. Tyson (Documentary)
“Some parts are hilarious, some are heartbreaking and whether or not you think Mike is a rapist or saint — you can’t help but feel his truth.”
8. Capitalism: A Love Story (Documentary)
“Michael Moore is the Obama of documentarians.”
7. More Than a Game (Documentary)
“Deeply inspiring. That said, for every young kid who sees More Than a Game and thinks they are the next LeBron James — it should be mandatory to watch 1994’s Hoop Dreams.”
6. Good Hair (Documentary)
“Quite brilliantly, Chris Rock skillfully peeled back archaic layers, opening up a dialogue that could’ve been volatile. His natural talent made the doc hilarious and thought-provoking, rising above race and gender.”
5. American Violet (Nicole Beharie, Alfre Woodard)
“It’s not enough for a movie to have a Black cast for it to be good, it must have good writing, engaging stories and impassioned actors. This film has all three.”
4. Valentino: the Last Emperor (Documentary)
“In a time where fashion is reduced to tawdry reality shows, Valentino: The Last Emperor reinjects the sophistication and elegance in what some say is a lost art form.”
3. Bruno (Sacha Baron Cohen)
“Yes, Bruno is in ‘gay face’ if you will, but when going beyond the surface, he is clearly turning the mirror on us and saying, ‘Do you see how stupid these stereotypes are?’”
2. Michael Jackson’s This Is It (Documentary)
“Fan or not, in This Is It, you don’t see death, just life. There is no sadness or tears; you walk out with a smile. Forget the controversies, this is truly who Michael Jackson was – his music. It’s a film that you don’t want to end.”
1. Precious: Based on the Novel PUSH by Sapphire (Mo’Nique, Gabourey Sidibe and Mariah Carey)
“Clearly, the best film of the year. Mo’Nique’s performance? Even if Bette Davis, Joan Crawford and Katherine Hepburn all came back from the dead — they could not pull that Oscar out of Mo’Nique’s hands.”
Honorable Mentions: Avatar, Skin, The Princess and the Frog and Life Is Hot In Cracktown.