Best Movies of 2007

10. INTO THE WILD

Into the Wild

141 LISTS | 14 TOP SPOTS
Sean Penn | 148 mins | Adventure/Biography/Drama
Emile Hirsch | Vince Vaughn | Catherine Keener | Marcia Gay Harden

“Writer/director Sean Penn pours his heart and soul into this transporting saga of Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch), an Emory University honors grad who, days after receiving his diploma, decides to give away all of his money and hit the road in search of “ultimate freedom.” Along with superb supporting turns by Vince Vaughn, Catherine Keener, Brian Dierker and, especially, Hal Holbrook, “Wild” wows you with its majestic cinematography, Eddie-Vedder-sung soundtrack and portrayal of McCandless’ dying realization that “happiness is only real when shared.”” – Amy Longsdorf, The Morning Call

9. I’M NOT THERE

I'm Not There

148 LISTS | 20 TOP SPOTS
Todd Haynes | 135 mins | Biography/Drama/Music
Christian Bale | Cate Blanchett | Heath Ledger | Ben Whishaw

“It’s a biopic, an essay, a folk-rock opera, and a dream, all rolled into the headiest musical ever made. It’s also the year’s most daring vision, though the obsessive head-tickling sprawl of Todd Haynes’ sublime meditation on the music and mystery of Bob Dylan wouldn’t amount to a hill of guitar picks if the film weren’t also so intimate and reverent and moving. The glory of I’m Not There is the way Haynes invites us not just to watch, but to enter the movie and wander around inside it; to fuse with Dylan’s quest for something uncanny — a beauty that could save us all.” – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

8. ONCE

Once

149 LISTS | 12 TOP SPOTS
John Carney | 86 mins | Drama/Music/Romance
Glen Hansard | Markéta Irglová | Hugh Walsh | Gerard Hendrick

“It took the better part of the year to convince me that the glowing word-of-mouth about this movie was worth heeding. An Irish musical about the romantic tribulations of a red-bearded busker? It had to be insufferably twee. But no—this offbeat romance created its own musical idiom, using terrific songs written by the two principals (Frames frontman Glen Hansard and Czech pianist Markéta Irglová) as the medium through which their unnamed characters fell awkwardly, haltingly, hopefully in love. The indeterminate grace note of an ending is up there with the last few seconds of Richard Linklater’s Before Sunset.” – Dana Stevens, Slate

7. RATATOUILLE

Ratatouille

168 LISTS | 11 TOP SPOTS
Brad Bird and Jan Pinkava | 111 mins | Animation/Adventure/Comedy
Brad Garrett | Lou Romano | Patton Oswalt | Ian Holm

“Ratatouille, for its part, dispenses with realism altogether, but like “4 Months” it still demonstrates a bracing integrity in its commitment to the highest ideals of art. Among these, of course, is the pursuit of pleasure, something Brad Bird, the writer and director, both rewards and defends. As he did in “The Incredibles,” Mr. Bird makes a passionate, somewhat contrarian case for excellence in a world (and a medium) that all too often tolerates and celebrates mediocrity. He also, not incidentally, puts us critics in our place, which is at the table with everyone else, in thrall to the new and ruled less by reason than by memory and desire.” – A.O. Scott, New York Times

6. 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

168 LISTS | 17 TOP SPOTS
Cristian Mungiu | 113 mins | Drama
Anamaria Marinca | Laura Vasiliu | Vlad Ivanov | Alexandru Potocean

“Winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes last year, this compact, marvelously made existential thriller from Romanian director Cristian Mungiu is almost the definition of a tough sell. Yeah, it’s all true: It’s a movie about two young women trying to set up an illegal abortion, in Romania, during the dying days of Nicolae Ceausescu’s Communist dictatorship. But if “Romanian abortion flick” doesn’t float your boat, try this line of thinking: Why is a story about two college-age girls planning an illegal and dangerous activity less tense or exciting than a film about two dudes planning to rob a bank or murder a rival? “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” isn’t a movie about abortion; it isn’t likely to change your views, whatever they are. It’s a story about two ordinary young people (Anamaria Marinca and Laura Vasiliu, both terrific) who must venture into the darkest corners of a corrupt society, putting their lives and futures at stake, and it’s a note-perfect, Hitchcock-level exercise in cinematic pace and control.” – Andrew O’Hehir, Salon

5. THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

172 LISTS | 30 TOP SPOTS
Julian Schnabel | 112 mins | Biography/Drama
Mathieu Amalric | Emmanuelle Seigner | Marie-Josée Croze | Anne Consigny

“Julian Schnabel admires artists who overcome adversity. Like Jean-Dominique Bauby, a Parisian journalist who suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed except for one eye — he wrote the memoir on which this film is based by blinking out the words in code. Most directors would be content with the pathos. Schnabel looks deeper: his subtle use of point of view and poetic images and an overwhelming performance by Mathieu Amalric illuminate the conflict, the tragedy, the terror, and the triumph.” – Peter Keough, The Boston Phoenix

4. JUNO

Juno

180 LISTS | 17 TOP SPOTS
Jason Reitman | 96 mins | Comedy/Drama
Ellen Page | Michael Cera | Jennifer Garner | Jason Bateman

“How can I choose this warm-hearted comedy about a pregnant teenager, when the year was rich with serious drama? First, because of all the year’s films I responded to it most strongly. I tried out other titles in the No. 1 position, but my heart told me I had to be honest: This was my true love, and I could not be unfaithful. It is so hard to make a great comedy at all, and harder still to make one that is intelligent, quick, charming, moving and yes, very, very funny. Seeing “Juno” with an audience was to be reminded of unforgettable communal moviegoing experiences, when strangers are united in delight. It was light on its feet, involving the audience in love and care for its characters. The first-time screenplay by Diablo Cody is Oscar-worthy. So is Ellen Page’s performance in the title role, which is like tightrope-walking: There were so many ways for her to go wrong, and she never did.” – Roger Ebert

3. ZODIAC

Zodiac

231 LISTS | 28 TOP SPOTS
David Fincher | 157 mins | Crime/Drama/Mystery
Jake Gyllenhaal | Robert Downey Jr. | Mark Ruffalo | Anthony Edwards

“Lack of resolution is one of the defining conditions of our time, leading to symptoms of anxiety and obsession. David Fincher presses on those sore spots masterfully in the year’s best whodunit drama without a reassuring hedidit ending. Who was the so-called Zodiac Killer on a serial spree of death around San Francisco’s Bay Area in the late ’60s? And what toll did pursuit of such a taunting, elusive killer take on those committed to the chase? With a sure feel for manifestations of mass-media frenzy (the way it was then, the way it is now); a great cast of dark-eyed souls, including Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo; and a primo character actor in John Carroll Lynch as the prime suspect, Fincher turns a police procedural into a nerve-racking thriller.” – Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

2. THERE WILL BE BLOOD

There Will Be Blood

269 LISTS | 74 TOP SPOTS
Paul Thomas Anderson | 158 mins | Drama
Daniel Day-Lewis | Paul Dano | Ciarán Hinds | Martin Stringer

“Daniel Day-Lewis doesn’t just chew the scenery, he eats it up, swallows it and spews back it out like the thick black oil that seeps through Paul Thomas Anderson‘s seething tale of corruption, ambition and industry. Anderson’s slow burn of a film meets the audience at the crossroads of capitalism and religion, and with vicious glee, rips them both to shreds. Beautifully composed, methodically paced, and scored to Jonny Greenwood‘s magnificent, percussive soundtrack, “There Will Be Blood” makes a case that the birth of the industrial revolution was also the beginning of a serious readjustment of the social moral barometer and sees it through to its shocking (and frothy) end. Bleak, dark and mesmerizing, Anderson’s film posits that oil runs deeper through the American psyche than we think.” – indieWIRE

1. NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

No Country for Old Men

379 LISTS | 101 TOP SPOTS
Ethan Coen and Joel Coen | 122 mins | Crime/Drama/Thriller
Tommy Lee Jones | Javier Bardem | Josh Brolin | Woody Harrelson

