10 Best 2009 DVD Releases

Wednesday, December 1 by Nicki Porter

The criteria for determining the 10 best 2009 DVD releases were difficult to pinpoint. What makes a truly great DVD release? Merely good content? Incredible special features? Engaging commentaries? In the end, content won out over commentaries and special feature inclusions. These ten best DVD releases of 2009 represent the best of the bunch. Happy viewing!

  1. "Up" This Disney-Pixar smash hit proved a true crowd pleaser when kids, parents, grandparents, teens and young adults all fell prey to this sweet story about the adventures of an elderly curmudgeon. The movie was even nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, competing against the likes of "The Hurt Locker" and "Avatar." Though the charming picture lost to "The Hurt Locker," it did take home Oscars for Best Animated Film and Best Original Score.  
  2. "The Hangover" This Golden Globe-winning comedy kept moviegoers laughing from opening credits to closing. The movie spawned a series of parodies and transformed lesser-known veteran comedy actors Zach Galifianakis and Ken Jeong into household names. If you only buy one 2009 comedy, this is the one to own.
  3. "Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series" This much-hyped DVD release was highly anticipated by thousands of diehard BSG fans. The Syfy series inspired a huge following and converted many unknowing viewers into science fiction fans. BSG won brownie points with TV critics for knowing when to end: instead of dragging the series onward and milking its fame, the show's creators gave the series a definitive story arc and stuck with it, ending the wildly popular show in 2009.
  4. "Doubt" Theatre fans rejoiced when it was announced that John Patrick Shanley's successful play would be turned into a movie. The movie's producer's choice to cast acting legends Meryl Streep and Phillip Seymour Hoffman alongside relative newcomer Amy Adams proved genius; each actor delivered a performance of a lifetime.  
  5. "Slumdog Millionaire" This sleeper hit wasn't on anyone's radar until the film won an Academy Award for Best Picture. Soon after, viewers fell in love with the movie's underdog story, both inside and outside the theaters.  
  6. "The Sopranos: The Complete Series" Finally, fans of the gritty HBO series can own every season of the mob family drama. Consistently brilliant performances by Edie Falco and James Gandalfini carried this show even through the series' weaker seasons. This 30-disc series comes with a wealth of special features and a sixteen-page episode guide.  
  7. "District 9" This science-fiction thriller achieved surprising success even with a lower budget and at unknown cast. The film wowed science fiction fans and standard moviegoers alike with its taut storyline and a breakthrough performance by Sharlto Copley as the man-turned-alien protagonist.
  8. "(500) Days of Summer" This popular indie summer film first wowed audiences at the Sundance Film Festival, where viewers rewarded the film with a standing ovation. The film won hearts with its unorthodox storytelling style, complete with split screens and Hall & Oates dance numbers. Stars Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt deliver charming chemistry and sold-gold performances.
  9. "Iron Man" Sometimes, going to the movies isn't about tense drama and Oscar-worthy performances, it's about pure, unadulterated fun. A summer action flick requires tense action, funny lines, pretty girls and huge explosions. "Iron Man" delivers all of the above combined with Robert Downey Jr.'s winning portrayal of snarky, narcissistic Tony Stark.
  10. "Inglourious Basterds" Hailed as one of Quentin Tarantino's best films to date, the 1940's war movie successfully, whimsically and bloodily rewrites WWII history. The film garnered eight Academy Award nominations, including a well-deserved win for actor Christoph Waltz. Let's face it, the movie is worth owning if only to watch and rewatch Brad Pitt's drawling Italian impression.