Film critics weigh in on the best of ’09

A nonscientific sampling of best films of 2009 from critics across the country — including contributors to The Examiner — reveals as favorites “Up in the Air,” director Jason Reitman’s dramedy starring George Clooney as a traveling corporate downsizing whiz; and “The Hurt Locker,” a character study and war movie starring Jeremy Renner about a military bomb squad in Iraq directed by Kathryn Bigelow.

Note: Lists have been edited for length and consistency of format. Some critics included more than 10 films, or didn’t specify an order of preference.

Rossiter Drake, The Examiner
1. “Up in the Air”
2. “Inglourious Basterds”
3. “The Cove”
4. “Adventureland”
5. “Food, Inc.”
6. “Watchmen”
7. “Fantastic Mr. Fox”
8. “The Hurt Locker”
9. “In the Loop”
10. “Anvil! The Story of Anvil”

Anita Katz, The Examiner
1. “35 Shots of Rum”
2. “A Serious Man”
3. “Cherry Blossoms”
4. “The Hurt Locker”
5. “Up in the Air”
6. “Revanche”
7. “In the Loop”
8. “A Single Man”
9. “The Road”
10. “Herb and Dorothy”

Sally Klein, The Examiner
1. “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
2. “Up”
3. “Up In the Air”
4. “Inglourious Basterds”
5. “A Single Man,” “A Serious Man”
6. “Julie & Julia”
7. “An Education,” “Bright Star,” “Young Victoria”
8. “The Road”
9. “The Hangover”
10. “Food, Inc.”

Janos Gereben, The Examiner
1. “The Last Station”
2. “Departures”
3. “The Hurt Locker”
4. “Every Little Step”  
5. “Avatar”
6. “Broken Embraces”
7. “Portrait of a Beauty”
8. “Up in the Air”
9. “Cherry Blossoms”
10. “Amreeka”

David Germain, The Associated Press
1. “The Hurt Locker”
2. “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
3. “The White Ribbon”
4. “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans”
5. “Up”
6. “An Education”
7. “(500) Days of Summer”
8. “Passing Strange”
9. “Anvil! The Story of Anvil”
10. “The Damned United”

Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post
1. “The Hurt Locker”
2. “Up in the Air”
3. “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
4. “Sugar”
5. “The Baader Meinhof Complex”
6. “Anvil! The Story of Anvil”
7. “Star Trek”
8. “District 9”
9. “Where the Wild Things Are”
10. “Humpday”

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times
1. “Up in the Air”
2. “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
3. “The Hurt Locker”
4. “The Beaches of Agnes”
5. “Fantastic Mr. Fox”
6. “An Education”
7. “District 9”
8. “Bright Star”
9. “A Single Man”
10. “Two Lovers”

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