2009’s films ranked

This ranking includes only new theatrical releases viewed for the awards year of 2009. Links go to my review. Numbers after each entry are Date First Viewed/NYC Release Date; year is 2009 unless otherwise noted.

other yearly rankings:
2022 | 2021 | 2020
2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003

green light
worth paying multiplex prices for

the top 10 (the whys and wherefores)
1. The Hurt Locker (06.22/06.26)
2. District 9 (07.29/08.14)
3. The Road (10.12/11.25)
4. The Soloist (04.16/04.24)
5. A Serious Man (09.14/10.02)
6. Bright Star (09.09/09.16)
7. Up (05.29/05.29)
8. Inglourious Basterds (08.13/08.21)
9. Fantastic Mr. Fox (10.27/11.13)
10. The Brothers Bloom (04.28/05.15)

the rest
Avatar (12.11/12.18)
An Education (09.04/10.09)
Up in the Air (11.27/12.04)
Still Walking (12.16/08.28)
Invictus (12.08/12.11)
Trucker (10.06/10.09)
Five Minutes of Heaven (11.12/08.21)
Taking Woodstock (07.27/08.28)
Star Trek (05.04/05.08)
Coraline (01.07/02.06)
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (09.01/09.18)
Moon (05.14/06.12)
Sherlock Holmes (12.03/12.25)
The Invention of Lying (09.16/10.02)
The Cove (07.28/07.31)
Zombieland (09.10/10.02)
Brothers (11.20/12.04)
Bruno (06.23/07.10)
Me and Orson Welles (12.04/11.27)
Amelia (10.21/10.23)
In the Loop (06.30/07.24)
The Damned United (08.27/10.09)
Away We Go (05.26/06.05)
Capitalism: A Love Story (10.08/09.23)
500 Days of Summer (07.08/07.17)
9 (08.12/09.09)
The Informant! (09.08/09.18)
Whip It (09.21/10.02)
Summer Hours (06.18/05.15)
The Men Who Stare at Goats (11.04/11.06)
Crazy Heart (12.09/12.16)
The Young Victoria (11.03/12.18)
Adoration (05.04/05.08)
The Song of Sparrows (09.01/04.03)
The Last Station (12.01/12.04)
Public Enemies (06.25/07.01)
Humpday (06.24/07.10)
Everybody’s Fine (11.12/12.04)
Julie & Julia (08.03/08.07)
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (10.15/11.06)
Cold Souls (06.24/08.07)
The Boys Are Back (09.03/09.25)
Lorna’s Silence (07.14/07.31)
The Baader Meinhof Complex (09.20/08.21)
Funny People (07.27/07.31)
The Stoning of Soraya M. (06.15/06.26)
Easy Virtue (05.18/05.22)
State of Play (04.08/04.17)
Red Cliff (10.08/11.20)
Ong Bak 2: The Beginning (10.29/10.23)
Watchmen (03.03/03.06)
The International (01.28/02.13)
Two Lovers (01.27/02.13)
Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America (03.09/03.13)
Shall We Kiss? (03.19/03.27)
The Time Traveler’s Wife (08.06/08.14)
Sleep Dealer (04.14/04.17)
Duplicity (03.17/03.20)
Goodbye Solo (03.19/03.27)
The Private Lives of Pippa Lee (11.05/11.27)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (07.13/07.15)
No Impact Man (07.14/09.04)
Crank: High Voltage (04.17/04.17)
The Messenger (10.15/11.13)
The Taking of Pelham 123 (06.08/06.12)
Sunshine Cleaning (03.04/03.13)
Drag Me to Hell (05.13/05.29)
Tokyo! (02.25/03.06)
Bliss (Mutluluk) (07.23/08.07)
Monsters vs. Aliens (03.21/03.27)
Chandni Chowk to China (01.15/01.16)
Whatever Works (05.28/06.19)
Angels & Demons (05.06/05.15)
Tokyo Sonata (02.25/03.13)
What Goes Up (05.20/05.29)
Pontypool (05.30/05.29)
Anvil! The Story of Anvil (02.26/04.10)
Outrage (05.04/05.08)
Is Anybody There? (04.13/04.17)
My One and Only (09.10/08.21)
The Great Buck Howard (03.04/03.20)
American Violet (04.13/04.17)
Inkheart (01.20/01.23)
Fanboys (01.20/02.06)
Under the Sea 3D (04.03/02.13)
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (04.28/05.01)

yellow for maybe
worth seeing, but wait for DVD, unless your favorite actor is in it

