On the Silver Screen: Major Movies of 2007

859 movies 0
Fox Searchlight
863 movies 2
“The Bourne Ultimatum.”
Universal Studios
864 movies 3
Melissa Moseley—Columbia Pictures
865 movies 1
“American Gangster.”
Universal Studios
866 movies 4
“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.”
Etienne George—Miramax Films

Every year, there are certain movies that stand out from the rest. Some shine as cinematic masterpieces full of magnificent acting and direction. Others push the boundaries of technology and reinvent how movies are made. Still others stand out for telling captivating stories. Whatever the reason, below are our picks for the most significant movies of 2007.


What do you get when you cross a pregnant sixteen-year-old with a not-so-perfect, perfect suburban couple? A comedy, of course. In one of the best films of the year, Ellen Page and an all star supporting cast bring laughter to the drama of teenage pregnancy. Sure, the movie makes light of a serious problem, but it’s so entertaining with humor and heart that you can’t help but love it.— Berry

I Am Legend

Will Smith claims more people flipped him off while he was shooting “I Am Legend” on location in Manhattan than he’s ever encountered in his whole life. Apparently, New Yorkers didn’t take too well to having their city closed down for the film’s shooting, but the resultant on-screen empty metropolis was surely worth the abundance of rude gestures. An abandoned Fifth Avenue far outshone the computerized zombies in terms of fright factor, but Smith’s outstanding portrayal of physical and mental survival in a nearly apocalyptic city made this late arrival a top pick of the year. — Dupuis


I wonder if I would have heard of or seen “Waitress” if not for the infamous death of its writer and director Adrienne Shelly (she was murdered while finishing post-production for the film), but I’m glad I have since it is such a wonderful film. Keri Russell plays Jenna, a woman stuck in an unhappy marriage who finds out she is pregnant, destroying any chances of her leaving her husband. All the while, she relieves her stress by making creative and delicious pies with names like “I Hate My Husband Pie” and “Pregnant Miserable Self Pitying Loser Pie … Lumpy oatmeal with fruitcake mashed in. Flambé of course.” A little romance with a young doctor completes this humorous and touching film.— Berry

No Country for Old Men

If there was an Oscar for the creepiest haircut ever, it would go to Javier Bardem for his role as an unstoppable killer in “No Country for Old Men.” I guess he will have to settle for best supporting actor, which he deserves to win. Shot in a desolate region of Texas, “No Country for Old Men” completely transports you to another world and all aspects of the film are integrated seamlessly. Some viewers may be disappointed or confused by the anti-climactic ending, but overall this is one of the best films of the year. Of course, we expect nothing less from writing and directing pair Ethan and Joel Coen.— Macdonald

There Will Be Blood

Oh, that Daniel Day-Lewis. He may be a nut job, but he sure can act. Every film he actually gets around to doing is an automatic Oscar nod. “There Will Be Blood” is no exception. Contrary to the title, the film is not a murder mystery or a gruesome horror film; it is the story of a turn-of-the-century oil tycoon. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson of “Boogie Nights” fame, this film is being lauded as an epic masterpiece and is sure to pick up some more big prizes this award season.— Macdonald

American Gangster

A controversial subject for a biopic (with the lawsuits to prove it), “American Gangster” follows the climb, peak, fall, and (cinematic) redemption of notorious, Vietnam-era heroin kingpin Frank Lucas. Denzel Washington’s portrayal of Lucas is largely fictionalized but still brilliantly depicts a man who was violent, glamorous, and utterly in control. His performance is contrasted expertly by Russell Crowe, whose squeaky-clean cop character compensates for his unsound personal life by aggressively and brilliantly fighting for a solution to drug crimes. — Dupuis


Jake Gyllenhaal’s roles seem to possess him, and this is certainly true in the murder flick and biopic “Zodiac.” Gyllenhaal plays real life cartoonist-turned-novelist Robert Graysmith, who falls into an amateur investigation of the horrific Zodiac serial killings that took place in the late 1960s. The film is long, truly, but also engaging; it offers the historical gore while also revealing the real manifestations of the investigation in Graysmith’s life. We feel his rightful paranoia, we grow uneasy as his obsession destroys his marriage, and we bite our nails as he happens upon the truth. — Dupuis

The Darjeeling Limited

The fifth full-length installation in director Wes Anderson’s cinematic collection, “The Darjeeling Limited” follows the emotional yet basic reunion of three out-of-touch brothers on the Indian-bound titular train. You can always expect a sensory overload in Wes’ World; the Satyajit Ray-meets-Kinks soundtrack especially aids the East-meets-West theme. But the best part of this film is its three leading men. Vets Jason Schwartzman and Owen Wilson usher in new pledge Adrien Brody with gusto, allowing Anderson to portray yet another wonderfully weird dysfunctional family.— Dupuis

