Best Films of the Decade?

The Royal Tenenbaums
The Royal Tenenbaums

I’m a sucker for lists, so I’ve been enjoying checking out all of the best-of-the-decade tallies surfacing this month, particularly the ones pertaining to films and albums. In a desperate attempt to get us talking about something—anything—besides health care reform or the magnitude of Obama and the Dems’ suckitude, I wanted to open the floor to a discussion about your favorite films of the decade. I may offer something more substantial by the end of the year, but for starters I’m going to post a rough scratch list of the ones I considered to be the best.  The first five listed are probably, well, my top five (The Royal Tenenbaums being my current #1) and the rest are an unordered list of some of the films that I really enjoyed from 2000 until now.  I compiled this pretty quickly, so I’m sure there are some glaring omissions, but hopefully you can help me pinpoint a few of those in the comments. Please list as many films as you want in the down below and feel free to order it as you like, add commentary, etc.

TOP FIVE:
The Royal Tenenbaums
Punch-Drunk Love
Waltz with Bashir
Memento
Children Of Men

THE REST (ALPHABETICAL):
About Schmidt
Amélie
American Psycho
American Splendor
Billy the Kid
Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story
Borat
Broken Flowers
City of God
District B13
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
Grizzly Man
Gunner Palace
Infernal Affairs (Mou gaan dou)
In Bruges
Jesus Camp
Kill Bill Vol. 1
The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
Lars and the Real Girl
Man on Wire
Minority Report
Mulholland Drive
No Country For Old Men
Requiem For a Dream
Sideways
Spirited Away
The Squid and the Whale
The Wrestler
You Can Count on Me
Zodiac

MORE: One thing that shocked me is how few foreign films I saw this decade.  The previous 10 years in NYC I lived in art houses and scrappy Chinatown theaters soaking in reels of non-US cinematic wonders. No so much in the 00’s. That gave me the sads.

UPDATE: If you need research help, Google is your friend. And, yes, feel free to savage any (or all) of my selections.

Posted by Kevin K. on 12/10/09 at 06:35 PM • Permalink

Categories: MoviesMovie Reviews

Share this post:  Share via Twitter   Share via BlinkList   Share via del.icio.us   Share via Digg   Share via Email   Share via Facebook   Share via Fark   Share via NewsVine   Share via Propeller   Share via Reddit   Share via StumbleUpon   Share via Technorati  

Oh, you New York hipsters! Do you have any idea the amount of envy you inspire in a boonie-dwelling mombie shut-in like me? A lot.

I’ve only seen 7 of the films mentioned above. Hey, the only “theater” within 20 miles of me is a drive-in that features a “NO ALCOHOL! NO PROFANITY!” sign (and delicious, cheap cheeseburgers).

But despite the jealousy, I’m so glad you posted the list because now I have a DVD guide. Of the movies you posted that I have seen, I love most of them, including Royal Tenenbaums and Kill Bill (though I’m partial to II), Minority Report and Punch Drunk Love.

I’m more “meh” about “No Country for Old Men,” but I suspect that’s a guy-gal thing as my husband also found it brilliant while I was all WTF?

American Psycho? Feh. Never saw the movie, but I hurled the book across the room with great force.

I’ll have to think about it to come up with a more definitive list, but I thought “O Brother Where Art Thou” was wonderful. Also “The Whale Rider.”

I will blushingly admit that hubby and I played hooky from work to join a cineplex-full of adolescent boys for each opening matinee of all three “Lord of the Rings” movies, though I don’t claim it’s high art.

More later.

I really disliked The Royal Tenenbaums the one time I watched it on DVD, but perhaps I should give it another shot given how much so many people I respect adore this film. I’ll have to think about my own list, but The Pianist is high on it, despite my disgust with Polanski (reading Jeffrey Toobin’s New Yorker piece on him right now, matter of fact).


The Squid and the Whale is also great. Has Laura Linney ever been bad in anything?

I could more easily do a list of “overrated pieces of crap” and I think American Beauty would be on it. As would Million Dollar Baby, Cold Mountain, and a host of other Oscar-chum titles.

Though I guess American Beauty technically came out in 1999, so I don’t know if it qualifies.

Is “Memento” the movie that was based on the short story “Memento Mori”?  If it’s what I’m thinking I thought it was pretty creepy although well done.  “Royal Tenenbaums” would not be my number 1 but definitely up there.  I might even put “Sideways” ahead of it (best. scene. evah. when the nerdie guy steals the wallet back). 

However I have a problem remembering movies too well after I’ve seen them.  Have to give my list some thought as to what I thought was truly memorable.

Got to get going - we’re seeing “Spring Awakening” at the big theater downtown tonight (it’s a musical, not a movie).

American Psycho? Feh. Never saw the movie, but I hurled the book across the room with great force.

