Asked 5 years ago
Please feel free to comment on my list and post your own list...debates are bound to happen and should be interesting.
The top 10 best movies of 2007
Overall, I think this was a pretty good year, and definitely an improvement from last year. So here's my top 10:
FILMS THAT ALMOST MADE IT:
-Into the Wild
-Shoot em up
-The Simpsons Movie
10. The Bridge to Terebithia
Ignore the most deceptive trailers in the history of deceptive trailers by Disney. The trailers made this film look like a shitty Chronicles of Narnia wannabe.
In actuality, this is a very deep, touching, profound, and poignant film about a friendship between two like minded people who bring out the best in each other. It's also a movie about the power of the imagination and creativity to escape from the hardships of reality.
The fantasy scenes of battling weird creatures which is so heavily advertised in the trailers makes up a very short portion of the film. People looking for a CGI fest will be disappointed. However, if people are open to seeing a deep and meaningful family film then this is a great pick. I think adults will get more out of this movie than kids will. This film may not have been as entertaining as some of the honorable mentions, but it emotionally resonated with me well after it was over.
9. The Lookout
The Lookout was written by Scott Frank who also wrote Minority Report, Dead Again, and Get Shorty…that is one fucking impressive resume he’s got there. “The Lookout” while not quite up there with Minority Report or Dead Again, is a great addition and one hell of a directorial debut for Frank. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is also proving to be one of the most promising young actors out there with this performance (in addition to his work in “Mysterious skin” and “Brick”) Jeff Daniels also does some great work here as his blind roommate, and the friendship between the two characters is very memorable.
The film is mostly an insightful and fascinating character study mixed with a heist thriller. It involves a character who deals with guilt and tries to put his life back together after being at fault for a horrifying car accident that killed two of his friends and crippled his girlfriend (This scene is absolutely phenomenal). We see how weak and fragile this new person is and how easy it is for a group of robbers to exploit him and get him in on a bank robbery.
While the first half where the film explores this new, fragile man is more fascinating than the thriller portion, the 2nd half is still very intense and necessary in slowly developing the main character and ultimately bettering his life and his self perception. The trailer of the film uses the line “If you’ve got the money, you’ve got the power”…which seems so gimmicky, but trust me…you’ll love the way the film uses it. It’s absolutely brilliant.
8. The Savages
This is a poignant, unpleasant, yet darkly hilarious movie that deals with a subject matter that many of us will are likely to go through at an older age. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney are perfectly casted as middle aged siblings who are forced to look after their father with dementia, but have enough psychological problems of their own due to a childhood of neglectful parenting. This film is a great character study.
The film takes a very raw and unmelodramatic, uncliched approach to the subject matter and all the interactions between characters is so perceptive and so true. A lot of the film’s observations are poignantly true yet darkly hilarious, and I like the way that The Savages finds humor in little awkward little everyday moments that many of us probably go through all the time. The Savages reminds me of “The Squid and the whale” with its very raw approach, but I think this film is better.
After a rather disappointing, generic, and mediocre “Cars”, Pixar has returned to its greatness with “Ratatouille” which I say is almost as good as films like “The Incredibles” and “Finding Nemo”. While this film didn’t have as many laugh out loud moments as “The Simpsons Movie”, this is the superior cartoon of the year with its imagination, creativity, and well developed and very likable characters as well as a fascinating look at what goes on behind the closed doors at a restaurant, and oh right…the food critic! If you do not laugh at the food critic’s negative review
The animations are absolutely gorgeous, the humor may not be laugh out loud hilarious, but smart. While themes such as believing in yourself and importance of family are used in so many films, it’s done to quite a touching effect in Ratatouille.
There is one scene I have to mention which shows that the writers are thinking outside the box. The most feared food critic (Who had previously shit-talked this restaurant) is about to show up and try the food cooked by the rat. Any idiot can predict that the critic is going to end up liking the dish, and a former asshole will turn nice. Yes, this is how the scene plays out, however, the movie goes an extra step further, and this moment has such an amazing emotional effect and adds another layer to the character. While the film was already very good, this one scene alone elevates Ratatouille to another level.
This year had some good horror movies, including Severance (kind of a horror/comedy), 1408 and Bug. As good as those movies are, Bug reigns surpreme. While 1408 is a psychological horror, the movie does depend on BOO! Moments and typical horror movie visuals to scare the audience. While there’s nothing wrong with that, Bug succeeds in creeping the audience out without the use of horror movie gimmicks...the movie simply depends on two actors, their interactions, and the dialogue. This is far more challenging than the typical horror movie clichés and of course the movie depends very heavily on very solid actors, as weak performances would have resulted in a complete failure of a film. This was adapted from a stage play.
I remember thinking, for a horror I’m surprised at how well the characters are developed. The male lead character is a weird, and socially awkward person, but with the past of Ashley Judd’s character, you can kind of understand why she’s drawn to this man. The rest of the film shows a slow psychological descent into paranoia. Ashley Judd is absolutely phenomenal in this movie, and deserves an Oscar nomination for this role which I highly doubt will happen. Most of all, this film is a complete mind fuck which is likely to resonate in your mind well after the credits have rolled.
5. Hot Fuzz
Shaun of the Dead was a very entertaining and enjoyable treatment of the zombie movies, but I believe that Hot Fuzz is the superior movie of the two in its spoofing/pastiching of the action genre. This along with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang goes up there as my favorite buddy cop comedy/action movie. It’s a damn shame that way more people saw a completely generic film like Rush Hour 3 over this one.
Hot Fuzz is completely unpredictable and I don’t even know how to describe the humor, as it’s completely all over the map. Whether it’s typical British humor, a joke about action movie clichés, or a police man jump kicking an old woman in the face, all the jokes are laugh out loud funny. I love the unpredictability of this film; one minute it’s a straight forward buddy buddy comedy, the next minute it turns into an incredibly gorey slasher movie (to which the kills are actually more entertaining than the average slasher movie). Especially the story…so many cop comedy/action movies try to develop a legitimately serious storyline about corruption which always ends up being so dull and conventional…I love how Hot Fuzz teases at this, then throws in the most ridiculous storyline possible.
Most of all, I really enjoyed the two main characters. Despite how silly the movie is, I truly got behind both characters. Life imitates art, and I love the last half where they take what they see in action films and apply it to their police work (after tossing a villain in the freezer, the protagonist’s partner is genuinely disappointed that he didn’t tell the man to “cool off”…what a great opportunity for an action movie one liner he missed out on)
After parodying action movies, the last third of the film has a nice self reflexive wink at the audience as it turns into an action movie itself, conforming to just about every single action movie cliché you can possibly think of. This film is an odd mix of being the smart person and recognizing when the movie’s being smart, and turning your brain off when the movie’s intentionally being stupid. This is a wildly entertaining movie; after seeing this, you may never be able to take an action movie seriously again.
P.S: I know many people still talk about Timothy Dalton being a shity Bond, but I’ll forgive him for that after his hilariously over the top performance in Hot Fuzz. He’s definitely one of the best things about the movie)