Mike Massie’s Top 10
There were a lot of great films this year, most of which came out-of-nowhere in December. Although it’s easy enough for me to narrow down the list to ten significant films, the difficult thing is placing them in a satisfactory order. How do you compare a bloodthirsty musical to a hilarious political farce? What about an action-packed, slow-motion extravaganza vs. a carefully paced character study drama? Many critics also like to separate their top ten “favorite” lists from their top ten “best” lists. In my opinion, they should be one and the same – but I could go into many heated, unsolvable arguments over that theory.
If the list extended past 10 titles, I’d almost certainly find room for “Grindhouse,” which managed to create a truly unique theatrical experience. Or perhaps “In the Valley of Elah,” an overlooked drama with exceptional acting by Tommy Lee Jones and Susan Sarandon. But below is my selection of the top ten greatest films I’ve seen this year, which by my definition is the best of the best, whether or not they’re a desert-island favorite or an unforgettable, haunting tragedy.
10. The Bucket List
7. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
6. No Country for Old Men
5. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
3. Charlie Wilson’s War
2. American Gangster
1. There Will Be Blood
Joel Massie’s Top 10
As the studios push all of their Oscar hopefuls at the end of the year, it’s easy to forget about some of the more impressive films that premiered early on. While several of the films that placed highest on my list were indeed from November and December, I rounded out my top 10 with quite a few from the first half of the year.
Most lists out there are going to exclude the special-effects-heavy action fests, like “300,” which utilized so much slow motion carnage and bloody excitement that several shorts and a feature-length comedy have already been made to parody it. You also won’t see many Top 10 lists that include “Grindhouse,” a truly unique recreation of a genre that capitalizes on zombies, exploitation, killer cars, and killer babes. Films like these resonated more deeply, and while several other movies showcased powerful performances, they just didn’t feel all that new and original. Here are the 10 best movies of the year: