Posts Tagged ‘Serbis’

Arthouse Redux: The Fine Art of Balancing Politics and Filmmaking

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Since I brought up Walter Salles‘ and Daniela ThomasLinha de Passe in last week’s Arthouse Redux column, I thought this would be a good opportunity to discuss that film in greater depth while also revisiting their earlier film, Foreign Land. Salles is perhaps better known to American audiences for his solo directorial efforts with Central Station (nominated for two Academy Awards), and Motorcycle Diaries (Oscar-nommed twice, won for Best Song). But while Foreign Land and Linha de Passe might take you a little more effort to track down, they are tremendously rewarding viewing experiences for the arthouse movie geek.

I enjoy and appreciate Salles as a solo director, but although they have a very different feel, I find the grittier, looser films he’s made with Thomas equally compelling and engaging. There’s something about working with Thomas that seems to open Salles up as a director and allow him to engage in a more intimate exploration of characters and situations. Although both Foreign Land and Linha de Passe are very specifically examinations (one might even say critiques) of Brazilian politics and society, their storylines and character arcs are broadly universal enough to feel familiar to viewers from any culture.

The two films, shot a dozen years apart, are explorations of the impact of political and social change in Brazil on the working poor, and are part of a planned series of films which will continue to examine the cultural impact of change on Brazilian youth roughly every twelve years. Foreign Land and Linha de Passe, though stylistically very different, are tied together by this common theme and are intended to ultimately be patches of a much larger tapestry that captures the historical impact of the politics and mores of a culture on its young people, and tracks the impact of abstract political policies against their very real present and future impact on average, working class young people.

Foreign Land, shot in stark black and white, is set in 1990, just after the controversial election of Fernando Collor in the first democratic presidential election in Brazil in 29 years. The film starts off following two disparate storylines: Paco (Fernando Alves Pinto), a young man living with his mother in São Paulo, finds himself traumatically untethered when his mother dies unexpectedly of shock upon hearing that Collor, on his first day in office, has implemented the Plano Collor, his attempt to get inflation in Brazil in hand by taking control of private bank savings accounts and converting them to uncashable goverment bonds.

Paco, lost in grief, winds up in the hands of the buoyantly friendly and seemingly innocuous Igor (Luís Melo), who offers to help Paco fulfill his dream of journeying to San Sebastian, Spain, his mother’s birthplace, by giving him a job delivering a violin to a contact in Lisbon. Meanwhile, we are also introduced to Miguel (Alexandre Borges), a drug-addicted trumpeter, his stunningly lovely waitress girlfriend Alex (Fernanda Torres) and their mutual friend Pedro (João Lagarto), who owns a little shop selling sheet music. The paths of all these players collide in Lisbon around the delivery of the violin — which of course is not just a violin — some stolen uncut diamonds, and the people who want both the violin and the diamonds back.

After taking the first half or so of the film to languidly set up the stories of everyone involved (pacing that may feel, especially to American audiences, to be very slow-paced), Salles and Thomas suddenly take a sharp turn into noir, setting up the innocent, wide-eyed Paco to be caught up in a world of crime which he has no idea how to deal with. (Apparently Paco has not watched a lot of noir. Rule Number One: Never agree to transport a violin — or anything else for that matter — for an overly friendly and familiar guy named Igor who buys you lots of whiskey upon your first encounter.)

By the bye, in certain respects Foreign Land reminds me a lot upon a more recent viewing of Gela Babluani‘s excellent 2005 noir 13 (Tzameti), in that both are beautifully shot black and white films that deal with lost young men getting caught up in a plot of criminal activity and having to find a way out of what they’ve gotten into. If you’re a fan of Babluani’s film but unfamiliar with Foreign Land, you’ll probably find much to like there. Of the two films, though, I find Foreign Land to be more intricately structured, in spite of a few somewhat clumsy giveaways that clue the viewer into what’s really happening sooner than perhaps they should. I won’t give away the closing scene of Foreign Land, but I will tell you that it’s one of my favorite closers of any movie, ever — perfectly and ironically commenting on everything that came before it without a single line of dialogue. Just brilliant.

Linha de Passe, which reunited Salles and Thomas as directors 12 years after Foreign Land, has a completely different feel, for all that it deals with similar themes around Brazilian culture and politics. The title, as Thomas explained to a group of journalists interviewing the directors at Cannes when the film premiered there in 2008, refers to a children’s game similar to hacky-sack, in which the goal is to pass a small ball among four people without the ball hitting the ground; it also evokes the film’s central thematic element, which revolves around four brothers of a stalwart working class mother, unmarried and pregnant with her fifth child. All of the characters in Linha de Passe are struggling, each in their own way, to keep their own balls of survival in the air.

In both Foreign Land and Linha de Passe, the characters are unsettled, moving, constantly in flux. In Foreign Land, Paco tries to work through his grief by getting to San Sebastian, finds himself stranded in Lisbon, and then must stay on the run with Alex to stay a step ahead of the bad guys so he can find the missing goods before the bad guys catch up with him. In Linha de Passe each of the four brothers, struggling to survive in Brazil’s unstable economy, is also in motion: Denis, the oldest brother (João Baldasserini) works as a bike courier, navigating São Paulo’s dangerously crowded streets; Dario (Vínicius de Oliveria, the only professional actor in the cast, having previously starred in Central Station) has just turned 18 and now, being too old to continue playing in the ultra-competitive junior soccer leagues, must find a way to get onto a pro team or give up the one path out of economic hardship available to him; Dinho (José Geraldo Rodrigues) seeks his own path to economic freedom via an evangelical church; and youngest brother Reginaldo (Kaique de Jesus Santos) endlessly rides the buses of his city in search of the father he’s never known.

Both films also deal with issues of race, racism, and what it feels like not to fit in. In Foreign Land, Alex and Paco face the discrimination of being Brazilians in Portugal; there is a good deal of dialogue sprinkled throughout the film about Brazil’s history of being colonized by Portugese in search of a better life, with Salles and Thomas seeming to raise an ironic eyebrow at Brazilians returning to the homeland of their forefathers being treated as second-class citizens. The Lisbon hotel Paco stays in is occupied on the third floor by black immigrants from Angola, and the hotel manager makes a point of reassuring Paco that the blacks have “nothing to do” with his hotel; later in the film, when Paco befriends Loli (Zeka Laplaine), one of the Angolan immigrants, Loli’s friends deride him for getting involved with Paco’s problems, telling him “blacks should stay with blacks, and whites with whites” and asking him what he’s doing bring that “honky” into their domain.

n Linha de Passe, race is dealt with primarily through Reginaldo, the youngest brother and the only sibling with dark skin and a black father. Because of his mixed race and dark skin, Reginaldo feels isolated and insecure, an outsider both in society at large and within his own family. He returns, again and again, to a single photograph he has of the father he’s never known, seeking comfort in a face as dark as his own. He loves his mother and his brothers, but he restlessly searches for the man he doesn’t know and yet identifies most strongly with.

In both films Salles and Thomas also address as a sideline issue the number of fatherless families in Brazil; there’s never a mention in Foreign Land of where or who Paco’s father is, and in Linha de Passe the family of boys is headed up by tough-but-loving, working-class single mom Cleuza (Sandra Corveloni, who won Best Actress at Cannes for her performance).

Stylistically, both Foreign Land and Linha de Passe feel rougher, grittier, than Salles’ solo directorial efforts, although they also feel very different from each other. Foreign Land, with its starkly beautiful, moody, black and white cinematography (by Walter Carvalho, who was also the DP for both Salles’ Central Station and Golden-Globe nominated Behind the Sun), has an artsier feel to it that veers almost without warning into a tense, sinister tone in the film’s second half. Linha de Passe feels more free and spontaneous, with a verite sense that we are flies on the wall watching the events that unfold in the brothers’ lives. We are frequently put right in the center of the action — Salles and Thomas shot many of Linha de Passe‘s scenes “off the radar” with cameras attached to bicycles or motorcycles, following the characters around — but the close proximity of camera to actors and scenes and the use of ambient noise never seems overbearing or takes us out of the story.

