Sin Nombre The first film from an NYU graduate, direct from the Sundance Institute. Unlike a lot of first films, it's focused, and assured both storywise and aesthetically, but like a lot of Sundance Institute films, it's so very screenplay dependant, and it leaves little room for improvisation or spontaneity, especially with the camera, and so it lacked that, and for me given the nature of the story, it called for it. Good acting, good script, but it felt a bit too planned. If any of that makes sense.
Hunger Loved it, very unconventional, brilliantly shot, unrelenting in an artful way.
In Beetween Days Boring and tedius, I enjoy small character studies, but it didn't work for me.
Treeless Mountain Same director, several years later, with film instead of DV this time, similar results. Better, but not great.
The Limits of Control One of my favorite directors, Jim Jarmusch, great cast, great dp (Christopher Doyle), shot in Spain, end result is a confounding "existential hitman movie" that I'd hesitate to even call a movie. Bill Murray sweeps at one point and livens up the procedings, but I think it might have worked better as a book of photographs.
Star Trek Lens flares galore, the prologue is great in a very Lost-y way, but I found it a bit dull after that.
Rudo y Cursi Entertaining buddy comedy directed by Carlos Cuaron (brother of Alfonso), enjoyable, but forgettable.
The Girlfriend Experience One of the best things I've seen this year, funny, cool, insightful, and most importantly, observant.
The Brothers Bloom I wish I'd liked it more, I think it would work better if it was simplified a bit, but it is very funny, particularly Rinko Kikuchi's silent explosives expert, and the claims of Anderson theft don't really stick, it's culled from a myriad of sources, and frankly it's not quite all it could have been.
Movies of the Year