Ross Bonaime, Staff Writer

2009 was a year that ended the last decade on a good note. 2009 was the year of 3D, vampire love and the return of Sandra Bullock.

Films broke box office records (Avatar), defied expectations (Paranormal Activity) and showed that animation was very important to filmmaking (Fantastic Mr. Fox).

To wrap up this landmark year in film, here are the best and worst of 2009.

The Worst

3. The Limits of Control
A man with no name sits at a coffee shop. A stranger shows up, asks him the same questions that the person before him has asked and the same questions the person after him will ask. They trade matchstick boxes.The man receives a piece of paper, reads it and then eats the paper.

Then it all repeats. Over and over. For two hours. The film ends in a third act that tries for a message but by that point, it’s too late to save this pretentious and dull film.

2. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
When watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, it’s hard not to think that you are the butt of some elaborate joke led by Director Michael Bay.

Bay attempts to bury this asinine film with explosions and terrible one-liners in a hope to distract viewers from what they are actually watching: a stinking pile of trash.

1. Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li
The original Street Fighter is considered one of the worst video game movies of all time. The newest film in the Street Fighter franchise keeps up the family tradition.

The movie takes some of the worst characters from the game, played by Taboo from the Black Eyed Peas and easily the worst performance of the year by Chris Klein, pieces them together into a terrible, nonsense story and accomplishes a disaster that is an embarrassment to two forms of entertainment at the same time.

The Best

7. A Single Man
Colin Firth’s incredible performance anchored the agonizing story of a man who loses his lover of 16 years in a car accident.

Firth is restrained and masks a deep layer of pain in one of the year’s best performances, while fashion designer Tom Ford directs a film that is just as stylized and gorgeously shot as it is heart-wrenching.

6. Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
The story of an illiterate girl pregnant with her second child from her father and dealing with her abusive mother was one of the toughest and most inspiring films of the year.

Director Lee Daniel’s harsh portrayal of the lives that some people have to endure opened eyes and touched hearts.

5. Up in the Air
George Clooney plays a man who won’t settle down (typecasting?) and who would rather live in planes without attachments than on the ground.

Jason Reitman directs a film that feels like it could be a 1940s quick-witted comedy, while also dealing with prioritizing what is most important in life.

4. Moon
Sam Rockwell’s portrayal of a man who works on the moon for three years and starts to question his sanity and his employers is one of the most fascinating films of 2009. This quiet, underrated drama makes for one of the best sci-fi films of the last decade.

3.(500) Days of Summer
In this unconventional romantic comedy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a man who believes he may have found “the one” when he meets Zooey Deschanel, yet she may not feel the same way. (500) Days of Summer is a refreshing change from the usual romantic fare.

After ten films, Pixar has cemented themselves as the Scorseses of animation. They showcase all of their great talents with Up, one of the most touching films of the year. The story of a man hoping to grant his wife’s final wishes is guaranteed to leave you crying just after the first fifteen minutes, but will still entertain you throughout.

1.Inglourious Basterds
Quentin Tarantino threw history books to the side and created an alternate World War II, where Brad Pitt leads a ground of Nazi hunters, known as the “Basterds,” to try and inflict pain to the ones who have caused so much pain themselves.

Tarantino builds tension to the point of explosion, especially when newcomer Christoph Waltz as the “Jew Hunter” Col. Hans Landa is on the screen in several scenes–stealing performances.

Tarantino has made great films over the last two decades that have helped shift the ideals of modern filmmaking, but Basterds may be his masterpiece.