Top 5 Movies of 2009

Carey Mulligan in An Education
Carey Mulligan as Jenny in "An Education," based on the memoir of by British journalist Lynn Barber.

This was a very hard list to compile. I contemplated making it a top 3 list, because that would have been much easier. In my opinion, a truly good movie has to be outstanding in multiple categories, including directing, acting, and storyline. That is why you will not find “Avatar” on my list.

“The Hurt Locker” – This movie, by Kathryn Bigalow, has an intense storyline, great acting and  flawless directing. It’s an incredible movie from top to bottom. I’d love see it win an Oscar, but I’m not holding my breath.

“An Education” – I simply adore everything about this movie. I adore Carey Mulligan, the breakout new actress from across the pond, I adore the setting, the time period and the story. I’d love to see Ms. Mulligan win an Oscar, but I don’t think this will be her year.

“Moon” – With only one actor carrying nearly the entire film, this movie could have been boring, but it was mesmerizing. Sam Rockwell is terrific as Sam Bell, a tormented employee of Lunar Industries, stuck on a three-year mission on the Moon. If you enjoy a good sci-fi, Netflix this film today.

“Star Trek” – I admit it. I have a secretly hidden geek inside of me and occasionally she shows through. I grew up with Captain Kirk, Spock, Jean-Luc Picard, Dr. Crusher, Data and the rest of the Star Trek gang. Before the newest movie in the franchise hit theaters, I was skeptical, but this movie delivers and true fans, and even non-fans, will enjoy it.

“District 9″ – This was a good year for science fiction. I even enjoyed the campy “Surrogates.” This movie makes my top 5, because it was so surprisingly good. I am rarely surprised by a movie these days.

Honorable Mention:

“Up” – I don’t think I’ve ever cried in a cartoon until I saw this movie.

“Fantastic Mr. Fox – I didn’t write a review of this movie, but I did see it and really enjoyed this hysterical cast of crazy animals.

Worst Movie of 2009:

“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” – Shamefully, stupid movie. So sad to see it was the 4th highest grossing film of 2009.

Disclaimer: There  were a few critically acclaimed movies released in 2009 that I haven’t seen yet, including “Precious” and “The Young Victoria.”


  1. Because I’m shamelessly campaigning to be assistant mayor of HeidiTown and I’m simply too lazy to update my own blog, I feel the need to comment first. Thanks to your reviews I can’t wait to see Hurt Locker and will be dismayed if Avatar wins over this one at Oscar time. I am sorry to point out one glaring typo in your post: You left the entire word ‘New’ off of Moon. I’m sure you’ll rectify as soon as you’re able.
    I’m also happy to see Up and Mr. Fox on your HM list. I took Lacy to see both, and I adored Mr. Fox. Definitely fantastic.


  2. I think Suz would be a fantastic deputy mayor.

    I’d like a position in your cabinet…like a fancy title where I don’t really have to do anything but be important.

    OK, the only movie I saw out of your Top 5 was DISTRICT 9. We watched it on Christmas with my mom and we all fell asleep. Plus, the aliens creeped me out. But I think the message of the film was incredible.

    UP made me cry and cry and then cry again. I’m going to write a blog post called “Stuff I’m Gonna Do” in honor of Ellie. Good choice.


  3. First of all, it’s Assistant TO THE Mayor. Not Assistant Mayor.

    Amy, you can be Assistant to the Mayor’s Assistant, if you like. 😉

    FYI: “New Moon” almost made my “Worst” list, but only our friendship kept my fingers from typing it. :-p


  4. Heidi,
    Where did you see An Education? I must admit I am most excited to see this movie, having been a fan of Ms. Mulligan for some time. She was in a great mini-series on the BBC called The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard (I’m not sure if its available here, check netflix), and then she was in one of my all-time favorite episodes of Doctor Who called Blink – she played Sally Sparrow and was positively brilliant! Can’t wait to see An Education, tho sadly I’m likely to be waiting for the dvd. IMDb also has her listed in a few other up and coming movies. You know she got a Golden Globe nod for an Education right?


  5. Hi Claire!
    Ms. Mulligan is sure to get an Oscar nod as well. I saw the movie at Lyric Cinema Cafe in Fort Collins. If you haven’t been there, it’s an eccentric little theater where you can drink wine with your film. And it’s the only place in Northern Colorado to see a subtitled film.
    Thanks for stopping by!


  6. Love “Star Trek”. It’s still the best movie experience I’ve had in the theater since Batman Begins. Sadly, I missed “An Education” and “Moon”. Must remember to catch up on them before Oscar time. I have no excuse. I’ve been obsessed with lesser pursuits. I hope that “The Hurt Locker” gets serious Best Picture consideration, if only Kathryn Bigelow can have a chance of sticking it to ex-hubby James “Avatar” Cameron.

    The only one I will agree with through my teeth is “District 9”. I wasn’t as blown away by it as other people, but the concept is super fresh, and the film itself is solid. Originality ran pretty dry in 2009, so the writer in me feels good knowing that there are still fresh ideas coming out of mainstream Hollywood (even if they are an endangered species).


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