The year was 2007; George W. Bush was our president, Soulja Boy was topping the charts, and we just started to keep up with the Kardashians. The year also produced some fantastic films, before premium TV and streaming took over. I sifted through my DVD collection and my IMDb account to find out what my highest ranking films were for the year. I was surprised to find the huge amount of quality films that I had to choose from. After reading this list, be sure to IMDb 2007, because there are a great number of films that I missed.
#5 – The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Directed by Andrew Dominik)
A stylistic western in an era where westerns aren’t often made. Once one of the biggest money-making genres of film, the western has become something of a clichéd genre of times long gone. This film has fantastic acting, and I had to put it over the more well-known 3:10 to Yuma because of the sheer uniqueness of the filming. Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck turn in fantastic performances, and this made the latter’s recent Best Actor for Manchester by the Sea a wonderful development.
#4 – Juno (Directed by Jason Reitman)
Diablo Cody’s debut screenplay is a quirky comedy that provides a lot of laughs, heart, and established Jason Reitman as a big time player after this film and his 2005 debut Thank You for Smoking. Ellen Paige became America’s sweetheart, Michael Cera looked like the heir apparent to Anthony Michael Hall as the lovable geek, and J.K Simmons is just fantastic as always. Sadly, Diablo Cody has never written a film anywhere near this level again. Page and Cera have also not had the careers that it seemed was waiting for them. Jason Bateman continues to be fantastic, so that’s a plus.
#3 – Before the Devil Knows Your Dead (Directed by Sidney Lumet)
Sidney Lumet may be the greatest film director of all time. Okay, I know this is just my opinion, but he was one of the true masters. His last film, the violent melodrama Before the Devil Knows Your Dead is a beautiful film with great performances. The late Phillip Seymour Hoffman is at his sleazy best, and Ethan Hawke is wonderfully paranoid and desperate. One of the most underrated films of the past decade, but it isn’t for everyone. The film is dark, over the top, and depressing. It’s the swan song of a brilliant filmmaker.
#2 – No Country for Old Men (Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen)
This may have been the hardest decision ever to put this film at #2. Number one will clarify why, but this film is a masterwork. Based on the brilliant novel by Cormac McCarthy, this noir western film gives us the greatest film villain since Hannibal Lecter. Anton Chigurh starts a reign of terror over some missing money and all you will need to do is search for the trailer on YouTube. If that doesn’t hook you in, I doubt you have a pulse. Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, and Woody Harrelson give great performances, but Javier Bardem steals the show in the role he was born to play.
#1 – There Will Be Blood (Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson)
A brilliant filmmaker and his masterpiece. Paul Thomas Anderson is the greatest filmmaker of the Tarantino generation, and I love Quentin Tarantino. He also has one tool at his disposal that QT never had, Daniel Day-Lewis. Daniel Plainview is the epitome of greed, power, and corruption. Set in the late 19th and early 20th century respectfully, the film is a brilliant character study and perhaps the greatest portrait of the American Dream in Cinema. It’s brilliant enough to please even the staunchest of film critics. It’s also dramatic and intriguing enough to engage anyone looking for a good story to kill a few hours. Yeah, it’s a few hours long. This may be my favorite film of all time. Lewis perhaps gives his best performance, and he’s given a ton of great ones.