July 1 means that the year is officially half-over (figured that out all by myself), so I figure it might be fun to pick back over the past six months and offer a list of my very favorite flicks of the year. I've long since given up trying to differentiate between "the best films of the year" and "my favorite films of the year," but seeing as they'd both originate in the same brain, I figure they're pretty much the same thing. Some of my choices will be obvious, but (hopefully) some won't. And get this: Some of 'em are horror movies. (A film must have received a North American theatrical release prior to 7/1 in order to qualify.)

January -- Not many choices, really, but I'm an enthusiastic supporter of both Cloverfield and Teeth. I also enjoyed Cassandra's Dream a bit more than most folks seem to, but it's hardly among Woody Allen's best movies. Beyond that, January was as lame as ever. (Thanks for nothing: One Missed Call, First Sunday, Mad Money, Rambo, Untraceable, and the execrable Meet the Spartans.)

February -- Things certainly started getting a little better around groundhog time. I found In Bruges to be a stunningly unexpected treat; The Spiderwick Chronicles a very fun cross between Potter and Gremlins;Diary of the Dead a very welcome departure from zombie lord George Romero; The Signal a mico-budget mini-masterpiece, and Semi-Pro to be very funny and entirely forgettable. Special mention to the (surprise hit, but critically underrated) Vantage Point, which really deserves a second look. (Stinkers: The Eye, Strange Wilderness, and Jumper.)

categories Cinematical