Romance and Cigarettes.. The most delightful and original movie of 2007 was made in 2005. It breaks the rules, and your heart. Silly, but never ridiculous.
There Will Be Blood. P.T. Anderson's epic oil drama explores human darkness as black as, well, oil. Daniel Day-Lewis, man.
Black Snake Moan. Perfectly dirty, sexy, and shocking. Possibly the best Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci have ever been.
Atonement. Forget the ads calling it "the most romantic movie of the year." Atonement is about the power of storytelling, and its tragic limitations.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. LOVED IT.
Southland Tales. Unfairly shelved and ignored when it was finally released. Its closest relative is Romance and Cigarettes, if that means anything to you.
Zodiac. A puzzle with no solution—but the obsessive journey to get there (or, you know, not there) is riveting.
No Country for Old Men. Unbearable suspense and a sense of dread to make you shiver every time you remember Chigurh's deranged face.
The Orphanage. This haunted house flick from Spain delivers thrills upon chills—and not a cheap one in the bunch.
Paprika. A Japanese animated gem containing a psychedelic parade of mind-bending imagery that somehow makes sense. No really, there's an actual parade.
Worst of 2007
Love in the Time of Cholera. If you'd like to believe that Javier Bardem is a good actor, see No Country For Old Men. Otherwise, check out this colossally embarrassing adaptation of the classic novel about love, cholera, and gratuitous nudity. Everyone in this movie thought they were getting Oscar nominations. Meanwhile, John Leguizamo is clearly high.
Redline. I'm sure you've never heard of this one. I don't even know how to explain it. There's a bunch of dudes racing fancy cars? And some bikini babe gets kidnapped or something? Anyway, the best part of this movie is when the "hot" girl soulfully sings a song called "I Wanna Be Your Car Tonight."
Transformers. Maybe it's because I don't think robots are cool. Or because I like to be able to tell what the fuck I'm looking at when millions of dollars have been spent on special effects.
Next. During a chase scene, Nicolas Cage hides (successfully) by DUCKING OUT OF FRAME. Enough said.
Premonition. It's soooooooo funny, y'all.
11th place candidates (Best of 2007)
In the Valley of Elah
The Kite Runner
Starting Out in the Evening
6th place candidates (Worst of 2007)
The Bucket List
Because I Said So
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
The Number 23
Movies it killed me to miss
A Mighty Heart
I'm Not There
La Vie En Rose
Gone Baby Gone
Enchanted (shut up)
Movies it did not kill me at all to miss
The Darjeeling Limited... oh wait, I didn't miss it, I just forgot about it 10 seconds after leaving the theater
5 best performances by non-humans
- Rémy the rat in Ratatouille, of course
- Specter of the Zodiac killer in i>Zodiac
- The number 23 appearing absolutely everywhere in The Number 23—so versatile!
- Jessica Biel's rubber hand portraying how hard it is to carry soccer balls in Home of the Brave
- John Travolta in drag in Hairspray, which my eyes refuse to identify as part of my species
Best performance in a bad movie
Adam Sandler in Reign Over Me
Worst performance in a good movie
Russell Crowe in 3:10 to Yuma
The "Interesting Failure" Mention
Across the Universe, directed by Julie Taymor and starring talented young actors singing Beatles songs... so how did it get so awful?
The "Uninteresting Failure" Mention
Love in the Time of Cholera, directed by Mike Newell and starring Javier Bardem, and I still don't care to meditate on what went wrong.
Tagline that should have been
The Golden Compass: "Putting the 'ass' in 'compass'"
Tagline that, unfortunately, actually was
The Number 23: "A number is just a number. Or is it?"
