Pixar

2007: Film’s Greatest Year

I’ve always enjoyed film. It’s a temporarily beautiful escape into worlds that are visions and dreams of artists and innovators. It’s why I started this website. So when I think about which years brought us the best movies, 2007 has to be at the top. The 26 films below average out to an 80% on Rotten Tomatoes, and would actually be at an 84% if it were not for a couple of critical disappointments I happen to enjoy (they’re at 20% and 40%). The following list comprises my argument for why I feel 2007 is film’s greatest year.

January

Pan’s Labyrinth, Children of Men

Pan’s Labyrinth

When it comes down to it, this will be forever hailed as Guillermo del Toro’s masterpiece. It’s haunting and gorgeous, and will tear your soul to shreds if you let it.

Children of Men

There is probably not a movie I have watched more in the last decade than this. Clive Owen is wonderful as Theo, but the real credit goes to director Alfonso Cuaron, the master of the ridiculously long takes as seen in Gravity.

March

Zodiac

Zodiac

David Fincher has made some really great movies, including Fight Club and Seven, but in my opinion, this is him at the top of his game. It’s an epic undertaking and one of the best true-crime films I’ve ever seen.

April

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Grindhouse, Hot Fuzz

Grindhouse

While one half of this fun double-feature isn’t exactly the greatest, Death Proof makes up for Planet Terror‘s faults. Kurt Russell is excellently campy and it’s a welcome addition to the Tarantino canon.

Hot Fuzz

I have a hard time deciding which of the Simon Pegg – Nick Frost films are my favorite, but Hot Fuzz is usually right up there at the top. The cast is excellent and the direction is razor sharp.

May

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28 Weeks Later

28 Weeks Later

This certainly is not as good as Danny Boyle’s original 28 Days Later, but it’s still an excellent zombie flick and Robert Carlyle is amazing in the heartbreaking starring role.

June

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Knocked Up, 1408, Live Free or Die Hard, Ratatouille

Knocked Up

I didn’t really like this movie when it first came out. With time, though, I’ve grown to appreciate it. I still find Heigl a bit insufferable, but the rest of the cast is funny as hell.

1408

Again, it took a while for me to appreciate this movie, but as far as Stephen King adaptations go, this one rises up toward the top. Cusack is pretty great, as well as Samuel L. Jackson.

Live Free or Die Hard

The theatrical cut of this was great, but if you can find the Unrated Cut, go for it. It’s violent and lives up to the R-Rated expectations of the first three classics.

Ratatouille

I’ve always been into the Toy Story movies, but Pixar failed to do much to pique my interest up until Ratatouille came out. It’s not only that Patton Oswalt is in it, but I loved the story so much. I watch this one pretty often.

July

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Rescue Dawn, Sunshine

Rescue Dawn

As familiar as we all are with Werner Herzog’s documentaries steeped in nihilism, he’s actually a damn good dramatic director as well. Bale’s physical decimation is horrifying to watch and Jeremy Davies is incredible as well.

Sunshine

Part 2001: A Space Odyssey, part Event Horizon, Danny Boyle’s sci-fi thriller is one of the better of the genre of the new century. Cillian Murphy is great and it’s written by Alex Garland, writer/director of 2015’s excellent Ex Machina.

August

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Hot Rod, Superbad, Death Sentence, Inland Empire

Hot Rod

While the critics hated this movie, the memorable lines and outlandish weirdness of The Lonely Island fellas shines through in this. Probably one of the funniest SNL films.

Superbad

This movie is funny every time I watch it. Cera and Hill’s relationship is absolutely heartwarming and the guest spots are pretty amazing.

Death Sentence

Sitting at a dismal 20% on Rotten Tomatoes, I feel the critics were sorely mistaken on this almost perfect revenge flick in which Kevin Bacon beats the living shit out of some gang members.

Inland Empire

While I still don’t know what the hell this movie is about, it’s an absolute nightmare put on film and one of the strangest trips I’ve ever taken. Laura Dern is wondrous and David Lynch has not made a stranger movie.

September

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3:10 to Yuma, Eastern Promises, The Darjeeling Limited

3:10 to Yuma

Yes, this is a remake. What we have here, though, is one of the best westerns of our new century. Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, and Ben Foster shine brightly and the cinematography is at times breathtaking.

Eastern Promises

If you saw A History of Violence, you probably had a lot to expect from Viggo Mortensen in Cronenberg’s follow-up. This movie is gritty as hell and probably one of the better gangster flicks I’ve ever seen.

The Darjeeling Limited

While this is not exactly my favorite Wes Anderson film, it’s grown more endearing with age. The way he presents India is like a painter’s palette, and the performances from Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, and Jason Schwartzman are mightily impressive.

October

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Michael Clayton, 30 Days of Night, Gone Baby Gone

Michael Clayton

Corporate espionage films are not normally one of my favorite genres. This one is a twisting thriller that is shot beautifully and features a great performance from Tom Wilkinson.

