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More sugar plums and lumps of coal

Big surprise: the Screen Actors Guild would give four nominations to a scenery chewing (and spewing) film about a safe political topic directed by a pompously outspoken actor in an election year. Makes for good awards ceremony drama and fine thespian self congratulation.

But back to the opinions that matter, part II in the Boston Phoenix critics best, worst and most overrated lists:

Gary Susman's Top 10 Movies of 2007




4.Eastern Promises


6.Gone Baby Gone

7.No End in Sight

8.3:10 to Yuma

9.The Lives of Others

10.No Country for Old Men

Honorable Mention:

Into the Wild

"Hotel Chevalier"

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly


Away From Her


Chris Wangler

1. Zodiac

2. Away From Her

3. This Is England

4. 12:08 East of Bucharest

5. The Wind That Shakes the Barley

6. The Hoax

7. Once

8. Rescue Dawn

9. The Bourne Ultimatum

10. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead

Most overrated:

1. Knocked Up. This film seemed to establish two things: (a) the bar in comedy is being lowered to puerile, funnyordie-type levels and (b) suddenly there's a massive disconnect between comedy and reality.
2. Gone Baby Gone. Let's see, another film about Irish toughs and police corruption in Boston? Could we please identify another subject? Please!
3. Margot at the Wedding. Main story here: the director cast his wife. Plus: (spoiler) no wedding!
4. Hotel Chevalier. An ingratiating downloadable short film, intended as a "prequel" to to The Darjeeling Limited. Have DVD special features migrated to the big screen?
5. Hot Fuzz. An SNL skit movie, supposedly funnier because it's British. I'm not buying it.

 Brett Michel

Year after year, I’m used to complaining how few good films are released, so it was rather eye opening experience compiling this “Ten Best” list; it was with some difficulty that I attempted to narrow the 2007 releases to fit such an arbitrary target. This was a good year for the cinema! So, I give you my picks for the 10 Best (and more of the rest):

1. Climates

2. Syndromes and a Century      

3. Le scaphandre et le papillon / The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

4. Once     

5. There Will Be Blood       

6. Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead       

7. The Host       

8. Linda Linda Linda

9. Michael Clayton    

10. Superbad    

Any of these next 10 choices could easily have fallen on the list as well. The keen eye will notice three of these pictures come from that newest cinematic hotbed, Romania. Others will note that two of the films are 30 and 37 years, respectively, but are only now finding American distribution for the first time. So, I give you 10 more, in alphabetical order:

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

The Killer of Sheep

No Country for Old Men


Kamigami no fukaki yokubo / The Profound Desire of the Gods   


12:08 East of Bucharest

The Way I Spent the End of the World

Woman is the Future of Man


Why stop now? Special mention should also be made of the following:

Blade Runner: The Final Cut, The Boss of It All, Brand Upon the Brain, Eden, Gone Baby Gone, Hot Fuzz, I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone, I’m Not There, Into Great Silence, The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, Paprika, Red Road, Romance & Cigarettes, Zodiac     

Finally, with all the good, there must be some bad, right? Oh my, yes. While there may have been worse films made this year, the following films stand out because they each, in one way or another, contained the participation of people who should have known better. (I’m talking to you, Heather Matarazzo.) Some of the worst, in alphabetical order:

Angel-A, August Rush, Bee Movie, The Bucket List, Hostel: Part II, I Know Who Killed Me, In the Valley of Elah, Juno, Lions for Lambs, Perfect Stranger, Rendition, Shoot ‘Em Up, Shrek the Third, The Simpsons Movie, Southland Tales, Spider-Man 3, Youth Without Youth.

Tom Meek’s second thoughts:

10 Honorable Mentions, that on any other day could replace 6-10 on my 10 Best List. Some were not initially considered as they were technically not released in 2007, but got their Boston area release this year (the excellent Asian films Linda Linda Linda, The Host and Woman is the Future of Man).

The Black Book

The Host

I’m Not There


King of Kong

Linda Linda Linda

Margot at the Wedding



Woman is the Future of Man


Brooke Holgerson (showing a little bitterness perhaps because all the movies I assigned to her were terrible. Nothing personal, Brooke! My New Year’s resolution is to turn that around).

Here they are: the worst movies I saw this year. All thanks to you.

1. Bratz: The Movie

Nothing could prepare me for this painful, painful display of "girl power" - and shopping.

2. Good Luck Chuck

I don't know if I blame Dane Cook, or the thousands of people out there who think he's funny for inflicting his movies on us. I think I'll go ahead and blame everyone.

3. Alvin and the Chipmunks

Remember when Jason Lee used to be cool? Yeah, me too.

4. The Bucket List

No, it's not as bad as Bratz: The Movie, but given the level of talent involved, and the blatant Oscar pandering they indulge in, it's just as disgusting.

5.Daddy Day Camp

Speaking of Oscars.... Cuba - what the hell? Eddie Murphy's sloppy seconds? You're better than that. I want to believe you're better than that.

Mark Bazer

Man, I don't know if I've seen enough in-theater movies this year to compile a full top 10 list worth looking at.

How about this:

Mark Bazer, Parent of a Two-Year-Old

Top 5

1.Michael Clayton

2.Knocked Up

3.The Lives of Others

4.No Country for Old Men

5.I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With

Bottom 5:

Dora the Explorer Saves the Mermaids

Dora the Explorer Saves the Mermaids

Dora the Explorer Saves the Mermaids

Dora the Explorer Saves the Mermaids

Dora the Explorer Saves the Mermaids


Happy holidays, all.

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  • TrackBack said:

    learning to speak french

    January 1, 2001 5:00 AM
  • TrackBack said:


    January 1, 2001 5:00 AM

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Peter Keough tosses away all pretenses of objectivity, good taste and sanity and writes what he damn well pleases under the guise of a film blog.

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