Generally, I don’t think Linha de Passe is quite as methodically and artistically shot and framed as Foreign Land, but it’s still fine work. Linha de Passe also has an interesting blend of the meticulously planned with the spontaneous — de Oliveria, for instance, trained for his role as the soccer-playing Dario by actually playing in Brazil’s junior leagues for four years, and before and during filming the entire cast lived together to build a sense of family — but a good deal of the acting once filming started was improvisational.

Both films are well worth a visit (or a revisit, if you’ve already seen them), whether you’re already a fan of Salles as a director or completely unfamiliar with his work. If you enjoy a good noir, Foreign Land is about as thrilling, solid and engaging as noir gets (just stay with it through the long set-up), and I found Linha de Passe‘s rough, somewhat rough-and-tumble verite style to still have infinitely more polish than, say, Brillante Mendoza‘s Serbis, which I covered in last week’s column.

If you’re a fan of Salles but unfamiliar with his work with Thomas, both films are worth watching just to appreciate the difference that it makes to have this brilliant director working with another filmmaker on these projects; working with Thomas puts Salles in a different kind of filmmaking zone entirely, and it’s pretty fascinating to examine the end results.

Beyond all that, though, both Foreign Land and Linha de Passe are must-sees for anyone into arthouse cinema if for no other reason than the sheer scope and ambition of a pair of directors aiming to make a total of six films revisiting a common culture and theme at 12 year intervals; that’s 72 years of staying devoted to one project — an ambitious filmmaking undertaking if ever there was one.

Note: Linha de Passe, so far as I know, never had a US release date and is only available on Region 2 DVD. It can be very hard to find — Green Cine carries Foreign Land and most of Salles’ other work, but doesn’t list Linha de Passe; Netflix lists it as “unavailable on DVD,” probably because it’s not available in Region 1. I managed to unearth a Region 2 copy at Seattle’s amazing Scarecrow Video, though, and if you live in a city with a fantastic DVD store you might get lucky and be able to track it down. If you can find it, it’s worth the effort.

Arthouse Redux: How Very Verite of You

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

Filipino arthouse director Brillante Mendoza’s 2007 film Tirador (Slingshot) opened in NYC this weekend, but I’m still thinking of the film he made a year later, Serbis. In one of those instances of cinematic scheduling perversity, Tirador is releasing after Serbis, which debuted at Cannes in 2008 after Tirador played at Toronto in 2007. It has been argued that Mendoza is the most brilliant Filipino director working today. But is Serbis really the brilliantly executed artistic use of verite to mire its audience in poverty and plight many critics seem to think, or is the Emperor parading down the street naked, while the citizenry admires his invisible fine clothes? Either way, Mendoza’s certainly made a name for himself as one of the most talked about filmmakers of any nationality.

Mendoza is big on the verite style of filmmaking, taking the audience down, baby, down into the grit and non-glamour of his homeland, bringing the poverty of Manila to life with all the sweat, loving closeups and money shots of a porn film. In Serbis, he takes his audience deep into the dirt and grime of a family-run theater and cafe in Manila that’s making ends meet by showing soft-core porn to mostly male audience members who come there to get, well, serviced, while the staff politely looks the other way.

Mendoza’s films have a great deal of ambient noise; in the opening 20 or so minutes of Serbis, you feel with immense clarity the clamor, the noise, the bustle, the press of humanity that flows down the streets of Manila. Almost, you smell the smells. Serbis has the mood and nervous energy of a hopped up meth freak on a crowded bus; it’s jittery, claustrophobic, and ear-poundingly loud, so layered with visual and aural stimuli that the very verite that Mendoza was using for (presumably) artistic effect just pulled me completely out of the film.

I made it through the lingering, gratuitous camera-fondling of a young Filipino girl in the film’s opening shot, the sensuous close-ups of an infected boil on a guy’s ass, and the transvestive blowjob in a projection booth, but that was about as much as I could take. All these converging storylines might have been interesting, perhaps, if I’d cared enough about any of the characters to pay attention to the things Mendoza had happening to them, but whoever they were that might have made me care about them got buried by the director showing us too much of what the characters did rather than who they were.

I must confess I’ve always felt a little guilty and, well, contrarian for not liking Serbis. After all, a good many smart film critics who saw it at Cannes praised it so it must be good, right? Actually, as I recall not a lot of colleagues I talked to during Cannes actually liked Serbis — the film made a stir, to be sure, but not in what I would characterize a good way, at least at the time. But Serbis — and Cannes that year, by proxy — is where I became convinced that there is some truth to the theory that at certain fests, if a couple of well-respected critics talk up a film like Serbis, others will fall into line after them, no matter how many jokes they were making at the film’s expense just a few nights earlier.

Sure, the jokes about goats and pus-filled boils had billowed up through the starry night sky the night Serbis screened, but over the forthcoming days and weeks, as a couple of key critics weighed in, people were practically clamoring to speak its praises, perhaps fervantly hoping nobody had been paying much attention to their drunken theorizing a few nights earlier about ass-boils as an artistic expression of the corruption of the Bourgeoisie.

Serbis was made, part and parcel, for the kind of folks who will brave hours spent in endless lines waiting to sit in the dark watching daring, artistic, even experimental movies, and more hours in endless lines hoping to get into the same late-night beach party that seems never to end at a fest like Cannes. Everybody’s on “the list,” noboby’s on “the list,” and at the end of the day/night, some invisible, unflappably polite French butler simply tucks the whole thing away neatly as dawn breaks over the Mediterranean, only to shake it out fresh and lay it back out again at sunset — complete with the same people, smoking the same cigarettes, standing in the same places in the same lines, still talking about the same movies they were talking about the night before.

Perhaps films of the sort Mendoza crafts are made only to be appreciated by a few fine, lofty minds pondering their greater meaning over many cheap drinks at Cannes’ Le Petit Majestic bar on a late summer night, swept up in the not insubstantial gravitational pull created by the convergence of many brilliant cinephiles of varying nationalities discussing a plethora of arthouse movies. Cannes is the perfect environment in which to discuss the films of a befuddling director like Mendoza.

My colleague and I left Serbis shortly after a glass pop bottle is used to pop the boil on the kids’ ass in lovingly rendered, close-up glory (too bad there wasn’t 3-D), making us feel as if we, too, were boils filled with rage at having sat through this much of this film, and desperately in need of the pressure-release of a quick drink or at least a panini to pop all that nastiness right on out of our systems like so much diseased pus. And spare me the lectures on Third World health care, apologists and defenders; just because a remedy for popping your boil with a pop bottle exists, doesn’t mean we need to see it in graphic detail on a big screen. Somewhere on a list labeled “Private Grooming that Must Never be Seen in Public,” popping your nasty ass-boil in vivid Techincolor is surely near the very top.

Thus Serbis gained the distinction, such as it is, of being the only film I have ever — that’s right, wusses, EVER — walked out on at a film festival. Hate it, like it or love it, I generally sit through fest films from start to finish, but not this time. We heard later we missed the bit with the goat. Maybe that would have changed my mind about the film, but I kind of doubt it.

When I chatted with a very respected critical colleague in Cannes a couple days later, we traded our thoughts on what we’d seen and she gushed that Serbis was, by far, her favorite of the festival. And she wasn’t even joking. She was completely in earnest, and I was therefore rather flummoxed by her unbridled admiration for a film that I had dismissed out-of-hand as repulsive and overrated. I must also confess that, for half-a-second there, the mere fact that this particular critic was so enamored of this film very nearly made me reconsider it.

If I’d had time, and the schedule had so allowed, I might even have revisited Serbis on a warm, lazy Cannes afternoon toward the end of the fest, and seen it in all the things my colleague had seen in it to so enrapture her. After all, many of my colleagues, according to the ever-ripe Tomatometer, aver to the tune of some 80% that Serbis is great. Which puts me firmly in the minority. Makes me, you might even say, a bit of a contrarian, which is one thing when you’re talking about some big-studio film that everyone hates but you took guilty pleasure in, or everyone loves for its big explosions, while you bemoan its lack of plot — but perhaps another thing when you’re talking about a smart, artsy film that so many people other than you seem to “get” and you don’t.

