In Contention


The best films of a decade

Posted by Kristopher Tapley · 5:10 am · December 21st, 2009

Tom Cruise in Minority ReportThis column has been the elephant in my living room for months.

Putting together a list of the year’s best films is easy. It’s fresh. It’s in your mind. It’s, in many ways, the expected culmination.

Putting together a list of the decade’s best films is a different chore altogether. Yearly rankings fly out the window as a proper gauge, because tastes shift and impacts either dwindle or deepen. Revisiting films is called for, but fitting in the works you missed along the way is also imperative. It can be maddening.

And the truth is, you can’t see everything. All you can do is try to be as honest about how you feel as you can. And even then, no list can be definitive on a personal level, let alone authoritative.

And so the whittling begins, and in many ways, the process is the reward. The ultimate collective is a mere reminder of the journey through 10 years of film product. But some things stuck out along the way.

For instance, I’m fascinated by the work of Jacques Audiard, Arnaud Desplechin and Ramin Bahrani, but none of their admirable films made the cut. Nevertheless, I think if they stick to it, each will one day give us his own instant classic.

Then there were films that really spoke to me but didn’t come together enough to land on the list. Jean-Luc Godard’s “Nortre Musique,” for instance, or Béla Tarr’s “Werckmeister Harmonies.” The same could be said of Darren Aronofsky’s “Requiem for a Dream.”

Pinning down a “filmmaker of the decade” is somewhat difficult, too…as it would be. Clint Eastwood was certainly prolific, but none of his nine films resonated enough to even crack the lowest tiers of my list. Paul Thomas Anderson knocked it out of the park every time he stepped up to bat, but that was still a grand total of two times. And Martin Scorsese enjoyed an interesting roller coaster of tone, theme and story, but none of his work measured up to the bar he’s already set for himself.

Danny Boyle had a wild ride that ended with a well-deserved Oscar last year. Paul Greengrass stood up and made himself and his talent known. And the Coen brothers kept an even keel, culminating with their best film in well over a decade.

A compelling argument could be made for the Pixar Animation Studio as a whole, but I’d personally like to be more specific than that. And Lars Von Trier’s involvement in three of the decade’s best makes a pretty strong case as well. But the name I came up with was…

Charlie Kaufman at the 76th annual Academy AwardsCharlie Kaufman.

Granted, Kaufman only directed one film over this stretch — 2008′s “Synecdoche, New York” — but the films he penned throughout the decade were unmistakably of his vision and he made the first legitimate case for an auteur screenwriter.

I have no trouble considering Kaufman the filmmaker of the decade. And he’s the only person to show up twice on my list.

Before getting to my 10, I would like to specifically cite some entries that just missed. We should be allowed that when it comes to a decade of product.

Cameron Crowe’s “Almost Famous” was a gorgeous love letter to music and a lovely take on coming of age tropes. Unfortunately it has been all downhill from there for the filmmaker.

Christopher Nolan’s “Memento” was a wonderful cinematic journey. Along with his 1998 debut “Following,” it announced the sort of psychological themes that would dominate his work throughout the decade.

Steven Spielberg’s one-two early decade punch of “A.I.: Artificial Intelligence” and “Minority Report” was an unexpected gasp of quality sci-fi cinema. We got another such gasp in 2009, interestingly enough.

Spike Lee’s “25th Hour” has grown in stature perhaps more than most films mentioned in this column over the years. An intense post-9/11 portrait, it is one of Lee’s finest hours, an expert piece of expressive cinema.

Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Punch-Drunk Love” was a beautiful portrait of peculiar romance with a vibrant sense of the medium and some really striking performances. It seemed to reveal a true artistry in his work for the first time.

Gus Van Sant’s “Last Days” was an affecting cerebral take on the final days of musician Kurt Cobain, and ultimately, an intriguing look at the boredom of superstardom. It’s one of those atmospheric heroes of the medium.

Clive Owen in Children of MenAlfonso Cuaron’s “Children of Men” nailed dystopia and invigorated the spirit with its equally stark and exhilarating mise-en-scene. Cuaron himself should be spotlighted as having had a great decade, in fact.

John Cameron Mitchell’s “Shortbus,” crafted from material improvised by a cast of unknowns, was a kaleidoscope of the filmmaker’s personality. Metaphor and insight abounded as a truly organic ensemble worked as a living creature of purpose.

James Cameron’s “Avatar” is a special case designation, I think. It didn’t make the top of my 2009 list obviously but it nevertheless deserves to be mentioned alongside the best of a decade, considering it was the most innovative of a decade.

And the Coen brothers’ “A Serious Man,” as I’ve mentioned recently, was a potent, resilient effort that crowned their work over the past 10 years. (Though privately, I’m finding it humorous that my favorite year in movies this decade did not, in fact, yield a placement on the list.)

In the end, I guess you have to lay down your cards. And these are mine. I’m trying not to make too big a deal out of this. It is, after all, the kind of thing that could change drastically in a week, in a month. But these are the 10 I feel most represent how I saw a decade of filmmaking, the most compelling ideas, the most engaging work. And I’m happy to share them now…

#10

Jim Broadbent in Moulin Rouge!

“MOULIN ROUGE!”
Directed by Baz Luhrmann, 2001

Baz Luhrmann’s wonderfully creative re-invention of the movie musical, “Moulin Rouge!” is alive in ways most films simply are not. It’s reverence for the medium can be charted in any number of homages, both subtle and explicit, but most of all, the film’s borderline assault on the senses becomes an intriguing commentary on the cinema’s vigorous visceral potential. And that’s before we get to the marvelous audacity of some of the film’s song choices and, of course, the penetrating themes on display.

