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The Ten Best Films I Saw in 2009

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This is my third year-end best list for LAist (2007, 2008), and it ain't getting any easier. I could easily list forty films that are worth your time and money, but that would get all sorts of unwieldy and expensive so I'll limit it to the traditional ten. I won't even try to rank them. All I'll say is that each one captured my imagination in a unique way, and each still lingers clearly in my memory. There's a mixture of studio and independent films, documentary and narrative -- in short, something for everyone. If there are any films listed below that you haven't seen, I urge you to spin up your Netflix queue and go add them now. Also, if there's anything you believe I've criminally ommitted, please let me know and I'll be happy to joust with you in the comments.

Happy New Year!

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(500) Days of Summer

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How good of a film is (500) Days of Summer? It's so good that I can't even watch it anymore. Here's the thing -- the film tells the story of a romance doomed from the start. He thinks that she is the Girl, while she thinks he is just a guy. Sure, they have fun -- maybe they even love each other for a little while -- but the clock was ticking on this relationship from the first moment. For anyone who has ever had their heart broken by someone who was just wasn't as into it as you were, this film will feel awfully familiar. Maybe too familiar to handle while the wounds are still fresh. Director Marc Webb reveals a Los Angeles that the provincial (e.g. people from the Northeast) don't believe exists, while Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel are perfectly cast as the Earnest Young Man and the Fascinating But Flighty Girl. I'll always think of Ford Street when I see this film.

The rest of the list is after the jump!