Slumdog Millionaire, Revolutionary Road, The Wrestler and more of 2009's best films
What: Revolutionary Road When: January Why we loved it: The film absorbs you completely from start to finish, telling a story that’s at once ordinary and extraordinary. Kate and Leo carry the whole thing with equally gripping, powerhouse performances.
What: Slumdog Millionaire When: January Why we loved it: You can’t count down 2009’s best films without mentioning Slumdog. It might not quite justify the worldwide hysteria, but it’s a fun ride all the same.
What: The Wrestler When: February Why we loved it: The title belies what is a touching (and brutal) tale of one man’s loneliness after the limelight. Mickey Rourke’s sensitive and entirely believable portrayal of Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson thoroughly deserves his Golden Globe.
What: Frost/Nixon When: February Why we loved it: Sporting a healthy sense of humour, this is an engrossing (if not entirely factual) study of the mismatched face off between David Frost and Richard Nixon.
What: Up When: June Why we loved it: Pixar gets it spot on again with a genuinely affecting story about moving onwards (and upwards).
What: The Reader When: June Why we loved it: It took a while to reach these shores, but The Reader was worth the wait. An alternative take on Nazi war crimes and an always mysterious central character make for fascinating viewing.
What: Drag Me To Hell When: August Why we loved it: It won’t win any Oscars (well, maybe for gory effects), but this is horror at its harmless, good-humoured best: no-holds-barred, gross-out fun.
What: District 9 When: September Why we loved it: Sci-fi got a much-needed kick up the backside with this intelligent debut from Neill Blomkamp, set in Johannesburg. Shame it gets a bit too trigger-happy in the second half.
What: JCVD When: November Why we loved it: We’re glad this made its way to the UAE at last, because it’s one of the most bizarrely moving films we’ve ever seen. Jean Claude Van Damme simultaneously sends himself up and bares his soul in a fictional account of his getting embroiled in a post office heist.
What: Zombieland When: December Why we loved it: In a disappointing year for comedy, Zombieland gets its self-referential pop culture patter just right, making for an enjoyable excuse to leave your brain in the foyer.