It’s the divisive, not easily likable films like Serbis; the slow-paced, hopeful build of a Tulpan; the achingly deliberate pacing of Claire Denis’ films; the harsh political landscapes explored by Sixth Generation Chinese filmmakers like Jia Zhangke (The World, Platform); the crazy, inexplicable likability of many of Harmony Korine’s films; the chilling familial trainwreck of a Dogtooth; or even a film like Woman Without Piano, (which played at this year’s SIFF) which uses exquisite shots and camera angles and lighting and color to tell its simple, quiet story — that make film criticism, particularly at a festival, both intellectually challenging and fun.

As it happens, at Cannes that year I much preferred the very different verite style of Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas, whose Linha de Passe, along with earlier film Foreign Land (Terra Estrangeira), is a part of an intended series of narrative films revisiting the impact of growth and industrialization on the middle class of Brazil’s major cities every decade or so. I found Salles’ and Thomas’s work with Linha de Passe to be borne of a greater intellectual inquistiveness, and to deliver its polictically-charged messages with a far greater grace and subtlety, than Mendoza accomplishes or even attempts with Serbis.

I prefer not to be dragged through the gutters of the worst filth one can find, to have that poverty and despair put on display like a broken-down, diseased crack whore staggering on a street corner, and told that is “art,” which is what I felt Mendoza did with Serbis. But others disagree. Mendoza is a critical darling, especially at Cannes. His film Kinatay (The Execution of P) won all kinds of accolades (including director and the Golden Palm) at Cannes in 2009 … after which that film played a handful of respectable Euro fests and virtually nothing in the States before disappearing — taking with it, as so many Cannes winners seem to do, any likelihood of vast commercial success. So spin the wheels of independent arthouse cinema.

Maybe this is all a part of the intrinsic value of watching obscure, artsy films at film festivals in exotic locales to begin with. We go to immerse ourselves in art, and art is not always shiny-shiny and pretty to look at. So we look, we turn away, perhaps, in disgust … and perhaps later, we revisit and reassess based on where we’re standing this time around. Maybe it looks glowingly brilliant upon a revisit, maybe it still looks like bullshit, or perhaps we see an entirely different sort of bullshit altogether — but if we are not open to exploring, how will we know? This is why, in spite of Serbis being the film that holds the honor of finally knocking The Adventures of Shark-Boy and Lava Girl out of its lofty position as my most hated film ever, I still want to see Mendoza’s Tirador and perhaps even give Serbis another shot.

In the meantime, please hold my spot in the Mendoza “contrarian” section, while I explore the possibility that a reexamination of his work will suddenly make me see the light and appreciate the filmmaker’s brilliance.

This column is the start of a new subset of “Arthouse Redux” columns, in which I will revisit films from festivals, or interesting films from artsy or “classic” directors. Some will be films I’ve seen before and am revisiting, others will be attempts to fill in some gaps in my filmic knowledge that keep nagging at me like a missing tooth. Generally they will be pairs or series that have some connection to each other, however obscurely.  Hopefully it will be interesting for me to write about and for you to read about. If you have suggestions of films you’d like me to consider for this column, please send them my way.

– by Kim Voynar

July 24 , 2010

Page 24

Thursday, January 21st, 2010
Link to the List

Karen Durbin

1 Hunger
2 Hurt Locker
3 White Ribbon
4 Treeless Mountain
5 Precious
6 Bright Star
7 Where the Wild Things Are
8 Private Lives of Pippa Lee
9 Inglourious Basterds
10 Jennifer’s Body
Link to the List

Quentin Tarantino

1 Star Trek
2 Drag Me To Hell
3 Funny People
4 Up in the Air
5 Chocolate
6 Observe and Report
7 Zombieland
8 Julie & Julia
9 Avatar | The Hurt Locker
10 District 9
Link to the List

David Edelstein

1 Summer Hours
2 Everlasting Moments
3 Brothers
4 Fantastic Mr. Fox
5 Tyson
6 A Serious Man
7 Coraline
8 In the Loop
9 Food Inc
10 The Hurt Locker
Link to the List

J. Hoberman

1 The Hurt Locker
2 Hunger
3 Police, Adjective
4 I’m Gonna Explode
5 Coraline
6 The Sun
7 Beaches of Agnes
8 The Headless Woman
9 Inglourious Basterds
10 Red Cliff
Link to the List

TC Kirkham

1 Astroboy
2 Avatar
3 Departures
4 (500) Days of SUmmer
5 Julie & Julia
6 New York, I Love You
7 9 | Sita Sings the BLues
8 Star Trek | Taking Woodstock
9 Up
10 Watchmen
Link to the List

Robert Levin

1 Up in the Air
2 A Serious Man
3 The Hurt Locker
4 Of Time and the City
5 Avatar
6 The Messenger
7 The COve
8 Up
9 Sin Nombre
10 Big Fan
Link to the List

Geoff Berkshire

1 Precious
2 Up in the Air
3 Summer Hours
4 Inglourious Basterds
5 Where the Wild Things Are
6 Ponyo
7 Moon
8 Sugar
9 A Single Man
10 Funny People
Link to the List

Irv Slifkin

1 A Serious Man
2 Taking Woodstock
3 Avatar
4 Anvil! The Story of Anvil
5 Fantastic Mr. Fox
6 Hurt Locker
7 (500) Days of Summer
8 The Hangover
9 In the Loop
10 Sugar

Geoff Berkshire | Karen Durbin | David Edelstein | J. Hoberman | TC Kirkham | Robert Levin | Irv Slifkin | Quentin Tarantino

Page 23

Thursday, January 21st, 2010
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Betsy Pickle

1 That Evening Sun
2 Up in the Air
3 (500) Days of SUmmer
4 Avatar
5 The Messenger
6 Inglourious Basterds
7 In the Loop
8 Bright Star
9 An Education
10 Julie & Julia
Link to the List

Al Alexander

1 Inglourious Basterds
2 Up in the Air
3 Up
4 In the Loop
5 The Hurt Locker
6 The Messenger
7 (500) Days of SUmmer
8 Food Inc
9 Baader Meinhof Complex
10 Coraline
Link to the List

Jen Yamato

1 Beaches of Agnes
2 Fantastic Mr. Fox
3 Up
4 The Hurt Locker
5 Bronson
6 Where the Wild Things Are
7 The Messenger
8 An Education
9 District 9
10 (500) Days of Summer
Link to the List

Jennifer Merin

1 An Education
2 Beaches of Agnes
3 Bright Star
4 The Cove
5 District 9
6 Fantastic Mr. Fox
7 The Hurt Locker
8 The Messenger
9 Precious
10 Up in the Air
Link to the List

Susan Granger

1 Avatar
2 The Hurt Locker
3 Inglourious Basterds
4 Invictus
5 Julie & Julia
6 Nine
7 Star Trek
8 The Blind Side
9 Up
10 Up in the AIr
Link to the List

Tricia Olszewski

1 Up
2 Inglourious Basterds
3 Up in the Air
4 Paranormal Activity
5 Coraline
6 Adventureland
7 World’s Greatest Dad
8 The Hurt Locker
9 Food, Inc
10 Sherlock Holmes
Link to the List

Ann Lewinson

1 Gomorrah
2 An Education
3 The White Ribbon
4 A Serious Man
5 Hunger
6 District 9
7 The Single Man
8 The Hurt Locker
9 The Limits of Control
10 Princess & the Frog
Link to the List

Jette Kernion
AWFJ

1 A Serious Man
2 Bronson
3 World’s Greatest Dad
4 Coraline
5 St. Nick
6 A Town Called Panic
7 District 9
8 Fantastic Mr. Fox
9 Up in the Air
10 Inglourious Basterds
Link to the List

