The Best and Worst Movies of 2009

  • Comments: ↓ 19 user comments
  • Publish Date: January 4, 2010

A roundup of film critic top ten lists

ImageDa bomb

Well, the critics are consistent. The Hurt Locker was the best-reviewed film of the year, and it is also the movie that turned up most often on film critics' year-end Best of 2009 lists. Out of the 56 such lists we tracked, however, it was Up in the Air that landed in the #1 position most often.

Below, we list the movies that appeared most frequently on the critics' year-end lists. Our summary list is not weighted or scored in any way; films are simply ranked by the frequency with which they appear in critic Top 10 lists, in any position on those lists. (The number of times they appear in the #1 position is indicated as a convenience.) A full list of publications used -- with links to many of the individual lists -- appears beneath the table.

Also note that if a critic listed 11, 12, or even more films instead of the traditional 10, the extras are included in the tally. (We figure that the point of this exercise is to clue you into which films the critics felt worthy of highlighting, so it is better to be inclusive than exclusive.)

You may also view a listing of each publication's Top 10 picks in Metacritic's Film section.

Movies with Most Mentions in Critic Top 10 Lists, 2009
  Movie # 1's Top Ten Lists Metascore
1 The Hurt Locker 8 43 94
2 Up in the Air 10 33 83
3 A Serious Man 4 23 79
3 Fantastic Mr. Fox 0 23 83
3 Up 1 23 88
6 Inglourious Basterds 3 21 69
7 Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire 1 19 79
8 Avatar 1 17 84
9 District 9 0 16 81
9 In the Loop 1 16 83
9 Summer Hours 0 16 84
12 An Education 1 15 85
13 Where the Wild Things Are 3 14 71
14 Star Trek 0 12 83
15 The White Ribbon 3 11 80
16 Coraline 0 10 80
17 Bright Star 1 9 81
18 (500) Days of Summer 1 7 76
18 A Single Man 1 7 75
18 Moon 0 7 67
18 The Beaches of Agnes 0 7 86
18 The Cove 0 7 84
23 35 Shots of Rum 3 6 91
23 Adventureland 0 6 76
23 Everlasting Moments 0 6 80
23 Funny People 0 6 60
23 Of Time and the City 0 6 81
28 Antichrist 0 5 49
28 Anvil! The Story of Anvil 0 5 82
28 Big Fan 1 5 70
28 Gomorrah 1 5 87
28 Ponyo 0 5 86
28 Public Enemies 0 5 70
28 Sugar 0 5 82
28 The Headless Woman 0 5 81
28 The Messenger 0 5 76
Other films receiving at least one #1 ranking:
  Hunger 2 4 82
  The Princess and The Frog 1 3 73
  The Limits of Control 1 2 41

The 56 individual Best of 2009 lists used to compile the above data were from (with their #1 picks indicated):

What are your favorites?

What are your picks for the best or worst movies of 2009? Let us know in the comments section below, or join the discussion in our forums.

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Comments (19)

  • Trekking  

    I have to agree with A Guy. Star Trek and District 9 should be there ahead of Avatar

  • shadow  

    however Avatar was the real madness of that year, in my case I revive my old fears with Zombieland, this movie was like a TNT cartridge blow up my mind and send me back in time.

  • A Guy  

    Where is district 9? Where is Star Trek? Where is Public Enemies? All those movies where the best of 2009! People liked Avatar becasue of it's visual effects when really it had no real story line or anything like that, just visual afffects.

  • Hun Chung  

    i agree with skopq1 inglorious basterds are overrated & plain boring.
    Distirict 9 is very good

  • skopq1  

    worst movie : inglorious bastards. it´s soo overrated

  • Bad News for Bad Mov  

    [...] around the turn of the decade, Metacritic published an article talking about the quality of movies in 2009. Regarding wide releases of movies – the ones you don’t have to live in LA to see [...]

  • Jah Rastafari  

    Inglourious Basterds should have won fall wide release. Zombieland was great but it was simply america's version of Shaun of the dead. It doesn't beat the great acting and orginality of Inglourious Basterds.

  • Wolfmaster  

    no one even likes kathryn bigelowe or however you spell her name is stupid and honestly before this I'd never even heard of her no one likes you kathryn go away

  • Wolfmaster  

    The hurt locker was a disgrace to military men all around the world

  • okuroryu  

    district 9 was a way more interesting movie than avatar and had more action than the hurt locker
    if the academy had half a brain they will pick it but miracles don't happen

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