I didn’t read the book (based on the reviews), but the film is considered to be one of those rarities that’s a vast improvement over its source material.  Christian Bale is fantastic in it and it’s brilliantly directed and adapted for the screen by Mary Harron. I’ve seen it three times (it’s on IFC a lot) and I highly recommend it. It’s a wonderful satire of the greed of Wall Street and the absurdity of the late 80’s.

I’m more “meh” about “No Country for Old Men,” but I suspect that’s a guy-gal thing as my husband also found it brilliant while I was all WTF?

I enjoyed No Country for Old Men a lot more the second time I watched it (first at a theater, second on DVD).  Even though I’m a huge fan of the Coen Bros., I’ve found that a few of their films require a second viewing. I wasn’t blown away by Big Lebowski or Miller’s Crossing the first time I watched them either, but love both of them now. I guess I should give O Brother another shot.  I was kind of lukewarm about that one.

Is “Memento” the movie that was based on the short story “Memento Mori”?

Yep, that’s it.

Mar, let us know what you think about Spring Awakening. I really enjoyed it when I saw it in Chicago in August and I have the cast recording. My college did a production of the original Wedekind play a million years ago.

And Kevin, you just reminded me that In Bruges is on my Netflix stack. I will probably watch it tonight as a retreat from holiday treacle.

If you do a best-TV-of-the-decade list, I put in my nomination for The Wire.

More later, as I too have to get ready for Spring Awakening, but I thought Children of Men was hugely overrated. For all the love that is thrown its way, it’s honestly just not that good of a movie in my opinion. Definitely would have to add Kitchen Stories to the list, its quirky and really undersold. Also, Lord of the Rings, in terms of magnitude and vision, would have to included in any best of list.

Transamerica is probably the most underrated film I’ve ever seen. It boggles my mind that it was so overshadowed that year by Brokeback Mountain and the overwrought Crash, which won Best Picture (Transamerica wasn’t even nominated). Felicity Huffman kicked ass and was robbed in the Best Actress category.

I almost never watch movies, so I’m going with the five that I feel best summed up the decade.

Taken—Pretty much used to sum up our new “Torture is okay if you do it to someone worse than you” zeitgeist. Really gets the moral high-ground bloodlust in gear.

300—Screaming, war, comic books, and resulting internet memes… Hello, decade from Hell!

Valkyrie—Tom Cruise attempting to rebuild his image by trying to kill Hitler. Is there anybody the Fuhrer can’t make look good in comparison? (Maybe if we had better heroes, our villains wouldn’t always have to be Nazis or terrorists.)

Shrek 2—If only for the merchandising and corporate synergy aspects.

Sunshine—They played the trailer for this before Sicko. When one character uttered, in a dead-serious fashion, the phrase “mission to reignite the sun”, the entire theater burst into laughs. So, maybe there’s hope after all.

hot fuzz.  best of the decade. 

or maybe children of heaven.

Before Sunset was a wonderful movie. It was the followup to Richard Linklater’s 1995 Before Sunrise, with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy reprising their roles nine years later. The intervening years showed in both their characters and in the writing, which they shared with director Richard Linklater for the second film.

In typical backwards fashion, I saw the the Sunset film first. Possibly the best prequel ever;  when I finally saw Sunrise, the dewiness of the two younger, baby-faced characters was particularly poignant knowing their regrets.

They also turn up for a brief scene in Linklater’s Waking Life, a film I would also consider one of the most original and visually arresting films of the decade, filmed in rotoscope, the surreal animation process based on live-action that was abused in a series of irritating commercials for some kind of hedge fund.

I won’t even mention which Will Ferrell as a newscaster film you’re missing, because you already know

I’m not really into compiling lists, and this was a pretty good one all around (though I haven’t been on board with Wes Anderson since Rushmore and just continue to have little use for the Coens), but one glaring omission, I think, is There Will Be Blood.

That would be in my top five, along with Mulholland Drive, City of God, Eternal Sunshine, and Inland Empire.

Oh shit, I can’t believe I forgot Wong Kar-Wai.  Well, squeeze “In the Mood for Love” in with the above five for my top five.

Also “A History of Violence.”  Yeah, those seven are my top five.

Lots of great choices in here, but I’m going to have to go with an obvious one, The Dark Knight.  Christopher Nolan nailed down the superhero genre in a way never seen before, and the end product was a Shakespearian tragedy hidden in a summer blockbuster.  Heath Ledger played the best on-screen villain since Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs]. 

Honorable Mentions:  Ratatouille, School of Rock, District 9, Gran Torino, The Hurt Locker

28 Days Later. The movie of the decade for me.

No list is complete with Home for the Holidays! I realize that it’s a minority position, but one day someone besides Roger Ebert will recognize HftH as the greatest movie of the decade.

