The Best Movies of the Year Since 2005

One for each year starting with 2009 and working backward.

2009: Up in the Air (Jason Reitman)

Why: Because with an incredible cast, an underrated and upcoming director, and a story perfectly timed for the moment our country was and still is enduring (economic and spiritual depression), Up in the Air showed us all that contentment and purpose are not found at the end of our own desires.

 

  

 2008: WALL-E (Andrew Stanton)    

Why: Even though 2008 was a great year for movies of every genre and style (a certain Dark Knight and Wrestler) WALL-E quite literally broke my heart, as an allegorical story of humanity and technology. WALL-E is the best film of the year–only by a circuit–because it overcomes its biggest drawback of being an animated child’s film. It transcended its medium’s capabilities and depicted a danger that is all too close to reality–fully wired and yet disconnected people who are unable  to see the natural beauty beyond their own screens and devices.

2007: Into the Wild (Sean Penn) 

Why: Because it captures the heart of an adventurer and of youth while wisely cautioning against the abandonment of responsibility and respect and love for people. Phenomenal acting permeates the entire film. It is driven by purposeful characters, dialogue, and decision.

 

2006: The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck)

Why: I know, I know, this is the same year as The Departed. But Germany takes the title for 2006’s best film. Just watch it. It’s funny, it’s clever, it’s patient, it’s involving. It’s everything you could want in a movie. Great cast and story. Truly shows how hard it is to make the “good decision” when those around you pressure otherwise. Bad company (Nazi’s) corrupts good morals (Secret Police) and it’s movie gold.  

2005: Good Night, and Good Luck. (George Clooney)

Why: Seamless editing. Brilliant direction and pacing, perfectly cast and acted. This is a movie for people who like movies. It does the essential elements perfectly and the rest is, well, history. I’m moved by the story of Murrow, a newsman who fights a senator for his nation. And after he’s saved them, they forget. Did I mention the editing? Okay.   

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