Because I might as well, right? I will write about Air whenever I get around to seeing it (which might not be until I'm at the in-laws' for the holidays), and while several colleagues I hold in quite high esteem are crazy about it...well, it doesn't look to me like something I'd be crazy about even if I really liked it, if you know what I'm saying.
And if I am crazy about it, I can just add it to this list of 16, which is an unorthodox number that will displease further the commenter who thought that a 70-film best-of-the-decade list was a kind of critical copout and could he have just the list of ten, please, by tomorrow morning. Nevertheless, I have decided to impose a discipline of sorts on this list...by actually ranking it. Yes, the order is of preference. So put that in your pipe and smoke it, I guess. While the actual production dates of the films vary, they all had their first official U.S. theatrical runs in 2009.
UPDATE: It's official; I am dumb. A clerical error owing to a busted brain synapse forgot all about a particularly distinguished film's blink-and-you-missed it U.S. theatrical run this year. The official count of the list is now 17, and the missing film is...well, look at comments, and look below, and you'll figure it out.
1) Summer Hours (Olivier Assayas) See, already you think I'm crazy. Only I'm not. Considered here. Like they say, you gotta watch out for the quiet ones.
2) A Serious Man (Joel and Ethan Coen) Reviewed here.
4) Up (Pete Docter and Bob Peterson) Reviewed here.
5) Fantastic Mr. Fox (Wes Anderson) Reviewed here.
6) The Limits of Control (Jim Jarmusch) Reviewed here.
7) Adventureland (Greg Mottola) Considered here.
8) The Headless Woman (Lucrecia Martel; pictured) Reviewed here.
9) Tokyo Sonata (Kiroshi Kurosawa) Reviewed here.
10) Night and Day (Hong Sang-soo) Reviewed here.
12) The Frontier of Dawn (Philippe Garrel) Considered here. Possibly the only thing in the world that myself, Kent Jones and Karina Longworth are in complete agreement on.
13) Two Lovers (James Gray) Considered here.
14) Avatar (James Cameron) Reviewed here. Quite the technical achievement.
15) The Girlfriend Experience (Steven Soderbergh) "It's terrific!"
16) Drag Me To Hell (Sam Raimi) Reviewed here.
17) Invictus (Clint Eastwood) Considered here. Good movie.
Okay, go nuts.
FURTHER UPDATE: Certain omissions have been questioned. Jane Campion's Bright Star and Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker are among the most prominent. What can I tell you? I enjoyed both, found them both worthy, but in the final analysis both achieved "close, but no cigar" status for me. Also, in the case of Locker, I want to bait Jeff Wells. (Kidding.) As for Claire Denis' 35 Shots..., my secret shame is that I haven't seen it. Which is bad, and will be corrected, but sometimes you've got to go to your year-end lists with the movies you have...