#9

Matthieu Amalric in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

“THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY”
Directed by Julian Schnabel, 2007

Representative of uncommon cinematic vision from the mind of filmmaker Julian Schnabel, “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” is the result of a consummate artist striving for vastly different things behind the camera than any of his contemporaries. Schnabel created a menagerie that became that rare example of a film less impressive in the sum of its parts than it is in the analysis of each working component. It is masterful in ways it seems critical analysis has not yet considered.

#8

(from left) Albert Brooks (voice) and Ellen DeGeneres (voice) in Finding Nemo

“FINDING NEMO”
Directed by Andrew Stanton, 2003

The optimum Pixar endeavor is, to date, still the most financially successful of the studio’s theatrical releases. “Finding Nemo” is a thrill-ride for all ages, but an engaging, emotional narrative as well, one that signaled the commercial potential for mature animated storytelling long before “WALL-E” or “Up” came along. The film is also quite possibly Pixar’s most beautifully animated effort yet, accompanied by award-worthy voice work from Ellen DeGeneres, one of the better “performances” of 2003, in fact.

#7

Laura Dern in Inland Empire

“INLAND EMPIRE”
Directed by David Lynch, 2006

Filmmaker David Lynch has been twisting the cinematic medium to fit his whims of fancy for the better part of three decades. But with “Inland Empire,” he seems almost bored with that medium, perhaps even contemptuous of his audience. He dares the viewer to stick with 180 minutes of sheer audacity and a tapestry of narrative innovation. The film exists as a longing for something else, something different, something unequivocally diverse, and he should be applauded for it.

#6

(from left) Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

“ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND”
DIrected by Michel Gondry, 2004

Charlie Kaufman’s words on the page have never worked so congruous with a director’s vision of them as with “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” Actress Kate Winslet received awards attention, co-star Jim Carrey deserved more, but as usual with a Charlie Kaufman project, Charlie Kaufman is the star. Penning a compelling spin on the love story with more authenticity and genuine empathy than the greatest of the genre, he gets at the heart of a relationship and keeps the audience rich with insight throughout.

#5

(from left) Nicolas Cage and Nicolas Cage in Adaptation

“ADAPTATION”
Directed by Spike Jonze, 2002

An intense and often emotional portrait, Spike Jonze’s “Adaptation,” from a screenplay by Charlie Kaufman, is one of the most successful attempts at relating an artist’s journey on the big screen. But the film’s beauty stretches farther than reflexivity, offering up a universal message inherent in the title: the search for a place in the world, for the terms that work for you, the struggle to adapt and the confusion that struggle manifests is often the most rewarding, significant and revealing journey you’ll ever take.

#4

(from left) Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz in The Fountain

“THE FOUNTAIN”
Directed by Darren Aronofsky, 2006

Since the release of “Pi” in 1998, it has been clear that director Darren Aronofsky is generally interested in something more visceral in his filmmaking. After years of failed preparation left the director slashing and burning ideas and intentions all along the way to a 90 minute condensation of his original vision, “The Fountain” might be considered an unfortunate failure in some viewers’ eyes. But it is undeniably the trail left by a filmmaker determined to stretch his artistic vernacular.

#3

(from left) Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassell in Irreversible

“IRREVERSIBLE”
Directed by Gaspar Noe, 2003

Both critically panned and critically hailed upon its debut at the 2003 Cannes International Film Festival, “Irreversible,” Gaspar Noé’s grim exploration of the fragility of love ranks as one of the most effectively gripping cinematic events in recent memory. Utilizing a backwards narrative more adequately than we have yet seen, Noé takes the viewer on a hypnotic quest past consequence and into a foreshadowing realm of innocence that is at once heart-breaking and cautionary.

#2

Nicole Kidman in Dogville

“DOGVILLE”
Directed by Lars Von Trier, 2004

After a typically scandalous bow at Cannes in the summer of 2003, Lars Von Trier’s “Dogville” found itself at once charged and praised as “anti-American.” Abandoning all rules set forth by his “Vow of Chastity” regarding the Dogme95 movement, the eccentric and maverick director reaches depths of symbolism, power and understanding with this film he has never before even skirted. The work is also one of the most effective pieces of political allegory, in any medium, of the modern era.

#1

(from left) Casey Affleck and Brad Pitt in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

“THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD”
Directed by Andrew Dominik, 2007

What author Ron Hansen created in his 1983 novel “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” was a unique perspective within a genre too easily given to derivation. A focused examination of celebrity and idolatry, wrapped in the spirit of Shakespearean tragedy, the author’s efforts clearly inspired filmmaker Andrew Dominik. Dominik pieced together a “Victorian western,” as he’s called it, part-elegy in its visualization of a wild west on the march toward domestication. Career-best cinematography from legendary lenser Roger Deakins and a beautiful score from Nick Cave and Warren Ellis are just gravy on this, the finest film to come along since Terrence Malick’s “The Thin Red Line.” It is, for my money, the absolute best film of the decade.

The top 10 films of the aughts:

1. “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”
2. “Dogville”
3. “Irreversible”
4. “The Fountain”
5. “Adaptation”
6. “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”
7. “Inland Empire”
8. “Finding Nemo”
9. “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”
10. “Moulin Rouge!”