Marjorie Baumgarten

1 Where the Wild Things Are
2 The Beaches of Agnes
3 A Single Man
4 A Serious Man
5 The Hurt Locker
6 Summer Hours
7 An Education
8 Up
9 Antichrist
10 Bright Star
Link to the List

Katey Rich

1 Inglourious Basterds
2 Up
3 In the Loop
4 Star Trek
5 A Serious Man
6 Avatar
7 The White Ribbon
8 Fantastic Mr. Fox
9 Sugar
10 Duplicity

Al Alexander | Marjorie Baumgarten | Susan Granger | Jette Kernion | Ann Lewinson | Jennifer Merin | Tricia Olszewski | Betsy Piickle | Katey Rich | Jen Yamato

Page 22

Thursday, January 21st, 2010
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Nell Minow
AWFJ

1 Up in the Air
2 Where the Wild Things Are
3 Precious
4 Fantastic Mr. Fox
5 (500) Days of Summer
6 District 9
7 Coraline
8 Up
9 Star Trek
10 An Education
Link to the List

Jessica Barnes

1 Where the Wild Things Are
2 The Hurt Locker
3 Moon
4 Inglourious Basterds
5 District 9
6 Funny People
7 Watchmen
8 Star Trek
9 Adventureland
10 Food Inc.
Link to the List

Shelli Sonstein
AWFJ

1 Up in the Air
2 Inglourious Basterds
3 Up
4 The Hurt Locker
5 Precious
6 The Messenger
7 Avatar
8 Zombieland
9 Pirate Radio
10 Bruno
Link to the List

Cynthia Fuchs

1 Back Home Tomorrow
2 Beaches of Agnes
3 How to Fold a Flag
4 The Hurt Locker
5 Living in Emergency
6 October Country
7 Sugar
8 35 Shots of Rum
9 Treeless Mountain
10 24 City
Link to the List

Diana Saenger
AWFJ

1 Avatar
2 The Messenger
3 Bright Star
4 Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus
5 Sin Nombre
6 Me & Orson Welles
7 The Cove
8 The Burning Plain
9 The Hangover
10
Link to the List

Joanna Langfield
AWFJ

1 Up in the Air
2 The Hurt Locker
3 A Serious Man
4 Avatar
5 Up
6 District 9
7 Crazy Heart
8 An Education
9 (500) Days of Summer
10 Adventureland
Link to the List

Thelma Adams

1 Up in the Air
2 The Hurt Locker
3 Star Trek
4 The Hangover
5 The Young Victoria
6 District 9
7 Coco Before Chanel
8 Inglourious Basterds
9 Paranormal Activity
10 Up
Link to the List

Rebecca Murray

1 Avatar
2 (500) Days of Summer
3 Up
4 An Education
5 Inglourious Basterds
6 The Hurt Locker
7 The Road
8 Zombieland
9 Up in the Air
10 District 9
Link to the List

Claudia Puig
AWFJ

1 The Hurt Locker
2 Up
3 Up in the Air
4 Sin Nombre
5 Sugar
6 (500) Days of SUmmer
7 District 9
8 Inglourious Basterds
9 A Serious Man
10 Summer Hours
Link to the List

Carol Cling
AWFJ

1 The Hurt Locker
2 An Education
3 Bright Star
4 Up
5 Princess and the Frog
6 The Cove
7 A Serious Man
8 In the Loop
9 Up in the Air
10 Sin Nombre

Thelma Adams | Jessica Barnes | Carol Cling | Cyntia Fuchs | Brandy McDonnell | Nell Minow | Rebecca Murray | Claudia Puig | Diana Saenger | Shelli Sonstein

Page 21

Thursday, January 21st, 2010
Link to the List

Susan Wloszczyna

1 Up in the Air
2 The Hurt Locker
3 Up
4 Precious
5 A Serious Man
6 An Education
7 Zombieland
8 Coraline
9 Fantastic Mr. Fox
10 Inglourious Basterds
Link to the List

David Walsh

1 Everlasting Moments
2 Of Time and the City
3 The Country Teacher
4 Laila’s Birthday
5 Where the Wild Things Are
6 Serbis
7 The Men Who Stare at Goats
8 24 City
9 A Serious man
10 Bright Star
Link to the List

Karina Longworth

1 Silent Light
2 Two Lovers
3 The Girlfriend Experience
4 Summer Hours
5 Beeswax
6 Cargo 200
7 The Limits of Control
8 Bad Lieutenant
9 The Hurt Locker
10 Inglourious Basterds
Link to the List

Mark Jenkins

1 35 Shots of Rum
2 Summer Hours
3 Still Walking
4 The Beaches of Agnes
5 The Hurt Locker
6 24 City
7 The Cove
8 Tokyo Sonata
9 Departures
10 Police, Adjective
Link to the List

Sean P. Means
Salt Lake Tribune

1 Sita Sings the Blues
2 A Serious Man
3 Up
4 The Cove
5 Up in the Air
6 Phoebe in Wonderland
7 The Class
8 Pirate Radio
9 Every Little Step
10 In the Loop
Link to the List

Aaron Hillis

1 Tetro
2 Two Lovers
3 Inglourious Basterds
4 The Hurt Locker
5 Fantastic Mr. Fox
6 35 Shots of Rum
7 You, the Living
8 The Informant
9 Paradise
10 Tony Manero
Link to the List

Caryn James

1 Up in the Air
2 Bright Star
3 The Hurt Locker
4 A Single Man
5 Inglourious Basterds
6 An Education
7 Fantastic Mr. Fox
8 In the Loop
9 The Road
10 Seraphine
Link to the List

Dennis Lim
Moving Image Source

1 Summer Hours
2 The Limits of Control
3 The Headless Woman
4 Inglourious Basterds
5 24 City
6 Police, Adjective
7 Fantastic Mr. Fox
8 Night and Day
9 Liverpool
10 Beeswax
Link to the List

Richard Brody
New Yorker

1 Fantastic Mr. Fox
2 Beaches of Agnes
3 Funny People
4 Two Lovers
5 Gentlemen Broncos
6 Police, Adjective
7 24 City
8 Lorna’s Silence
9 Frontier of Dawn
10 Alexander the Last
Link to the List

Ed Gonzalez

1 Two Lovers
2 Up
3 Julia
4 Where the Wild Things Are
5 The Hurt Locker
6 Revanche
7 35 Shots of Rum
8 Inglourious Basterds
9 That Evening Sun
10 The Window

Richard Brody | Ed Gonzalez | Aaron Hillis | Caryn James | Mark Jenkins | Dennis Lim | Karina Longworth | Sean Means | David Walsh | Susan Wloszczyna

Page 20

Thursday, January 21st, 2010
Link to the List

Amy Taubin
Film Comment

1 35 Shots of Rum
2 The Hurt Locker
3 The Headless Woman
4 Tulpan
5 Tokyo Sonata
6 The Informant
7 Lake Tahoe
8 Police, Adjective
9 The Sun
10 Sugar
Link to the List

Chuck Wilson
LA Weekly

1 Bright Star
2 The Hurt Locker
3 Everlasting Moments
4 A Single Man
5 Drag Me to Hell
6 Police, Adjective
7 Public Enemies
8 The Beaches of Agnes
9 The Messenger
10 Bad Lieutenant
Link to the List

Joe Leydon
Variety

1 Up in the Air
2 That Evening Sun
3 (500) Days of Summer
4 The Messenger
5 Fantastic Mr. Fox
6 A Serious Man
7 The Informant
8 Summer Hours
9 The Hurt Locker
10 Funny People
Link to the List

Gerald Peary
Boston Phoenix

1 The Hurt Locker
2 A Serious man
3 Precious
4 Humpday
5 The Baader Meinhof Complex
6 Lorna’s Silence
7 The Informant
8 Beeswax
9 Up
10 Treeless Mountain
Link to the List

Sam Adams
LA Times

1 Still Walking
2 A Serious Man
3 The Sun
4 Fantastic Mr. Fox
5 Coraline
6 The Hurt Locker
7 The Limits of Control
8 The Headless Woman
9 Two Lovers
10 Crank: High Voltage
Link to the List

Ben Kenigsberg
Time Out Chicago

1 Inglourious Basterds
2 The Hurt Locker
3 A Serious Man
4 Tokyo Sonata
5 The Headless Woman
6 Julia
7 The Box
8 The White Ribbon
9 Public Enemies
10 Summer Hours
Link to the List

Nathan Lee
Film Comment

1 The Headless Woman
2 Halloween II
3 Summer Hours
4 Inglourious Basterds
5 TheSun
6 Next Day Air
7 Adventureland
8 Loren Cass
9 The Feature
10 The Limits of Control
Link to the List

Matthew Wilder
Collider.com

1 Broken Embraces
2 A Serious man
3 Inglourious Basterds
4 The Hurt Locker
5 The Headless Woman
6 Tetro
7 Bad Lieutenant
8 The Informant
9 Night and Day
10 You, the Living
Link to the List

Matt Prigge
Philadelphia Weekly

1 In the Loop
2 Inglourious Basterds
3 Duplicity
4 The Headless Woman
5 I’m Gonna Explode
6 The Beaches of Agnes
7 Fantastic Mr. Fox
8 Sita Sings the Blues
9 Afterschool
10 Crank: High Voltage
Link to the List

Sean Burns
Philadelphia Weekly

1 Up
2 A Serious Man
3 Adventureland
4 Public Enemies
5 The Hurt Locker
6 Two Lovers
7 Where the Wild Things Are
8 Fantastic Mr. Fox
9 Funny People
10 Bad Lieutenant

Sam Adams | Sean Burns | Ben Kenigsberg | Nathan Lee | Joe Leydon | Gerald Peary | Matt Prigge | Amy Taubin | Matthew Wilder | Chuck Wilson

Page 19

Thursday, January 21st, 2010
Link to the List

Whitney Matheson
USA Today PopCandy

1 Fantastic Mr. Fox
2 Star Trek
3 Inglourious Basterds
4 The Rock-afire Explosion
5 Tyson
6 Whip It
7 Humpday
8 Coraline
9 Best Worst Movie
10 Adventureland
Link to the List

Don Sanchez
ABC-7

1 A Single Man
2 An Education
3 Avatar
4 The Blind Side
5 The Hurt Locker
6 Inglourious Basterds
7 Nine
8 Star Trek
9 Up
10 Up in the Air
Link to the List

Michael Sragow
The Baltimore Sun

1 The Exiles
2 The Hurt Locker
3 The Class
4 Up
5 Waltz with Bashir
6 Harvard Beats Yale 29-29
7 Bright Star
8 Cheri
9 Everlasting Moments
10 Precious
Link to the List

George Roush
Latino Review

1 Up
2 Inglorious Basterds
3 The Hurt Locker
4 Precious
5 District 9
6 Taken
7 The Cove
8 In the Loop
9 The Hangover
10 The Mystery Team
Link to the List

Curt Holman
Creative Loafing

1 Up
2 The Hurt Locker
3 12
4 In the Loop
5 The Damned United
6 District 9
7 A Serious Man
8 Fantastic Mr. Fox
9 Coraline
10 Anvil! The Story of Anvil
Link to the List

Brandy McDonnell
The Oklahoman

1 Inglorious Basterds
2 The Hurt Locker
3 Up in the Air
4 (500) Days of Summer
5 Precious
6 Fantastic Mr. Fox
7 Up
8 District 9
9 Invictus
10 The Brothers Bloom
Link to the List

Matt Goldberg
Collider.com

1 The Brothers Bloom
2 Up
3 A Serious Man
4 Where the Wild Things Are
5 District 9
6 Inglourious Basterds
7 A Single Man
8 Away We Go
9 In the Loop
10 Fantastic Mr. Fox
Link to the List

Brad Schreiber
Huffington Post

1 Coraline
2 Duplicity
3 Moon
4 The Baader Meinhof Complex
5 The Last Station
6 Hunger
7 O’Horten
8 A Serious Man
9 An Education
10 The Hangover
Link to the List

Clint O’Connor
The Plain Dealer

1 Precious
2 In the Loop
3 Fantastic Mr. Fox
4 Up in the Air
5 Avatar
6 Me & Orson Welles
7 Inglourious Basterds
8 The Hangover
9 The Hurt Locker
10 A Serious Man
Link to the List

Matt Pais
Metromix Chicago

1 A Serious Man
2 Where the Wild Things Are
3 The Hurt Locker
4 Tulpan
5 Crazy Heart
6 Mary & Max
7 An Education
8 In the Loop
9 The Girlfriend Experience
10 Extract

Matt Goldberg | Curt Holman | Whitney Matheson | Brandy McDonnell | Clint O’Connor | Matt Pais | George Roush | Don Sanchez | Brad Schreiber | Michael Sragow

Page 18

Thursday, January 21st, 2010
Link to the List

C. Robert Cargill

1 District 9
2 Fish Story
3 Avatar
4 Star Trek
5 Moon
6 Fantastic Mr. Fox
7 The Road
8 Up
9 Taking Woodstock
10 Up in the Air
Link to the List

Amanda Mae Meyncke

1 Bright Star
2 Inglourious Basterds
3 The Brothers Bloom
4 A Single Man
5 Public Enemies
6 (500) Days of Summer
7 An Education
8 The Hangover
9 Avatar
10 Sunshine Cleaning
Link to the List

MaryAnn Johanson
Film.com

1 The Hurt Locker
2 District 9
3 The Road
4 The Soloist
5 A Serious Man
6 Bright Star
7 Up
8 Inglourious Basterds
9 Fantastic Mr. Fox
10 The Brothers Bloom
Link to the List

Laremy Legel

1 Inglourious Basterds
2 In the Loop
3 Fantastic Mr. Fox
4 Star Trek
5 Sherlock Holmes
6 Up
7 (500) Days of Summer
8 The Hangover
9 The Brothers Bloom
10 Away We Go
Link to the List

Josh Tyler
Cinema Blend

1 Up in the Air
2 (500) Days of Summer
3 The Hurt Locker
4 Bad Lieutenant
5 Up
6 Whip It
7 Mystery Team
8 Peter and Vandy
9 Watchmen
10 Star Trek
Link to the List

Kiko Martinez
San Antonio News

1 Where the Wild Things Are
2 Up in the Air
3 A Serious Man
4 Fantastic Mr. Fox
5 The White Ribbon
6 Broken Embraces
7 An Education
8 Mary & Max
9 The Hurt Locker
10 Precious
Link to the List

Kevyn Knox

1 Inglourious Basterds
2 Antichrist
3 The Hurt Locker
4 Public Enemies
5 Red Cliff
6 Watchmen
7 Tetro
8 Drag Me To Hell
9 Gomorrah
10 Star Trek
Link to the List

Harry Knowles
Ain’t It Cool News

1 District 9
2 Where the Wild Things Are
3 Up
4 Inglourious Basterds
5 The Square
6 Private Eye
7 Avatar
8 Moon
9 Bronson
10 Fantastic Mr. Fox
Link to the List

Gary Cogill
WFAA-TV

1 Up in the Air
2 The Hurt Locker
3 Inglourious Basterds
4 Avatar
5 Nine
6 Sherlock Holmes
7 Up
8 Precious
9 Crazy Heart
10 This is It
Link to the List

Chuck Koplinski
Illinois Times

1 Up in the Air
2 The Hurt Locker
3 Up
4 The Messenger
5 The Hangover
6 Fantastic Mr. Fox
7 Precious
8 An Education
9 It Might Get Loud
10 Knowing

C. Rogert Cargill | Gary Cogill | MaryAnn Johanson | Harry Knowles | Kevyn Knox | Chuck Koplinski | Laremy Legel | Kiko Martinez | Amanda Mae Meyncke | Josh Tyler

Page 17

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Link to the List

Peg Aloi

1 Fantastic Mr. Fox
2 Bright Star
3 O’Horten
4 Inglourious Basterds
5 Moon
6 An Education
7 Summer Hours
8 In the Loop
9 Sin Nombre
10 Star Trek
Link to the List

Dwight Brown
Tri-State Defender

1 Avatar
2 Fantastic Mr. Fox
3 Hunger
4 The Hurt Locker
5 Invictus
6 Precious
7 Public Enemes
8 Star Trek
9 This is It
10 Up
Link to the List

Steve Persall

1 Up in the Air
2 Precious
3 (500) Days of Summer
4 District 9
5 Inglourious Basterds
6 The Cove | Food Inc
7 An Education
8 Where the Wild Things Are
9 The Messenger
10 Up
Link to the List

Christy Lemire
Associated Press

1 Moon
2 An Education
3 The Hurt Locker
4 Up
5 District 9
6 A Serious man
7 Fantastic Mr. Fox
8 Sugar
9 Passing Strange
10 Drag Me to Hell
Link to the List

Brian Miller
Seattle Weekly

1 The Maid
2 The Hurt Locker
3 Revanche
4 A Serious Man
5 In the Loop
6 Duplicity
7 The Informant
8 Up
9 Up in the Air
10 Avatar
Link to the List

David Germain

1 The Hurt Locker
2 Precious
3 The White Ribbon
4 Bad Lieutenant
5 Up
6 An Education
7 (500) Days of Summer
8 Passing Strange
9 Anvil! The Story of Anvil
10 The Damned United
Link to the List

Kevin Williamson
Ottawa Sun

1 Up in the Air
2 Up
3 The Hurt Locker
4 The Cove
5 District 9
6 Avatar
7 The Hangover
8 (500) Days of Summer
9 Inglourious Basterds
10 An Education
Link to the List

Lexi Feinberg
BigPictureBigSound

1 (500) Days of Summer
2 A Serious man
3 An Education
4 Inglourious Basterds
5 Up
6 I Love You, Man
7 Up in the Air
8 Precious
9 The Hurt Locker
10 Where the Wild Things Are
Link to the List

Liz Braun
Ottawa Sun

1 A Single Man
2 The Hurt Locker
3 Hunger
4 Crazy Heart
5 Food Inc
6 Gomorrah
7 The Hangover
8 Precious
9 The White Ribbon
10 Sin Nombre
Link to the List

Jim Slotek
Ottawa Sun

1 Up in the Air
2 The Hurt Locker
3 The Road
4 Star Trek
5 Up
6 Anvil! The Story of Anvil
7 The Cove
8 In the Loop
9 The Hangover
10 Avatar

Peg Aloi | Liz Braun | Dwight Brown | Lexi Feinberg | David Germain | Christy Lemire | Brian Miller | Steve Persall | Jim Slotek | Kevin Williamson

Page 16

Thursday, January 21st, 2010


Link to the List

Gary Dretzka

1 The Hurt Locker
2 Up
3 Avatar
4 The Maid
5 The Baader-Meinhof Complex
6 Bronson
7 Up in the Air
8 In the Loop
9 Burma VJ
10 Sin Nombre
Link to the List

Ray Pride

1 Limits of Control
2 The Hurt Locker
3 The Headless Woman
4 A Serious Man
5 Summer Hours
6 Fantastic Mr. Fox
7 Bad Lieutenant
8 Two Lovers
9 Loren Cass
10 Antichrist
Link to the List

Noah Forrest

1 Inglourious Basterds
2 The Hurt Locker
3 Mammoth
4 Tetro
5 The White Ribbon
6 A Serious Man
7 Private Lives of Pippa Lee
8 In the Loop
9 Two Lovers
10 Fantastic Mr. Fox
Link to the List

Kim Voynar

1 Up in the Air
2 The Hurt Locker
3 An Education
4 Goodbye Solo
5 In the Loop
6 A Serious Man
7 Where the Wild Things Are
8 Precious
9 Beaches of Agnes
10 District 9

The MCN Critics | Gary Dretzka | Noah Forrest | Ray Pride | Kim Voynar |

Page 15

Thursday, January 21st, 2010
Link to the List

Jay Stone
Calgary Herald

1 Bad Lieutenant
2 A Serious Man
3 A Single Man
4 District 9
5 The Hurt Locker
6 Anvil! The Story of Anvil
7 Precious
8 Up
9 An Education
10 Fantastic Mr. Fox
Link to the List

Katherine Monk
Calgary Herald

1 The Hurt Locker
2 District 9
3 Polytechnique
4 Up in the Air
5 Summer Hours
6 Up
7 Star Trek
8 Anvil! The Story of Anvil
9 End of the Line
10 The Young Victoria
Link to the List

Barbara Vancheri
Post Gazette

1 Up in the Air
2 The Hurt Locker
3 Up | Princess and the Frog | Fantastic Mr. Fox
4 Precious
5 The Messenger
6 Julie & Julia
7 The Informant
8 Bright Star
9 Anvil! The Story of Anvil
10 Sin Nombre
Link to the List

Scott Marks
KPBS

1 Bright Star
2 Il Divo
3 Mother
4 Adoration
5 The Song of Sparrows
6 Seraphine
7 Still Walking
8 Inglourious Basterds
9 Tony Manero
10 The Box
Link to the List

Rob Thomas
The Capital Times

1 The Hurt Locker
2 (500) Days of Summer
3 Gomorrah
4 An Education
5 Away We Go
6 Hunger
7 The Cove
8 Lake Tahoe
9 Broken Embraces
10 Star Trek
Link to the List

Beth Accomando
KPBS

1 Il Divo
2 A Single Man
3 District 9
4 A Serious man
5 Inglourious Basterds
6 The Song of Sparrows
7 The Hurt Locker
8 Red Cliff
9 Pontypool
10 Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus | Silent Light | Crank: High Voltage
Link to the List

Stephanie Zacharek
Salon

1 Summer Hours
2 Fantastic Mr. Fox
3 Antichrist
4 The September Issue
5 Bright Star
6 Coraline
7 The International
8 Lake Tahoe
9 Broken Embraces
10 Star Trek
Link to the List

Josh Tate
The LAist

1 (500) Days of Summer
2 An Education
3 Anvil! The Story of Anvil
4 Big River Man
5 The Cove
6 Fantastic Mr. Fox
7 In the Loop
8 Men Who Stare at Goats
9 A Serious Man
10 Up
Link to the List

Micheal Compton
BG Daily News

1 Up in the Air
2 The Hurt Locker
3 Inglourious Basterds
4 The Cove
5 (500) Days of Summer
6 Up
7 Food Inc
8 An Education
9 The Messenger
10 Revanche
Link to the List

Iann Robinson
Crave

1 The Hurt Locker
2 The Road
3 Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus
4 Where the Wild Things Are
5 World’s Greatest Dad
6 Up
7 (500) Days of Summer
8 The Cove
9 Coraline
10 Star Trek

Beth Accomando | Michael Compton | Scott Marks | Katherine Monk | Iann Robinson | Jay Stone | Josh Tate | Rob Thomas | Barbara Vancheri | Stephanie Zacharek

Page 14

Thursday, January 21st, 2010
Link to the List

Matt Singer

1 Two Lovers
2 Summer Hours
3 Drag Me to Hell
4 Up
5 Anvil! The Story of Anvil
6 The Hurt Locker
7 The Headless Woman
8 In the Loop
9 The White Ribbon
10 Crank: High Voltage
Link to the List

Alison Willmore
IFC

1 You, the Living
2 Fantastic Mr. Fox
3 The Hurt Locker
4 The Headless Woman
5 A Twon Called Panic
6 Somers Town
7 Public Enemies
8 A Serious Man
9 Paradise
10 The Missing Person
Link to the List

Stephen King
Entertainment Weekly

1 The Hurt Locker
2 Last House on the Left
3 The Road
4 Disgrace
5 The Reader
6 District 9
7 Law Abiding Citizen
8 The Taking of Pelham 123
9 Fantastic Mr. Fox
10 2012
Link to the List

