January 24, 2008

The Top 10 Films of 2007

No real science to this (especially #'s 2-10), just what I've been feeling lately as the year ends.

1. No Country for Old Men - All things considered, I don't think any other film was made as well as this all year. It probably helps that my experience was heightened dramatically by not having read the book or seen the trailer.

2. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford - Casey Affleck.

3. Into the Wild - Incredible performances across the board round out a stunningly successful adaptation of the book.

4. Once - A genre-less masterpiece. I missed it at the MSP Int'l Film Festival in April but fortunately caught it at the Uptown in early June. Little did I know it was going to be around for months.

5. Zodiac - True stories are never told that well, but it was March. I thought, "nah, that couldn't have been as good as it seemed. Anything that good should be coming out in December." Who missed the mark on this release date?

6. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - True stories are never told that well (or that artistically), unless you're talking about Zodiac, Into the Wild, or Jesse James. Dude wrote a book with his eyelid. His eyelid. Does that compute?

7. The Kite Runner - The best story brought to life on screen all year. I didn't read the book, so save your breath.

8. The Namesake - This coming-of-identity tale was right up my alley. Probably takes the immigrant experience to really appreciate this one.

9. I'm Not There - It took me a while to realize how much this stuck with me. Quite the artistic feat.

10. There Will Be Blood - It didn't blow me away, but it was a top-notch production and deserves the technical accolades.

If I knew how to count past 10:

Charlie Wilson's War - Amusing.
Hot Fuzz - Biting.
The Lookout - Satisfying.
3:10 to Yuma - Scolding.
The Host - Exhilarating.
Across the Universe - Sparkling.
Rescue Dawn - Inspiring.
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days - Unsettling. (Would be in my top 10 but I saw it right after this original post)
The Savages - Depressing.
Vanaja - Enriching.
Knocked Up - Mocking.
I Am Legend - Amazing.
Talk to Me - Uplifting.
Lars and the Real Girl - Pleasing.
2 Days in Paris - Entertaining.
Bamako - Challenging.

Overall, 2007 was probably the best year in film so far this millennium. I'm satisfied, despite the usual Oscar frustration.


  1. I really liked your list. I agree throughout. Glad you're a LAMB now!

  2. 1. Assassination of Jesse James
    2. Before the Devil...
    3. No Country for Old Men
    4. There Will Be Blood
    5. Into the Wild
    6. Once
    7. Zodiac
    8. Grindhouse
    9. King of Kong
    10. Superbad/Knocked Up

    Sweeney Todd, Bourne Ultimatum, 2 Days in Paris, Hot Fuzz, The Host, Rescue Dawn, 3:10 to Yuma, Eastern Promises, No End in Sight

    TOTALLY UNDERRATED: Joshua, The Hoax, Stardust, Aqua Teen, Black Snake Moan, The Mist, Blades of Glory

    TOTALLY OVERRATED: Michael Clayton, Deep Water, Gone Baby Gone, Atonement, Sicko

    WORST OF THE YEAR: Reservation Road, Spiderman 3, Mr. Brooks, Southland Tales, Resurrecting the Champ AND hopefully 100 movies I avoided


    P.S. Getahun: Are we seeing Rambo or what ?

  3. Thanks, Jess! I'm glad to be part of the community.

    Matt, how do you not have Juno on the overrated list? I'm going to do mine shortly. And I didn't include Kong because I thought I would separate docs out. It's definitely best of the year.

  4. Why is it that Assassination of Jesse James and Zodiac are so loved on the web, but other than that, almost nobody else loved them? At least those that I know didn't regard them that highly anyway.

    Good list I guess and I say it like that because I have only seen three films on your list. *Yes it is embarrassing, but living in South Africa is something I am learning to deal with.*

    But I do "plan" on seeing all the films on your list as soon as possible.

  5. It's simple, Nick. People on the web are cooler, smarter, and better-looking than people you "know" in the real world, and thus have better opinions. Just kidding. Seriously, I think Zodiac was just forgotten in the shuffle, and Jesse James was simply missed by everyone.

    Thanks for checking out the list - I'm sure keeping up on the latest (especially independent) releases isn't too easy abroad. What time is Youth Without Youth" playing in Johannesburg? Yeah, right.

    Nice job with your blog - that's as good as I could hope to do in your situation!

  6. I loved Jesse James and Zodiac though, so sad to see them so underappreciated. But this year, I will be attending press screenings, so that means I will be able to see films way earlier than I otherwise could.

    Thanks, I don't nearly update my blog enough, what with school and all that, but I try. I love your blog though, its on my blog roll. Speak Soon.

  7. Good for you on getting press access! That sounds pretty cool. Thanks, also - I'm happy to add you to my list as well.

  8. Daniel I've been watching a ton of movies lately. I'd have to say that the Kiterunner, No Country, and Gone Baby Gone were my top choices. Question- Did you happen to catch the Orphanage? I liked it and it scared me for about a week afterwards. Everytime I went to bed and turned off the lights I'd see little orphan kids running around in my room!

    Anyways, please continue to do your reviews. I find them interesting and helpful! Thanks.

  9. Nice, Sam! I'm glad you're making good use of your time = seeing movies in the theater. I thought Gone Baby Gone was pretty decent, just didn't make my list.

    As far as The Orphanage goes, I had hard time with the trailer alone, so no chance I was going to see it in the theater. None, for exactly the reasons you said. You can see my "scariest movies" post from October to get a sense of how much of a baby I am. It's true, I can't handle the horror - especially with kids.

    Hey check out the E St. theater in downtown DC, it's pretty sweet and you might catch some good indie films.

  10. Hmmm...

    No ATONEMENT? Ah, well...

    Very interesting list. I do concur with many of your choices. THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD, ONCE and THE LOOKOUT would ALL have made my Top 10 in a less fabulous year.

    INTO THE WILD is #5 on my list, 3:10 TO YUMA is my #6 and ZODIAC makes its appearance at #9.

    THERE WILL BE BLOOD is a stunner. You don't see many groundbreaking landmarks in your usual trips to the movie palace. I could have cheated and had ATONEMENT and TWBB tie for #1. But that just doesn't sit well with me.

    ATONEMENT, with its dark, melancholy edge, star crossed lovers, fevered cerebral flair and artistic engagement just BARELY edges out Paul Thomas Anderson's brutally elegant masterpiece.

    But that's my view. For what it's worth.

  11. And it's worth very much here, of course.

    You won't find be calling Atonement a bad movie, but it just didn't make it up there. In hindsight I remember it for the haunting score and beautiful cinematography, but I think I was never hooked in enough to the story to really be affected. The ending totally caught me off guard, though, so big points there.

    You can have it as your #1 and hear no complaint from me. Now if it were Michael Clayton or something...


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