I've found covering movies is even more difficult than covering music (you can't watch a movie while driving, for example), and I'm newer at it. Still, I'm a voting member of the Central Ohio Film Critic's Association, and I like to think I know what's what. My favorite movies of 2007 appear after the jump.* For more from local critics, click here.

I've found covering movies is even more difficult than covering music (you can't watch a movie while driving, for example), and I'm newer at it. Still, I'm a voting member of the Central Ohio Film Critic's Association, and I like to think I know what's what. My favorite movies of 2007 appear after the jump.* For more from local critics, click here.

10. Transformers Director: Michael Bay Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Jon Voight Director Michael Bay, perennially ridiculed for melodrama and frantic cutting, found the perfect subject for his singular talents: the cartoon series based on the popular line of action figures. This movie received much rabid criticism, mostly because people reviewing movies forgot that the main characters (robots from space) speak in grandiose abstractions and blow stuff up. Bay's hyper-real visual style gave an old story new life, and brought the heroes of my childhood to a new generation of consumers. This was the most visually striking film of the year -- even with the endless product placement.

9. 3:10 to Yuma Director: James Mangold Starring: Christian Bale, Russell Crowe, Ben Foster, Peter Fonda This year saw many movies breathing new life into stale genres, and this one made Westerns relevant again. There's plenty of gun-slinging, wild West action, but also much more. When Dan Evans (Bale) is forced by circumstance to transport killer Ben Wade (Russell Crowe) to a prison train, the two find out they have more in common than they'd ever imagined. Moral binaries have dominated the sagebrush tradition, but this movie is careful to craft interesting characters and situations that resist easy boxes. The look, feel and sound of this film put it on par with Unforgiven and other cowboy classics.

8. Eastern Promises Director: David Cronenberg Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts, Vincent Cassel Other than Goodfellas, the best mafia movies complicate our perceptions of gang members, who are rarely portrayed simply as mindless killers. The characters in this movie -- members of a brutal Russian mob headquartered in London -- continue that tradition. We see men who are dedicated to family and survival, though that often means murder, sexual assault and theft. This is an absolutely stunning movie that's as visceral as the gang tattoo Mortensen receives when offered entry into the mob. Were it not for the ridiculous voiceover narrative that fills in plot points Cronenberg could've connected himself, this would be a top 5 selection.

7. Michael Clayton Director: Tony Gilroy Starring: George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson, Sydney Pollack, Tilda Swinton In his directorial debut, Tony Gilroy, the writer behind the Bourne trilogy, expertly naviagtes the gray areas clouding the American legal system and trumps John Grisham at his own game. The case in question involves an agricultural company who knowingly sells carcinogenic products to poor farming communities. At the center is Clayton (Clooney), a clean-up man for his firm who is finally forced to make clear moral judgements in a situation that thrives on resisting them.

6. The Bourne Ultimatum Director: Paul Greengrass Starring: Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, David Strathairn, Albert Finney, Joan Allen What looks to be the final episode in the Bourne franchise is a white-knuckle thriller with better action shots than most shoot-em-ups and characters developed more fully than those in most dramas. It's a lethal combination again set in intriguing locations across the globe. Even when Jason Bourne (Damon) finally discovers the dark secrets of his past, we're left empathizing with one of the greatest, most complex action heroes in recent memory.

5. Superbad Director: Greg Mottola Starring: Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Bill Hader, Seth Rogan Rogan and Evan Goldberg started writing this script when they were teenagers, and the film keeps the juvenile charm intact throughout. By juvenile charm, I mean: raunchy humor; an obsession with getting laid; and many, many cuss words. Hilarious characters, the lack of a central message and tons of ridiculous gags signal the return of the house-party movie.

4. Charlie Wilson's War Director: Mike Nichols Starring: Tom Hanks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julia Roberts, Amy Adams During the 1980s, the United States supplied military training and supplies to rebels in Afghanistan fighting the Soviet Union and the spread of communism into the Middle East. The lynchpin behind our involvement was Charlie Wilson (Hanks), an ordinary Congressman from East Texas who was more fond of liquor than legislation. The picture condenses history without dumbing it down, mainly by focusing on how regular people in peculiar circumstances changed the course of the world. The script and the ensemble cast are both stellar.

3. Things We Lost in the Fire Director: Susanne Bier Starring: Halle Barry, Benicio del Toro, David Duchovny Most movies about the death of a loved one take one of two roads. (1) A melodramatic portrait focuses solely on loss and no one learns anything. (2) Death is used as a springboard for self-discovery, and the deceased is forgotten. This movie -- about a man's wife (Berry) and his best friend (del Toro) forced to cope with his death -- resists those easy outs. Instead, with the best editing of the year, it accurately replicates how memories of the dead are integrated into the daily lives of the living. (Halle Berry's performance should win over anyone who can't stand her since that horrific acceptance outburst several years back.)

2. Zodiac Director: David Fincher Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Raobert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Edwards, Chloe Sevigny The two main arguments against this film are that it's too long and too boring. I can't dispute either, and I'll add another to the laundry list of complaints: This film is exhausting. However, I'm convinced that the search for the Zodiac killer who terrorized the Bay area in the 1970s -- the subject of this drama -- was also all three things. The set design and Fincher's delicate, languid touch are perfect for a movie that moves slowly, painfully to an unresolved precipice. In reality, the killer was never identified, and that's how this movie ends: We're left angry and desperate and tired. It's the best drama of the year and another triumph for one of the best directors of the past decade.

1. Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters Director: Matt Maiellaro, Dave Willis The first feature film adaptation from the popular Adult Swim cartoon is essentially about a meatball, a milk shake and a box of French fries searching for a futuristic exercise machine. Then again, Moby Dick is essentially about whaling. What lies behind the exploits of Meatwad, Master Shake and Fryloc is the most powerful and scathing critique of American consumer culture and the stream of information that has created a generation without context. This movie is a mirror, and we should all be very afraid -- just not afraid to laugh. (A full review can be found here.)

*I'm seeing There Will Be Blood on Tuesday.