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Film Comment’s End of Year Critics’ Poll 2009

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Let the arbitration begin: 2009 ranked

The 10th edition of our annual critics’ poll suggests that Film Comment’s editorial sensibilities are in sync with those of the nation’s critical community: of the top 20 films from 2009, four graced our cover, and all but three received our enthusiastic support either this year or last. A note on how the poll works: just shy of 100 North American colleagues ranked their favorites in two categories: 1) those released theatrically, and 2) those viewed this year but not receiving commercial theatrical distribution until 2010—if at all. For each ballot, a first-place choice was allotted 20 points, 19 for second, and so on. For each ballot, a first-place choice was allotted 20 points, 19 for second, and so on. We published the results for the Top 20 in the current issue and on the filmlinc blog in late-December. Below are the Top 50.



BEST FILMS OF 2009
(Released theatrically in the U.S.)

1. The Hurt Locker Kathryn Bigelow, U.S. 772 points
2. The Headless Woman Lucrecia Martel, Argentina/Spain/France/Italy 762
3. Summer Hours Olivier Assayas, France 745
4. 35 Shots of Rum Claire Denis, France/Germany 605
5. Fantastic Mr. Fox Wes Anderson, U.S. 552
6. Police, Adjective Corneliu Porumboiu, Romania 542
7. Inglourious Basterds Quentin Tarantino, U.S./Germany 499
8. A Serious Man Joel & Ethan Coen, U.S./U.K./France 472
9. The Beaches of Agnès Agnès Varda, France 404
10. Lorna’s Silence Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, Belgium/France/Italy/Germany 382
11. 24 City Jia Zhangke, China/Hong Kong/Japan 379
12. The White Ribbon Michael Haneke, Austria/Germany/France/Italy 347
13. The Limits of Control Jim Jarmusch, U.S./Japan 284
14. The Sun Aleksandr Sokurov, Russia/Italy/Switzerland/France 278
15. Bright Star Jane Campion, U.K./Australia/France 277
16. Two Lovers James Gray, U.S. 273
17. In the Loop Armando Iannucci, U.K. 237
18. Tulpan Sergey Dvortsevoy, Germany/Switzerland/Kazakhstan/Russia/Poland 235
19. Coraline Henry Selick, U.S. 231
20. Antichrist Lars von Trier, Denmark/Germany/France/Sweden/Italy/Poland 218
21. Public Enemies Michael Mann, U.S. 213
22. Where the Wild Things Are Spike Jonze, U.S. 200
23. Up Peter Docter & Bob Peterson, U.S. 199
24. An Education Lone Scherfig, U.K. 190
25. Night and Day Hong Sang-soo, South Korea 177
26. Still Walking Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan 172
27. Liverpool Lisandro Alonso, Argentina/France/Netherlands/Germany/Spain 168
28. Up in the Air Jason Reitman, U.S. 161
29. Of Time and the City Terence Davies, U.K. 155
30. Broken Embraces Pedro Almodóvar, Spain 141
31. Me and Orson Welles Richard Linklater, U.K./U.S. 139
32. Adventureland Greg Mottola, U.S. 138
33. The Maid Sebastián Silva, Chile/Mexico 133
34. Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans Werner Herzog, U.S. 132
35. The Informant! Steven Soderbergh, U.S. 125
36. Duplicity Tony Gilroy, U.S./Germany 124
37. La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet Frederick Wiseman, France/U.S. 120
38. Beeswax Andrew Bujalski, U.S. 116
39. The Messenger Oren Moverman, U.S. 115
40. You, the Living Roy Andersson, Sweden/Germany/France/Denmark/Norway/Japan 114
41. District 9 Neill Blomkamp, U.S./New Zealand 113
42. Hunger Steve McQueen, U.K. 112
43. Frontier of Dawn Philippe Garrel, France 111
44. Tokyo Sonata Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Japan/Netherlands/Hong Kong 110
45. Drag Me to Hell Sam Raimi, U.S. 107
46. Treeless Mountain So Yong Kim, U.S./South Korea 102
47. A Single Man Tom Ford, U.S. 97
48. Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire Lee Daniels, U.S. 96
49. Ponyo Hayao Miyazaki, Japan 94
50. Goodbye Solo Ramin Bahrani, U.S. 93




