Quentin Tarantino Adds Avatar to His Top 11 Films of 2009

January 19, 2010
Source: Daily Mail

Quentin Tarantino

Yes, this is a weird update, but I always love hearing what Quentin Tarantino has to say, even if it's sometimes quite crazy. So back in December, Tarantino unveiled his Top 8 movies of 2009. It was an odd list and actually incomplete, because Tarantino hadn't seen every movie from that year that he wanted to. Well, Tarantino has now seen everything and has quickly put together a final list. It showed up in British tabloid writer Baz Bamigboye's Daily Mail update (via The Playlist and contains most of those old films as well as some interesting new ones. "My movie aside, I cannot NOT list Avatar at the top," Tarantino said.

Tarantino's Top 11 Films of 2009:
1. Avatar
2. Star Trek
3. Drag Me to Hell
4. Funny People
5. Zombieland
6. Chocolate
7. Observe & Report
8. The Hurt Locker
9. Julie & Julia
10. Up in the Air
11. District 9

As far as I know, these aren't in specific order, however they're numbered in the way that Tarantino listed them. The two films not on this new list are Precious and An Education. New additions include Avatar, Julie & Julia, and The Hurt Locker, but the rest of them are the same. While not everyone will agree with this list, I always love hearing about Tarantino's picks, just because he's always got some crazy stuff, or (like this year), some odd mainstream picks. I've heard good things about Julie & Julia, but putting it into his Top 11 of 2009? I think that's pushing it. The rest of his list, though, is pretty damn good, just as expected.

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I still say Avatar is overrated. I liked it, but I don't think it will hold up for me on DVD (I'm predicting the same for many others as well, but I could be wrong). The visuals are a theatrical experience, and I just wasn't thrilled by the story. I was much more thrilled by movies like The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, District 9, etc., which is why they hold up well on DVD for me. Avatar, aside from the visuals, kind of bored me. But hey, if Tarantino loved Avatar, more power to him.

Dan Geer on Jan 19, 2010


Totally agree with #1.....The story was just pure cheese nothing people think that its revolutionary and that some say it was heart wrenching is beyond me.

Cody on Jan 19, 2010


As expected Avatar won for both Directing and Picture. Looks like Avatar will win the top two awards this year. The only upset I see is KB taking best director or best picture for HL. My money is on Avatar. Big movies + big BO #s most of the time get the top honors. I dont know about anyone else but I still loved Titanic. It was the most complete movie "IMHO." You can bash me all you want but its still one of my top 5 all time. The music/score to a movie is the deal breaker too. I contest that Avatar had a ho-hum score/music but the rest backed up the film well. Wish it had a better score and theme music. Oh well, its Cameron on top of Cameron. Who would ever thought that Titaics record would ever be broken (minus inflation yadda yadda yadda) We are in the future so we dont think inflated prices. All hail the REAL KING JAMES (not the self destructing playoff collapse of the other King James if you know what I mean). My prediction for the Oscars.... Best Director: James Cameron Best Picture : AVATAR

Avatar on Jan 19, 2010


#3 the weighted voting system this year, and the fact that every field in the academy likes Basterds, tells me you are wrong in your predictions. Basterds is a film liked across the board, true not everyone would list at at #1, but its the only film i see being consistently in the top 3 for most of the academy members. Also, big effects films (Avatar) are looked down on by members of the academy in every field that isn't effects oriented. Basterds wins best picture. In terms of director, considering the directing branch of the academy votes for this, and not the hollywood foreign press association (those who vote on the globes) Im gonna say they actually know enough about directing to know all Cameron did was give a police description to sketch artists that turned it into reality. Reitmen isn't quite there yet, this is far from Tarantino's best, and Lee Daniels shouldn't even be in question. Bigelow wins director. Honestly, its not going to go any other way. If it does, well, my apologies.