Second best: Time Indefinite. Because it’s just mind-blowing awesome.

I swear I’m not a movie snob, though. Kevin can vouch for the presence of Jackass 2 and Booty Call—both of which I love dearly—on my shelf.

I have a 5 year old daughter, so my movie viewing has been somewhat curtailed in the second half of this decade; if it doesn’t feature Dora or Sponge Bob, I probably haven’t seen it.

So here’s my admittedly incomplete list, in no particular order:

Almost Famous
Royal Tennenbaums
Minority Report
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
There Will Be Blood
High Fidelity

Lots of good recommendations. There are a few in there I know I should see but haven’t yet like A History of Violence and In the Mood for Love. I also did enjoy Ratatouille and I’m halfway through a review copy I got of The Hurt Locker, which so far has been really good.

There are a lot of big budget action films I enjoyed this year that probably warrant mention like the first two Bournes, Casino Royale and Dark Knight. And, jeebus, The Room really deserves a spot on my list for being without a doubt the most extraordinary so-bad-it’s-great movie of not just the decade, but possibly of all-time.

No list is complete with Home for the Holidays! I realize that it’s a minority position, but one day someone besides Roger Ebert will recognize HftH as the greatest movie of the decade.

Second best: Time Indefinite. Because it’s just mind-blowing awesome.

Two more I have to rent. And, yes, I can attest to TS’s undying love for Jackass 2 and Booty Call.

I’m somewhat upset that no one’s picked Grindhouse, which deserves a spot on everyone’s list due to my groundbreaking one-millisecond-long starring role in it.

I also love Home for the Holidays. My friend Jane’s theory as to why it didn’t get more love is that it didn’t fall into the Boomer Big Chill pattern of a bunch of people getting together and talking about “What happened to our DREAMS?”

Dunno if that’s true, but I thought it was pretty great. Oooh, and Shaun of the Dead! Haven’t seen Hot Fuzz yet.

Would probably suggest Guy Maddin’s The Saddest Music in the World as well.

I’m going to have to come down firmly in favor of No Country…, Royal Tenenbaums, and Children of Men.  In fact I’d say that they’re 1-3.  I was also happy to see Zodiac on your list Kevin, I though that was a tremendously underrated flick.  Two I haven’t seen mentioned that rocked in me int two totally different ways were Rachel Getting Married (can I nominate Bill Irwin for supporting performance of the decade, and Zidane, a twenty-first century portrait- a strange formal experiment of a sports documentary with a soundtrack by Mogwai which simply focuses on the aging superstar over the course of one club match.  Weird, hypnotic stuff.

If I had to pick a Guy Maddin flick, I’d go with Careful. Find me a better study of mountain climbing and incest, I dare you.

My First Mister

I hardly ever watch movies (much to my husband’s chagrin) but am thinking about taking it up to escape from other things going on in the world.

You will laugh, but I liked Star Trek.

Find me a better study of mountain climbing and incest, I dare you.

Yentl?

Great list, except for Royal Tenenbaums (which I saw twice just to make sure). Crap film. Glass Family lite.

As a purist, I want to point out that the decade really ends a year from now…

There have been a lot of great films mentioned, but I continue to this day to be mesmerized by some of the long no-cut single-camera sequences in Children of Men (the car ambush scene and the refugee camp scenes).

Here are my best films of the decade:

WALL-E
WALL-E
WALL-E
Harold and Kumar go to White Castle
The Hangover
Me and You and Everyone We Know
WALL-E
Best in Show
The Aristocrats
Iron Man (which is > Dark Knight)
WALL-E

As a purist, I want to point out that the decade really ends a year from now…

Honestly, I was thinking the same thing but so many folks have put a full stop at 2009.

There have been a lot of great films mentioned, but I continue to this day to be mesmerized by some of the long no-cut single-camera sequences in Children of Men (the car ambush scene and the refugee camp scenes).

Those scenes are amazing. The DVD has a great behind-the-scenes look at how they filmed the car ambush scene.

In no particular order, ‘cause I’m lazy
Children of Men
There Will Be Blood
25th Hour
Pineapple Express
The Lives of Others

I want credit for having the self control to not post fake porn titles.

Mar, let us know what you think about Spring Awakening.

It was terrific!  Not hard to see why it won all the awards.  Went with kc and 2 of her friends - we all loved it.  And some of the older people didn’t even walk out at intermission! ;-)

I would love to see the original play - maybe the success of the musical will spark some revivals.

I tend to like funny films that are a little unpredictable so I would go for “Juno”, “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Best in Show” in addition to whatever I might have put further up the thread.

Pretty much anything done by Christopher Guest and Michael McKean.  Also.

Lots of great movies listed here.  I would add Local Hero and Rabbit Proof Fence.

Page 1 of 1 pages

Sorry, commenting is closed for this post.

<< Back to main