The Hurt Locker -- Kathryn Bigelow's brilliant drama about a bomb disposal unit in Iraq was simply incredible. I can recall no movie in the past decade that has had me so nervously wrapped up in what was going to happen next. Between this and Strange Days, I'll gladly trust the care of my adrenaline rushes to Ms. Bigelow for as long as she's making pictures. Oh, and star Jeremy Renner was utterly charming in the lead role.
(500) Days of Summer -- A love story that completely throws out the romantic comedy rulebook, but still manages to me be both hilarious and moving. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel are at the top of their games and the music is pretty damn great too.
Star Trek -- This movie had a boring villain and poorly-thought out plot, but still managed to be one of the best times I've had in a theater all year, because what it got right, it got just about perfect. Ignore the big picture and just in the moments, because they're excellent. The characters from the original series were brilliantly portrayed with only minimal tweaking to their relationships in order to bring a little something new to the franchise.
Up! -- As much as I loved A Bug's Life and The Incredibles, this is by far my favorite Pixar film. You have to respect a childrens film that can emotionally punch the adults in the stomach without the kids noticing. I'm still wowed by how expertly this film blends comedy, tragedy, and high adventure. Director Brad Bird still had much to teach us.