Al on Jan 19, 2010


#4 "Honestly, its not going to go any other way." What an obnoxious thing to say. I disagree with both of your picks and to act like it's a fact is insufferable. I'm sure you're the same guy who tells others that their opinions about movies are "wrong" if they don't agree with you. People like you give film lovers a bad name. I think Cameron is the favorite in both categories, but I don't pretend to know more than I do.

BK on Jan 19, 2010


I'm so happy that he put Zombieland on his list! I thought I was the only one! Although, it would actually be higher on my list, but not at #1. And Avatar was a great movie, honestly. No matter what you say about the story, the visuals were STILL revolutionary and groundbreaking and just because it's in 2D and on a smaller screen doesn't necessarily mean that that will change. Of course, fanboys are going to be bitching about the story no matter what anyone says because, thanks to the internet, naysayers have a place to post the same exact repetitive criticism over and over again. Go ahead and try to call it "Ferngully" with better visuals, but everyone knows you're wrong. Or, at least, everyone who isn't a cynical fanboy.

Logan on Jan 19, 2010


I'll I say about Avatar is that the supposed revolutionary 3-D was underwhelming to say the least.

Xerxex on Jan 19, 2010


Hey #4. Have you ever worked on a film even remotely close to the magnitude of Avatar? Have you ever worked with Cameron? Did you work on this film in particular? The reason I ask is because if you cannot answer all of the questions positively, let alone even one of them, then you have absolutely NO idea what it requires from a director to get a film like Avatar from concept to completion, and successfully so to the point of being a worldwide phenomenon, and additionally have absolutely no place in assuming what it took for him or any director in his position to pull this off so well. The sheer orchestration, commitment, drive, intelligence, attention to detail, perseverance, and will it took to bring this crazy, decade in the making film to all the whiny, self-righteous, and flat out immature fanboys out there is something none of you, nor myself, will ever have in this lifetime, or any to follow. Believe me, you won't. Just a helpful life suggestion to all of you for the future: Don't even think about commenting critically on any process that you don't have the slightest clue about. You will only look and sound like a complete buffoon. Tarantino on the other hand knows what it takes to pull a movie together, and my guess is he can imagine truthfully what it must have taken to make Avatar come together Avatar, and whether he loves the movie, or hates it, can appreciate the absolute talent and skill it took to pull off this insane gamble of a film. My 2 cents, for you all to take to heart.

Common Sense on Jan 19, 2010


Did anyone notice the score in Avatar sounded way too much like Enemy at the Gates? My mate and I both thought the same thing as soon as we heard it!

carfonexdo on Jan 19, 2010


Quote of what Tarantino thought of Avatar at the globes '"I'm not James Cameron and I could never think like that — I don't think he could think like me either — but if I could go into a time machine and think like that and be able to do what he could do, that would be great."' Im sick of people saying Avatar is unoriginal so what so are many other movies. No country for Old Men that won ton of awards was a movie seen before- I guy steal money another person is sent to get the money back. The only thing original was Javier Bardem's character's use of pressurized air besides a traditional gun. Same for Hurt Locker it is just a glorified action ripoff of Jarhead. It might as well be called Jarhead 2. Next all they need is a story centered around a medical specialist in Iraq or Afghanistan and you got your self Jarhead 3 (Hurt Locker 2) to round out a trilogy. It is the way the stories were told that made the difference. And thus, I give Avatar the edge only slightly because I'm a scifi fan and a lot more handwork went in (talking about 4 1/2 years of work on the film, creation of the camera system, and the way it changed movie making, thus for me giving it more value)

Savior on Jan 19, 2010


Boo YAH !!! Wooo HOOOOO. Go Tarantino! HE know what it takes to make a film of that magnitude, by God! #8, yer RIGHT all the way to the bank! #4 is hilarious. Cameron phones it in. My God, could anything be farther from the truth.

