AND THE TOMATO GOES TO…

Welcome to RT’s 11th Annual Golden Tomato Awards, in which we honor the best-reviewed movies of 2009. From the biggest Hollywood hits to the most provocative indies, we’ve got the films that made critics sing their praises — and probably inspired you as well.

It was a huge year for blockbusters, with Avatar, the rebooted Star Trek, and Up thrilling audiences and pundits alike. And as usual, the year saw an exceptional crop of documentaries, independents, and foreign gems, including An Education and Anvil! The Story of Anvil. Which films will take home the coveted Golden Tomato Awards? Where do your favorites rank? And which of these flicks took home the User Tomato award, decided by you, the RT faithful?


Best Wide Release

#1

Up (2009)
98%

#1
Adjusted Score: 110149%
Critics Consensus: An exciting, funny, and poignant adventure, Up offers an impeccably crafted story told with wit and arranged with depth, as well as yet another visual Pixar treat.
Synopsis: Carl Fredricksen (Ed Asner), a 78-year-old balloon salesman, is about to fulfill a lifelong dream. Tying thousands of balloons to... [More]
Directed By: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson

Best Limited Release

#1

The Hurt Locker (2008)
97%

#1
Adjusted Score: 108996%
Critics Consensus: A well-acted, intensely shot, action filled war epic, Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker is thus far the best of the recent dramatizations of the Iraq War.
Synopsis: Staff Sgt. William James (Jeremy Renner), Sgt. J.T. Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) and Specialist Owen Eldridge (Brian Geraghty) are members of... [More]
Directed By: Kathryn Bigelow

Top UK

#1

An Education (2009)
93%

#1
Adjusted Score: 100781%
Critics Consensus: Though the latter part of the film may not appeal to all, An Education is a charming coming-of-age tale powered by the strength of relative newcomer Carey Mulligan's standout performance.
Synopsis: Despite her sheltered upbringing, Jenny (Carey Mulligan) is a teen with a bright future; she's smart, pretty, and has aspirations... [More]
Directed By: Lone Scherfig

Top AU

#1

Samson & Delilah (2009)
95%

#1
Adjusted Score: 96472%
Critics Consensus: Alternately beautiful and heartrending, Samson and Delilah is terrifically acted and shot, and presents a complex portrait of what it means to be Australian.
Synopsis: A couple's world changes forcing them to go on a journey of survival.... [More]
Directed By: Warwick Thornton

User

#1

Zombieland (2009)
89%

#1
Adjusted Score: 99428%
Critics Consensus: Wickedly funny and featuring plenty of gore, Zombieland is proof that the zombie subgenre is far from dead.
Synopsis: After a virus turns most people into zombies, the world's surviving humans remain locked in an ongoing battle against the... [More]
Directed By: Ruben Fleischer

Best Action/Adventure

#1

The Hurt Locker (2008)
97%

#1
Adjusted Score: 108996%
Critics Consensus: A well-acted, intensely shot, action filled war epic, Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker is thus far the best of the recent dramatizations of the Iraq War.
Synopsis: Staff Sgt. William James (Jeremy Renner), Sgt. J.T. Sanborn (Anthony Mackie) and Specialist Owen Eldridge (Brian Geraghty) are members of... [More]
Directed By: Kathryn Bigelow

Best Animation

#1

Up (2009)
98%

#1
Adjusted Score: 110149%
Critics Consensus: An exciting, funny, and poignant adventure, Up offers an impeccably crafted story told with wit and arranged with depth, as well as yet another visual Pixar treat.
Synopsis: Carl Fredricksen (Ed Asner), a 78-year-old balloon salesman, is about to fulfill a lifelong dream. Tying thousands of balloons to... [More]
Directed By: Pete Docter, Bob Peterson

