The Simpson family made their long-awaited film debut in a movie that divided filmgoers but did rather well at the box office. However, 2007 was a poor year for Hollywood. Yes, it made heaps of cash with its smash-hit big-budget blockbusters but the films themselves were terrible. Consider that “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” and “Spider-Man 3” were the worst films of their respective franchises yet made nearly $1 billion worldwide apiece. The Top 10 highest earners list of 2008 was propped up by another terrible sequel – “National Treasure: Book Of Secrets”. Thank goodness for “Harry Potter”, “300” and “Transformers” for providing some quality to summer cinema.
As you’ll see from our Top 10 movies of 2007 below, Hollywood’s best output came from the independent wing, while films from the UK and Europe feature prominently.
10. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Yates, USA/UK, 2007)
David Yates has become the sure-handed director to take Harry Potter towards its dramatic conclusion. Finding a middle ground between Chris Columbus whimsy and Alfonso Cuaron dark-horror, Yates has been tasked to direct the final three books (into four films) and as “Order of the Phoenix” proves, he’s the right choice. Certainly not the best film in the franchise so far (that would go to “Prisoner of Azkaban” or “Goblet of Fire”) but one of the most enjoyable films from a year devoid of great blockbusters.
9. Inland Empire (David Lynch, USA/France/Poland, 2007)
Lynch splits audiences and this film will not change that. Twisted, haunting, compelling.
8. Ratatouille (Brad Bird/Jan Pinkava, USA, 2007)
In a year when Hollywood produced little of value – beaten by European and American independent films – Pixar came through once again with a brilliant, vibrant tale of an ace chef who happens to be a street rat. Great characters, great animation, great film.
7. Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead (Sidney Lumet, USA, 2007)
The incredible Sidney Lumet continues to deliver over 50 years since his debut film.
6. Son of Rambow (Garth Jennings, UK, 2007)
Garth Jennings’ brilliant depiction of childhood friendship in 1980s Britain. It’s the uplifting antidote to Shane Meadows “This is England”. In many ways it’s a British Goonies with the adventure taking place in a realistic but idealised and almost magical world that exists within a child’s mind. Neil Dudgeon and Bill Milner are thoroughly enchanting.
5. Juno (Jason Reitman, USA, 2007)
Quirky and well written. Notable for the performance of Ellen Page.
4. Atonement (Joe Wright, UK/France, 2007)
A sumptuous tale of romance and regret with Keira Knightley, Saoirse Ronan and James McAvoy delivering stellar performances. Based on Ian McEwan’s novel of the same name, Joe Wright’s film tells the story of 13 year old Briony and the lie that sends an innocent man to jail and stalls the passionate relationship he has with Briony’s older sister. The ending will have you teary eyed but undoubtedly uplifted.
3. No Country For Old Men (Joel Coen/Ethan Coen, USA, 2007)
Dark and violent but like all Coen Bros. films “No Country For Old Men” features characters that you won’t forget with any great haste.
2. Control (Anton Corbijn, UK, 2007)
Beautifully photographed by director Anton Corbijn this is a touching portrait of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis.
1. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, USA, 2007)
Powerful and haunting, Paul Thomas Anderson’s masterpiece stood head and shoulders above everything else in 2007. Daniel Day-Lewis is fantastic.
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