Andrew on Jan 19, 2010


#5 - "I'm sure you're the same guy who tells others that their opinions about movies are "wrong" if they don't agree with you. People like you give film lovers a bad name." I don't believe I ever called someones opinion wrong because they disagreed with me. In fact if you've ever read a comment by me, in regards to liking a film, I always argue that its subjective and up to the viewer. This was Oscar predicting, however, so I'm really not going by my own preference, or anyoneelses preference. Im going by how the academy votes. Consider the fact that Basterds is heavily favored by the acting branch, and that the acting branch makes up 1/6 of the academy. This is oscar thinking, im not saying its going to Basterds because I enjoy it more, or that it has to even do with opinion. Im not talking about Avatar VS. Basters VS. every other film in terms of how much I liked the films, Im talking about guessing what the Oscars are thinking. #8 Way to totally smugly assume that no one is going to amount to anything and then suggest that its immature of us to take these comments to heart...bastard...Anyway, im fairly ceartin that despite the fact that I've never put together a feature length film myself, doesn't mean I don't know how its supposed to be done. In fact, digging into how much of Camerons self produced articles and behind the scenes features, really shows me how little he did. Was it a unique and interesting vision? Of course it was. But thats not what directing is, and the directors know it. To all of you: Way to assume I'm smug because of me suggesting that the oscars are going the way I think they will, yet you all conveniently ignore the very last sentence.

Al on Jan 19, 2010


Oscars tend to be for the pretentious. Ill stick with the MTV awards and People Choice Awards which I think matters most. I might not like there decision (I'm talking to all those Twilight fans), but I respect the masses decision more so then a singular definition/opinion of greatness or that of a minority of few (critics). That is the difference between movies and films. Without movies and the masses you would not have half the films coming out. The industry would probably be dead by now. Thus, to me Oscars really have no merit. They are just recognition of a few.

JIBJAB on Jan 19, 2010


Dear #5, Let's take a little moment to discuss "assumptions" Yes, I am being smug. But it's called for when you make broad assumptions in so many statements that you make, about a craft you confess to never having participated in, especially on this level. I'm not going to specifically point out all of your assumptions in the last post (at least 10 by my count), but I will mention one of my favorites. "Way to totally smugly assume that no one is going to amount to anything". Funny, I didn't say anything of that sort. In fact, I didn't even imply anything of that sort. Am I picking up on some deep rooted issues here? Granted, I am only assuming this, but I feel it fair to ask. It is one thing to have an opinion on a piece of art. That is what film is all about. But it's a whole other to make grand assumptions about a craft you admittedly know nothing about (practically speaking). Please, for your own future, reconsider your words and opinions, on message boards and in life, before you make these sweeping generalizations based on nothing but being "fairly certain" about "how it's supposed to be done". Seriously, you just make yourself sound foolish. This is for your own good. Oh, and perhaps one more suggestion. Go out, make a successful feature film, then come back and read the comments you have posted on this forum. I assume you will be very amused with your old self. Again, my 2 cents...

Common Sense on Jan 19, 2010


I think Avatar may be the greatest film in the history of film.

Sam on Jan 19, 2010


I think Avatar may be the greatest 3D movie in the history of 3D movie.

germs on Jan 19, 2010


Shut the fuck up Al, you goddamn hippie.

Teddy Ballgame on Jan 19, 2010


#14 (Common Sense) - I think you were addressing that to #8, not #5

BK on Jan 19, 2010


Actually that was addressed to #4/#12. My bad.

