The BBC's Film 2005 has a Film of the Year poll at the moment. Looking around the Film 2005 site, I see that I have used almost the exact phrase that Ross did in his review. Ah well, that rules me out of winning a baseball cap! This is my entry: Serenity, the film based on the sadly cancelled Firefly, was an enormous writing achievement by Joss Whedon. Not only was there the superb piece of politicing involved in getting the thing made (helped by a surge in DVD saled for Firefly), but Joss had to write the film to satisfy those familiar with Firefly as well as avoiding alienating those who were not.
This was pulled off with applomb.
The film gave a genuine sense of jeopardy, as well as the sense that nobody, not even the 'Firefly Favourites' was truly safe. Indeed, as someone familiar with 'Firefly', I was surprised and to be honest slightly shocked, when a character who was very familiar to me was dispatched.
My wife, who was less familiar with 'Firefly' was equally surprised. It did give the film some genuine urgency, I thought that 'Whedon is going out with a bang, he is going to kill them all!'
If only the three star wars films had been a third as good.
My only regret about this film is that it didn't get the attention that it so richly deserved.