Best Comedy

#1

In the Loop (2009)
94%

#1
Adjusted Score: 100898%
Critics Consensus: In the Loop is an uncommonly funny political satire that blends Dr. Strangelove with Spinal Tap for the Iraq war era.
Synopsis: During an interview, British Cabinet Minister Simon Foster (Tom Hollander) delivers an off-the-cuff remark that war in the Middle East... [More]
Directed By: Armando Iannucci

Best Documentary

#1
Adjusted Score: 103163%
Critics Consensus: A touching, uplifting and inspirational rockumentary about an aging metal band, both hilarious and heart-warming in equal measure.
Synopsis: Canadian heavy-metal band Anvil delivered a highly influential 1982 album that would inspire the likes of Anthrax and Metallica, and... [More]
Directed By: Sacha Gervasi

Best Drama

#1

An Education (2009)
93%

#1
Adjusted Score: 100781%
Critics Consensus: Though the latter part of the film may not appeal to all, An Education is a charming coming-of-age tale powered by the strength of relative newcomer Carey Mulligan's standout performance.
Synopsis: Despite her sheltered upbringing, Jenny (Carey Mulligan) is a teen with a bright future; she's smart, pretty, and has aspirations... [More]
Directed By: Lone Scherfig

Best Foreign

#1

Afghan Star (2009)
100%

#1
Adjusted Score: 101781%
Critics Consensus: An enlightening and sobering documentary on Afghanistan's very own X-Factor.
Synopsis: Director Havana Marking dives into the booming, but still young and growing, world of pop culture in Afghanistan. Newly liberated... [More]
Starring:
Directed By: Havana Marking

Best Horror

#1

Drag Me to Hell (2009)
92%

#1
Adjusted Score: 102918%
Critics Consensus: Sam Raimi returns to top form with Drag Me to Hell, a frightening, hilarious, delightfully campy thrill ride.
Synopsis: Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) has a loving boyfriend (Justin Long) and a great job at a Los Angeles bank. But... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

Best Kids/Family

#1
Adjusted Score: 83829%
Critics Consensus: Some may find its dark tone and slender narrative off-putting, but Spike Jonze's heartfelt adaptation of the classic children's book is as beautiful as it is uncompromising.
Synopsis: Feeling misunderstood at home and at school, mischievous Max (Max Records) escapes to the land of the Wild Things, majestic... [More]
Directed By: Spike Jonze

Best Musical

#1

Crazy Heart (2009)
90%

#1
Adjusted Score: 98446%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to a captivating performance from Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart transcends its overly familiar origins and finds new meaning in an old story.
Synopsis: With too many years of hazy days and boozy nights,former country-music legend Bad Blake (Jeff Bridges) is reduced to playing... [More]
Directed By: Scott Cooper

Best Romance

#1

Adventureland (2009)
88%

#1
Adjusted Score: 96578%
Critics Consensus: Full of humor and nostalgia, Adventureland is a sweet, insightful coming-of-age comedy that will resonate with teens and adults alike.
Synopsis: It's the summer of 1987, and recent college grad James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg) can't wait to begin his long-anticipated dream... [More]
Directed By: Greg Mottola

Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy

#1

Star Trek (2009)
94%

#1
Adjusted Score: 108709%
Critics Consensus: Star Trek reignites a classic franchise with action, humor, a strong story, and brilliant visuals, and will please traditional Trekkies and new fans alike.
Synopsis: Aboard the USS Enterprise, the most-sophisticated starship ever built, a novice crew embarks on its maiden voyage. Their path takes... [More]
Directed By: J.J. Abrams

Best Thriller

#1

State of Play (2009)
84%

#1
Adjusted Score: 92534%
Critics Consensus: A taut, well-acted political thriller, State of Play overcomes some unsubtle plot twists with an intelligent script and swift direction.
Synopsis: Congressman Stephen Collins (Ben Affleck) is a rising star in Washington; handsome, unflappable and seemingly honorable, he's seen as his... [More]
Directed By: Kevin Macdonald