“No guts, no glory. That’s my standard for giving pride of place to the year’s best movies. I’m not looking for formal perfection, just the passion and exhilaration of personal filmmaking that walks the high wire and dares to fall on its ass. For me, no 2007 film experience had more creative juice than No Country for Old Men, a transfixing meditation on good and evil that enabled writer-directors Joel and Ethan Coen to forge a blood connection with Cormac McCarthy’s novel. Javier Bardem gives a career performance as the villain, and Tommy Lee Jones as a sheriff and Josh Brolin as a thief match him repping law and moral disorder. Screw the whining about the gore (grow up, we’re a violent country) and an ending that no one gets except those who pay attention. I challenge you to name a better, more blistering movie this year. Call it, Friendo.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Full Top 50:

RTITLEL#1ARL%#1%TCLTCL1TCL%TCL1%
1No Country for Old Men3781013.4662%19%2035263%18%
2There Will Be Blood269743.5644%14%1544048%14%
3Zodiac231284.5538%5%1272039%7%
4Juno180174.3130%3%84926%3%
5The Diving Bell and the Butterfly172304.1728%6%892128%7%
64 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days168174.0528%3%100931%3%
7Ratatouille167114.5828%2%85826%3%
8Once159124.7926%2%80725%2%
9I'm Not There148204.8524%4%861327%5%
10Into the Wild141144.5623%3%69721%2%
11Eastern Promises13935.3523%1%63020%0%
12Michael Clayton136115.2922%2%63620%2%
13The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford135124.5422%2%74623%2%
14Atonement131174.1822%3%61919%3%
15Sweeney Todd116104.5519%2%63420%1%
16Before the Devil Knows You're Dead11255.3518%1%57118%0%
17Away From Her11054.9418%1%61319%1%
18Knocked Up9325.6015%0%44114%0%
19Persepolis9004.6415%0%45014%0%
20The Bourne Ultimatum8355.2314%1%43113%0%
21Grindhouse7945.4613%1%42013%0%
22The Host7525.2812%0%42013%0%
23Gone Baby Gone7205.5812%0%43013%0%
24Superbad7005.9012%0%33010%0%
25Syndromes and a Century6994.2211%2%47815%3%
26The Savages6625.3311%0%40212%1%
273:10 to Yuma6225.0010%0%2107%0%
28No end in Sight6025.3710%0%39212%1%
29Killer of Sheep57103.799%2%35811%3%
30American Gangster5645.089%1%2107%0%
31The Darjeeling Limited5255.129%1%3039%1%
32Hot Fuzz5105.238%0%2608%0%
33Black Book5045.008%1%35311%1%
34The King of Kong4725.408%0%2317%0%
35Lars and the Real Girl4615.848%0%2508%0%
36Offside4324.537%0%31210%1%
37Hairspray (2007) (2007)3825.186%0%1926%1%
38Sicko3806.036%0%1806%0%
39Colossal Youth3764.166%1%2648%1%
40Waitress3626.696%0%2016%0%
41Lust, Caution3424.876%0%2016%0%
42Control3435.326%1%2006%0%
43Across the Universe3425.606%0%1826%1%
44La Vie en Rose3285.205%1%1314%0%
45In the Valley of Elah3206.085%0%1605%0%
45Margot at the Wedding3205.635%0%2207%0%
47Rescue Dawn2905.195%0%2006%0%
48Charlie Wilson's War2904.885%0%1204%0%
49Lady Chatterley2834.575%1%1826%1%
50The Kite Runner2825.205%0%1505%0%

Lists Included 607 | Top Critics’ Lists Included 322

R Rank
L Total number of lists where the film was selected as one of the top 10 films of the year
AR Average position on ranked top 10 lists
#1 Total number of lists where the film was selected as the best film of the year
L% Percentage of total lists where the film was selected as one of the top 10 films of the year
#1% Percentage of mentions where the film was selected as the best film of the year
TCL Number of times that the film was selected as one of the top 10 films of the year on top critics’ lists
TCL1 Number of times that the film was selected as the best film of the year on top critics’ lists
TCL% Percentage of times that the film was selected as one of the top 10 films of the year on top critics’ lists
TCL1% Percentage of lists where the film was selected as the best film of the year on top critics’ lists

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