Tuesday, August 7, 2012

2007: The Ultimate Year for Film?

No Country for Old Men

Back in May, I posted that My Movie Year would be 1954. Specifically, my all-time slate of five Best Picture nominees would be that year's lineup (Dial M for Murder, On the Waterfront, Rear Window, Sabrina, and Seven Samurai). But, in terms of the overall release catalog, 2007 stands out as, arguably, the best year for film ever. While many would name a year like 1939 or 1976 as film's pinnacle year, I have not seen enough films from those years to properly classify one of them as such. (For example, I've seen 17 films from 1939 and 159 films from 2007.)

Check out some of 2007's great films after the cut.

30 Notable Films:

**** Films:

American Gangster

Washington and Crowe play cat and mouse in this modern gangster classic. 

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

A beautiful portrait of the outlaw and his relationship with his killer.


This tragic love story has it all - iconic images, a haunting score, and great performances. 
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

A great little crime drama with a fantastic cast.

The Bourne Ultimatum

Greengrass and Damon don't disappoint in this slam-bang finish.

The Darjeeling Limited

A quirky, albeit forgotten, film that allows Anderson to do his thing almost perfectly.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

This is art-house cinema at its most colorful and its most moving.

Eastern Promises

Another modern gangster gem with a terrific ensemble.

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

A heartbreaking abortion tale with a brave leading performance by Marinca.
Gone Baby Gone

A surprisingly mature directorial debut that poses some difficult questions.
Michael Clayton

Clooney leads a strong cast in this throwback legal thriller.
No Country for Old Men

A contemporary western with loads of suspense and great dialogue.

This low-budget musical drama remains one of the best films in recent memory.

Pixar does it again with its second best film (behind Nemo).

Rescue Dawn

Bale, Zahn, et al. give stellar performances in this survival story.

A light fantasy that never ceases to entertain.
There Will Be Blood

A masterful epic of greed with one of the most memorable endings ever shot.
3:10 to Yuma

This western remake pits Crowe against Bale in what is a pairing for the ages.
We Own the Night

An overlooked crime film with style and some brilliant performances. 

***1/2 Films:
Across the Universe

A musical based on songs by The Beatles. Need I say more?

This loose remake of Rear Window is smart, tense, and, actually, good.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Wonderfully crafted with an ensemble cast to die for.
In the Valley of Elah 

A quietly effective film with subtle performances.

A showcase for the year's Best Actress runner-up: the fabulous Sienna Miller.
Into the Wild

Though overpraised, it is a beautiful tale of a man's struggle with nature and with himself.
Lars and the Real Girl

One of the year's best dramedies with a great ensemble.

Paris, Je T'aime

A collection of 18 shorts about relationships in the City of Light.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Depp and Burton return with a bloody brilliant musical.


Russell gives a great performance in Shelly's unsung charmer.

Fincher's suspenseful serial killer film based on true events. 

Other Notable Films:

Death at a Funeral, Enchanted, Hot Fuzz, I Am Legend, I'm Not There, Juno, Knocked Up, The Lookout, Planet Terror, Quiet City, Red Road, The Savages, Superbad, 2 Days in Paris

Notable Films I Haven't Seen Yet:

Bug, Control, Death Proof, Lust, Caution, Paranoid Park, Persepolis, Sunshine, This is England, 28 Weeks Later

While I still have more films to see from 2007, it seems that anyone could compile a great top 10 list from the 30 notable films I listed above, or with the additional ones I listed. There's something for everybody. A solid pick like There Will Be Blood here. A surprising pick like Disturbia there. And that's just from the films I've mentioned, as there are probably other great ones that I've forgotten to include.

Sample lists: (Random possibilities)

1. No Country for Old Men
2. There Will Be Blood
3. Red Road
4. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
5. Zodiac
6. The Savages
7. Michael Clayton
8. Enchanted
9. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
10. 3:10 to Yuma

1. Atonement
2. The Darjeeling Limited
3. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
4. There Will Be Blood
5. Once
6. American Gangster
7. Ratatouille
8. Waitress
9. Lars and the Real Girl
10. The Bourne Ultimatum

As a reminder, my current list:

1. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
2. Atonement
3. Once
4. American Gangster
5. There Will Be Blood
6. We Own the Night
7. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
8. Rescue Dawn
9. Gone Baby Gone
10. The Bourne Ultimatum

Some yearly top ten lists may feature a few great films, but can they boast such a broad catalog of fine work? (Yes, that includes Disturbia.) Though it's impossible to answer that question definitively, it seems like this is a tough year to top, even for years like 1939. Thoughts?


  1. 2007 was a great year for film! And I kind of loved Disturbia too, and to me it was actually BETTER than rear window, a film I found HIGHLY overrated.

    1. Haha. Rear Window is actually my #5 favorite film of all-time, but I love both films. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. 2007 was a great year for film my top 5 would probably be:

    1. There Will Be Blood
    2. Before the Devil Knows Your Dead
    3. No Country For Old Men
    4. Ratatouille
    5. Superbad

    I don’t know what the best year of film I’ll have to think about that.

    This is England is actually from 2006 but is pretty great nonetheless.

    In English we watched Rear Window and had to make posters about all the characters, pretty great project. Great post as always!

    1. Completely forgot about My Winnipeg, great fantasy documentary.

    2. Thanks! Knew I'd forget some films. Love your lineup by the way. It's always great to see a diverse list.

      Also, I was going by US release dates, and This is England was released in the US in 2007. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0480025/releaseinfo)

    3. Yes, This is England (which makes my ballot this year) was released in the US in 2007.

  3. You are right this was an amazing year in film. Michael Clayton was my favorite out of those. You should see Persepolis, I think it's one of the best animated movies made. 28 Weeks Later is so-so but it has great atmosphere.

    1. I love Michael Clayton. The cast is so great in that film. I even liked the score, which got an Oscar nom. :) I do want to see Persepolis and 28 Weeks Later, so I'll try to see them at some point.

    2. Persepolis is pretty great, especially the score!

    3. I'll get to it sooner or later. :)

  4. Great one word review, Josh. There are a ton here I haven't seen, including Persepolis. Btw, I should check out 'In the Valley of Elah' as I like Tommy Lee Jones, and that's Charlize Theron right? I almost didn't recognize her!

    1. Thanks, Ruth. Yeah, that's Charlize Theron. I just rewatched the film yesterday, and it's great.

  5. 2007 was my choice for my movie year, so I agree 100%! Some of my favorite films were made that year and it was when I started to truly like cinema and blogging. So hooray for 2007!

    1. It was a fantastic year. I got to see so many of these great films in theaters, which was awesome!

  6. I do think 2007 was the last truly great film year we had. Just looking at your picks proves that. 2011 was damn fine, but it doesn't top '07. 2002 was another one that I think killed it.

    1. 2002 was definitely a great year as well. So many wonderful films, but 2007 sticks out more to me. It could be because a lot of these I got to see in theaters. Anyway, they're both great years, as was 2011.

  7. I highly suggest you watch these three. "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium" is one of my favorite movies. "Meet The Robinsons" is really under appreciated, and it's closing song, "Little Wonders" is one of my favorite movie songs ever. And "Under The Same Moon" contains a heart-wrenchingly shocking performance by Kate Del Castillo

    1. I liked Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, but I didn't really care for Meet the Robinsons. Under the Same Moon has been on my watchlist for years. I really need to watch it some time.