2. No Country For Old Men
3. Michael Clayton
4. There Will Be Blood
5. In the Valley of Elah
7. 3:10 to Yuma
8. The Orphanage
10. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
11. Sweeney Todd
13. Gone, Baby, Gone
14. Knocked Up
Honorable Mention: Breach, The Lookout, Enchanted, Hairspray, The Host, Death at a Funeral, The Nines, Superbad, Stardust, Zodiac and Once.
Chris Cooper, Breach
*Tommy Lee Jones, In the Valley of Elah
Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises
George Clooney, Michael Clayton
Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd
Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Honorable Mention: Richard Gere in The Hoax; Jamie Draven in Badland; Joseph Gordon-Levitt in The Lookout; Ryan Reynolds in The Nines; Christian Bale in 3:10 to Yuma; Casey Affleck in Gone Baby Gone, Jindabyne
Molly Shannon, Year of the Dog
*Julie Christie, Away From Her
Keri Russell, Waitress
Ellen Page, Juno
Amy Adams, Enchanted
Best Supporting Actor
Irfan Khan, The Namesake
Alan Tudyk, Death at a Funeral
Ben Foster, 3:10 to Yuma
*Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton
Javier Bardem, No Country For Old Men
Honorable Mention: Tommy Lee Jones in No Country For Old Men; Josh Brolin in American Gangster; Ashraf Barhom in The Kingdom; Armin Muller-Stahl in Eastern Promises; Jeff Bridges in Surf’s Up; Andy Griffith in Waitress; Paul Dano in There Will Be Blood; Peter O’Toole in Ratatouille
Best Supporting Actress
Sigourney Weaver, The TV Set
Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton
*Amy Ryan, Gone, Baby, Gone
Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There
Honorable Mention: Michelle Pfeiffer in Hairspray and Stardust; Olympia Dukakis in Away From Her; Adrienne Shelley in Waitress; Melissa McCarthy in The Nines
Sarah Polley, Away From Her
Paul Haggis, In the Valley of Elah
Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton
*Brad Bird, Ratatouille
The Coen Brothers, No Country For Old Men
Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
3:10 to Yuma
No Country For Old Men
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
*No Country For Old Men
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
No Country For Old Men
There Will Be Blood
*I Am Legend
Foreign Language Film
Black Book (Netherlands)
*The Orphanage (Spain)
The Band’s Visit (Israel)
Flock of Dodos
No End in Sight
*The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
The Eleventh Hour
In the Shadow of the Moon
For the Bible Tells Me So
The Rape of Europa
Why is Ratatouille the best movie of the year? Because it simply does so many things so well. First of all, as an animated film, it’s drop-dead gorgeous. Second, it’s got exceptional character design. Third, its theme is universal: It’s about a kid from the wrong side of the tracks who wants to break into a world that thinks he’s unworthy. Writer/director Brad Bird is like the great Japanese anime directors: He doesn’t treat animation as if it’s a “family film” ghetto. It’s just his method of telling great stories. Finally, the voice work in Ratatouille pushes it over the top. It goes past the traditional gimmickry of using movie stars for all the voices, like so many animated films of today. Brad Bird is a treasure, and I cannot wait to see what he cooks up next.
Movie I Least Expected to Love
Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. (But I did!)
Huzzah For Adult Movies!
Or, perhaps I should say, movies for adults. Michael Clayton is a candy store of a movie for grownups. It’s a movie about adult problems, adult responsibilities an adult situations. The dialog is dazzling and is delivered with utter confidence by a spectacular cast. There are so many moments to treasure in this movie that it truly calls for repeated viewings.
Most Woefully Underappreciated
Waitress, 3:10 to Yuma, The Lookout, Jindabyne, The Nines, Death at a Funeral, The Last Legion, Badland
Good Popcorn Movies
Fracture, Grindhouse, Shooter, Shrek 3, Mr. Brooks, Live Free or Die Hard, Transformers, The Kingdom, The Bourne Ultimatum, The Simpsons Movie, The Last Legion, American Gangster, Bee Movie, Shoot’em Up, The Golden Compass, I Am Legend, National Treasure: Book of Secrets
Maybe Not Great, But SO Much Better Than the Boring Book
Best Casting of Three People Playing the Same Role
Saoirse Ronan, Romola Garai and Vanessa Redgrave all play Briony in Atonement.
Best Casting of Six People Playing the Same Role
Cate Blanchett, Heath Ledger, Richard Gere, Christian Bale, Ben Wishaw, Marcus Carl Franklin all play (sort of) Bob Dylan in I’m Not There
If You’re Really in a Merchant/Ivory Mood
Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Best Visual Effects
The Year’s Best Lines
“It’s when people die in the wrong order. That’s when things get really fucked up.” Deborra-lee Furness tells it like it is in the overlooked Jindabyne
“To tell you the truth, I don’t really know what kind of girl I am.” June fesses up to her parents in Juno.
“It’s a mess, ain’t it sheriff?.” “If it ain’t it’ll do till the mess gets here.” – Tommy Lee Jones and his deputy assess a mess in No Country For Old Men.
Best Remake of Hitchcock’s Rear Window
Best Action Sequence
The wordless chase across the rooftops of Tangiers in The Bourne Ultimatim
Viggo Mortensen takes on assassins in a steamroom in Eastern Promises
The final shootout in The Kingdom
New Genre That I Approve Of
Eco-Horror films. This year’s best example: The Last Winter.
A Good Year for Action Flicks!
The Bourne Ultimatim
Live Free or Die Hard
The Last Legion
Best Movie in Which A Former James Bond is Impaled on a Miniature Church Steeple
Best Handi-Capable Moment
After losing a leg to zombies, Rose McGowan turns that frown upside down by strapping an Uzi to the stump.
What An Amazing Year for Barbra Streisand’s Stepson
Josh Brolin’s career profile went up several notches in 2007, due to his superb performances in four movies. He played a sick and evil doctor in Grindhouse, an opportunistic lawman in the Valley of Elah, a ferociously corrupt New York City cop in American Gangster, and a foolish fortune-grabber in No Country For Old Men
The Year Ben Affleck Found His True Calling
Directing! Gone, Baby, Gone is enough to make us forgive you for Pearl Harbor and Gigli.
This Year’s Bad But Oddly Enjoyable Sandra Bullock Time Travel Movie
Premonition. Not as good as The Lake House, but still fun in a stupid way.
Not Nearly As Bad As Everyone Said
Lions For Lambs
Death at a Funeral
The Simpsons Movie
Best Gross-Out Joke of 2008
Jonah Hill picks a dancing partner with a very short skirt and a very unfortunate personal hygiene issue in Superbad.
Best One Since The First One
Live Free or Die Hard
Best Western since Unforgiven
3:10 to Yuma
Scariest Movie in a Really Long Time
Best Monster Movie in a Very Long Time
The Host (South Korea). This feels like the Godzilla movie Hitchcock might have made. Great special effects, very scary monster, plus (and this is the unusual part) wonderful writing and acting to support the human story.
Give Her Some Leads in Big Pictures Already
Maria Bello is ready for her closeup. Give her some meaty roles in big movies!!
Good Year for Jane Austen Dweebs (Like Me)
The Jane Austen Book Club
Please May We See More Of . . .
Jindabyne’s Deborra-lee Furness
Stardust’s Charlie Cox
Hairspray’s Nikki Blonsky
The Kingdom’s Ashraf Barhom
Also Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Matthew Goode, Maria Bello, Hugh Dancy, Kathy Baker, Alexander Siddig, Aishwarya Rai.
Who Cares if He Can Act or Not, Just Please Keep Letting Him Make Movies
I’ll watch Josh Hartnett even in dreck like 30 Days of Night.
Most Underappreciated Comeback The wonderful Frank Oz, directing the shockingly underappreciated Death at a Funeral. We can’t even remember the last good movie farce.
The Dogs of 2007 Sunshine. Directed by the talented Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Millions, Shallow Grave), this big-budget science fiction epic is a shoddy mess. I don’t know what Boyle was smoking, but he needs to take a vacation from filmmaking for awhile if this is the kind of dreck he feels like making.
The Brave One. Clenched-jawed Jodie Foster enters Death Wish territory. Why? Puzzlingly Overrated
Into the Wild. I truly think Sean Penn missed the point of the book.
Further Evidence That Jessica Alba Just May Night Be the Greatest Actress Ever
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
Misery I Didn’t Need
Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
Most Ludicrously Misleading Ad Campaign
The Bridge to Terebitha. The trailers made it look like Narnia II, when it was actually a sharp and well-acted story about the painful lessons of childhood. It’s one thing when a studio knows it has a bad movie and tries to disguise it as a good movie. But in this instance they actually HAD a good movie and really sunk it with a dumb ad campaign.
Most Disappointing Movies
Across the Universe. I mean, it had mad genius Julie Taymor directing, it had a raft of immortal Beatles songs, and a talented cast? Alas, unless you were a teenage girl, this movie was virtually unwatchable.
Rendition. Even with five of my favorite actors (Reese Witherspoon, Peter Saarsgard, Jake Gyllenhaal, Meryl Streep and Alan Arkin) this movie was thinner, shriller and just not as hard-hitting as I had hoped.
Dan in Real Life. This dreck was unrecognizable as real life to me.
Once again, Jodie Foster scores as the ludicrous radio-show-host turned gun-toting vigiliante in the repulsive The Brave One. One more win and this award will be renamed for Ms. Foster.
Got any feedback? Please leave a Comment here! Remember, I have no problem when people disagree with me. Having bad taste is your right as an American.