January 28, 2008

Help me fill out my list of best movies of 2007

Each January, an organization called American Film Renaissance asks me to vote in their poll on the best movies of the previous year. This year they want my top 5 numbered from 1 (best) to 5 (fifth best).

Last year I voted for "The Lives of Others" about the Stasi in East Germany, but it didn't make their overall top 5 because not that many people had seen it yet. This year it's not eligible because it was screened for a week in December 2006 in NY and LA for Academy Award consideration (and it beat out Pan's Labyrinth for the Best Foreign Film Oscar.

(For Best Documentary of 2006 I voted for "Idiocracy.")

So I don't really have a frontrunner in mind for 2007.

Please feel free to recommend your favorites released in 2007 in the Comments.

Here, by the way, are their previous winners:

Master & Commander, The Passion of the Christ, Cinderella Man, and The Pursuit of Happyness.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer


Unknown said...

The 2007 movie I enjoyed most was "Mr. Bean's Holiday." This movie succeeded wonderfully well as entertainment: it was very funny, and also featured beautiful scenery, a gorgeous actress, a cute kid, great commentary on the pretensions of the Cannes set, and a happy ending to boot. This delightful film was also rated "G," making it an outlier among Hollywood comedies, most of which are crude and vulgar.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed "3:10 to Yuma". I found it refreshing in its moral clarity.

I also nominate "Knocked Up" for its discomfort with illegitimacy and irresponsibility.

Anonymous said...

I like Pan's Labyrinth. A lot. And so do a lot of the people I know. But I find its cartoonishly two-dimensional depiction of the Spanish Civil War a little off putting. (Note well, since the demise of the Soviet Union, Utopia has moved from Moscow to Catalonia). So I like to pull people's chains and rattle their cages by pointing out that, regardless of del Toro's intentions, the movie is profoundly pro-fascist. In the movie, the only effective alternatives to fascism are death or fantasy. In Pan's Labyrinth, even movie fascists at their worst are better than the alternatives.

From there you can segue into a rant on how the rise of post modernism is basically the expression of a desire to escape reality, which stubbornly confounds virtually every shibboleth of progressivism from equality to shared ownership.

Anonymous said...

Let's see, clicking through link,
AFR celebrates timeless American values through the production, distribution and showcasing of films that reflect the enduring and inspiring principles of individual freedom (such as free speech, free enterprise, and freedom of worship), rugged individualism and the triumph of the human spirit, and through supporting filmmakers who share our mission.

By that criteria, I'd list them:
1. Juno
2. Gone Baby Gone
3. Amazing Grace
4. Reign Over Me
5. American Gangster

Aspergers.life said...

Last place: Norbit

Anonymous said...

I thought "3:10 to Yuma" was pretty awful. Outlandish, beyond cartoonish. Moral clarity is pretty funny too, since like a lot of Westerns it glorifies a psychotic killer.

"Rescue Dawn" was a terrific movie that you should definitely, definitely see if you haven't. Make a good nomination for a conservative movie organization. Although its take on the Vietnam war is actually slyly neutral (Herzog has bigger fish to fry than war politics), it would appear on the surface to be a stirring tribute to our brave soldiers.

"The Lives of Others" is a terrific movie, a shame it didn't win anything.

Anonymous said...

you can segue into a rant on how the rise of post modernism is basically the expression of a desire to escape reality, which stubbornly confounds virtually every shibboleth of progressivism from equality to shared ownership.

Today, American conservatism is the political ideology that desires most desparately to escape reality. American liberals are Burkean realists by comparison.

Dennis Mangan said...

Maybe I'm looking in the wrong places, but it seems I can hardly stand movies lately. I must have shut off the DVD player in mid-movie half a dozen times in the last 6 weeks. If one likes ultra-violent crap, or unfunny comedies, lots of them seem to be available. I'd rather just listen to Schumann or Brahms than go near anything out of Hollywood.

Anonymous said...

Is the poll restricted to films which had a cinema release? I'm thinking here of TV movies, not those that went straight to video/DVD.

Garland said...

Best Documentary of '07: King of Kong. Actually, it was my favorite movie of the year too.

Anonymous said...

I have not attended the Kinema this last twelvemonth.

Anonymous said...

I suggest Dennis Mangan check out the fund of good period drama out there.

I recommend:

Pride & Prejudice (BBC version, 1995)

North & South (BBC, 2004)

Persuasion (ITV, 2007)

Sense & Sensibility (BBC, 2008)

Anonymous said...


While it allows the "Everyone can cook," egalitarian rhetoric, it serves to prove that few can do it well.

Anonymous said...

Since I only tend to see action movies on the big screen I haven't seen a lot of the latest movies yet. My favorite movies so far are: Bourne Ultimatim, Transformers and Live Free or Die Hard.

