my personal top 5 of the year:
1. Inglourious Basterds - Tarantino's best since Pulp Fiction. Wildly effective movie: funny, brutal, smart, fun. Colonel Hans Landa joins the cannon of all-time movie villians; brutally intimidating without being physically so.
2. District 9 - best sci fi movie since....what....Terminator 2? Alien?
3. Away We Go - sam mendes flick probably hits home particularly well for me as it follows 30ish hipster-leaning profession guy/couple who are trying to find where/how to settle into adulthood. The stereotypes of the people they visited might be labeled a little heavy-handed...but i thought they all worked (and were plausible). And the Krasinski/Rudolph leads are excellent. Didn't get a lot of buzz, but i found it to be a perfect, beautiful little film.
4. Bright Star - this period piece was centers around the three year unconsumated love affair between poet John Keats and the "girl next door" (though she is more the lead). True story. Prospects for marriage cut off by his poverty, illness, and then death at age 25. Beautiful film, very touching. May propose it as a Price & Prejudice stand-in at my family's next christmas.
5. The Hurt Locker - simply a fantastic modern war film, follows a bomb disarming unit in the streets of baghdad (i think). does not gloss over the brutality/madness of war. lead jeremy renner is great, and continues to grow on me.
2009 movies i still need to see, and that could well make this list when i do: a serious man, the informant, bad lieutenant.
good, but getting too much buzz in my opinion: up in the air
your top fives?