Archive for the ‘Top 10 Movies’ Category
Limited release is a term in the American motion picture industry for a motion picture that is playing in a select few theaters across the country. A limited release is often used to gauge the appeal of an independent film. This list is compiled of the best limited release films we have seen released in 2009. **Disclaimer** We try to view as many limited release movies as possible, but may miss some, so feel free to add any worthy limited released movies in the comments.
10: Defendor (2009) - Starring Woody Harrelson.
A crooked cop, a mob boss and the young girl they abuse are the denizens of a city’s criminal underworld. It’s a world that ordinary Arthur Poppington doesn’t understand and doesn’t belong in, but is committed to fighting when he changes into a vigilante super-hero of his own making, Defendor. With no power other than courage Defendor takes to the streets to protect the city’s innocents. Woody Harrelson puts on a great performance as Defendor and that alone makes the film worth checking out.
9: The Horsemen – Starring Dennis Quaid
Aidan Breslin is a bitter detective emotionally distanced from his two young sons following the untimely death of his devoted wife. While investigating a series of murders of rare violence, he discovers a terrifying link between himself and the suspects in a chain of murders that seem to be based on the Biblical prophecies concerning the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: War, Famine, Pestilence, and Death. An underrated thriller that may have a few short comings, but overall is a pretty decent film that may get overlooked.
8: High Life – Starring Timothy Olyphant
It’s 1983, and hopeless junkie Dick gets an unwelcome visit from the past – his seriously sleazy former cellmate, Bug, to be precise. Bug requires a crash course in the 80s: different music, different drugs, and machines in walls that dispense money. The latter development gives Dick an idea. High Life is a very quirky movie, and goes beyond quirky to be strange at times. It is however fairly entertaining and does a fairly good job of combining comedy with the crime aspect of the film.
7: Triangle – Starring Melissa George
When Jess sets sail on a yacht with a group of friends, she cannot shake the feeling that there is something wrong. Her suspicions are realized when the yacht hits a storm and the group is forced to board a passing ocean liner to get to safety, a ship Jess is convinced she’s been on before. The ship appears deserted, the clock on board has stopped, but they are not alone… Someone is intent on hunting them down, one by one. And Jess unknowingly holds the key to end the terror. Triangle is a good thriller that should keep you interested throughout to figure out what happened.
6: Malice In Wonderland – Starring Maggie Grace
An American law student in London. Knocked down by a black cab, she wakes with amnesia in a world that’s a million miles from home – Wonderland. We follow her adventures as she’s dragged through an underworld filled with twisted individuals and the lowest low-lifers, by the enigmatic cab driver, Whitey. She needs to find out who she is, where she’s from and use what wits she has left to get back home in one piece. Malice in Wonderland is a much more dark and modern retelling of Alice in Wonderland done in a creative way.
5: The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans – Starring Nicholas Cage and Eva Mendes
Terence McDonagh is a drug- and gambling-addled detective in post-Katrina New Orleans investigating the killing of five Senegalese immigrants. Nicholas Cage puts on a great performance as a corrupt cop who is a big drug addict, thief, and paranoid mess. It may be hard to sympathize with his character after witnessing everything he does, but as you watch Bad Lieutenant you can’t help but wonder if all his demons will catch up to him or not.
4: Bakjwi (Thirst) – Starring Kang-ho Song
Sang-hyun, a priest working for a hospital, selflessly volunteers for a secret vaccine development project intended to eradicate a deadly virus. However, the virus eventually takes over the priest. He nearly dies, but makes a miraculous recovery by an accidental transfusion of vampire blood. He realizes his sole reason for living: the pleasures of the flesh. Thirst is a Korean film that may need to be viewed with English subtitles which brings a new twist to the vampire movie genre and done fairly well.
3: Moon – Starring Sam Rockwell
Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet’s power problems. Without spoilers, Moon brings an interesting concept about what could happen if we decide to have people live on the moon for whatever reason. It is slow at times, but Sam Rockwell puts on a great performance and carries the movie with the assist from Kevin Spacey’s voice.
2: The Slammin Salmon – Starring The Broken Lizard Gang
The brutal former heavyweight boxing champion Cleon “Slammin’” Salmon (Duncan), now owner of a Miami restaurant, institutes a competition to see which waiter can earn the most money in one night: the winner stands to gain $10,000, while the loser will endure a beating at the hands of the champ. Although not as good as Beerfest or Supertroopers, The Slammin Salmon should be checked out by anyone who enjoyed either of the 2 previously mentioned movies.
1: Whatever Works – Starring Larry David
Attempting to impress his ideologies on religion, relationships, and the randomness (and worthlessness) of existence, lifelong New York resident Boris Yellnikoff rants to anyone who will listen, including the audience. But when he begrudgingly allows naive Mississippi runaway Melodie St. Ann Celestine to live in his apartment, his reclusive rages give way to an unlikely friendship and Boris begins to mold the impressionable young girl’s worldly views to match his own. Larry David steals the show playing Boris and should please any fans of his.
