Once upon a time, films released a single sequel to capitalize on their initial success and stopped there. Unfortunately, 2007 will be remembered as the year of three-quels–primarily forgettable movies that were too convoluted for their own good, or worse, simply bland. However, there were a few gems this past year. So here you have it: the Movies Staff picks on the good, the bad, the strange and the surprisingly amusing.

Best Film: I Am Legend

Will Smith punctuates this year with a stellar performance as a lone man hunted by vampire-like creatures in a world without humans. The pacing, plot and performances all stand out and work perfectly together. – RN

Worst Film: Epic Movie

The worst film parody in several years. And that is saying something. Good parody pays clever, but respectful homage to other films; not so in Epic Movie. Epic Movie is simply a mean-spirited retelling of popular Hollywood films (many of which are decent films) combined with cruel references to the most troubled of American pop icons. – DK

Film that Made My Little Brother Laugh so Hard that He Cried: Ratatouille

Most Creative Film: Ratatouille

A movie about a misunderstood rat showing his culinary skills in a French restaurant kitchen? No one does it like Pixar. – RN

Worst Title for a Film: Amazing Grace

This film was actually really good; it’s just very unfortunate that they picked this cheesy title that screams “Christian movie! Christian movie!” – BM

Best Visuals: Transformers

Best Screenplay: Juno

The dialogue given to Juno (Ellen Page) is among the sharpest ever written for a teenage movie character. – BM

Worst Adaptation/Sequel: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

I didn’t think anything could be as bad as the first Fantastic Four movie. And the trailer shots of the Silver Surfer made me almost positive that it would be better. Surprise! This movie was terrible. – MK

Best Character Study: Michael Clayton

Most Disappointing Film: Spider-Man 3

Our hero battles one too many villains in this convoluted mess of a film. Was this supposed to be a comedy or a drama? – DXM

Best Actor: Ryan Gosling, Lars and the Real Girl

Gosling’s performance is nuanced and heartbreaking. Along with his role in last year’s Half Nelson and his roles in several other recent films, he has turned in some of the best acting performances of the last several years. A new Marlon Brando, as some have said? Perhaps. But more likely a new James Stewart. – DK

Raunchiest Movie: Super Bad

Best Actress: Tilda Swinton in Michael Clayton

As convoluted and heavy as this movie is, Swinton’s performance is mesmerizing. – RN

Best Director: Joel and Ethan Coen, No Country For Old Men

The Coen brothers return to the crime noir genre with a rugged western morality tale. In restraining themselves they were able to remain true to Cormac McCarthy’s novel and create their most powerful, and most piercing, work yet. – DK

Best Score: Enchanted

Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz… need I say more? – JA

Film Most in Need of a Tripod: The Bourne Ultimatum

Most Rewarding Film if You can Bear Silence for 2+ Hours: Into Great Silence

If you allow yourself to get into this film and quit looking at your watch every 10 minutes, you’ll find this beautiful documentary film revelatory in the way it puts you inside the mind of a monk. – BM


Russell Nichols, Brett McCracken, Josh Allan, Mike Kneff, Alana Wiens, Bethel Swift, Jon Collins, Derek Turner, and David Kern all contributed to this piece.