Big Picture Big Sound

David's Top Ten Films of 2009

By David Kempler

10. Red Cliff (Chi Bi) three stars
It's wartime in China, 1,700 years ago, and John Woo, after a so-so start, delivers a near epic by the time the final arrow is launched.

9. William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe three and a half stars
Documentary about the life of famed (some would say infamous) attorney William Kunstler is handled in a top-notch manner by his daughters.

8. Inglourious Basterds three and a half stars
Though he's no stranger to violence and retribution, "Inglourious Basterds," with its Jews-Gone-Wild spin, just may be Quentin Tarantino's most badass movie yet.

7. The Sun (SoIntse) three and a half stars
Hirohito is brought to life in Alexander Sokurov's artsy view of the Emperor's final days before the surrender of Japan in World War II.

6. The Blind Side three and a half stars
An African-American teen has his life turned around in unlikely circumstances and, as run-of-the-mill as it may sound, it really works.

5. Is Anybody There? three and a half stars
Sir Michael Caine and a gifted cast deliver a thoroughly rewarding little film about a senior and a young boy who don't quite fit in with their surroundings.

4. Old Partner three and a half stars
An elderly man and even more elderly ox demonstrate friendship at a level most can only dream of in this incredibly touching documentary from South Korea.

3. Death in Love four stars
Writer-Director Boaz Yakin delivers a searing, black-as-night study of a family shredded by circumstance and their own flaws.

2. Mary and Max four stars
Two lost souls find a reason to live in this poignant, charming, depressing and hysterical claymation presentation.

1. The White Ribbon (Das Weisse Band) four stars
Director Michael Haneke brings us the most chilling, powerful, and important film of the year. Oscar will be calling.

What did you think?

View all articles by David Kempler
More in Movies
Big News
Newsletter Sign-up
Connect with Us