by J.R. Jones
Counting down to our Year in Review issue, we present our picks in a variety of genres, wrapping up on December 27 with the year's worst movies.
This time tomorrow: the year's best human-interest documentary.completed trilogy—collecting his shorts Everything Will Be OK (2006), I Am So Proud of You (2008), and It’s Such a Beautiful Day (2011)—made its Chicago premiere at Music Box this year, and it easily ranks among the best animation features of the new century. Stick-figure drawings, live-action footage, and psychedelic optical effects combine to tell the story of a meek everyman whose life-threatening illness brings him face to face with eternity. The voice-over narration, a first for Hertzfeldt, lays bare the aching emotion and philosophical yearning behind his gruesome, pitch-black humor. —J.R. Jones ParaNorman and The Secret World of Arrietty somehow flew right past me, despite my desire to see them—but I found this 3-D stop-motion adventure from Aardman Animations quite charming. It doesn’t quite match the heights of their Wallace and Gromit films, but the same brand of absurdist humor, highlighted by the handcrafted style of the animation, is wholly present. The voice cast features some real talent, too—David Tennant, best known for his stint playing Dr. Who on the BBC, is great as Charles Darwin. —Drew Hunt