Thoughtful reviews, the Boulder film scene

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life

Lara punches a shark, rides a motorcycle on the Great Wall of China, and dives off a skyscraper —Matt Anderson (review...)

Jolie fits nicely into Lara Croft's boots

" Oh Corny, do you really think I’m good enough? "
— Ricki Lake, Hairspray

MRQE Top Critic

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Assembing Movie Habit’s official top ten from the lists of 7 different contributors, we noticed that only one of us included Avatar, the flavor of the week that is threatening to break box-office records. We did not pick box-office winners Transformers 2, Twilight 2, or Harry Potter 6. The highest-earning film on our list is Inglourious Basterds (#23, according to Box Office Mojo), and then we drop down to #67 (Precious). So if we can can offer one piece of advice, it’s this: seek excellence outside the main stream.

A few of the titles on our list are strong favorites of a single critic. October Country played at the Denver Film Festival and was probably seen by only a handful of people. Summer Hours played in Denver, but only got a couple-night run at the IFS in Boulder, and limited play around the country.

But more often than not, critics converged on favorites and also-rans got pushed to the margins. Anvil played at the Boulder Film Festival with at least three of our contributors in attendance. The Hurt Locker, Sugar, and Precious also found three supporters each. So although we have a eclectic tastes, we confidently stand behind our official top ten of 2009.

So read, enjoy, and remember: it’s Alt+Tab to switch between the Netflix window and the Movie Habit window.

Clooney can be a heel and still charm
Clooney can be a heel and still charm

1. Up in the Air

One of the year’s best; Reitman’s most appealing film to date

2. Anvil: The Story of Anvil

Truth is sometimes just as good as fiction

3. Inglourious Basterds

It’s not the blood and guts, its the simmering drama

4. The Hurt Locker

Great at showing rather than telling

5. Summer Hours

Real people, real issues

6. Sugar

Dominican natives pursue their diamond dreams in the U.S.

"Receive with simplicity everything that happens to you," Gopnik is advised
“Receive with simplicity everything that happens to you,” Gopnik is advised

7. Precious

Willpower takes center stage

8. A Serious Man

Everybody should be able to relate to the protagonist’s struggles to some degree or another

9. October Country

A dense, thought-provoking, and unforgettable documentary about an American family

10. In the Loop

Sharp satire and snappy dialogue, never a dull moment

Thirty-three other titles were nominated for our top ten list. Find out what they are, along with our individual contributions on our Top Ten 2009 Data page.