10. FUNNY PEOPLE
It's long, it's sort of a mess, but, I found it hilarious and poignant. I know a couple of stand up comedians, and from getting to know them, I can honestly say this film encompasses how much pain, anger and sadness that one must go through to be funny.
9. MEDICINE FOR MELANCHOLY
It's a "walking around the city" drama about the 24 hours following a one night stand. A very engaging, very funny, very thoughtful film.
An old school intelligent science fiction film that's not about action and gadgets, but rather about character and emotion. Also, my film wet dream: Sam Rockwall is in every single scene.
7. BIG FAN
A bleak and funny character study with fucking Patton Oswald giving one of the best performances of the year. It accomplishes a rare feat in it's final moments: completely unpredictable.
6. TWO LOVERS
This film reminds me of the great dramas from the 1970s (The Panic in Needle Park, Fat City). Small, simple, great acting. Hopefully Joaquin will snap out of it, he puts on a clinic in this film.
5. (500) DAYS OF SUMMER
My guilty pleasure of the year. At times, it rings as true as any film about love and heart break. At other times, it's a cliche ridden as your typical studio film. But by any measure, it's the best romantic comedy of the decade.
4. GOODBYE SOLO
Ramin Bahrani is slowly becoming one of my favorite contemporary film directors. After MAN PUSH CART and CHOP SHOP, he once again tops himself, giving us two original characters you'll most likely never see in any other film.
3. THE HURT LOCKER
I wish I could reedit the final 5 minutes. Having said that, this is the best war movie I've seen in quite sometime. Actually, it's less about war and more about the men doing work. There really isn't a story here, there's no antagonist, just these three characters doing their job.
2. WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
First things first: this is probably the most polarizing film of the year. I realize that a lot of people didn't like it, and that's fine, it's their loss. But, me, I was literally moved to tears. Hands down one of the most honest portrayals of childhood emotion I've seen on screen maybe ever.
1. A SERIOUS MAN
It's a work of comic genius. The most existential film from the Coens since BARTON FINK. It's about trying to make sense of life, as futile as that may be. Bottom line: the best ending to a film this year. Also, it's something I thought I'd never see from the Coens: a deeply personal film.
Honorable Mentions: Food, Inc., The Brothers Bloom, Up, The Girlfriend Experience, Up In The Air, The Hangover, Humpday, The Road, the first half of Antichrist.
Overrated: Inglorious Basterds, Precious, Drag Me To Hell, An Education, District 9
Worst films I saw this year: Away We Go, Gigantic, The Goods, Terminator Salvation
Haven't Seen Yet: Broken Embraces, A Single Man, Anvil!, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Brothers, Crazy Heart