And that about wraps it up. It’s been a solid decade, if one not nearly as powerful on the screen as the last, but some bold advances were made and more than a few great artists offered up classic, uncompromising visions that will last a lifetime.

What are your thoughts on the best films of the aughts? Have your say in the comments section below!




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156 responses so far

  • 1 12-21-2009 at 5:28 am

    Adam K. said...

    Wow, I actually like most of these choices. Our tastes don’t generally overlap…

    Pleased to see Moulin Rouge! in spot #10. I think that’s a good placement for a film that I unabashedly love, but concede is not perfect, per se.

    I have very mixed feelings on The Fountain and Adaptation, but I truly loved The Fountain for a brief period. It didn’t register with me the first time I saw it, then the second time, it hit me hard, then the third time, it seemed really stiff and obtuse. Still not sure how I feel about it, but it’s certainly noteworthy.

    Eternal Sunshine is totally better than Adaptation, though. You even seem to believe that yourself based on your snippet describing it ; )

  • 2 12-21-2009 at 5:30 am

    Roger said...

    Well… Lord of the Rings???? I’m quite disapointed… I was loving your collum right until the point when you didn’t even metioned it… anywhere!

  • 3 12-21-2009 at 5:34 am

    Andre said...

    Great list. Nice to see love for Assassination of Jesse James. There are so many moments of Malickian beauty in that film.

    2007 was such a fine year for cinema….sigh

  • 4 12-21-2009 at 5:39 am

    Robin said...

    Nice list, the MR! mention is particularly pleasing for another unashamed diehard lover of that movie. The lack of Brokeback Mountain or Fellowship of the Ring, for my money the two most flawless and straight up pieces of true cinema produced this decade is somewhat dissapointing though, along with Almost Famous missing the cut and the glaring lack of There Will be Blood.

  • 5 12-21-2009 at 5:42 am

    Dylan said...

    My list:

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    The Royal Tenenbaums
    Spirited Away
    Kill Bill Vols. 1 & 2
    There Will Be Blood
    Moulin Rouge
    Pan’s Labyrinth
    Fantastic Mr. Fox
    Lord of the Ringd trilogy
    Inglourious Basterds

  • 6 12-21-2009 at 6:00 am

    Robert Hamer said...

    So glad to see Slumdog Millionaire fail to crack your list. Jesse James is an inspired#1 choice, though it sucks that I’ll always be transported to an alternate dimension whenever I see Dogville to where it’s a shrill, irritating endurance trial instead of a masterpiece.

    Eternal Sunshine is my personal #1, and I imagine it will crack most serious “Best of the Decade” lists.

  • 7 12-21-2009 at 6:02 am

    Robert Hamer said...

    “…considering it [Avatar] was the most innovative of a decade.”

    Uh, no.

  • 8 12-21-2009 at 6:08 am

    A. said...

    I thought you hated “Requiem for a dream”.

  • 9 12-21-2009 at 6:09 am

    Gustavo H.R. said...

    How elaborate, Robert.

  • 10 12-21-2009 at 6:21 am

    Hardy said...

    The Fountain and Irreversible are the only really questionable decisions in that list, IMO.

  • 11 12-21-2009 at 6:23 am

    JJ said...

    Mine:
    10) Atonement – So immersive.
    9) Moulin Rouge! – Guilty pleasure.
    8) The Dark Knight – Just awesome.
    7) Sideways – My fave comedy of the decade.
    6) Mulholland Drive – Wonderfully strange.
    5) Gladiator – I love me a huge Epic.
    4) Minority Report – Has everything.
    3) Spirited Away – Amazing, eclectic.
    2) Chicago -Bets musical in a loonnng time. Had such a blast.
    1) Sorry, had to, Lord of the Rings trilogy – There are no words.

    Honorable mention: (this year) – Star Trek.

  • 12 12-21-2009 at 6:24 am

    JJ said...

    And I, too, really dug ‘The Fountain’.

  • 13 12-21-2009 at 6:30 am

    Robert Hamer said...

    I’ve detailed my thoughts on Avatar very clearly elsewhere, Gustavo, so while I can understand a fanboy like you getting his feathers ruffled over someone not worshipping the film unquestioningly, your smugness puts you even lower than them.

  • 14 12-21-2009 at 6:33 am

    Aleksis said...

    Yes!:
    Jesse James
    Finding Nemo
    Er, OK:
    Moulin Rouge!
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    Haven’t seen:
    The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
    Inland Empire
    No:
    Adaptation
    Very no:
    The Fountain
    Irreversible
    Dogville

  • 15 12-21-2009 at 6:40 am

    Brent said...

    Great list Kris.

    Some really inspired choices here.

    INLAND EMPIRE and Irreversible. Talk about nailing it.

  • 16 12-21-2009 at 6:54 am

    James D. said...

    I found some of these choices absurd, but in the end you properly picked out the best film of the decade. To my knowledge, no one else has done so. Hooray!

  • 17 12-21-2009 at 7:02 am

    red_wine said...

    Thats a great selection of films, Kris. And like Guy said last week, it really gives us a sense your taste as you so lucidly explain your reasons fro picking them.

    I’m really rather surprised how much 25th hour has risen in estimation after all these years. Even The New world. Haven’t seen both will check them out soon. I didn’t think much of Minority Report but agree that A.I. is Spielberg’s near masterpiece and his best film since Schindler’s List.