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (10.07/12.25)
Where the Wild Things Are (10.14/10.16)
The White Ribbon (12.21/12.30)
A Single Man (11.12/12.11)
The Fourth Kind (10.29/11.06)
Planet 51 (11.16/11.20)
Surveillance (06.02/06.26)
The Missing Person (11.10/11.20)
The Box (11.04/11.06)
World’s Greatest Dad (08.21/08.21)
Cheri (06.02/06.26)
Food, Inc. (05.27/06.12)
Collapse (10.27/11.06)
Paris (10.18/09.18)
Fifty Dead Men Walking (08.13/08.21)
Paris 36 (04.29/04.03)
Shrink (06.29/07.24)
Paranormal Activity (10.13/09.25)
The Princess and the Frog (11.25/11.25)
Serious Moonlight (11.17/12.04)
The Age of Stupid (05.17/09.21)
Broken Embraces (09.04/11.20)
Adam (07.23/08.07)
I Sell the Dead (08.07/08.07)
New York, I Love You (10.13/10.16)
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (12.18/12.23)
The Blind Side (12.06/11.20)
Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant (10.15/10.23)
Ponyo (08.16/08.14)
Battle for Terra (04.22/05.01)
Taken (01.28/01.30)
The Limits of Control (04.23/05.01)
Explicit Ills (02.23/03.06)
Adventureland (03.25/04.03)
Hotel for Dogs (01.10/01.16)
Observe and Report (03.31/04.10)
17 Again (04.01/04.17)
G-Force (08.01/07.24)
Bandslam (08.12/08.14)
Disgrace (09.03/09.18)
Little Ashes (04.27/05.08)
Coco Before Chanel (08.20/09.25)
Race to Witch Mountain (03.13/03.13)
Management (04.30/05.15)
Fast & Furious (03.24/04.03)
Alien Trespass (03.11/04.03)
The Hangover (06.01/06.05)
The Lovely Bones (11.27/12.11)
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (06.21/07.01)
My Sister’s Keeper (06.15/06.26)
Michael Jackson’s This Is It (10.27/10.28)
2012 (11.09/11.13)
Tyson (04.17/04.24)

red for no
give it a miss

Earth (03.18/04.22)
It’s Complicated (11.30/12.25)
Extract (09.01/09.04)
Motherhood (10.07/10.23)
Armored (12.04/12.04)
The Twilight Saga: New Moon (11.18/11.20)
Jennifer’s Body (09.11/09.18)
Imagine That (06.06/06.12)
The Haunting in Connecticut (03.25/03.27)
New York City Serenade (02.24/03.06)
Push (02.03/02.06)
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (05.18/05.22)
The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond (11.17/12.30)
Pirate Radio (aka The Boat That Rocked) (10.28/11.13)
Whiteout (09.09/09.11)
Post Grad (08.05/08.21)
Love Happens (09.15/09.18)
Astro Boy (10.17/10.23)
The Proposal (06.13/06.19)
12 Rounds (03.27/03.27)
The Uninvited (01.27/01.30)
My Bloody Valentine 3-D (01.15/01.16)
Aliens in the Attic (08.01/07.31)
I Love You, Man (03.16/03.20)
An American Affair (02.24/02.27)
Did You Hear About the Morgans? (12.18/12.18)
Shorts (08.11/08.21)
Couples Retreat (10.06/10.09)
The Strip (11.10/12.04)
The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (10.20/10.30)
Land of the Lost (06.01/06.05)
Notorious (01.08/01.16)
Fighting (04.21/04.24)
My Life in Ruins (aka Driving Aphrodite) (05.28/06.05)
Chocolate (02.01/02.06)
Blood: The Last Vampire (05.27/0710
New in Town (01.28/01.30)
Fired Up! (02.17/02.20)
Bride Wars (01.07/01.09)
The Unborn (01.06/01.09)
Orphan (07.22/07.24)
Obsessed (04.24/04.24)
I Love You, Beth Cooper (07.07/07.10)
I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell (09.18/09.25)
The Last House on the Left (03.10/03.13)
Paul Blart: Mall Cop (01.12/01.16)
Ninja Assassin (11.23/11.25)
Terminator Salvation (05.19/05.21)
Gamer (09.04/09.04)
Nine (11.14/12.18)
The Ugly Truth (07.20/07.24)
A Perfect Getaway (08.04/08.07)
The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard (08.16/08.14)
A Christmas Carol (11.06/11.06)
Super Capers (03.17/03.20)
Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (04.29/05.01)
Knowing (03.18/03.20)
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (06.22/06.24)
All About Steve (09.02/09.04)
The Final Destination (08.28/08.28)
Women in Trouble (11.10/11.13)
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (08.07/08.07)
Year One (06.17/06.19)
Law Abiding Citizen (10.13/10.16)
Gentlemen Broncos (10.26/10.30)
Antichrist (08.26/10.23)
Miss March (03.11/03.13)

share and enjoy
If you haven’t commented here before, your first comment will be held for MaryAnn’s approval. This is an anti-spam, anti-troll measure. If you’re not a spammer or a troll, your comment will be approved, and all your future comments will post immediately.
notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
view all comments
Fri, Jan 09, 2009 4:27pm

I really hope Coraline is great — Neil Gaiman deserves a hit.

