There are nine movies that merit inclusion my list*:
9. Public Enemies - Johnny Depp is the only person that I think is capable of playing The Joker as well as Heath Ledger did in Dark Knight so it was a true pleasure to see him mix it up with Christian Bale who is trying to take down John Dillinger (Depp), one of the most notorious bank robbers in the '30s. I liked this movie because it allowed Depp to be the charismatic guy he is, regardless of role, and I loved the chemistry he developed with Oscar winner Marion Cotillard.
8. Terminator Salvation - It wasn't earth-shattering or anything, but it was certainly worth watching in part because of Bale and in part because I'm a fan of the series.
7. Blindside - Sandra Bullock is the new Julia Roberts if box office receipts is what we're looking at. First The Proposal, then this. JetBlue should pay her just for provided such plane-worthy flicks. Thanksgiving is a time to get together with your family and watch a movie that can pull you to both tears and laughs while being uplifted. That's why Blindside, and not Precious, made this list...it was a true story that didn't have to pull too many punches to hit the audience with its message.
6. Iron Man - If you didn't see it, you're missing out. Robert Downey, Jr., resurrects his career by playing a hotshot defense/weapons engineer-turned-super hero. I mean have you seen the trailer for the sequel?!?!?
5. Inglurious Basterds - Brad Pitt is a badass. Fight Club cemented that status and this movie reminded us once again. Didn't see it in the theatres; actually saw it on a 20-something inch non-HD TV, but was still inching out of my seat when those scalps were being pulled.
4. Up - What a fun and touching movie. Especially in 3D. Whether you're an 8-year-old girl or a 26-year-old man or a married couple in your 50s, this movie is just plain fun to watch. From start to finish, this was the best animated film I've seen since The Lion King. If Wall-E was an Oscar shoo-in last year, I have to believe Up will be as well.
3. Star Trek - I've watched the DVD about a dozen times since I got it a few weeks ago. This movie is that good. I'm a big fan of what J.J. Abrams does with Lost and he definitely made a lot of the elements from that show work for this movie. The alternate reality and time traveling elements worked into the story tremendously without being too confusing and the movie ended without me feeling like it lasted 10-15 minutes too long, which is a rarity these days with big budget films.
2. Avatar - Speaking of big budgets...James Cameron went about all-out with this one. And it paid off, not only with box office receipts around the world, but with a moving, can't-take-my-eyes-off-this film that is part love story, part genocide story and part coming of age story. I'm going to see this at the IMAX at least one more time before year's end.
1. The Hangover - I don't get drunk very often, but I did the night I saw The Hangover. It was so good that I left the theatre itching to go to Vegas and instead ended up on the wrong side of eight 7 and 7s (leading to my rule: never have more than seven, 7 and 7s). Regardless, I managed to bike myself home, recover and see it again two more times in the next week.
Each of these movies is DVD worthy so go get your stocking stuffers!I am told George Clooney's Up in the Air is worthy of any such list, so I left a spot in my top ten for it. I'll go see it this weekend.