    Kaufman as film-maker of the decade is a very good choice. If I were to make a list of Top 5 screenplays of the decade, he would take 3 spots. Synecdoche’s screenplay is a piece of dazzling imagination, but I agree that Adaptation is probably the most accomplished film featuring a screenplay by him. That was the first movie which I saw and went ‘jeez I wish I could write like that’. Eternal I will have to call slightly over-praised. I would put it in 3rd place.

    Anderson really hit it out of the park. Without a doubt the best director working today better than even Scorsese or anybody else. I recently saw Punch Drunk Love and felt such joy!

    Pixar truly stuns with the scale of its achievement this decade and though Finding Nemo is not a personal favorite, I will agree that it is the loveliest Pixar ever. It begs for a Blu-Ray. The use of color & space, specially difficult since its set underwater is masterful. But my picks would be Incredibles & of course Wall-E.

    Moulin Rouge is a a personal favorite, and Inland Empire is a movie you wrestle with. Its glorious but I do prefer the more conventional choice which is the consensus pick for the best of the decade – Mulholland Drive.

    Admittedly the first von trier I saw was Antichrist but that did not sell me on his talents. But then I saw Dogville and I must now call him 1 of the luminaries of modern cinema. That film had me by the balls, its provoked and frustrated me so but was ultimately hugely rewarding. Masterpiece? I will certainly allow the term. And finally Jesse James is a good choice for no. 1.

    Some great directors with notable work are Wong Kar wai(2 almost masterpieces), Haynes(2 almost masterpieces), Cronenberg(a very good film) and of course Wes Anderson whose masterful The Royal Tenenbaums I recently fell in love with.

  • 18 12-21-2009 at 7:11 am

    Duke said...

    Dogville is definetely my #1.

    I’ve been considering including Inglourious Basterds in my top 10, I think it’s the only film of 2009 that has any chance.

  • 19 12-21-2009 at 7:12 am

    M said...

    Wow, out of all of those I have onyl heard of 3 of them, lol. Our tastes do differ a lot, and also I haven’t seen that many movies.

  • 20 12-21-2009 at 7:13 am

    Sawyer said...

    I love decade ending lists.

    1. Pan’s Labyrinth
    2. Collateral
    3. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
    4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    5. Ratatouille
    6. Michael Clayton
    7. Der Untergang
    8. There Will Be Blood
    9. The Fountain
    10. The Royal Tennenbaums

  • 21 12-21-2009 at 7:13 am

    Robin said...

    For the record, in alphabetical order…

    Almost Famous
    Before Sunset
    Brokeback Mountain
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    Into the Wild
    Lord of the Rings
    Moulin Rouge!
    The New World
    There Will be Blood
    United 93
    Y Tu Mama Tambien

    I know that’s 11, but I seriously couldn’t decide what to leave out, so screw it.

  • 22 12-21-2009 at 7:16 am

    Sawyer said...

    You know what, replace The Royal Tennenbaums with A History of Violence. It’s very close. Or maybe a tie at #10.

  • 23 12-21-2009 at 7:17 am

    red_wine said...

    And I don’t mean to be snarky, but is Avatar truly worthy of this game changer title? Is the Jazz singer considered to be 1 of the greatest films ever? Not by a longshot, its a trivia detail that film lovers know, but nothing else.

    Becky Sharpe is the first full 3 strip technilcor movie I believe, greatest films of all time? No. Again, a movie must have some intrinsic worth for it to secure a place in the annals of history, Avatar does not have that.

    And for a moment please consider, Avatar has not invented anything, more like advanced existing technology to a new level of sophistication. In Final Fantasy and even Zemeckis’ film, the idea was the same, create the movie in the computer. The destination was always supposed to be achieving photo-realism and Cameron has did that(though it still remains to be seen if it can be done for human characters). But all this hoopla around the film is rather absurd.

  • 24 12-21-2009 at 7:20 am

    Sawyer said...

    I saw the movie, and while the praise might be a little overwhelming, I think anytime a filmmaker creates something new in the realm of sci-fi, and it works, it’s worth praising.

    So often we’re force-fed retreads of past sci-fi worlds that it seems unlikely that anyone will come up with something new that works. Cameron did that. So good on him.

  • 25 12-21-2009 at 7:22 am

    N8 said...

    I love your #10, #9, and #8 choices. All of them make my top 10 of the decade.

  • 26 12-21-2009 at 7:24 am

    Duke said...

    This is my Top 4, I can’t decide the positions of the other 26 films of my top 30.

    1. Dogville, Lars Von Trier, 2003.
    2. Revolutionary Road, Sam Mendes, 2008.
    3. Inglourious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino, 2009.
    4. The Hours, Stephen Daldry, 2002.

  • 27 12-21-2009 at 7:25 am

    maurier said...

    I do like your choices, especially number 1, except for Inland Empire…

  • 28 12-21-2009 at 7:25 am

    red_wine said...

    Oh but avatar is a retread. Its a collection of some of the worst action-movie cliches. I was borderline shocked to see how it turned out(shocked as in not how unpredictable it was but rather how generic & conventional it all was).

  • 29 12-21-2009 at 7:30 am

    Mike_M said...

    Great list, didn’t agree with them really, except for your #1 movie of the decade which is also mine Jesse James was the best movie of the decade – 100%

    I think this is my list, but I may tweak it a bit:
    1. Jesse James
    2. There Will Be Blood
    3. Lord of the Rings Triology
    4. Pan’s
    5. Zodiac
    6. City of God
    7. Hero
    8. The Incredibles
    9. Shaun of the Dead
    10. Anchorman

  • 30 12-21-2009 at 7:37 am

    R.J. said...

    “Moulin Rouge!” would’ve been higher on my list, but I love that you love “The Fountain”! “Inland Empire” is an interesting choice as well, it’s probably my favorite Lynch film and Laura Dern’s performance is astounding. After I watched it I looked at “Mulholland Drive” for the first time and was underwhelmed (though I still found it to be a great film). It’s hard to argue with most of this list, I love so many of your choices and the others I can’t comment on because I haven’t seen them (except for “Finding Nemo”, if I had to have a Pixar film on the list it would have been “Wall-E”…maybe “The Incredibles”). I’ll have to make my own list very soon.

  • 31 12-21-2009 at 7:40 am

    BenitoDelicias said...

    never would’ve guessed Moulin Rouge anywhere near the top10, don’t know why…

    But I share your choice of Jesse James, it’s in my top 20 and not in my top10 because I had favorites that made it further, they were older I had seen them a bunch of times over and over again, Jesse James was more recent. Even though they weren’t better.

    It was my #1 of 2007. I saw the movie because of your review back then and I’m glad I saw it, it’s just terrific, it’s pretty damn perfect.

  • 32 12-21-2009 at 7:42 am

    Rogers said...

    NICE! Loving the admiration for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. I haven’t fully completed my top 10 of the decade list yet but as it stands both our lists are bookended by the same films. Within those, however, only Adaptation and Dogville have a chance of overlapping.

    Not even a mention of There Will Be Blood? I would also have included Andrew Dominik’s other cinematic offering Chopper. Good list Kris!

  • 33 12-21-2009 at 7:42 am

    Michael said...

    Wonderful list Kris, and a beautiful write-up for each film. I am so excited that I have not only seen every film on your top ten but also all of the films you mentioned in your write-up – I can honestly agree with most of the inclusions. I don’t think I am going to try to bolster down my favorite films of the past ten years until mid January so the remaining films from this year can have a moment to resonate and I can step back a little bit, but I am impressed with what you have done and am looking forward to Guy’s list as well.

  • 34 12-21-2009 at 7:42 am

    Leighton said...

    Thank you so much for including The Fountain, a deeply profound and personal work, and it is one of my all time favs!

    Ballsy pick for Inland Empire!

    As well, love the inclusions of Eternal Sunshine, Dogville, and your #1, Assassination of Jesse James… of which the latter seems to be considered a quite underrated work. Glad to see get some due.

  • 35 12-21-2009 at 7:44 am

    André said...

    I’d rank “There Will Be Blood” #1 and “The Fountain” a close #2, after that , I’ve NO idea.

  • 36 12-21-2009 at 7:50 am

    Andrew said...

    You like dark stuff [Dogville, Irreversible]

  • 37 12-21-2009 at 7:53 am

    cineJAB said...

    1. Brokeback Mountain
    2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    3. No Country For Old Men
    4. There Will Be Blood
    5. The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford
    6. The Hours
    7. Lord of the Rings Trilogy
    8. Garden State
    9. The Dark Knight
    10. Up in the Air

  • 38 12-21-2009 at 7:55 am

    cineJAB said...

    please completely disregard that list, I somehow forgot Children of Men!

    1. Brokeback Mountain
    2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    3. Children of Men
    4. No Country For Old Men
    5. There Will Be Blood
    6. The Assassination of Jesse James By the Howard Robert Ford
    7. The Hours
    8. Lord of the Rings Trilogy
    9. Garden State
    10. The Dark Knight
    Just Missed: Up in the Air

  • 39 12-21-2009 at 8:37 am

    Jack said...

    1. The Lord of the Rings
    2. Pride and Prejudice
    3. The Departed
    4. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    5. The Dark Knight
    6. Michael Clayton
    7. Minority Report
    8. Slumdog Millionaire
    9. Moulin Rouge
    10. Atonement

  • 40 12-21-2009 at 8:44 am

    the other mike said...

    i’ll just name the films that come to mind that i enjoyed the most:

    1) The Klumps
    2) Mulholland Drive
    3) Undercover Brother
    4) Miami Vice
    5) Eternall Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
    6) Moulin Rouge
    7) Big Mommas House
    8) Lord Of The Rings Trilogy
    9) Royal Tenebaums
    10) Collateral

  • 41 12-21-2009 at 8:50 am

    Billyboy said...

    My List:

    1. There Will Be Blood, Paul T. Anderson .2008
    2.Mulholland Dr., David Lynch. 2001
    3.Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Michel Gondry. 2004
    4. No Country for Old Men, Coen Bros. 2008
    5. Zodiac, David Fincher. 2007
    6.Che, Steven Soderbergh. 2008
    7. La niña santa (The Holy Girl). Lucrecia Martel. 2004
    8.Caché (Hidden), Michael Haneke. 2005
    9. Ratatouille/Wall E, Pixar Studios.
    10. Antichrist. Lars Von Trier. 2009

    Tilda Swinton is my choice for actor of the decade with Michael Clayton (2007) and Julia (2008)

    Lord of the Rings might be my personal favorite for most boring saga of the decade.

  • 42 12-21-2009 at 8:52 am

    Matt King said...

    Really great list, Kris. Good overview of the decade, and excellent choices. Love the Diving Bell inclusion especially.

