My Favorite Movies I Watched in 2007

It’s been an interesting year for movies. A number of major films to which I was really looking forward fell short of my expectations. At the same time, many comedies exceeded my highest hopes, and some movies that I didn’t think I’d care for ended up blowing me away.

As I tried to rank the movies I watched in 2007, I realized that I didn’t feel comfortable comparing Transformers to Juno, for example. Rating those two movies against each other doesn’t really help anyone (except that I’d watch Juno again well before I’d watch Michael Bay’s crap-o-rama for a second time).

So I’ve broken the movies I saw down into themed lists: Action/Adventure, Drama/Thriller, and Comedy/Family (even though, ironically, most of the comedies in that list are certainly not for families). My top three movies are at the top of these lists.

I will say this about the movies I watched in 2007: None are perfect. Last year’s frontrunner, The Prestige, was a perfect film in my mind. I walked out of the theater buzzing from that experience, excited that such a piece of entertainment existed. It made me want to write, a motivation that usually tells me that I just saw something great. I’m hoping for such a movie in 2008…will it come in the form of Iron Man or Batman, or perhaps one of Judd Apatow’s two movies? I’m guessing that the top movie of 2008 will come early in the form of Daniel Day-Lewis’ There Will Be Blood…we’ll see in a few weeks.

Action/Adventure

1. Children of Men: The vision of a doomsday future is bleak but possible, the acting is great, and the plot movies at the perfect pace. However, what stands out most about this movie is the cinematography; specifically, the long tracking shots pull you into the action and don’t let go until you’re gasping for breath. They are simply unparalleled. And they’re not done for show—they have a purpose to them that you can only truly understand when you watch the movie. This is a fantastic science fiction movie directed by Alfonso Cuaron, whose movies I will not hesitate to see from now on.

2. Live Free or Die Hard
3. Harry Potter 5
4. The Golden Compass
5. The Thing
6. Lucky Number Slevin
7. Transformers
8. 300
9. Beowulf 3D
10. The Host
11. Spider-Man 3
12. Pirates 3

Drama/Thriller


1. Gone Baby Gone: As I wrote about here, this movie really caught me off guard. I thought I was watching a simple detective story about a little girl who goes missing and the man who tries to find her. While that is the foundation of the story, it goes well beyond that as layers after layers are unpeeled. The end result, as I said in my previous review, will leave you moved, touched, and shaken. This isn’t a perfect movie; it drags at some parts, and some scenes are confusing (much of this is intentional, though). However, no other movie of 2007 has stayed in my gut as this movie has.

2. Babel
3. The Lives of Others
4. In the Name of the Father
5. Michael Clayton
6. No Country for Old Men
7. Stranger Than Fiction
8. Once
9. Sicko
10. Into the Wild
11. Pan’s Labyrinth
12. Letters from Iwo Jima
13. The Namesake
14. Glory
15. The Wedding Date

Comedy/Family

1. Superbad: This is the only movie of 2007 that I saw more than once in the theater. I’m hesitant to cough up $8.50 to see a movie once, much less twice. And I just saw it on DVD the other day. Like Knocked Up, Judd Apatow’s other major comedy of 2007, Superbad has a pure sense of humor that stems from the improvisations and bare-bones plot. All in all, Superbad is about very little: Two high-school seniors try to obtain alcohol for a party while their dorky friend wrecks havoc with two police officers (the latter part is omitted from most plots summaries, but it’s a major part of this film). But the comedy is fresh, the characters real, and the end result leaves you with a lasting smile on your face.

2. Knocked Up
3. Ratatoille
4. Diggers
5. Juno
6. Ocean’s 13
7. For Your Consideration
8. The Simpsons Movie
9. Blades of Glory
10. Bee Movie
11. American Dreamz
12. The Devil Wears Prada
13. Enchanted
14. Kentucky Fried Movie
15. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
16. Hot Fuzz
17. Reno 911: Miami

Next Week:

I’m actually going to be on the road in Austin, Texas for a development (fundraising) conference next week, but there will still be posts. Caroline should give you an edition of The Caroline Vault for the first few days of the week, possibly mixed in with a few pre-written posts of my own. Feel free to drop by.