1. Inglorious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino) - I really like this movie. One of Tarantino’s masterpiece. All cast are tremendous, especially Christoph Waltz with his intellectual cunning, ruthless, and vicious charming Col.Hans Landa. The film is also smartly hilarious. Tarantino is a master of effortlessly cranking up immense tension and suddenly mixing it with laugh out loud moments. Love love love it!
2. Star Trek (J.J. Abrams) - Incredible reboot of a famous franchise. I never watch Star Trek before, but this movie turns out really great. A blast from the beginning to end. It’s thrilling, funny, touching, and action-packed. J.J. Abrams is definitely one of the smartest film maker on the planet.
3. Up in the Air (Jason Reitman) - Absolutely brilliant script. This is a great film, speaking very much to today’s mood and spirit, easy to watch, with many funny moments. The soundtrack are nice and give such an emotion through the film. Great performance from George Clooney.
4. (500) Days of Summer (Marc Webb) - Quirky, modern, funny, and entertaining! Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel are the best couple in frame this year. A unique love story with a bunch of wonderful soundtracks. This movie is really refreshing and got ‘something’.
5. Departures / Okuribito (Yojiro Takita) – This movie made me cry A LOT! The story is about life and death. The acting from Motoki Masahiro was superb, hilarious at times but played the serious scenes very convincingly. One of the best Japanese movie I’ve ever seen.
6. The Road (John Hillcoat) - The Road is a story of hope and sacrifice. It’s a tough, sad, and desperate to watch, but worth the effort to see a true masterpiece of the good and the bad parts between humanity. Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smith-McPhee impress me as a fantastic actor. The use of color in the otherwise gray backdrop was genius. An impressive film.
7. Mary and Max (Adam Elliot) - This is one of the animation (claymation) that stick in my mind for a long time. The story is bittersweet but also very cute and funny. Definitely not for children, because it’s too dark and depressing. The plot is sad and the ending is even sadder. There are many scenes that will choke you up, so bring some tissues. It will make you laugh and cry at the same time.
8. An Education (Lone Scherfig) - Carey Mullingan does a beautiful job in the lead role, extremely natural. That was my first time watching her performance and she was absolutely brilliant and pretty. This is a coming-of-age story that has an important messages to the audiences. The setting of London 1960’s also gave a great vintage reflection. Enjoyable film.
9. Watchmen (Zack Snyder) - This movie definitely not for everyone. People who expecting another ‘Dark Knight’ will be disappointed, as this movie is completely unique. It's long, complicated, deeply moving epic that will really make us think about the very concepts of right or wrong, and heroism.
10. The Damned United (Tom Hooper) - Another outstanding performance from Michael Sheen after Frost/Nixon. I throughly enjoyed the film. A fantastic piece on behind-the-scenes of football. Also, I really laughed so hard at some scenes in this film.
11. District 9 (Neill Blomkamp) - Usually in these type of films, it's mostly mindless action and the story is lost. Not the case here. There's so much more to it. It's also about betrayal, loyalty, trust, relationships, and sacrifice. The film's really about the story which is really a fresh, gritty, original concept, which is good to see nowadays.
12. The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow) - I didn’t really like it the first time I watched it, but after the second time viewing I must agree and admit that this is an outstanding war movie. The story is deeply emotional and realistic. The whole acting point and attention to details are excellent.
13. Zombieland (Ruben Fleischer) - A great film with something for everyone in it not just Zombie or horror enthusiasts. This is a well written story, full of humour mixed with absolute gore. The opening scenes was hilarious!
14. Coraline (Henry Selick) - Coraline is a real eye-popping treat, as long as you can see the movie in colour, then you'll easily get the full end of the visual orgasm. I like the spooky feel of this animation, the dark environment and the surreal set-ups. It is cleverly woven, with art-like precision to make this film a nice watch, whilst being spooky, not gory.
15. Avatar (James Cameron) - Another masterpiece from James Cameron after Titanic. The concept is fascinating and beautifully delivers to the film. Super cool visual effects with good story and fantastic 3D. That's all.
16. Agora (Alejandro Amenabar) - Rachel Weisz is amazing and her performance is the show. The film itself is a moving cinematic of art. The story is complicated, about the religious struggles of the late Roman Empire. I greatly enjoyed this movie that leave many questions in my head.
17. Up (Pete Docter, Bob Peterson) - Amazing visual effects (yeah, it’s Pixar). Animation with ‘heart’. Lovable characters. Wonderful soundtrack. What can I say more?
18. Away We Go (Sam Mendes) - A very enjoyable film with a great cast and lots of laugh. It’s more charming and deeper than a lot of romantic comedies and other road movies. This is the movie that leave you a smile on your face at the end.
19. Public Enemies (Michael Mann) - It’s a solid crime drama and an entertaining summer film. Not quite a great one, but a really good film. Johnny Depp is a fine actor, he really can pulls out every characters that given to him.
20. Everybody’s Fine (Kirk Jones) - I have to say that this movie is really sad and had a lot to say about child/parent relations. This is a movie about family, loss, and different paths each of one took in live after leaving the family nest. A wonderful movie featuring a strong performance by DeNiro.