I watched Eastern Promises last night and thought it was great. Choosing to have Viggo naked in the knife fight scene was scene was pure brilliance. Knocked Up was a misogynistic, frat-boy, male-fantasy piece of cr*p. I really looked forward to 3:10 to Yuma but the story could have been so much better - Russell Crowe was awfully nice for a supposed bad guy. Rescue Dawn was plodding and dull.

Anonymous said...

I liked "3:10 to Yuma". I'm a great fan of the cowboy movie. Its the only genre from the US I bother to watch. Good acting and camera work.

Karl said...

Because "nothing says Christmas like meat pies", my girlfriend and I went to see "Sweeney Todd" on Christmas day. It was very nicely done, though bloody enough it could have been subtitled "a river runs through it".

Also, who'd have known Professor Snape could sing?

The following Friday, I took my (17-year-old) adopted nephew to see it, and he couldn't stop talking about it afterward. I think he called everyone on his cell phone contact list to tell them they had to see it.

Anonymous said...

Alien vs. Predator II

I found it refreshing in its moral clarity!

Anonymous said...

1. Zodiac
2. Balls of Fury.

Anonymous said...

HBO's Rome

[Season Two aired from January 14, 2007 to March 25, 2007].

This was the best TV I've ever seen in my life, and, although I certainly haven't seen all of the movies which were released in 2007, I am quite confident that it was better than anything in the theaters.

PS: Best movie of 2006 was The Nativity Story [although, in fairness, I haven't seen that Stasi thing].

Anonymous said...

Beowulf (especially impressive in IMAX 3D). What's not to like? Wonderful look (remember, film is a visual medium), inspired by a classic saga (at least some teenage boys will go read the book), a really manly hero, straightforward though melancholy plot, no deus-ex-machina... the only movie of the year that wasn't confused, wordy, preachy, or boring.

(I was so happy that there was no gay subplot.)

(And look at Angelina Jolie with CGI magic replacing her skanky tatoos with prehensile hair-- yow.)

Anonymous said...

No mq American Conservatism says human nature is unchanged, and that the best way to remain free is to be strong enough to deter attacks by others. Or as Putin said, the weak get beaten.

I can't think of a worthy film this year. How depressing.

Anonymous said...

I like Zodiac.

Thras said...

I liked Sweeney Todd. But that was about all I saw this year.

Black Sea said...

Best Documentary of 2007 (actually, the only film of 2007 I watched): No End in Sight.

Anonymous said...

300: Manly white European males triumph while loosing to teaming hordes of invading barbarians. As an added bonus, the film drove the right kind of critic into apoplexies (a Greek word!) of histrionic hair-pulling.

Charlie Wilson's War: Manly white European male kicks the crap out of G-dless Commies in Afghanistan. Rambo ain't got nuthin' on Charlie.

Darayvus said...

Juno, Gone Baby Gone, [looks down the comments] I swear I was not plagiarising Beowulf when I typed that. At least he didn't mention Charlie Wilson's War was indeed awesome. Also, Rocky Balboa.

Beyond those four I can't think of any others. Ratatouille was, eh. American Gangster left me cold.

Anonymous said...

The only good movies I saw from 2007 were Zodiac (although it was quite likely wrong in its central thesis) and Breach, about the FBI mole, Robert Hanssen.

Steve Sailer said...

I'm not sensing a whole lot of enthusiasm for 2007's movies ...

Steve Sailer said...

Hey, "Norbit" got an Oscar nomination, unlike "Zodiac."

Anonymous said...

"3:10" certainly had characters making hard choices in it- I suppose that's where values matter the most.

Re: "Rescue Dawn", by all means check out Herzog's earlier documentary on the same fellow, "Little Dieter Must Fly". Brings a whole 'nother level to that movie.

And Re: "Sweeney Todd", introduce the nephew to the DVD of the Broadway version. The movie folks can act, and the movie serves the music OK, but the music needs singers.

I didn't see "American Gangster" but my niece who teaches in an inner city school walked out of it. Too close to what she sees every day.

Anonymous said...

I liked 'Charlie Wilson's War' - superb Hollywood entertainment, though it craps out in the final act. (The conclusion seems to be it was noble of us to aid the Afghans, but we didn't build enough schools for them, so...) It even presents the Soviets as unmitigated bad guys and the U.S. government and military as conflicted, sometimes incompetent, but basically on the right side, which is surprising in 2008.

Anonymous said...

Something tells me the producers of "Knocked Up" and "Juno" may be familiar with a certain S.S.'s blog, or leastways be facile with certain data that the big S. likes to seemingly-fruitlessly expound upon.

I nominate "Knocked Up," not for its moral clarity, exactly, but for its propagandistic...er...watchability.