Common Sense on Jan 19, 2010


I also enjoyed Avatar, and I also agree it probably won't hold up in years to come. This is the reason why. It's true it's currently the most advanced and stunning technological achievement in film. There's never been anything like it, but does anyone honestly think nobody will ever duplicate or top what Avatar achieves visually? It's the nature of technology and effects. It'll always get better. People are comparing it to the original Star Wars and 2001: A Space Odyssey. But there's a HUGE difference. People at the time of release and still today regard Star Wars and 2001 as brilliant achievements in STORYTELLING, not just for visuals. The honest truth is, effects have improved with each decade since those movies came out. I've heard very few people say that Avatar is a revolutionary step in script and story. In fact, even the biggest supporters usually comment that the story is nothing new or particularly special. So 5-10 years from now EVERY movie will be just as visually stunning as Avatar. When the 3D effects in Avatar become common, it'll have to be judged solely on the story. That's why it'll never hold up as well over time. That's not to say it won't still be well liked, but the impact will be greatly diminished. Titanic, Jurassic Park, Independence Day. Someone viewing those movies today would never think of it nearly as impressive and breathtaking as they would 10-15 years ago. It's only looking at the technology in the context of the time of release that brings about the term "revolutionary". Again, I enjoyed the movie, but I know it'll lose a lot of interest with every year that passes.

Colca on Jan 19, 2010


#10 If you are a SCI-FI fan, a true one...I dont understand how you would prefer Avatar to movies like Moon or District 9 which are much more truer movies to the genre. Avatar was good for its visuals. It should not win anything else. I hope Moon actually gets a nomination for something but it seems like thats not going to happen. AND THE PROPHET BETTER WIN THE OSCAR FOR BEST FOREIGN FILM not white ribbon or i am going to rageembargo the oscars. Best movie of 2009 The Prophet

Aequitas on Jan 19, 2010


Yes! #21 just nailed it. How could a real sci-fi fan think Avatar deserves a best picture over Moon? Avatar is good entertainment, but Moon is something that actually qualifies as a masterpiece. I mean a real masterpiece. Something that people will admit is memorable for the story.

Colca on Jan 19, 2010


All I wanna say is is shut up to all the tight ass wannabe critics on here criticizing Avatar, it's a very well done movie and don't believe I've ever seen anything quite like it. Avatar was like a breath of fresh air at the movies and I'm a fan and give it 5 out of 5 on all levels.

Twodragunns on Jan 19, 2010


My experience with Avatar was very much a love/hate relationship to start. I first saw the movie in a regular 3D theater and thought it was awesome. I loved everything about it and thought it was one of the coolest movies I had seen in a long time. Then afterwards I thought back on the actual plot and realized how uninvolved I was with the plot and many of the characters. I then watched the movie again in IMAX 3D and was once again blown away by the spectacle of the thing especially on the larger screen. Then once again after the movie I felt a little cheated that after over ten years of work on this concept and movie that this story was the best that Cameron could come up with, but I still found it to be an entertaining flick. I watched it again in IMAX 3D not long after and without the added spectacle of seeing it for the first time or for the first time in IMAX I just didn't enjoy myself. I actually started to watch it for more than just the beauty and spectacle of it and there really isn't anything else all that good about it. That being said this will still go down in history as being a classic Sci Fi movie just like Star Wars. Although looking back on it the Star Wars movies aren't that much better; they were entertaining, but not top 25 movies like IMDB says. So my theory is that like Star Wars this movie will continue to be overrated because of its huge following and its box office bounty, but it should not win Best Picture at the Oscars even though it might because of it s enormous popularity. Couldn't it be in the Best Animated Feature category anyway? Is there a certain percentage of the movie that has to be animated make it count? Even if it was it would still have to compete with Up.

Jordan on Jan 19, 2010


Avatar isn't a movie - it's a graphics engine. A movie must contain one vital element, a plot! Oh, and it's not about it being unoriginal - it's how you take those ideas and twist them around in a different way. Avatar didn't do that, it simply cut and paste it into a thin premise, no substance and pretty graphics to overwhelm the audience into 'thinking' it's a good film, when its really one of the worst things to be crapped out of Hollywood. A glorified, over-produced boring videogame. The only reason Avatar exists is to prevent bootlegging. That's all it is. Pretty graphics and the terrible gimmick that is 3D seemed to have worked to put bums on the seats rather than users on torrent.