Most awesomely awesome line
"I... drink... your... milkshake! [sucking sound] I DRINK IT UP!" —Daniel Plainview on milkshakes in There Will Be Blood
Most awesomely terrible line
"Sorry! All out of mercy!"—Ghost Rider explaining that he is all out of mercy in Ghost Rider
Most terribly terrible line
"He destroyed our family! Why can't you see that? WHY ARE YOU SO STUPID STILL?!"—Carlos to his brother on their Uncle Michael in Redline
Best line to think about when you're high
"Scientists are saying the future is going to be far more futuristic than they originally predicted."—Krysta Now in Southland Tales
Most hilariously non-sexy line
"I'm gonna give you the best blow J. With my mouth."—Becca in Superbad (Runner-up: "I've got a boner!"—Fogell "McLovin" in Superbad) (Second runner-up: "Great! That will give me time to get my jugs waxed."
—Katie Van Waldenberg on personal grooming in Blades of Glory)
The 180° Award
Beowulf, which I saw in 2-D and declared a waste of time, but after seeing in 3-D declared the coolest thing EVAR
The Sideways Award for the movie everyone loved and I hated
The Marie-Antoinette Award for the movie everyone hated and I loved
2007: the year of outstanding performances by children
- Saoirse Ronan, as a lying pre-teen in Atonement
- Roger Príncep, as an HIV-positive orphan in The Orphanage
- Dillon Freasier, as Daniel Day-Lewis's deaf son in There Will Be Blood
- Zekeria Ebrahimi and Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada, as best friends torn apart in The Kite Runner
Music and Lyrics
All guilt, no pleasure
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
All pleasure, no guilt
I Am Legend
Best double play
Michael Cera in Superbad and Juno
Best triple play
Mandy Moore in Romance and Cigarettes, Southland Tales, and Dedication
Worst double play
Jessica Biel in Home of the Brave and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
Worst triple play
Nicolas Cage in Ghost Rider, Next, and National Treasure: Book of Secrets
Brilliant, underappreciated performances
- Charlize Theron in In the Valley of Elah
- Michael Douglas in King of California
- Molly Shannon in Year of the Dog
- Richard Gere in The Hoax
Best title of the year
Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters
Worst title of the year
Who's Your Caddy
Most accurate title of the year
Next, which made me want to call, "Next!"
Least accurate title of the year
Superbad, which was supergood
Most memorable use of nudity in a film
Eastern Promises, in which Viggo Mortensen engages in gory combat with a bunch of thugs... completely naked
Most revolting use of nudity in a film
Love in the Time of Cholera, in which Giovanna Mezzogiorno wears a really unconvincing "naked old lady" body suit
Most confusing use of nudity in a film
Beowulf, in which every possible opportunity is taken to display gratuitous computer-generated ass, which is just... I don't get it
Best use of makeup in a film
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Worst use of makeup in a film
The Bucket List, in which Morgan Freeman's bald cap appears to sit on top of his unflattened hair
Least necessary use of makeup in a film
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, in which Helena Bonham Carter is made up to look like, you know, Helena Bonham Carter
Hottest male star
It's a 300-way tie
Hottest female star
Juliette Binoche in Dan in Real Life
Most irredeemably loathsome "comic" character
Robin Williams as a sociopathic priest in License to Wed
(Runner-up: Diane Keaton as a shrieking self-caricature in Because I Said So)
Box office proof that the world is ending
- Norbit worldwide gross: $159 million
- I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry worldwide gross: $186 million
- Ghost Rider worldwide gross: $228 million
- Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer worldwide gross: $288 million
- National Treasure: Book of Secrets worldwide gross: $429 million and finally...
- Transformers worldwide gross: $707 million
Movies to look forward to in 2008
The Spiderwick Chronicles
Run, Fat Boy, Run
My Blueberry Nights
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo
Son of Rambow
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Sex and the City
Religulous (which I saw bits and pieces of at TIFF '07)
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
The Pineapple Express
Quantum of Solace
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Movies to not look forward to in 2008
In the Name of the King
Meet the Spartans
The Hottie and the Nottie
College Road Trip
Horton Hears A Who
What Happens In Vegas
You Don't Mess with the Zohan
Towelhead (known as "Nothing is Private" when it defiled my eyes at TIFF)
Madagascar 2: The Crate Escape