  • 43 12-21-2009 at 8:56 am

    Nick Davis said...

    Really like the individual personality behind this list. #1 was kind of a shock to me, but that’s why I like the list.

  • 44 12-21-2009 at 9:00 am

    G1000 said...

    You have to be kidding me. “Moulin Rouge” was an absolute mess that I hate with a passion. “Finding Nemo” is a great choice, but should be higher. I also love the inclusion of “Eternal Sunshine” (which I loved in spite of its flaws). Where are “Brokeback Mountain” and “Chicago” (the latter is a MUCH better film than “Moulin Rouge”)? And what about “The Dark Knight”? One last thought: I’m certain that there are at least 100 films released this decade that are better than “Moulin Rouge” (all ten Pixar features for starters).

  • 45 12-21-2009 at 9:08 am

    Anders said...

    A few of you seem to enjoy von Trier’s work. I wonder if you have also seen his TV series Riget? As much as I like his movies, I really do think Riget is the best thing he has done.

    Maybe it’s because I’m Swedish and from the region, but if you haven’t seen it I encourage you to try to find it and enjoy this masterpiece.

  • 46 12-21-2009 at 9:28 am

    Me. said...

    Whoah interesting list! I have to see… pretty much your entire top 5 haha. I love the inclusions of Eternal Sunshine and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Rock on.

    As for my list… the following films are locks to make it: Spirited Away, Volver, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Triplets of Belleville and Water. I have to determine my number one choice but it will be either Amélie, The Pianist or The Lord of the Rings.

  • 47 12-21-2009 at 9:32 am

    MattyD. said...

    Kris, this is by far the best “Aughts Top 10″ I’ve yet to see. Really great choices. I almost agree 100%!

    Just another reminder of why I love this site so much!

  • 48 12-21-2009 at 9:32 am

    Alex said...

    1. A Serious Man
    2. Children of Men
    3. Adaptation
    4. Ratatouille
    5. The Constant Gardener
    6. Open Hearts
    7. Cache
    8. Eternal Sunshine
    9. Mullholand Drive (I really wanted to put The Ring here but couldn’t do it)
    10. Spiderman 2

    I am Jewish. I cold relate to practically every element of the Coen’s brutal yet honest depiction of the futility of human existence. It was like peering into my soul. Then I freaked out when the son’s Bar-Mitzvah portion was exactly the same one that I read when I was 13. Spooky scary.

  • 49 12-21-2009 at 9:34 am

    Alex said...

    @Billyboy

    Am I the only one who thinks Tilda Swinton was great yet not earth-shattering in Michael Clayton?

    She was unstoppable in Julia but I can’t help but think Cate Blanchett should have won the Oscar.

  • 50 12-21-2009 at 9:48 am

    Maxim said...

    As someone who really likes Kaufman too but who feels that “Eternal Sunshine” is somewhat (seriously BJM is much better) overrated I really recommend everyone to check his earlier collaboration with Gondry: out “Human Nature”. A tremendously funny and inventive film.

    My list (though there is a lot I haven’t seen):

    1. A.I. Artificial Intelligence.
    2. Before Sunset.
    3. Munich.
    4. Minority Report.
    5. Lost in Translation.
    6. Two Towers.
    7. Spirited Away.
    8. Match Point.
    9. Band’s Visit.
    10. The Man Who Wasn’t There.

  • 51 12-21-2009 at 9:53 am

    lovespike said...

    My films of the decade would be:

    Requiem for a Dream
    Amores Perros
    The Cooler
    City of Men
    A Good Day to be Black and Sexy
    American Splendor
    Barbershop
    Talk to Me
    Precious
    The Hours
    Ballast
    Hustle and Flow

  • 52 12-21-2009 at 9:54 am

    Josh R. said...

    1. A.I. Artificial Intelligence
    2. Before Sunset
    3. Closer
    4. Breaking and Entering
    5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    6. Minority Report
    7. Adaptation
    8. Once
    9. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
    10. In Bruges

  • 53 12-21-2009 at 9:55 am

    JoninSTL said...

    “Moulin Rouge!” has to be one of the worst films of all times. I thoroughly enjoy, though, how it has duped critics and the blogesphere into believing it is one of the best. It is such overloaded, self-centered pompousity that it deserves a like-minded affirmation.

  • 54 12-21-2009 at 10:00 am

    Ross said...

    I’m really impressed to see Irreversible on the list. I’ve seen the film once and couldn’t fault it, but could never recommend it or watch it again, so traumatised was I by it. However, I’ve never forgotten it, and I think that is what makes a great film.

    Also trés impressed by Moulin Rouge! in there – it is flawed, but it is so grand. Would have had Diving Bell, Eternal Sunshine and Dogville in mine also. A very solid list, nice work!

  • 55 12-21-2009 at 10:04 am

    Perry said...

    1. Howl’s Moving Castle
    2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
    3. Batman Begins
    4. LOTR: The Two Towers
    5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    6. The Departed
    7. Catch Me If You Can
    8. Hot Fuzz
    9. Spider-man 2
    10. Departures

  • 56 12-21-2009 at 10:12 am

    lovespike said...

    Alex, I agree about Swinton, I was shocked, Blanchett really stole the movie amongst some great actors in I’m not there she really moved the role past novelty.

