Can you believe that 2007 was ten years ago? That was the year I graduated from university…and it feels so long ago (yet so close)! We saw Tony Blair step down as Prime Minister. JK Rowling released the last Harry Potter book. That got me to thinking…not about my life choices since graduating, Tony Blair, or Harry Potter, but the films of 2007! Of course, I remember watching a lot of films at the cinema…but what stood out? What has stood the test of time? Here are my Top 10 Films of 2007…
- 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
Don’t watch this if you’re having a good day. Don’t watch this if you are upset. Because this is one of the most depressing films of the past decade. Set in Communist Romania, it’s about two women who try to arrange an illegal abortion. There’s nothing flashy or fancy about the direction: it’s gloomy, realistic and harrowing. Just like the story. It’s a film that will stay with you for a long time after you’ve watched it. It won the Palme D’Or, and after watching it you’ll see why.
Every generation needs an American Pie or Porkys, and this was the 2000s supreme leader of teen comedies. But this is both smart and funny, and also filled with vulgarity. What more could you want? Jonah Hill and Michael Cera are on form are the two best buddies out to get laid and drunk, backed up by Christopher Mintz-Plasse as McLovin’. Of course, some jokes fall flat, and it does go on a tad too long. But it does what it says on the tin, and does it well. Something most films don’t do.
When you think of Danny Boyle, you think of Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire. But you should also think of Sunshine (if you don’t already). It’s the best science fiction horror since Event Horizon, and is but a few floors away from the heights of Alien. It’s scary, haunting and beautifully filmed. It may fall apart a little during the finale, but up until then it’s truly terrifying. Boyle said that he would never attempt a science fiction again after Sunshine. That’s a damned shame! With ten years more experience, I reckon he could craft something even better. But Sunshine is damned good enough.
- Gone Baby Gone
Ben Affleck got behind the camera for this one, and put his younger brother Casey in front of it. Don’t expect elation during this film: it’s about the abduction of a child. Both Afflecks shine here, Casey proving he’s a great actor, and Ben proving he knows how to work a camera. He captures the sordidness of the child abduction through despair-filled shots of Boston. It’s tough to watch at times, and leaves a sour taste in the mouth, but some films should test you.
- The Mist
I placed this at #8 on my Top 10 List of Stephen King Adaptations (click here to read!). It may not reach the heady heights of The Shining or The Shawshank Redemption, but as a homage to 50s monster movies it’s brilliant. It’s better viewed in black and white for that reason, as in colour the CGI looks amateurish. Shoppers and more are trapped in a store when a mist clouds the building and spawns demonic monsters. Of course, it includes a bash of religion in the form of Mrs Carmody, whose possibly the real villain of the piece. Oh, and hold your breath for the ending…
Is this David Fincher’s most underrated film? You always hear of the heavy hitters like Seven and Fight Club, but this deserves a lot more love. It’s based on the real life serial killer, the Zodiac. It’s a case that’s never been solved. The trio of Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr. are enough to sell this film. But Fincher imbues every frame of the film with uncertainty and subtle scares. Those looking for action scenes or resolutions should look elsewhere. This is a highly introspective film that leaves the viewer with plenty of loose strings to hold. But that’s the point. It’s a little on the long side, but the time is used spectacularly. It may not be on the level of Fight Club, but it’s close enough.
- Eastern Promises
David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen teamed up for the second time (after the great A History Of Violence) for this tales of Russian gangsters. There’s enough body horror to satisfy the Cronenberg fans who love it, but also enough drama, suspense and thrills to satisfy those unaccustomed to Cronenberg’s ways. There’s no room for simple good and evil here, but only the greyest of grey. Mortensen and Naomi Watts put in incredible performances. Yes, it’s gritty and gory (but not excessively). But it’s a great addition to the ganster genre (and you also get a peek or two of Mortensens’ penis, if you’re up for that sort of thing!).
- There Will Be Blood
Daniel Day Lewis is There Will Be Blood. He embodies every theme of the film, about a man doing everything in his capacity to reap the rewards of the oil boom of the late 19th/early 20th century. Morality means nothing to him; money is everything. It’s a film spectacularly centred on this lack of morality, from the soundtrack to the cinematography. It’s religion vs greed played out through the resource that could be the death of us all, oil. Every viewing strikes me like I haven’t watched it before. That’s praise enough.
- Hot Fuzz
I listed this at #9 on My Top 10 List of Films I’ve Watched More Than Five Years (click here to read!), and for good reason. Shaun of the Dead is my favourite film of the Cornetto trilogy (and from Edgar Wright), but this is perhaps one of the best comedies ever. There’s literally a laugh a minute (if not more), some just out of the blue, some built up over the entire movie. Very few of the jokes rarely miss. It’s endlessly quotable. I do think it’s overly long, but it’s bloody hilarious.
For me, this is the peak of the Coen’s creative brilliance. They’ve certainly given us very good films since it, but nothing has matched up to it. It takes the essence of the novel and pours it through the film in every sense. It’s a modern Western that’s full to the brim with foreboding and terror. It contains one of the most intimidating villains of all time in the guise of Javiar Bardem, as Chigurh. Quite simply, fantastic.
28 Weeks Later
The Bourne Ultimatum
Agree or disagree? Any you’d take away or add? What is your Top 10?