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Top Ten Movies of 2009 — Number One

My favorite movie character of the year is Ellie Fredericksen. Ellie doesn’t get much screen time in Up. She’s seen as a little girl, playing pretend in an old house, talking about the world and all its potential wonders with

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Top Ten Movies of 2009 — Number Two

Jason Reitman’s third feature as a writer-director is perfectly positioned to tap into the dismal zeitgeist of economic hardship and jobs that are vanishing as fast as double scotches in a hotel bar. George Clooney doesn’t just play a businessman

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Top Ten Movies of 2009 — Number Three

It’s no mystery why filmmakers are drawn to stories about heists and con artists. The grifters that populate these stories employ a similar artistry to directors and screenwriters and everyone else who collaborates on cinematic offerings, building fictions compelling enough

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Top Ten Movies of 2009 — Number Four

There was a time when Joel and Ethan Coen were known (and, in some quarters, loathed) for the gymnastics they regularly took their camera through on the way to a finished feature, sending it racing down a bar with a

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Top Ten Movies of 2009 — Number Five

War is hell. And in the first years of the twenty-first century, it’s a particular type of hell that would have eluded Dante on the most fertilely creative day. It is entirely unpredictable with rules of engagement that shift as

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Top Ten Movies of 2009 — Number Six

It is England in the early nineteen-sixties, a buttoned-down time and place. A girl is standing in the rain after an orchestra rehearsal when a man pulls up in his car and offers her a ride, smiling as he feigns

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Top Ten Movies of 2009 — Number Seven

I’ve seen lots of movies made for kids, but I haven’t seen that many that are really about being a kid. Movies recast children as precocious dispensers of unlikely wisdom or junior wisecrackers, their youthful sass punched til its a

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