I think that two of the best movies that I saw this year were two that were released last year, to limited theaters, while being released gradually to the rest of the world - Pan's Labyrinth and Children of Men. Both were astounding. Pan's Labyrinth is a highly original fantasy film, dark, and deep. The second is Children of Men, which is more towards the Science Fiction realm, which is another excellently done film. Both were done by mexican filmmakers, and along with a third film, Babel, the three directors considered their three films a sort of trilogy. Hopefully, they can replicate their success in the future. Of the 2007 films, I thought that this was a bit of a lackluster year, especially for Science Fiction and fantasy films.
An early favorite was the latest Bond movie, Casino Royale, which was a huges step up from the other Bond movies that I've seen. More energetic and more in the lines of the recent Bourne movies.
Hot Fuzz was another huge favorite of mine. I was a huge fan of Shaun of the Dead, which is one of my favorite comedies of all time, and this was from the same people, and while pretty different, was just as good. I can't wait to see what they come up with next.
300 was a guilty pleasure that I saw when that came out. Historically inaccurate, overblown and rediculous, but a really fun movie to watch.
This summer, my favorite was The Bourne Ultimatum, the recent film in that series, and hopefully the last. This film is just as good as the first two, a rarity in series, where all of the films as as good as the others. This one brings some of the best action scenes in the series, and really tied back to the first movie, and the second, while finishing off things nicely.
The best documentary that I saw this year was In The Shadows of the Moon, which chronicled the Apollo program in brief detail. I can't wait to get this when it hits DVD in February.
There were a bunch of really good comedies released this year - Superbad made me laugh my ass off the entire way through. Balls of Fury was also quite funny, although not quite as funny as the trailers, but still good. Hot Fuzz, of course, was another really good one.
I Am Legend was another really good movie that I made it out to see. That surprised me a little - it's not really a zombie film, more of a character film. It's not often that a film can be carried by just one person, and Will Smith pulled this one off nicely.
Another one that just came across was Stardust, which just came out on DVD. It's very funny, original, witty, and possibly the best fantasy movies that I saw all year.
A couple of disappointments for me was the Golden Compass, which really surprised me, because it was something that I was really anticipating. It wasn't a bad movie, but it didn't really live up to expectations like I'd hoped. Balls of Fury was another bit of a letdown, after the fantastic trailers that were released for it. It was certainly a hilarious movie, but it wasn't as good as I'd hoped. Spiderman 3 was a huge disapointment for me, especially after the first two movies being some of my favorites. The Peter Parker emo dance scene just made it go downhill for me.
There were a bunch of movies that I wanted to see that I never got around to seeing - Gone Baby Gone, No Country for Old Men, Waitress, Zodiac, Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Sunshine, Death at a Funeral and the Darjeeling Limited. They all had interesting premises, actors that I liked or just looked good.
I'll be interested to see what 2008 brings along. There's a new Star Trek movie coming, which looks to be interesting. There's the second Batman movie coming, which looks to be fantastic from the trailers that I've seen. Iron Man is coming out in March, which looks like a step up for comic book movies. Cloverfield, Fanboys, Jumper, Indiana Jones, Prince Caspian, Wall-E, Valkyrie, and Hellboy.