Michael Atkinson
IFC

1 Made in the USA
2 The Headless Woman
3 Inglourious Basterds
4 I’m Gonna Explode
5 Hunger
6 The Baader Meinhof Comples
7 Up
8 Night and Day
9 You, the Living
10 Three Monkeys
Link to the List

Kim Brown

1 The Hurt Locker
2 Up in the Air
3 An Education
4 (500) Days of Summer
5 The Road
6 Precious
7 Inglourious Basterds
8 Up
9 A Single Man
10 Bright Star
Link to the List

John Harding
Cantonsville Times

1 The Hurt Locker
2 A Serious Man
3 Up in the Air
4 Beaches of Agnes
5 Up
6 Nine
7 In the Loop
8 The young Victoria
9 This is It!
10 The English Surgeon
Link to the List

Brian Tallerico
Movie Retriever

1 Where the Wild Things Are
2 The Hurt Locker
3 Up in the Air
4 The White Ribbon
5 An Education
6 Bright Star
7 Star Trek
8 Sin Nombre
9 Goodbye Solo
10 Inglourious Basterds
Link to the List

Mike Giuliano
Cantonsville Times

1 Up in the Air
2 Bright Star
3 Julie & Julia
4 The Messenger
5 Tetro
6 Invictus
7 Star Trek
8 A Serious man
9 Inglourious Basterds
10 Everybody’s Fine
Link to the List

Matthew Hays
Montreal Mirror

1 Pontypool
2 Bruno
3 Inglourious Basterds
4 I Killed My Mother
5 Captialism: A Love Story
6 Precious
7 Petropolis
8 A Single Man
9 The Queen and I
10 Cairo Time
Link to the List

Marc Savlov
Austin Chronicle

1 A Single Man
2 12
3 Moon
4 Antichrist
5 Bad Lieutenant
6 The Cove
7 The Hurt Locker
8 Up
9 Inglourious Basterds
10 In the Loop

Michael Atkinson | Kim Brown | Mike Giuliano | John Harding | Matthew Hays | Stephen King | Marc Savlov | Matt Singer | Brian Tallerico | Alison Willmore

Page 13

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Link to the List

Malcolm Fraser
Montreal Mirror

1 Anvil! Story of Anvil
2 Bad Lieutenant
3 A Serious Man
4 I Love You, Man
5 Adventureland
6 Drag Me To Hell
7 Last Train Home
8 (500) Days of Summer
9 I Killed My Mother
10 Antichrist
Link to the List

Christopher Sykes
Montreal Mirror

1 The Class
2 35 Shots of Rum
3 Where the Wild Things Are
4 Tulpan
5 Up
6 The Hurt Locker
7 Sin Nombre
8 District 9
9 Antichrist
10 The Hangover
Link to the List

Andy Klein
Brand X

1 In the Loop
2 35 Shots of Rum
3 Red Cliff
4 Inglourious Basterds
5 Up
6 Up in the Air | Hurt Locker
7 A Serious man
8 The Fantastic Mr. Fox
9 Tokyo Sonata
10 Star Trek
Link to the List

Mark Slutsky
Montreal Mirror

1 Inglourious Basterds
2 A Serious Man
3 Bad Lieutenant
4 Bright Star
5 Public Enemies
6 The Hurt Locker
7 Antichrist
8 Two Lovers
9 District 9
10
Link to the List

Keith Cohen
Sun Publications

1 Invictus
2 Departures
3 Gran Torino
4 It’s Complicated
5 The Princess & the Frog
6 Defiance
7 Every Little Step
8 Up in the Air
9 Up
10 An Education
Link to the List

Jeffrey M. Anderson
Cinematical

1 The Hurt Locker
2 Coraline
3 Bright Star
4 Red Cliff
5 You, The Living
6 35 Shots of Rum
7 Drag Me To Hell
8 Sita Sings the Blues
9 Inglourious Basterds
10 Adventureland
Link to the List

Jeff Walls
Seattle Post Intelligencer

1 (500) Days of Summer
2 Avatar
3 Star Trek
4 Up
5 A Serious Man
6 An Education
7 Fantastic Mr. Fox
8 The Hurt Locker
9 District 9
10 Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince
Link to the List

Mike Ward
Richmond.com

1 Up in the Air
2 State of Play
3 Inglourious Basterds
4 The Hurt Locker
5 Zombieland
6 Up
7 The Road
8 District 9
9 The Damned United
10 The Messenger
Link to the List

Tom Charity
CNN

1 A Serious Man
2 Ponyo
3 Inglourious Basterds
4 Two Lovers
5 Coraline
6 The Headless Woman
7 The Hurt Locker
8 Bright Star
9 Fantastic Mr. Fox
10 La Danse
Link to the List

Jack Garner
RocNow

1 The Hurt Locker
2 Up in the Air
3 Fantastic Mr. Fox
4 Avatar
5 Precious
6 Inglourious Basterds
7 Up
8 The Young Victoria
9 Me & Orson Welles
10 This is It!

Jeffrey M. Anderson | Tom Charity | Keith Cohen | Malcolm Fraser | Jack Garner | Andy Klein | Mark Slutsky | Christopher Sykes | Jeff Walls | Mike Ward

Page 12

Thursday, January 21st, 2010
Link to the List

Zorianna Kit
California Literary Review

1 The Hurt Locker
2 A Serious Man
3 A Single Man
4 An Education
5 Precious
6 Inglourious Basterds
7 The Hangover
8 The Cove
9 Avatar
10 Up
Link to the List

Joanne Thornborough
The Daily Journal

1 The Hurt Locker
2 An Education
3 Fantastic Mr. Fox
4 Up in the Air
5 Drag Me To Hell
6 Inglourious Basterds
7 Up
8 Public Enemies
9 (500) Days of Summer
10 The Informant!
Link to the List

Josh Board
San Diego Reader

1 Avatar
2 Up
3 Funny People
4 A Serious Man
5 The Messenger
6 Anvil! The Story of Anvil
7 Good Hair
8 (500) Days of Summer
9 Moon
10 Adventureland
Link to the List

Joan Vadeboncoeur
Syracuse Post Standard

1 The Hurt Locker
2 Up in the Air
3 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
4 Precious
5 The Young Victoria
6 Paranormal Activity
7 District 9
8 The Road
9 Star Trek
10 (500) Days of Summer
Link to the List

David Ansen
Newsweek

1 The Hurt Locker
2 Summer Hours
3 Up in the Air
4 In the Loop
5 Fantastic Mr. Fox
6 Up
7 Seraphine
8 Rudo y Cursi
9 Avatar
10 An Education
Link to the List

Richard Roeper
Chicago Sun Times

1 A Christmas Tale
2 Silent Light
3 Wendy & Lucy
4 Goodbye Solo
5 Summer Hours
6 Hunger
7 Fantastic Mr. Fox
8 Lorna’s Silence
9 Che
10 Up
Link to the List

Melissa Starker
Columbus Alive

1 Up
2 A Serious man
3 Up in the Air
4 The Hurt Locker
5 Sugar
6 Hunger
7 Fantastic Mr. Fox
8 The Class
9 Star Trek
10 Food Inc
Link to the List

Dave Mar
Athens Flagpole

1 A Christmas Tale
2 Silent Light
3 Wendy & Lucy
4 Goodbye Solo
5 Summer Hours
6 Hunger
7 Fantastic Mr. Fox
8 Lorna’s Silence
9 Che
10 Up
Link to the List

Barry Koltnow
Orange County Register

1 Up in the Air
2 Sunshine Cleaning
3 Zombieland
4 The Hurt locker
5 (500) Days of Summer
6 District 9
7 Star Trek
8 Adventureland
9 Avatar
10 Nine
Link to the List

Jim Luksic
Santa Ynez Valley Journal

1 Seraphine
2 The Hurt Locker
3 Inglourious Basterds
4 Moon
5 Public Enemies
6 Precious
7 A Serious Man
8 District 9
9 Julie & Julia
10 Brothers

