Because readers tend to expect this sort of thing from a general-interest blog, here's the first of a handful of year-end lists. This one covers, in no particular order, ten of my favorite moviegoing experiences of 2009. And away we go...
Star Trek delivered a shot of adrenaline to the classic Trek crew, resulting in an action-packed story with characters we're glad to get to know all over again.
Sherlock Holmes was event-movie big, yet intimate at the same time. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law are great together.
Gritty, dark superhero action was the order of the day in Watchmen. Choose one of the longer DVD cuts out there if you haven't seen the movie yet.
Whether seen in 3D or 2D, Up delivered the most immersive, colorful adventure of the year until a certain movie about blue-skinned aliens came along.
A valuable final document with great songs, Michael Jackson's This is It is both a terrific concert film and fascinating documentary about the musical legend.
Julie and Julia gave us some laughs, a little drama, and made world-class acting seem effortless and fun (yes, I'm thinking of Ms. Streep here).
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince managed to distill the huge novel down to a dark, brooding yet zippily told film that hit all the right emotional marks.
Amazing detail and great artistry dazzled viewers of Disney's A Christmas Carol, especially those who saw it in IMAX 3D.
Avatar delivered a perfectly good science-fiction story, but it'll be remembered for its truly immersive visual experience. Other films (some on this list) demonstrated that 3D isn't just a gimmick anymore, but with James Cameron's film, 3D has truly grown up.
Inglorious Basterds had long, quiet, dialogue scenes that are just as tense and riveting as the year's best action sequences, some of which are also in this film.
More lists to come.