Originally posted 2010-04-07 09:32:25.
**Disclaimer** for all the top 10 movie recommendation lists we only recommend movies we have seen, so there may be better ones out there not on the list. We also focused on mostly newer movies as people may not be introduced to them yet, but did touch on some older ones. Feel free to comment on some good foreign movies not included so we can watch them.
10: The Chaser (2008) - Released in South Korea February 14 2008 .
Joong-ho is a dirty detective turned pimp in financial trouble as several of his girls have recently disappeared without clearing their debts. While trying to track them down, he finds a clue that the vanished girls were all called up by a same client whom one of his girls is meeting with right now. The Chaser is a very good thriller that also mixes in action and some humor. Unfortunately The Chaser is being re-made in 2010 for American audiences, but you should definitely see the original first.
9: Madeo (2009) – Released In South Korea May 28 2009.
A mother lives quietly with her twenty-eight-year-old son, Do-joon, providing herbs and acupuncture to neighbors. One day, a girl is brutally murdered, and Do-joon is charged with the killing. Now, it’s his mother’s call whether to prove him innocent or to leave him imprisoned. Madeo is a very good but slow moving drama-mystery, but will reward the viewer with an interesting experience and outcome. Madeo is very cultural heavy, but most people should be able to follow the events whether or not they have knowledge of Korean culture.
8: Spirited Away (2001) – Released In Japan July 20 2001.
In the middle of her family’s move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and monsters; where humans are changed into animals; and a bathhouse for these creatures. The only animated film on the list, this Japanese Anime film features an amazing world that will suck the viewer into. There is an English dub of the movie for those who do not like subtitles, but I’d recommend watching the subtitled version if possible.
7: Shaun of the Dead (2004) – Released in the UK April 9 2004.
Shaun doesn’t have a very good day, so he decides to turn his life around by getting his ex to take him back, but he times it for right in the middle of what may be a zombie apocalypse… But for him, it’s an opportunity to show everyone he knows how useful he is by saving them all. All he has to do is survive… And get his ex back. Somewhat of a cult classic, if you Haven’t seen Shaun of the Dead you should it features a funny spin on the zombie horror genre. Shaun of the Dead is filled with British humor, so may not be for everyone, but it’s still worth checking out.
6: Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) – Spanish Film released at Cannes May 27 2006.
“Pan’s Labyrinth” is the story of a young girl who travels with her pregnant mother to live with her mother’s new husband in a rural area up North in Spain, 1944, after Franco’s victory. The girl lives in an imaginary world of her own creation and faces the real world with much chagrin. A fantastic movie that ties in fantasy with reality and a must see if you haven’t had the pleasure to watch it yet. Even though there are lots of fantasy elements the movie has a dark overtone.
5: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2009) – Released in Sweden February 27 2009.
Swedish thriller based on Stieg Larsson’s novel about a journalist and a young female hacker. Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder and that the killer is a member of his own tightly knit but dysfunctional family.A very good suspense film which develops the characters who are part of a trilogy. Along with the main plot the subplots help towards the development.
4: Let The Right One In (2008) – Released in Sweden October 24 2008.
Oscar, an overlooked and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl who turns out to be a vampire. It isn’t very scary, but is one of the better Vampire movies out there with the way the story is told and how well the child actors portrayed their parts. Let The Right One In is being remade as “Let Me In” in the US as we speak , but there is no way they can top the original and anyone interested in the tale should see the sweedish version first.
3: The Secret in Their Eyes (2009) – Film made in Argentina released August 13 2009.
The story, set in 1999, is told in flashback form: in June 1974 a federal justice agent, Benjamín Espósito, becomes spellbound by and subsequently entangled in the investigation of the crime of a young woman, brutally raped and murdered inside her house in a Buenos Aires neighborhood. He then plans to write a novel about the murder and starts to revisit the events that took place. A mystery filled with fantastic dialogue and character development and winner of the 2009 Oscar for Best Foreign Film.
2: Shutter (2004) – Released in Thailand September 9 2004.
A young photographer and his girlfriend discover mysterious shadows in their photographs after a tragic accident. They soon learn that you can not escape your past and begin to be haunted by it. One of the best horror films made with some very effective scares and a good story to compliment it. Just make sure you avoid the American remake of Shutter since it does not compare at all to the original Thai version and changes most of the details.
1: City of God (2002) – A Brazilian film released at Cannes May 18 2002.
Two boys growing up in a violent neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro take different paths: one becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer. Wonderfully told story and one of the best movies of all time that everyone should see at least once.
Originally posted 2010-03-29 07:48:17.