Tue, Feb 03, 2009 2:06am

Hey Maryann! I just want to drop by and ask you if you can review the movie The Outlander. I’ll just tell you briefly that its a fun piece of sci-fi/Viking (yep, read it again if you don’t believe me) monster hunting film that’s pretty rad. I was skeptical at first when I heard about it, but after finding out the movie was produced by the guy who helped create Lord of the Ring and the main character is played by the guy who portrayed Jesus in The Passion (James Caviezel) i got really curious. So I watched it, and didn’t regret! It’s a lot like Pathfinder, except this time the stranger is from outer-space. I was especially impressed by how the makers of the movie weren’t shy to give us all the fun sci-fi and fantasy epic cliches, and actually flaunt it at us as if to say “Hey, this is so freakin’ awesome!!!” and by golly it was!

Tue, Mar 24, 2009 12:06am

Are you still updating this section? I like to use it to refer to the movies you have reviewed during the year. And also to know just where things are ranked.

Wed, Mar 25, 2009 1:54am

I’m behind on updating this page, but I’ll get to it very soon.

Bob Aman
Mon, Mar 30, 2009 8:54am

Yeah, this is probably the page I refer to most on this site.

Mon, Mar 30, 2009 4:57pm

Wow. That’s good to know.

I’m hoping to get this page up to date this week.

Thu, Apr 16, 2009 2:48am

Hip hip- Hooray!

Thanks for updating this list!

Thu, Apr 16, 2009 6:23am

I’d like to read your review of Sleep Dealer, since I saw the trailer I’m eager to see the movie …

Thu, Apr 16, 2009 10:15pm

Yes, love the list as always. And pleased to see someone who liked “The International” as much as I did. Hardly anyone I know saw it, or even wanted to see it.

“Duplicity” for my next Clive Owen fix. My boyfriend too. :-)

Thu, Apr 16, 2009 11:52pm

Thanks so much. Keep up the good work!

Bob Aman
Fri, Apr 17, 2009 10:12am


Mon, Jun 08, 2009 10:22pm

I’m so angry at how Summit is handling the release of The Brothers Bloom. It’s been out for 4 weeks now and it’s still only playing at just 173 theaters.

I wanna watch it dammit!

Tue, Jun 23, 2009 3:43am

Would it be possible for you to keep the lists from other years posted somewhere? I would love to be able to refer back to remind myself what movies from last year I still need to see.

Tue, Jun 23, 2009 12:04pm

“Would it be possible for you to keep the lists from other years posted somewhere…”

if you look to the right column on the screen, you’ll see the category archives listed with theatrical releases going all the way back to 2006.

Fri, Sep 11, 2009 10:17am

Comparing “Disgrace”‘s ranking here with the yellow light on the right, I guess the movie fell somewhat in disgrace with you afterwards?

Well, while I’m really curious to the “why” (which might be given in your review), I really just posted this for the pun of it …

Wed, Nov 11, 2009 9:53am

I hope there’s an “Antichrist” review. Please please please..

Wed, Nov 11, 2009 5:20pm

Comparing “Disgrace”‘s ranking here with the yellow light on the right, I guess the movie fell somewhat in disgrace with you afterwards?

Yeah, the more I thought about it, the more I thought it was not so great. And then I forgot to move it here. I’ll remedy that…

I don’t know if I’ll review it, though.

On the other hand, an *Antichrist* review is coming soon.

Wed, Nov 11, 2009 5:23pm

What about a Hurt Locker review?

Laurie Mann
Sun, Jan 24, 2010 3:06pm

Or a Moon review? We finally saw it last night, and it’ll definitely be on my Hugo ballot. I’m still debating if it might be better than The Road or District 9. It’s interesting that the three best acting performances of last year were all in SF movies – Peter Rockwell for Moon, Viggo Mortensen for The Road and Sharlto Copley for District 9. However, I don’t think these performances have gotten the credit they deserve.

Laurie Mann
Sun, Jan 24, 2010 3:23pm

Ooops, Peter Rockwell. Not sure where that came from.

Mon, Jan 25, 2010 5:13pm

Looking forward to that Antichrist review, if it ever comes. We usually have similar tastes, but this is one time I think you’re just flat-out wrong. If you can spare the time, please read my thoughts on the film at imdb. I would post them here but they’re way too spoilerish.