2009 in Movies: In Detail

The following is an indepth look at some of my favourite movies from 2009. If you want an overview of all my highest rated movies, check out my Best of 2009 listing.

It has been a while since I watched The Hurt Locker but I can still remember some of the key scenes clearly and thinking about the movie as a whole reminds me of intense the experience was. The movie had an interesting and direct storyline and took a very personal approach to the subject of war. It was beautifully shot with some great characters, emotions and performances. I can't wait to watch this movie again, definitely one for the collection and my favourite movie of the year.

Restricting the list above to those movies which were released in 2009 itself, Pixar tops the chart, just like last year, with Up. The introductory sequences following Carl Fredricksen meeting and growing old with his childhood sweetheart was beautiful and heartbreaking. The adventure, with Carl teaming up with Russell and Dug, through the Venezuelan-esque jungle, was full of comedic set pieces. The story was well told, the characters were endearing and the movie was full of colours. But, I thought there were a few over the top gags and overall, I felt it lacked something which needed to make it extremely special. Up was a very good movie, but I don't think it compares to their entrant from the previous year; Wall-E.

James Cameron's Avatar was a spectacular movie, definitely the best cinema experience of the year and probably of the decade. The entire movie was totally engaging, the world of Pandora was breathtakingly beautiful and full of subtleties which no doubt reward multiple viewings. The action was fast-paced and intense. The technology, as well as the movie, was hyped to enormous proportions, which many thought would not meet expectations - but it did. I was blown away by the Na'vi faces and movement, very realistic and the avatars themselves resemble their human counterparts beautifully. Finally, the 3D was by far the best I've seen in any movie to date, it made the experience more immersive and definitely added a new dimension (pun intended) to the experience. Seriously, this is from someone who doesn't really like 3D because of the gimmicky use thus far.

Waltz with Bashir is a harrowing animated retelling of a soldiers experiences in the 1982 invasion of Lebanon. Some of the best traditional animation I've ever seen, combined with the disturbing portrayal of war and it's horrors make for a very moving film. Read my full review.

Two of my other highest rated movies which were actually released in 2009 were indie flicks. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was mesmerising in his relationship with Zooey Deschanel in (500) Days of Summer and in Away We Go, we follow a couple trying to define what home means.

This is the second entry in a series of four documenting my review of 2009 in movies.