    I would like to add my perf. of decade:
    Ellen Burstyn in Req. for a dream
    Charlize Theron in Monster
    Daniel Day Lewis in Gangs of New York
    Mo’nique in Precious
    Don Cheadle in Talk to Me
    Julianne Moore in Far from Heaven
    Javier Bardem in The Sea Inside
    Jackie Earle Haley in Little Children
    Cate Blanchett in I’m not There
    Adrianna Barazza in Babel

  • 57 12-21-2009 at 10:17 am

    leo said...

    Unbelievable! You’ve gone and picked Inland Empire over Mulholland Dr.? The Fountain as one of the decades best? Really? Over There Will Be Blood, No Country for Old Men and even its own director’s Requiem for a Dream? Basphemy!

    Plus I feel Finding Nemo doesn’t come close to the magic of Wall-E.

    And don’t even get me started on your #1 pick. A well-made, yet highly pale film in comparison to those aforementioned. You’ve let me down.

    On the other hand, thanks for including Moulin Rouge! on the list.

  • 58 12-21-2009 at 10:22 am

    Matthew said...

    1.There Will be Blood
    2.Children of Men
    3.Pans Labyrinth
    4.City of God
    5.Wall-E
    6.The Fellowship of the Ring
    7.Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    8.Spirited Away
    9.Sideways
    10.The Dark Knight

  • 59 12-21-2009 at 10:27 am

    Martin James said...

    Yikes…couldn’t whittle it down to ten:

    In no particular order:

    Eternal Sunshine, Gladiator, Monster’s Ball, Cold Mountain, Babel, Benjamin Button, Slumdog Millionaire, Gosford Park, A Prairie Home Companion, Requiem for a Dream, AI, Capote, Brokeback Mountain, Spider Man, Batman Begins, Ratatouille, Up, Children of Men, Far from Heaven, About Schmidt, Star Trek, Kill Bill, Grindhouse: Planet Terror, Something’s Gotta Give, Vanilla Sky and Vicky Christina Barcelona.

  • 60 12-21-2009 at 10:29 am

    Chris138 said...

    I am pretty sure I would put The Assassination of Jesse James as my #1 as well, or at least damn near close. Nice list.

  • 61 12-21-2009 at 10:42 am

    Silencio said...

    I recently had a discussion with a couple of film lovin’ friends about the ending of Irreversible. I had always thought it was a positive ending, in that it ends with the present moment of her in the park holding her belly. They thought that was chronologically the first event. My interpretation is why I ended up liking the movie. If it’s really as bleak as my friends interpreted it, I like it less. I don’t really know what the point of it was then. Fatalism?

  • 62 12-21-2009 at 11:01 am

    McGuff said...

    I am not done with mine yet, but I know that we’ll share “Nemo” and maybe “Adaptation” and “Moulin Rouge”. I think I find a spot for “A Serious Man”, and I know WALL-E is in there.

    I loved Revolutionary Road and the Painted Veil, so those probably get in there.

    Tops for me is There Will Be Blood, and second is Sideways.

    Almost Famous, The Departed, Into the Wild, Juno, Gomorrah are others off the top of my head that I’ve thought about.

  • 63 12-21-2009 at 11:04 am

    phil said...

    I get people love the Lord of the Rings movies and give props to Peter Jackson for pulling off such an ambitious endeavor with aplomb, but I’m not sure if those films have aged that well. They’re solid entertainments but a little too bombastic and melodramatic at times for me (not to mention a wee bit racist, more Tolkien’s fault I suppose, a product of his times). I also feel I’d enjoy them more if they weren’t so overpraised.

  • 64 12-21-2009 at 11:05 am

    Matthew Starr said...

    I like this list except for The Fountain and Inland Empire. Although I have only seen both of those once. I am more willing to give the Fountain another look because of that awesome score from Clint Mansell.

    Kris no love for There Will Be Blood, No Country, Michael Clayton, Pans Labyrinth, Lives of Others? Or even Mulholland Drive…..

  • 65 12-21-2009 at 11:14 am

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Another great read Kris, although I can’t believe you like Shortbus. Straight up F for me.

  • 66 12-21-2009 at 11:20 am

    M.Harris said...

    1)City of God
    2)Babel
    3)There Will Be Blood
    4)Pan’s Labyrinth
    5)The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
    6)Gladiator
    7)Into the Wild
    8)The 40-Year Old Virgin
    9)Crouching Tiger…Hidden Dragon
    10)Sideways

  • 67 12-21-2009 at 11:30 am

    Darbicus said...

    My top 100

    100. Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Woody Allen, 2008)
    99. The Squid and the Whale (Noah Baumbach, 2005)
    98. Lust, Caution (Ang Lee, 2007)
    97. The Pianist (Roman Polanski, 2002)
    96. The 25th Hour (Spike Lee, 2002)

    95. Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (Michael Winterbottm, 2005)
    94. The Messenger (Oren Moverman, 2009)
    93. Goodbye, Dragon Inn (Ming-Liang Tsai, 2003)
    92. The Others (Alejandro Amenabar, 2001)
    91. Good Night, and Good Luck (George Clooney, 2005)

    90. Vera Drake (Mike Leigh, 2004)
    89. The Departed (Martin Scorsese, 2006)
    88. Milk (Gus van Sant, 2008)
    87. (500) Days of Summer (Marc Webb, 2009)
    86. Hero (Zhang Yimou, 2002)

    85. Grizzly Man (Werner Herzog, 2005)
    84. The Darjeeling Limited (Wes Anderson, 2007)
    83. The Gleaners & I (Agnes Varda, 2000)
    82. Y Tu Mama Tambien (Alfonso Cuaron, 2001)
    81. I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone (Ming-Liang Tsai, 2006)

