Skip to main content

I have a Top Ten List too.

Did you all know that I have day job that nearly pays the bills? Well I do and it is a museum for Photography and Film. I work in the film section preserving and restoring motion picture films to their original glory. I love all kinds of cinema, but only sporadically have I done a Top Ten List. Making this one was a lot of fun as it reminded me of what was a generally good year for American cinema. I had planned on getting this out a lot sooner than I did but was delayed in my necessity to see There Will Be Blood and Atonement. I made it to Blood, but Atonement remains unseen. I loathe to wait another week or so to get in a screening so I am moving forward with the list.


Not the best made film of the year, but certainly the one that had the greatest impact on me this year.

2 The King of Kong

The only film I saw twice in one day, and the only film I wanted to see twice in one day.

3 Zodiac

A huge film. The most epic film of the year. Only Gyllenhal is a bit over his head in this one.

4 The Bourne Ultimatum

The whole series is a guilty pleasure, but one that delivers every single time, in every single scene.

5 Michael Clayton

A bonkers performance from Tilda Swinton does not undo what is a very good ‘adults only’ film.

6 I Am Legend

A surprising realistic depiction of the ‘end of the world.’ And a surprisingly melancholy action film.

7 No Country for Old Men

From beginning to end the best told story this year, but I can’t shake the feeling that the Coen’s are still looking their noses down on us.

8 There Will Be Blood

PTA denies himself his greatest muse, Los Angeles, and turns in the best film he has ever made.

9 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days

A little pokey at the beginning, but once they get into that Hotel room it is transfixing.

10 The Darjeeling Limited

My own travels in India play heavily into why this made the top ten. Ultimately, I felt a lot of the Anderson quirk was negated by the otherworldness of its location. Plus, I am a sucker for Train films.

Honorable Mention - The Close But No Cigar List:

A Mighty Heart, Control, Eastern Promises, Gone Baby Gone, Great World of Sound, Into the Wild, Juno, No End in Sight, Sicko, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Lookout.

Not Great but Great Fun:

Live Free or Die Hard, Superbad, Knocked Up, Ocean’s 13, Grindhouse, Hot Fuzz, Shooter, Nancy Drew, Fracture, The Host, The Simpson’s, Stardust.

Meh – Films That Did Nothing For Me:

28 Weeks Later, Before the Devil Knows Your Dead, Harry Potter Film V, Margot at the Wedding, Ratatouille, Sweeny Todd,.

On the Edge of Terribly Great or Just Terrible:

300, American Gangster, Breach, Bug, Music and Lyrics, Smokin’ Aces, Shoot ‘Em Up, Sunshine, Talk to Me, The Kingdom, The Transformers, Year of the Dog.


Death Sentence, I Think I Love My Wife, The Heartbreak Kid, Spiderman 3, The Ten.

Discovered on Television:

Garth Mareghi’s Darkplace, Life on Mars, The Sandbaggers.

Not seen – The Ones that Got Away:

3:10 to Yuma, Across the Universe, Atonement, Away from Her, Charlie Wilson’s War, In the Valley in Ellah, Inland Empire, Killer of Sheep, Lars and the Real Girl, Rescue Dawn, Southland Tales, Starting Out in the Evening, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The Mist, The Savages, Youth w/o Youth


robyn said…
Great stuff, Hungry Detective.

Gives me a good to-watch list for spring break (heck, probably not til summer break).

Hope all is swell at THD headquarters,


Popular posts from this blog

The Very Best of Mr. Dennis Lehane

I thought this post would appear in October. Ya, know when SHUTTER ISLAND: THE MOVIE was supposed to be released. And then it wasn't. Something about Leo not being able to do 'press' for the movie. Doesn't really matter the reason, a February release date has one of those fancy Hollywood meanings: Not Good.

Look I'll be honest, I didn't connect with SHUTTER ISLAND. I loved the fifties setting, the haunted house atmosphere, and impending doom of the Hurricane. Even the set-up of the story was intriguing but how it played out just didn't work for me. Some interesting characters, a bunch of great set pieces, but the ending announces itself with an expected, thud that went nowhere.

Am I still going to the movie? Its Lehane, Scorsese, Leo, and Ruffalo of course I am. Anyway the list.

8. Prayers for Rain - 1999
The last Kenzie-Gennaro book follows our heroes as they investigate a guy who is terrorizing women into committing suicide. The book played like an episode o…

The Very Best of Mr. Michael Connelly - Part I

I was about 50 pages into the latest Michael Connelly book, THE SCARECROW, when I flipped to the front. This is the 20th novel. I decided that rather than write a review of the novel, pretty good by the way, I would write a think piece about the relationship between a highly regarded crime novelist and how reader's take for granted the author if the high standard to which they have become accustomed to is not maintained over a lengthy run of books.

This idea was quickly abandoned out of laziness. Instead, I decided to take a cue from my friend, Peter, who recently ranked all of the James Bond films. I didn't feel I could tackle all 20 novels so the list below is just the non-Harry Bosch books. Mr. Connelly's next book 9 DRAGONS releases in October so don't be surprised to see a Bosch only list then.

I wrote this list up a couple weeks ago. I have given it some time to marinate. I did make any changes but I do want to say that there is a definite break between ranking 5…

Live By Night: First Image

First image from Live By Night the latest Dennis Lehane novel to be directed by Ben Affleck has appeared. Here is the accompanying article from Indiewire.
What can you say about one singular image from a film that will include a hundred thousand or so? It looks good. I'm a sucker for big fields of grass, what can I say? I have enjoyed all of Ben Affleck's directing efforts to date, even if I wasn't wowed by any of them. I don't mean to damn him with faint praise. He is a solid, unpretentious director of capital m 'Movies'. And even if he wasn't making the best thing Dennis Lehane has written in the last ten years I would still go see his next effort.
The movie is slated for a 2017 release which I'm not certain should be believed. In spite of the film already vacating a Fall 2016 date, if the movie is even kind of  good, dollars to donuts it sneaks into a late 2016 release for Award show consideration. A 2017 release date seems more accurate, if early t…