A little late with this but after due consideration & spurred on by a debate with cineast pals in SanFrancisco last week here's my top 5 of 2009, in ascending order:
Fashion designer Tom Ford impresses with his super stylish & assured directorial debut. Interesting cinematography (the use of colour draining in & out is effective), period perfect production design & a towering performance from Colin Firth.
In a strong year for sci-fi movies District 9 showed what you could do on a relatively low budget with imaginative fx while Avatar showed the sky is the limit when the money is no object. But Moon showed them both that real-life model moon buggies still rule! Sam Rockwell gives performance of the year-twice!