Best of 2009 — The Year in Arts and movies

Movies

Boston Globe movie critics Ty Burr and Wesley Morris each share their picks for the top 10 best films of the year. The videos below were shot as part of Burr and Morris's Take 2 weekly video review podcast.
'Fantastic Mr. Fox'

Ty Burr's top 10

Double-billed pairings — like the stop-motion delight "Fantastic Mr. Fox" (pictured) and "Up" — helped capture the restless year that was.
'The Soloist'

Wesley Morris's top 10

While the perception has been that Hollywood doesn't make serious movies, this year, there seemed to be more than usual – including "The Soloist" (above).

Celebrity

Biggest stories of '09

Biggest stories of '09

We count down the top 10 entertainment stories that most captivated Boston.com readers' attention this year.
Brittany Murphy

Notable deaths of 2009

We bade farewell to many this year, including Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, and most recently, Brittany Murphy (above).

Games and more

Snowplow game

Plow Boston

While in the snow, snag mints and gifts along the way.
Daily horoscopes

What's your sign?

Find out what the stars have in store for you.
Comics

Comics

Are you a Doonesbury fan? Never miss Garfield?
Sudoku Daily

Daily Sudoku!

Need a distraction? Sudoku's now at your fingertips.

Blogs

Movie Nation blog
Cinemania: best movies about summer Summer means wacky vacations, running through water sprinklers, and beach blanket bingo bonanzas. But summer also means oppressive heat, sunburns, noxious insects, sweaty men in tee-shirts, testy tempers, the sweltering battlefield of Gettysburg, the German invasion of Belgium in 1914,......
Exhibitionist blog
BSO players sign new labor agreement There won't be any labor strife at The Boston Symphony...
Sound Effects
Sound Effects
Gavin DeGraw, Matt Nathanson to co-headline summer tour
Lexington's hometown boy, Matt Nathanson, will head home to...
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Viewer Discretion blog
Season 4 of 'American Horror Story' to be carnival-themed The fourth season of FX's creepy horror series is reportedly going to be set in a 1950's fairground carnival....

Globe critics

Jeremy Eichler
classical
Jeremy Eichler
Joan Anderman
Arts writer
Joan Anderman
Joanna WeissJoanna Weiss
TV writer

Things to do

Search upcoming music events Performing arts Visual Arts
Mixed Media
Susan Boyle, Jon Gosselin, and Rihanna

In search of distraction

This year, we were hungrily chasing after tabloid stories, searching for the Next Big Distraction, in hot pursuit of hot air. How not to think about the recession, war, the tanking auto industry, health care hostility — that was the cultural agenda in 2009.
Quiz
Interactive Quiz

Left with a quizzy feeling

Have you been paying attention? Includes "What did Paul McCartney say about The Beatles: Rock Band?" and more.

Music

Classical
James Levine

On artistic vision, Levine's BSO hits a flat note

Music director James Levine withdrew from almost the entire fall concert schedule due to back surgery while the organization struggled to find its voice.
Pop
Michael Jackson

They've got that old feeling

What does it say about pop music that we ended the decade engulfed in nostalgia? This summer the artist we couldn't get enough of was the late Michael Jackson.
Special section
Lady Gaga

Top CDs of 2009

Lady Gaga had a big year in 2009, and while certain critics were known to sing along to "Poker Face" in their cars, it was the smaller releases they tended to savor.

Theater/Arts

Dance
Larisaa Ponomarenko in 'Black and White'

Ensembles embraced diversity

This year, the depth and diversity of offerings for dance fans was impressive, via both international imports and homegrown creations.
Visual Arts
Shepard Fairey

A threatened closing, an arrest, a striking year

The potential shuttering of the Rose Art Museum paired with graffiti artist Shepard Fairey's run-ins with the law created an eventful year for the local art world.
Theater
SpeakEasy Stage Company's 'Reckless'

Taking risks paid off for mid-tier companies

Original and entertaining productions by the SpeakEasy Stage Company, Company One, Zeitgeist Stage Company, and the ART abounded this year.

TV/Radio

'True Blood'

Shows worthy of attention, and attention spans

Matthew Gilbert lists "True Blood" (pictured), "Mad Men," and "Modern Family" as some of his favorites for '09.

Decade in Review

Decade's biggest art stories
Photos

Decade's biggest art stories

The real story of the '00s has been a cultural building boom that's brought nothing short of an arts revolution.
Best books of the decade

Decade's best books

Globe books editor Nicole Lamy takes us through her list of the most unforgettable books from the past 10 years.