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The Oscars are still a few weeks away, but most publications and critics—not to mention The Golden Globes—have long since picked their top movies of 2009. So now it's our turn.

This week we feature our 10 Most Redeeming Films of 2009. What do we mean by "redeeming"? We mean movies that include stories of redemption—sometimes blatantly, sometimes less so. Several of our films have characters who are redeemers themselves; all of them have characters who experience redemption to some degree—some quite clearly, some more subtly. Some are "feel-good" movies that leave a smile on your face; some are a bit more uncomfortable to watch. But the redemptive element is there in all of these films.

We also asked each of our critics to choose "One That Got Away"—a single film they wish had made the final list. Think of those extra films as sort of our "honorable mentions." (Next week: CT's 2009 Critics' Choice Awards.)

1. Up

directed by Pete Docter
It's got talking dogs piloting fighter planes and a house that floats to South America on the strength of a thousand balloons, but the most outrageous thing about Up? It's a summer blockbuster that's head-over-heels for the joys of marriage. Here lifelong commitment isn't a burden; it's an adventure.—Josh Hurst


2. The Blind Side

directed by John Lee Hancock
The Touhys, a well-to-do white family, can't ignore the needs of a homeless African-American boy. Instead of just lending a hand, they make him family. This real-life story of NFL player Michael Oher shows a great example of Christian compassion. We can't save the world, but we can love the ones God puts in our path.—Camerin Courtney


3. Invictus

directed by Clint Eastwood This is much more than just ...

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The 10 Most Redeeming Films of 2009
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