Shola's Top 20 films from the ones i saw in 2009....

Right so here's my favourite bits of cinema I saw last year:

20. Looking For Eric - Dir. Ken Loach

Ken Loach's love letter to mentally ill Man United fans (and lets face it there are even more after that Leeds result) begins the list. It really is what you expect from Loach - funny, gritty and heartwarming.

19. Adventureland - Dir. Greg Mottola

The film for anyone who's ever had a shitty job according to the poster and that's probably what the studio and marketing men were hoping. From the director of Superbad, but more Freaks and Geeks really. No bad thing.

18. Fantastic Mr.Fox - Dir. Wes Anderson

Yes that's right a Wes Anderson movie that wasn't my favourite film of the year! I know why some people get really pissed off with his style and movies, but I love them. But, for some reason, I just didn't get into this as fully as I have with his other films, and I did find bits of this a bit boring. But still it's great to see a kids film that doesnt talk down to them.

17. Frost/Nixon - Dir. Ron Howard

Michael Sheen is fast becoming the go-to guy for biopics (The Queen, The Damned United) and it's his spot on portrayal of David Frost along with the pairing of two of my favourite actors, Sam Rockwell and Oliver Platt, that kept me interested. Also Ron Howard managed to keep the pace up and not bore you to death like most biopics.

16. The Hangover - Dir. Todd Phillips

Todd Phillip's return to form, originally written by the writing team who brought you "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past", was a laugh a minute affair. The casting of familiar faces, if not names, turned out to be a stroke of genius because this so easily could have been another Jack Black, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson movie, but seemed much fresher for it being not (that's a poorly constructed sentence, but let's move on). Also great for bringing Zach Galifianakis to a wider audience, but then again you could argue G Force did that as well!

15. Doubt - Dir. John Patrick Shanley

Strong cast with the Hoff-man, Streep and Amy Adams, this film is fantasically structured and acted and shows the good and bad side of doubt and suspicion. Apparently Oprah Winfrey wanted to be in this film, she wanted to act with Meryl Streep, but the writer/director stood firm against it. Good Man.

14. Revolutionary Road - Dir. Sam Mendes

So Leo and Kate again in a movie should have sent me running fast in the opposite direction, but it was the "Directed by Sam Mendes" that made me watch it, and it was absolutely brilliant. It managed to show the harm two people in love can do to each other, without falling into bad melodrama too much. Michael Shannon, however, playing the neighbour's son steals the movie.

13. Rachel Getting Married - Dir. Jonathan Demme

I'll be honest I only went to see this film because I read Robyn Hitchcock was in this, he was, very briefly. So imagine my surprise when I get a brilliantly acted, claustrophobic, heartwarming family-are-hell-but-we-need-them-the-most movie. Anne Hathaway was amazing, as it was to see Debra Winger in a movie theater again.

12. The Wrestler - Dir. Darren Aranofsky

There are so many reasons to recommend this film, Marissa Tomei naked obviously being one, but let's face it, it's mainly down to Mickey Rourke's peformance that this films sticks in your mind.

11. District 9 - Dir. Neil Blomkamp

While this film wasn't as original as people were letting on, it was very innovative. The decision to leave the mockumentary early on in the film worked well and wasn't jarring, but did lead to a more standard action movie in the final two acts. The special effects on a small budget were amazing, but it was the Dublin sounding accent from Sharlto Copley whenever he swore that endeared the most. And fair play to him he got the A-Team on the back of it.

10. Zombieland - Dir. Ruben Fleischer

Good to see a fun movie again. It's just good fun from start to finish, clever, very funny and wins the award for best cameo in a movie ever, let's be honest. Also second Jesse Eisenberg film with "Land" in the title this year!

9. Drag Me To Hell - Dir. Sam Raimi

Sam Raimi, please give up the Spiderman movies, which are good, but this is what we really want from you. Some of this was genuinely terrifying and spellbinding, and he tortured poor old Alison Lohman more than I would have thought I would have liked (I really fancy her in case you were wondering), and also providing a moral fable for greedy banks, although seemingly by accident as the script was finished years ago.

8. In The Loop - Dir.Armando Ianucci

I don't think I've disliked anything Armando Iannucci has been involved with, and this is no exception. The film details the strife a politician gets himself into by saying the wrong thing, and the way opposing factions try and use it to their individual ends. Again this film is briliantly cast and is also probably the funniest film per second on this list.

7. (500) Days of Summer - Dir. Marc Webb

A romantic comedy that's actually romantic, as opposed to two people acting like arseholes and treating each other like shite until, for some reason at the end, never satisfyingly explained, they get together. Now my love for Zooey Deschanel holds no bounds, but I'm not biased, this film was great, filled with great sequences, most notably a dance sequence to Hall and Oates and later on in the film a great scene about how crushing expectations that aren't matched or realised can be.

6. Let The Right One In - Dir. Tomas Alfredson

This film is dark, dark in tone, dark in subject, and will have you thinking about it long after you've seen it, which I can't say I've ever said about a vampire movie. The film is driven by two performances by young kids, and tells the story of a bullied 12 year old boy who strikes a friendship with his new neighbour who ain't what they seem to be.

5. Moon - Dir. Duncan Jones

From David Bowie's son comes a film that echoes 2001, Silent Running, Dark Star, basically any great science fiction film from the sixties and seventies. As I said earlier about Sam Rockwell being one of my favourite actors to watch, I was spoiled with the amount of screen time he got, another hero, Matt Berry also turns up slightly. The film, with primarily a cast of one, manages to never be boring and has your full concentraion and attention throughout and it gets rewarded in the end. Oh and Kevin Spacey voices a robot, what more do you want?

4. Anvil: The Story of Anvil - Dir. Sacha Gervasi

And now we come to this year's most uplifting and "F*ck me that's funny" film and it's a documentary! A tale of a metal band who's best days should be behind them, their one time roadie tries to get them recognition they think they deserved while also filming their unquestionably amazing enthusiasm for making music and what being in a band means to them. As the cliche goes, you will laugh, you will cry, you will not stop singing "Metal on Metal" to yourself for days.

3. Inglourious Basterds - Dir. Quentin Tarantino

I've got to be honest, I've never really liked Tarantino films as much as I feel I should have, but this film finally changes that. from the opening scene I knew I was going to enjoy this movie. There's not a dud performance in this movie, even Eli Roth pulls it off, and Mike Myers nearly steals the show. I also like the fact that if you're going re-create an event in history, rather than try and be painstakingly accurate, which is impossible, you may as well go the whole hog the other way and just re-write it to suit yourself. Christoph Waltz is due an Oscar.

2. The Hurt Locker - Dir. Kathryn Bigelow

The only film of the year that made me physically ill from watching it. This film is way too successful in recreating what it's like to be a soldier on the frontline in Iraq. Jeremy Renner steals the show as the maverick bomb disposal expert who gets addicted to the adrenaline rush his job and war brings.

1. A Serious Man - Dir. Joel & Ethan Coen
I will start off by getting annoyed again at how nearly every review of this film goes on about how this is a film you only get to make when you've just won a few Oscars. Let's face it, the Coens always get to make the film they want to make, always have, always will, and that's whay their films are always interesting. They just have a knack of knowing what looks great on a cinema screen and they put it up there.
The film deals with a down on his luck professor, his kids hate him, his wife is leaving him for one of his friends, and his search for answers through his faith as to why bad things can happen to a good man. We don't get an answer of course. Again like Let The Right One, this is a film you end up taking home with you, spending days stewing over what you've just seen, but unlike Let The Right One In, it's incredibly funny.

PLEASE NOTE: I generally don't go to the cinema in December just in case you're wondering "What no Up? Where the Wild Thing Are??" I normally catch them all in January.