30 Days of Night

Not since The Thing has there been a more impressively violent and frightening horror film set against the inescapable backdrop of an arctic tundra. One of my favorite vampire films done just right.

Gone Baby Gone

With time, this depressing crime drama has become one of my favorite films ever. Ben Affleck directed his brother, this year’s expected Best Actor winner, Casey Affleck and it really is one the greatest Boston-area films.

November

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No Country for Old Men, The Mist

No Country for Old Men

Let’s not beat around the bush here. This one won Best Picture and for very good reason. It’s hard to say there is a better Coen Brothers film, but perhaps the most impressive part is taking Cormac McCarthy’s difficult source material and translating it to film.

The Mist

Another great film based on a Stephen King story. I didn’t like this movie until I watched it for the second time, but I have a few more times since. Check out the excellent black and white cut if you get a chance. It’s really fun.

December

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The Orphanage, There Will Be Blood

The Orphanage

Though Guillermo del Toro’s name is plastered all over releases of this film, J.A. Bayona actually directed this gorgeously depressing ghost story. Unless you’re terribly inhuman, the end will rip you apart.

There Will Be Blood

No film, in my opinion, is more important than this one. I really feel that this might be the Citizen Kane of this generation. Daniel Day Lewis is incredible, but it’s the story and the way that this movie is filmed that I think is most important.

Do you think a year in film was better than 2007? Let us know in the comments!

Nick Spanjer, Editor of CinemAbysmal

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Sausage Party

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Sausage Party (2016) – Comedy 

Directed by: Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon

Starring: A Grocery Store’s Perishables, Non-Perishables and a Douche

How I Watched: Theaters

Best Line: “I’ll tell you who eats shit. Gods do, bro! I’M A FUCKING GOD!”

This is an incredibly difficult movie to review. While the content of the film is not exactly heavy or too cumbersome to tackle thematically, Sausage Party is full of unexpectedly creative ways of presenting religious and existentially deep concepts. Now before you run away from this review, just hang on a second. Sausage Party has enough topical humor to keep the average stoner (and non-stoner) familiar with Rogen and Goldberg’s body of work entertained for its quick, 89-minute running time. The one-liners are great, the animation is hysterical, and the voice actors are just as funny animated as they are acting in movies. This film goes deeper than that, though. I think this is why the review is so hard to write. There is so much buried in this story, that it’s difficult to discuss without spoiling the plot.

So here goes. Those familiar with The LEGO Movie might best understand where I am going with this review. My girlfriend’s Film professor at the time of its release, was giving out extra credit to his students that went and saw it in the theater, so I very hesitantly went along with her. To my surprise, the arcing theme of The LEGO Movie was rife with deep philosophical metaphors meant for the parents of the children they were attending the movie with. What I walked away with was a semi-permanent grin that did not dissipate for about a week. I walked away from Sausage Party with that same grin.

I suppose if you let it hit you that way, Sausage Party could be a very stupid movie; the same way that Toy Story could be. Yeah, they’re seemingly inanimate objects talking amongst themselves when the humans are not looking and that’s absolutely ridiculous, right? Yeah, it is, but only if you let it be you unimaginative dickbag. If you have any sense of wonder, Toy Story caught and tugged at your heart as you watched those toys fight for their place in the universe. Sausage Party is no different.

Actually, it’s way different. I think the animated characters said “Fuck” more times than any movie that’s come out so far this year: 160+ according to pluggedin.com (who also mentions that “God’s name is misused at least 20 times…” *insert eye roll here*). If you’ve seen the Red Band trailer, you’ll know there’s also some vicious mutilations and enough sexual innuendo to make Paul Reubens happy in an empty theater. So yeah, I guess it’s different from Toy Story and The LEGO Movie. Vulgarity for vulgarity’s sake aside, this is a smart and viciously hilarious movie. A lot of the jokes will go over Millennials’ heads, including a very Jewish bagel that sounds like an Annie Hall-era Woody Allen on Freud’s couch, or perhaps even the scientifically philosophical musings of a Stephen Hawking-inspired piece of chewed gum.

If you don’t like Goldberg and Rogen films (SuperbadThe InterviewNeighbors, etc.), chances are you won’t like this one either. It features Rogen’s character, Frank, pretty heavily throughout and yes, he’s guilty of the same style of comedy that he always is (which I find hilarious). There are cheap laughs, but a lot of people might be pleasantly surprised by the voices coming out of these character’s mouths. I think my favorite was that of Nick Kroll’s, as a walking douche. Those familiar with his Comedy Central show (Kroll Show)will immediately recognize one of the voices he uses, and it made me laugh any time he said anything in Sausage Party.

Sausage Party isn’t perfect. It probably isn’t even the funniest movie that I’ve seen this year. It is however, unexpectedly smart and it will probably even make you feel guilty for eating popcorn while watching. It is a great way to spend an hour and a half on a hot summer night, so get your friends, have a few beers and go to this summer’s funniest movie. And for The Gods’ sake, leave your damn kids at home!

Final Score: 3.5/4

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Similar Films: Toy Story, The LEGO Movie, South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut