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EDIT:  I had to go back and add Up In the Air after seeing it finally this weekend.  So, it’s a top 11 now.

Well, the latest Lambcast over at The Large Association of Movie Blogs is devoted to the top 10 movies of 2009, and it made me realize that I hadn’t made a list of my own regarding that topic.  Not that anybody’s sitting around wondering what my favorite movies of the year were, but I’m bored, so why not make my own list?

To be clear, this list is about what movies *I* enjoyed the most, and not necessarily what movies were the most well made or most important or revolutionary.  It’s really more a question of which movies I think I’ll continue to watch repeatedly in the future.

Ready?  No?  Okay, I’ll give you a second…

Dum de dum…doo da doo…

Now?  Sweet.  Here we go.

The Top 11

11. The Way We Get By – A touching documentary about a group of senior citizens, at an airport in Maine, who greet soldiers returning from Iraq.  That aspect is moving, but even more moving is watching these people deal with their loneliness and advancing age.  They have found new purpose in what they’re doing for these soldiers, and they don’t want it to come to an end because they’re too sick or too old.

10. Away We Go – Simple road trip movie elevated by good performances and a nice relationship between John Krasinski and Mya Rudolph.

9. Where the Wild Things Are – Shortly after watching this one, I felt a little disappointed due to my high expectations, but in reality, it was a good movie.  The performances, cinematography, and music really boost it above some others.  Now I’m looking forward to seeing it again.

8. Coraline – Might be a little weak near the end, but the amazing imagery, good voice work, and creepy tone is what gets it on the list.

7. Whip It – Has its weaknesses, but it’s a lot of fun.  Definitely the kind of movie that will stand up to repeated viewings for me.

6. Moon – Great story, great work from Sam Rockwell, and fine voice work by Kevin Spacey.  It’s a low budget movie that feels bigger than it really is.

5. Ink – Speaking of low budgets and big aspirations, Ink is probably the most moving film I saw this year, despite its low budget’s restrictions.  It’s a sort of fantasy story that is ultimately about redemption.  It has its flaws, but the originality of the story and the sincerity of its themes definitely make it worth a viewing.

4. Inglourious Basterds – The most enjoyable thing from Tarantino I’ve seen since Pulp Fiction.  Christoph Waltz rules the movie, but Melanie Laurent is the quiet thread that holds the movie together.

3. Up In the Air – A little depressing?  Sure.  But also interesting, introspective, funny, and thought provoking.

2. The Brothers Bloom – Even though this is technically a 2008 movie (according to IMDB), I don’t think it really came out until this year…in the few places that it did, in fact, get released.    It’s a whole lot of fun, and it features a totally charming performance by Rachel Weisz.  It might be a little overlong, but I was enjoying it well enough that I barely even noticed.

1. (500) Days of Summer – Not a perfect movie, and I know some people apparently sort of hated it, but it’s the kind of fun, creative film making that I really enjoy.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel are good together (and apart), while the supporting cast adds layers of depth to the story that are often missing from the average romantic comedy.

Honorable Mentions

– The Hangover
– Goodbye Solo
– Adam
– I Love You, Man
– Star Trek
– In the Loop
– Up
– Sin Nombre

Possibly Good Movies That I Haven’t Seen

– Fantastic Mr. Fox
– Avatar
– A Serious Man