David Ansen | Josh Board | Zorianna Kit | Barry Koltnow | Jim Luksic | Dave Mar | Richard Roeper | Melissa Starker | Joanne Thornborough | Joan Vandeboncoeur

Page 11

Thursday, January 21st, 2010
Link to the List

Chas Andrews
Louisville Mojo

1 Star Trek
2 The Hangover
3 District 9
4 Inglourious Basterds
5 Capitalism: A Love Story
6 Paranormal Activity
7 The Blind Side
8 Me & Orson Welles
9 Avatar
10
Link to the List

Mick LaSalle
SF Chronicle

1 Inglourious Basterds
2 The Hurt Locker
3 Up in the Air
4 Two Lovers
5 Revanche
6 Funny People
7 Precious
8 Cheri
9 Summer Hours
10 Food, Inc
Link to the List

Stephen Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer

1 Avatar
2 Bright Star
3 An Education
4 Fantastic Mr. Fox
5 Goodbye Solo
6 The Hurt Locker
7 A Serious Man
8 Sugar
9 35 Shots of Rum
10 Up in the Air
Link to the List

Mick LaSalle
SF Chronicle

1 Inglourious Basterds
2 The Hurt Locker
3 Up in the Air
4 Two Lovers
5 Revanche
6 Funny People
7 Precious
8 Cheri
9 Summer Hours
10 Food, Inc

Chas Andrews | Mick LaSalle | Stephen Rea |

Page 10

Thursday, January 21st, 2010
Link to the List

Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out New York

1 A Serious Man
2 Still Walking
3 Two Lovers
4 Star Trek
5 The Hurt Locker
6 Anvil! The Story of Anvil
7 Summer Hours
8 The House of the Devil
9 Somers Town
10 Funny People
Link to the List

Keith Uhlich
Time Out New York

1 The Limits of Control
2 Night and Day
3 California Dreamin’
4 Two Lovers
5 My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done
6 Lorna’s Silence
7 Public Enemies
8 A Christmas Carol
9 The Box
10 Inglourious Basterds
Link to the List

Rex Reed
NY Observer

1 An Education
2 The Road
3 Up in the Air
4 Julie & Julia
5 Public Enemies
6 Precious
7 The Last Station
8 The Hurt Locker
9 The Messenger
10 Inglourious Basterds
Link to the List

David Fear
Time Out New York

1 35 Shots of Rum
2 Summer Hours
3 The Hurt Locker
4 Sugar
5 The Headless Woman
6 A Serious Man
7 Hunger
8 Still Walking
9 Treeless Mountain
10 Bronson
Link to the List

Erik Morse
SF Bay Guardian

1 Inglourious Basterds
2 The Missing Person
3 The Beaches of Agnes
4 Coraline
5 Still Walking
6 The Hurt Locker
7 The White Ribbon
8 Mother
9 Broken Embraces
10 Thirst
Link to the List

Ty Burr
Boston Globe

1 A Serious Man
2 Avatar | 35 Shots of Rum
3 Fantastic Mr. Fox | Up
4 The Hurt Locker | The Messenger
5 Up in the Air | Summer Hours
6 Bright Star | The Last Station
7 Precious | An Education
8 A Single Man | Bad Lieutenant
9 Star Trek | Antichrist
10 Afghan Star | Big Fan
Link to the List

Keith Phipps
The AV Club

1 A Serious Man
2 In the Loop
3 Where the Wild Things Are
4 Gomorrah
5 Broken Embraces
6 Antichrist
7 Fantastic Mr. Fox
8 Summer Hours
9 The White Ribbon
10 The Hurt Locker
Link to the List

Cheryl Eddy
SF Bay Guardian

1 Bad Lieutenant
2 Beeswax
3 Cropsey
4 District 9
5 Drag Me To Hell
6 An Education
7 Goodbye Solo
8 The Hurt Locker
9 Inglorious Basterds
10 Tokyo Sonata
Link to the List

Ken Eisner
Georgia Straight

1 UP in the Air
2 Me & Orson Welles
3 Broken Embraces
4 An Education
5 Summer Hours
6 The Necessities of Life
7 Food, Inc
8 Fantastic Mr. Fox
9 A Serious Man
10 Inglourious Basterds
Link to the List

Noel Murray
The AV Club

1 Inglourious Basterds
2 A Serious Man
3 Public Enemies
4 Up
5 Still Walking
6 Julia
7 Duplicity
8 Fantastic Mr. Fox
9 Funny People
10 Passing Strange

Ty Burr | Cheryl Eddy | David Fear | Ken Eisner | Erik Morse | Noel Murray | Keith Phipps | Rex Reed | Joshua Rothkopf | Keith Uhlich

Page 9

Thursday, January 21st, 2010
Link to the List

Scott Foundas
LA Weekly

1 The White Ribbon
2 Inglourious Basterds | Police, Adjective
3 The Hurt Locker
4 Public Enemies
5 Avatar
6 District 9 | Invictus
7 24 City | Up in the Air
8 Fantastic Mr. Fox | Where the Wild Things Are
9 The Headless Woman
10 Beaches of Agnes | Passing Strange | Tyson
Link to the List

Kyle Buchanan
Movieline

1 Coraline
2 Where the Wild Things Are
3 Antichrist
4 A Prophet
5 Humpday
6 Funny People
7 Precious
8 A Single Man
9 The Hurt Locker
10 The Messenger
Link to the List

Eugene Hernandez
IndieWIRE

1 The Beaches of Agnes
2 Broken Embraces
3 Frontier of Dawn
4 Fados
5 I’m Gonna Explode
6 La Danse
7 A Single Man
8 Still Walking
9 Summer Hours
10 Throw Down Your Heart
Link to the List

Bruce Ingram
Pioneer Press

1 Avatar
2 Coraline
3 Fantastic Mr. Fox
4 The Hurt Locker
5 In the Loop
6 Moon
7 Public Enemies
8 Star Trek
9 Up
10 Up in the Air
Link to the List

Brian Brooks
IndieWIRE

1 The Hurt Locker
2 A Serious Man
3 The Beaches of Agnes
4 Precious
5 Antichrist
6 A Single Man
7 Burma VJ
8 The Cove
9 Broken Embraces
10 Inglourious Basterds
Link to the List

Peter Knegt
IndieWIRE

1 Bright Star
2 Summer Hours
3 Up
4 A Serious Man
5 35 Shots of Rum
6 Inglourious Basterds
7 The Hurt Locker
8 Julia
9 A Single Man
10 In the Loop
Link to the List

Rick Kaplan
National Posts

1 Fantastic Mr. Fox
2 Up in the Air
3 Inglourious Basterds
4 A Serious Man
5 Funny People
6 The Informant!
7 Bruno
8 Tyson
9 Zombieland
10 Away We Go
Link to the List

Bob Mondello
All Things Considered

1 The Hurt Locker
2 The Messenger
3 In the Loop
4 Precious
5 The Cove
6 Up
7 Up in the Air
8 Seraphine
9 Summer Hours
10 A Single Man
Link to the List

Kyle Smith
The Dispatch

1 Antichrist
2 Still Walking
3 Munyurangabo
4 Goodbye Solo
5 35 Shots of Rum
6 The White Ribbon
7 Tokyo Sonata
8 Revanche
9 Summer Hours
10 Fantastic Mr. Fox
Link to the List

Scott Tobias
The AV Club

1 35 Shots of Rum
2 Duplicity
3 Humpday
4 Collapse
5 Julia
6 Afterschool
7 Revanche
8 House of the Devil
9 Fantastic Mr. Fox
10 The Hurt Locker

Brian Brooks | Kyle Buchanan | Scott Foundas | Eugene Hernandez | Bruce Ingram | Rick Kaplan | Peter Knegt | Bob Mondello | Kyle Smith | Scott Tobias |

Page 8

Thursday, January 21st, 2010
Link to the List

Matthew Lucas
The Dispatch