Top 5 Movies of 2009

So I’ve been thinking about this post for the past week. I’ve been doing my best to hold off on writing this until I saw a couple more movies, particularly Up in the Air, which I saw today as part of a double-feature with my parents (the other movie was NINE). I’ve yet to see The Hurt Locker or Where the Wild Things Are, and frankly, the only other movie that felt really came close was State of Play. Here are the movies that I enjoyed the most this year:


Pixar is easily one of the best studios on the planet. The worst movie that they’ve ever made (in my opinion) was Cars, and even that was considered a success by many. But this year, they really outdid themselves with this amazingly charming and heartfelt story of Carl Fredericksen, a boy named Russell and a dog named Dug: Up.


One of the most visually stunning films of the last decade. I want to see it like three more times. Such a huge accomplishment for James Cameron. Fascinating on so many levels.

The Hangover

Call it overrated or crude. I don’t agree, nor do I care. I thought that Zach Galifianakis’ performance as Alan in The Hangover was one of the most entertaining of the year. Galifianakis and The Office‘s Ed Helms totally steal the majority of the scenes in this debauchery-filled romp through Las Vegas. I haven’t laughed this hard in a very long time.

Away We Go and (500) Days of Summer

Independent movies have really come into their own over the past few years. Juno and other films have set the bar extremely high, but there were two independents that came out this year that I really loved: Away We Go, starring John “Big Tuna” Krasinski and Maya Rudolph, (which I reviewed already) and (500) Days of Summer, starring Joseph-Gordon Levitt and Zooey Deschanel (which I also reviewed). Away We Go is just a lovely movie with some amazing chemistry between Krasinski and Rudolph. And (500) Days of Summer really did some amazing work redefining the romantic comedy genre. Both movies had great performances and completely phenomenal soundtracks (which always is helpful).

Star Trek

There was a lot of speculation as to whether J.J. Abrams (Alias, LOST, Cloverfield) could pull off a reboot of one of Hollywood’s most storied franchises. He did so and he did it amazingly. Essentially, he took the traditional Star Trek story with a new cast of characters and made it into an exciting action movie that just happened to be set in space. Star Trek was everything that you could ask for a summer blockbuster to be: it was exciting and funny and (most importantly for the summer blockbuster) it set the stage for many more sequels.

So my list is probably a lot different than most, but this is what I thought was great in 2009. I’m looking forward to 2010 (especially Iron Man 2).

What did you love in 2009? What are you looking forward to seeing in 2010?

Author: Shane

Shane Adams is a marketer, designer, blogger and preacher man who lives in the Kansas City area with his beautiful artist wife Alli and his corn-chip-smelling dog, Dreyfuss.

4 thoughts on “Top 5 Movies of 2009”

  1. I agree with Star Trek and Up, which I literally just finished watching.

    The Hangover is probably the best comedy of 2009, but it holds no standing outside of that.

  2. With the exception of “Away We Go,” which I didn’t see, I liked all the flicks on your list! I hate to bring this up, though: I watched “The Hangover” again, this time on DVD and it’s less funny the second time. If it weren’t for ZG, it might not even have made me laugh, it was that bad. I think that’s an “in the theater” movie, like “Avatar” (which I finally got around to reviewing today…Now “Star Trek” and “Up” do hold up to repeat viewings, mostly because of a focus on character and great storytelling. Haven’t seen “(500) Days” again, but I liked it a lot the first time. Like “The Hangover,” its got a great high concept.

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