Blue Smurfy Cat on Jan 20, 2010


#25, shut up. Once again, another person who thinks he knows more than anyone else, saying the movie didn't have any plot. I guess every single person who contributed to the $1.6 billion worldwide gross were just simple-minded idiots, hm? And their friends that they told about it, so they could go see it, hm? Avater isn't the first 3D movie, so don't even try to say that that is the only reason that people went to see it. Quit trying to act like you know what you're talking about, because you don't. Maybe I don't either, but I know that I, all my friends, and my family all enjoyed the film, because we cared about the characters and we loved the story. Oh, it's not completely original? No shit, dumbass. That doesn't automatically qualify it as a bad movie, no matter what little wannabe know-it-alls like you try to say to the contrary.

Logan on Jan 20, 2010


"This CGI bullshit is the death knell of cinema. If I’d wanted all that computer game bullshit, I’d have stuck my dick in a Nintendo." Quentin Tarantino anno 2003 🙂

Matze on Jan 20, 2010


#8 I'm with you all the way. What Cameron as done is create new camera systems, Post Production techiniques etc... to help future film production and directors. After attending a Blade Runner day in London last year, I listened to Ridley Scott stating that what he saw blew him away and that he would be using the equipment that cameron has designed and built in future productions.

John J on Jan 20, 2010


i totally agree with avatar,star trek,drag me to hell,chocolate & district 9 they are all fucking great movies 2009.

tobi,leader of the akatsuki on Jan 20, 2010


Avatar haters looks so pathetic.

Geoff on Jan 20, 2010


@Xerxes "I'll I say about Avatar is that the supposed revolutionary 3-D was underwhelming to say the least." HAHAHAHAH!!! You are officially the king of the Avatar trolls. Oh man...thanks for the morning ab workout. I needed a good laugh.

Geoff on Jan 20, 2010


Wow... I expected a better list from Tarantino... Those are mostly bad Hollywood movies... Zombieland is great though. Still I expected some less known movies in that list.

Lincoln on Jan 20, 2010


Avatar had a plot, but it just wasn't that interesting to me. It's a visual film meant for a visually stunning experience. Nothing wrong with that. But once it hits DVD/blu-ray, I have the feeling I'll be underwhelmed by it like #24 when the 3-D and the large scale is taken away. To me, The Lord of the Rings films are more worthy of the hype that Avatar is getting now, at least as far as sci-fi or fantasy films go. So basically, I had to ask myself if Avatar was as enjoyable of an experience to me as, say "The Return of the King" was. My answer was no. Therefore, Avatar is not worthy of the hype to me. But to others, they maybe enjoyed Avatar better. I don't see how, but those people are entitled to their opinion and can enjoy whatever they want.

Dan Geer on Jan 20, 2010


"That is what film is all about. But it's a whole other to make grand assumptions about a craft you admittedly know nothing about" When did I ever say I know nothing about it? My point was that although I don't have experience, I have a pretty good deal of knowledge behind the whole thing. Infact in Camerons self produced Avatar features he pretty much tells you he did nothing. This isn't the man being humble, its him being honest. As far as my oscar PREDICTIONS being based on assumptions, its actually based on statistics. I fear you're missing my whole point all together, this has nothing to do with my own preference, or weather or not any of the movies i've mentioned are good. Its just me predicting oscars. Im not even saying Oscars matter. As you put it all the time, its just my 2 cents.

Al on Jan 20, 2010


Was there this much debate when Titanic opened? I can't remember if there was this type of discussion at the time. Actually, did the internets exist back then? I'm a little stoned so, yeah. Avatar's shortcomings aren't a secret but it was still a cool experience for me. I won't really care if it wins 11 Oscars 'cause who the fuck cares about Oscars?

rich diculous on Jan 20, 2010


Tarantino is a genius, is a true movies lover too. In the sense of wonder that the movies inspire and entertain... no surprise he admires the work behind Avatar. Sure the story is very "basic", but with all those little details that you may expect from a masterpiece. Well if You don't have enough heart, or brain to understand how "different" was the Avatar experience.... I don't know what to say.

