The best independent films 2009 consisted of a stellar batch of movies that ran the gamut from creative sci-fi flicks to serious dramatic features. The movies were all made outside the studio system, many by some of the brightest young directors working today. While “Avatar” was the king of blockbusters, these movies stood up beside it proudly as the best of the year.

  1. “Moon”Duncan Jones, the son of legendary rock star David Bowie, chose to make this independent film of 2009 without using his father’s famous name. The movie stars Sam Rockwell as a lone man on the moon who ends up seeing another version of himself when his time there starts to come to an end.

  2. “(500) Days of Summer”Marc Webb earned the respect to make the next “Spider-Man” movie thanks to this independent film in 2009. The movie stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a young man who believes he found true love and then shows the deconstruction of that love in non-linear order.

  3. “The Brothers Bloom”Rian Johnson, the man who directed the amazing “Brick,” returns with his sophomore feature, “Th Brothers Bloom.” This 2009 independent film stars Oscar winner Adrian Brody and Oscar nominee Mark Ruffalo as con-men brothers who target a woman for one last score.

  4. “District 9” – With the help of Peter Jackson’s WETA special effects studio, Neill Blomkamp created this alien sci-fi movie with strong undertones of the apartheid in South Africa. This independent film from 2009 was shot on a tight budget but it is hard to tell with the amazing special effects.

  5. “The Messenger”Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster star in this independent film from 2009 about two military men whose job is to inform family members when a soldier dies in combat. Harrelson earned a number of awards for his role, as well as an Oscar nomination.

  6. “Bronson” – This brilliant biopic tells the story of a man who calls himself Charles Bronson and the over 30 years he spent in prison, originally meant to be a seven year sentence. Tom Hardy, who went on to co-star in “Inception,” stars as the man who fights his way to a lifetime in prison.

  7. “In the Loop” – This movie is a political comedy that is a spin-off of the British television series, “The Thick of it.” The movie shows a US President and UK Prime Minister who wants a war from the point of view of the people who work for them both in the press and in the military.  

  8. “Precious”Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry made sure this independent film from 2009 got all the money and publicity is needed. The movie tells the story about an overweight teenage girl with an abusive mother trying to survive in the world. Mo’Nique won an Oscar for her role as the abusive mother.

  9. “Trick R Treat” – This independent film from 2009 received little fanfare but remains one of the best Halloween movies to be made in many years. The movie is split into interconnecting stories surrounding a group of people on Halloween night in New Orleans, including a demonic toy and a pack of werewolves.

  10. “Paper Heart” – Comedian Charlyne Yi, best known for her role in Judd Apatow films, stars in this mockumentary that pretends to be real to the end. This independent film from 2009 presents Yi as she searches for someone to prove to her that love really exists.

- Shawn Lealos