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

One of the standout foreign films of the year, this French oeuvre takes full advantage of the visual medium to create a beautiful and dreamy landscape. It is the story of a man left completely paralyzed except for a single eyelid after a stroke who still manages to dictate his memoirs. Oscar nominated director Julian Schnabel takes the true story of former Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby and melds it with a beautiful soundtrack and terrific performances to yield a film that is touching while remaining subtle. — Macdonald

Michael Clayton

The problem with George Clooney is this: on one hand, he makes great films that no one ever sees, but on the other hand, he makes pieces of cinematic shit that everyone flocks to. Last year’s “Oceans Thirteen,” which grossed $36 million in its opening weekend, is a prime example of the latter. Thankfully, Clooney also made “Michael Clayton” last year. The thing is: no one actually wants to watch this far superior film. I mean, which would you rather see, a film where Clooney robs a casino with Brad Pitt, or a moral parable on corporate America? — Macdonald


“Ratatouille” follows the escapades of Remy the rat on his quest to break away from normal rat society and become a world-renowned chef. By chance he befriends Linguini, a clumsy young kitchen cleaner, and eventually they find themselves working together to bring famous Chef Gusteau’s restaurant into the limelight once again. Employing some of the most amazing computer animation ever created, the film tackles many themes in a surprisingly intelligent and mature nature. The movie’s inspirational messages of courage, determination, and growth make it one of the most affecting and heartwarming movies of recent memory.— Cole

The Bourne Ultimatum

“The Bourne Ultimatum” provides a fitting and appropriate end to the Bourne trilogy — so fitting, in fact, that it’s virtually indistinguishable from the first two. Matt Damon delivers a strong performance with a grittier, modern take on the classic spy role. Overall, the film provides an exciting and engaging adventure, although the visuals sometimes resemble a handy-cam being thrown into a washing machine.— Wang

The Simpsons Movie

After nearly two decades on the small screen, the Simpson family finally made it to the big time with this summer’s “The Simpsons Movie.” Essentially a 90-minute episode from some of the more classic (and funnier) television seasons, the movie brings together everyone from Springfield in this hilarious adventure that starts with Homer falling in love with a pig. And like any good episode of this show, the film emphasizes the importance of family in our fight for life. — Berry


“Superbad,” co-written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, followed June’s sick, sexual, and sweet “Knocked Up” by only a few months, but this Frat Pack feature offered a little something special: sardonic and filthy wit coming out of the mouths of mere babes. Jonah Hill and Michael Cera (as Seth and Evan, respectively) fall into and out of disastrously hilarious dilemmas, all comically scored to an excellent funk soundtrack provided by Lyle Workman and Bootsy Collins. But what separates “Superbad” from other teen comedies of this nature (see 2004’s semi-comparable “Napoleon Dynamite”) is that its humor and plot don’t rely solely on strange situational comedy. “Superbad” shows you your middle school yearbook and sacktaps you all at once, and you finish the movie feeling as though you’ve spent an hour or two with your most obnoxious but closest friends. — Dupuis

Hot Fuzz

The team behind “Shaun of the Dead” have struck again with “Hot Fuzz.” This piece of action movie pastiche is pure enjoyment. Unlike dreadful parodies of the “Scary Movie” and recent “Meet the Spartans” genre, “Hot Fuzz” is actually entertaining. The key lies in the multi-dimensional comedy thanks to writer and director Edgar Wright and spot-on performances by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. — Macdonald


In an attempt to prevent her from marrying the prince, an evil witch banishes Giselle from the magical kingdom of Andalasia. In her quest to return to her world Giselle meets Robert Philip, a man in desperate need of Giselle’s enthusiastic and naive approach to life. Along the way she gets a much needed dose of reality and learns more about herself and others in the process. The film’s twist on the classic Disney movie using elements from musical, animated, comedy, and live-action fantasy films makes it refreshing and light. A surprising star turn by Amy Adams, who plays Giselle, also elevates the movie from its fantastical story.— Cole


Three hundred half-naked Chuck Norrises fight off a million Persian warriors in a glorious bloodbath fueled by gratuitous nudity and absurdly dramatic speeches. There is no acting. There is no character development. There is only violence, softcore pornography, and more testosterone than you would find in Roger Clemens’ bloodstream.— Wang


“Transformers” delivers a brutal combination of face-shattering visuals, infantile dialogue and a stellar concept (robots + cars + explosives) to provide a direct and unsurprisingly watchable film. Director Michael Bay taps into a simple but brilliant formula: if one explosion is good, and two are better, then two and a half solid hours of destruction ending in the throwing of a flaming bus is probably best.— Wang