FlaWiio on Jan 20, 2010


#26 - I think you've just proven that you lack any intelligent ability to operate, and have resorted to a childish attack with no actual foundation. I couldn't care less if you enjoyed the pretty, colourful movie - that's your opinion. Avatar is nothing more than a graphics engine, and coupled with Imax, it's a surefire way to prevent bootlegging. The film has zero substance, a contrived plot with zero ingenuity and a desperate need to preach its poorly-realised message. It's as if Cameron has become a televangelist, fused by a giant ego. Don't get me wrong, there are great examples of animated films out there - Toy Story is brilliantly constructed with memorable characters. Avatar is so thin and misguided, it's just a shame that the visuals got top priority, rather than an engaging storyline and characters to justfiy these hilarious Smurfs in the Jungle. After all, this is my opinion. I'm sorry if my post might be too 'intelligent' for your conflicted brain to understand, but that's for you to worry about! What you've given me with your slanderous post is a profile that I can now generalise to all audiences who view Avatar! Congradulations! Here's a another braincell to throw onto the fire... #27 - That Tarantino quote is hilarious!

Blue Smurfy Cat on Jan 20, 2010


#36 - "Well if You don't have enough heart, or brain to understand how "different" was the Avatar experience…. I don't know what to say." And people (unrightfully so) say I'm absolutist when it comes to my opinions..... Anyway, its not necessarily about lacking "heart" or "intellect," I've just seen the story told so many times that each new time I want something new, something to make it stand out from the formulaic pack. Cameron choose this attribute to be effects, and it was beautiful, but pretty scenery isn't enough....for me at least. If its your kind of thing though, I can respect that, just don't question anyoneelse's motives only because they have different tastes than you.

Al on Jan 20, 2010


I think he added it as a joke. IB was a much better movie than avatar. avatar was a fun eye candy experience but nothing more FOR ME ATLEAST! Im not pretending to know more about anyone here so I'll say it again, this is my opinion and my opinion is that INGLORIOUS BASTERDS was a MUCH BETTER movie all around (Minus 8 ft tall dudes) so please #26, come tell me how wrong I am and how all your friends and family are right because they outnumber my opinion..

rachel on Jan 21, 2010


I had been anticipating AVATAR since july 08 and wanted this to be my generation's star wars or Jurassic park-Infact I was sure this would be THE movie.I spent each day on discussing the film with a small group of die-hards and we knew everything much before the general audience even realized there was a movie being made.So on actually seeing the movie all I can say is its an Ok fare....7/10.Great visuals and not much more This is not science fiction-Its fantasy.basic fantasy-No wonder brain dead teenyboppers are loving it. The real Science fiction gem is Duncan Jones's MOON. I cannot tell you how dissapointed I am with AVATAR and surprised so many top critics even liked it but all I wanna say is AVATAR is not science fiction in the bit. True Sci-fi Alien 2001 ASO The Abyss The terminator Blade runner Moon Gattaca Metropolis Solaris/Solyaris Films masquerading as sci-fi Aliens Star wars AVATAR Any superhero film(Iron man,Spider man,Watchmen) For true science fiction enthusiasts its a sad day when AVATAR makes a gazzilion bucks and Moon cant recuperate its production budget.

Rishi on Jan 28, 2010


---Tooooo much coke ----toooo contrived ----toooooo much comfort-zone.

pg 10 on Feb 12, 2010


First you say you were hoping/wanting Avatar to be your generations' 'Star Wars', and then you go on to say that you were disappointed and it was a "Film masquerading as sci-fi", along with 'Star Wars'. You make no sense.

Jason on Feb 26, 2010


Jesus, what a sh*tlist! But what else would you expect from a cheap video library clerk...

errrr...sorry on Sep 16, 2010

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