BEST UNRELEASED FILMS OF 2009
(*Currently without U.S. distribution)

1. Wild Grass Alain Resnais, France/Italy 137
2. A Prophet Jacques Audiard, France/Italy 101
3. Everyone Else Maren Ade, Germany 100
4. White Material* Claire Denis, France 89
5. Eccentricities of a Blond Hair Girl* Manoel de Oliveira, Portugal/Spain/France 78
6. Around a Small Mountain Jacques Rivette, France/Italy 73
7. To Die Like a Man* João Pedro Rodrigues, France/Portugal 70
8. Vincere Marco Bellocchio, Italy/France 69
9. Ne Change Rien* Pedro Costa, Portugal 59
10. Trash Humpers* Harmony Korine, U.S./U.K. 50
11. Bluebeard Catherine Breillat, France 49
12. Mother Bong Joon-ho, South Korea 48
13. Like You Know It All* Hong Sang-soo, South Korea 46
14. City of Life and Death Lu Chuan, China/Hong Kong 44
15. Ghost Town* Zhao Dayong, China 39
16. Life During Wartime* Todd Solondz, U.S. 34
17. Sweetgrass Ilisa Barbash & Lucien Castaing-Taylor, France/U.K./U.S. 34
18. In Comparison* Harun Farocki, Austria/Germany 29
19. Min Ye* Souleymane Cissé, Mali/France 28
20. Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench* Damien Chazelle, U.S. 26
21. Hadewijch Bruno Dumont, France 25
22. Lebanon Samuel Maoz, Israel/France/Germany 25
23. Le streghe, femmes entre elles* Jean-Marie Straub, France/Italy 22
24. Father of My Children Mia Hansen-Løve, France/Germany 21
25. Fish Tank Andrea Arnold, U.K. 20
26. Helsinki, Forever* Peter von Bagh, Finland 19
27. Tales from the Golden Age Hanno Höfer, Razvan Marculescu, Cristian Mungiu, Constantin Popescu & Ioana Uricaru, Romania/France 18
28. Let Each One Go Where He May* Ben Russell, U.S. 17
29. Prodigal Sons Kimberly Reed, U.S. 16
30. Soul Kitchen* Fatih Akin, Germany 15


Participants: Sam Adams, Thom Andersen, John Anderson, Melissa Anderson, David Ansen, Mark Asch, Michael Atkinson, Miriam Bale, Margaret Barton-Fumo, Marjorie Baumgarten, Livia Bloom, Nick Bradshaw, Richard Brody, John Caps, Michael Chaiken, Andrew Chan, Chris Chang, Tom Charity, Godfrey Cheshire, Matthew Connolly, Travis Crawford, Gary Crowdus, Doug Cummings, Mike D’Angelo, Evan Davis, Nick Davis, Sam Di Iorio, Lisa Dombrowski, Bilge Ebiri, Cheryl Eddy, David Edelstein, David Ehrenstein, David Fear, Paul Fileri, Scott Foundas, Graham Fuller, Roger Garcia, Susan Gerhardt, Gary Giddins, Larry Gross, Haden Guest, Howard Hampton, Molly Haskell, Logan Hill, J. Hoberman, Robert Horton, Matthew Hubbell, Eric Hynes, Harlan Jacobson, J.R. Jones, Kent Jones, Kristin M. Jones, Danny Kasman, Glenn Kenny, Laura Kern, Robert Koehler, Michael Koresky, Nathan Lee, Dennis Lim, Phillip Lopate, Todd McCarthy, Don McMahon, Joe Milutis, Wesley Morris, Rob Nelson, Geoffrey O’Brien, Mark Olsen, Mark Peranson, Andrea Picard, Tony Pipolo, Richard Porton, John Powers, James Quandt, Jed Rapfogel, Nicolas Rapold, Megan Ratner, Bérénice Reynaud, Jim Ridley, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Joshua Rothkopf, Michael Rowin, Andrew Sarris, Richard Schickel, Lisa Schwarzbaum, Gene Seymour, Gavin Smith, Chuck Stephens, Bob Strauss, Chris Stults, Daniel Stuyck, Jim Supanick, Amy Taubin, Jose Teodoro, Kenneth Turan, Keith Uhlich, Brynn White, Genevieve Yue, David Zuckerman

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