Sunday, December 20, 2009

Top 21 Films of the 00's

It's that time of the decade again. Everyone's top (fill in the blank) lists about (fill in the blank) are flooding everyone's blogs, inboxes, and that twitter thing. I guess a decade ago newspapers and magazines were the main sources of these lists. The internets changed everything. Now we are assaulted with a never-ending barrage of top everything lists we couldn't care less about, but still read to find what we do or don't agree with.

Now that we know how insignificant these lists are, here are my top 21 films of this decade. ("21?", you say. Yep, for a few reasons: Being different is trendy now, and I didn't want to cut out Memento.) It's a mix of what I enjoyed most and what I think are artistically the best. So even though I love a movie like The Village, I know that it really isn't that good of a movie, so I left it off the list. There is no exact science to my method though. Take it for what it is. Each has a reason for it's ranking that is no longer than a sentence.

1. Lord of the Rings Trilogy - epic and powerful; visually and emotionally stunning.
2. No Country for Old Men - intense, insightful, and perfect film about evil's relentless attack on humanity.
3. The Dark Knight - a thrilling, complex, relevant film noir that, like No.2, focuses on the sometimes seemingly hopeless struggle against evil.
4. El laberinto del fauno - fairy tale for adults that speaks to the power of childlike faith.
5. Cidade de Deus - action packed and brutal; a brilliant study of "hoodlums" and crime in the City of God.
6. Children of Men - a crying baby and shouts of "Cease fire!" will send a chill down your spine after one of the longest "uncut" shots in cinema history.
7. There Will Be Blood - relentlessly dark and brilliantly acted.
8. Slumdog Millionaire - a feel-good film that also brings the horrid conditions of India's slums to light.
9. Das Leben der Anderen - brilliant look at the value of human relationship.
10. The Hurt Locker - extremely intense film about soldiers in Iraq; one of the greatest war films ever.
11. Crash - a though-provoking parable on the effects of seen and unseen racism.
12. Munich - shows the impact of committing violence, both on the individual and on the nation.
13. A History of Violence - devastating study on the nature of violence
14. Lost in Translation - an exquisite and sad romantic comedy without your typical romance.
15. The Passion of the Christ - a brutally shocking and eye-opening depiction of the physical sacrifice of our Savior.
16. Michael Clayton - a corporate legal thriller not really about corporations at all.
17. Boy A - who decides who gets a second chance?
18. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford - beautiful cinematography and score.
19. Gone Baby Gone - Casey Affleck's second great performance in a row.
20. The Bourne Ultimatum - mixes action and intelligence in a style that has been ripped off multiple times since, but never duplicated.
21. Memento - Chris Nolan crashes onto the scene.

1 comment:

Emily said...

I was actually kind of surprised by some of your choices especially because you said you were playing it safe. "Gone Baby Gone" and "The Hurt Locker" were definitely bold choices. I have yet to see "Boy A" but I guess I ought to check it out. It was so hard for me to choose films from the past couple years to put on my list because I don't know how relevant they'll be in years to come. I don't think I'll ever forget the power of "Jai Ho!" or "Why so serious?" though.