    80. Happy-Go-Lucky (Mike Leigh, 2008)
    79. American Splendor (Shari Springer-Berman & Robert Pulcini, 2003)
    78. No Country for Old Men (Joel & Ethan Coen, 2007)
    77. Minority Report (Steven Spielberg, 2002)
    76. Two Lovers (James Gray, 2009)

    75. Kings and Queen (Arnaud Desplechin, 2004)
    74. Ponyo (Hayao Miyazaki, 2008)
    73. The Wrestler (Darren Aronofsky, 2008)
    72. 2046 (Wong Kar-Wai, 2004)
    71. Broken Flowers (Jim Jarmusch, 2005)

    70. Birth (Johnathan Glazer, 2004)
    69. Silent Light (Carlos Reygadas, 2007)
    68. The Circle (Jafar Panahi, 2000)
    67. Adaptation. (Spike Jonze, 2002)
    66. Moon (Duncan Jones, 2009)

    65. Notre Musique (Jean-Luc Godard, 2004)
    64. The Incredibles (Brad Bird, 2004)
    63. Inland Empire (David Lynch, 2006)
    62. A Serious Man (Joel & Ethan Coen, 2009)
    61. Baadasssss! (Mario van Peebles, 2003)

    60. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Andrew Dominik, 2007)
    59. O’ Brother Where Art Thou? (Joel & Ethan Coen, 2000)
    58. Where the Wild Things Are (Spike Jonze, 2009)
    57. Far from Heaven (Todd Haynes, 2002)
    56. Synecdoche, New York (Charlie Kaufman, 2008)

    55. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Peter Jackson, 2002)
    54. Three Times (Hou Hsaio-Hsien, 2005)
    53. The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008)
    52. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (Peter Weir, 2003)
    51. Waltz With Bashir (Ari Folman, 2008)

    50. George Washington (David Gordon Green, 2000)
    49. What Time Is It There? (Ming-Liang Tsai, 2001)
    48. Talk to Her (Pedro Almodovar, 2002)
    47. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…Spring (Kim Ki-Duk, 2003)
    46. Mysterious Skin (Gregg Araki, 2004)

    45. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee, 2000)
    44. Ten (Abbas Kiarostami, 2002)
    43. Cache (Michael Haneke, 2005)
    42. Hunger (Steve McQueen, 2008)
    41. Gosford Park (Robert Altman, 2001)

    40. The Return (Andrei Zvyagintsev, 2003)
    39. Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2006)
    38. Aleksandra (Aleksandr Sokurov, 2007)
    37. The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow, 2009)
    36. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Peter Jackson, 2003)

    35. Va Savoir (Jacques Rivette, 2001)
    34. The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2006)
    33. Che (Steven Soderbergh, 2008)
    32. Downfall (Oliver Hirschbigel, 2004)
    31. City of God (Fernando Meirelles, 2003)

    30. United 93 (Paul Greengrass, 2006)
    29. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Peter Jackson, 2001)
    28. WALL-E (Andrew Stanton, 2008)
    27. Elephant (Gus van Sant, 2003)
    26. L’Enfant (Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, 2005)

    25. Werckmeister Harmonies (Bela Tarr, 2000)
    24. Children of Men (Alfonso Cuaron, 2006)
    23. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu, 2007)
    22. Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003)
    21. Finding Nemo (Andrew Stanton, 2003)

    20. Dogville (Lars von Trier, 2003)
    19. The New World (Terrence Malick, 2005)
    18. A Prairie Home Companion (Robert Altman, 2006)
    17. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (Julian Schnabel, 2007)
    16. Antichrist (Lars von Trier, 2009)

    15. The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson, 2001)
    14. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)
    13. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)
    12. A History of Violence (David Cronenberg, 2005)
    11. Pan’s Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro, 2006)

    10. Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2002)
    9. Memento (Christopher Nolan, 2001)
    8. AI: Artificial Intelligence (Steven Spielberg, 2001)
    7. Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, 2005)
    6. Yi Yi (Edward Yang, 2000)

    5. Moolaade (Ousmane Sembene, 2004)
    4. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001)
    3. Russian Ark (Aleksandr Sokurov, 2002)
    2. Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2004)
    1. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-Wai, 2000)

  • 68 12-21-2009 at 11:56 am

    Cameron said...

    My Top 10 (in no particular order)

    Where the Wild Things Are
    Y tu mama tambien
    Mulholland Drive
    The Lord of the Rings
    WALL-E
    There Will Be Blood
    City of God
    A Serious Man
    Pan’s Labyrinth
    Dancer in the Dark

  • 69 12-21-2009 at 12:02 pm

    James D. said...

    I probably won’t finish mine for months as I catch up on releases I think I need to see. However, my working list:

    1. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
    2. Lost in Translation
    3. Punch-Drunk Love
    4. Inglourious Basterds
    5. 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days
    6. Head-On
    7. You Can Count on Me
    8. Sideways
    9. The Royal Tenenbaums
    10. Elephant

  • 70 12-21-2009 at 12:20 pm

    Hans said...

    I am curious as to your thoughts on The Dark Knight, since you were one of its biggest champions last year, and yet when you didn’t list it among the Honorable Mentions, I was sure I’d see it among the Top 10.

    Otherwise, a great read. I went giddy when I saw your choice of picture for the article, I love that film.

  • 71 12-21-2009 at 12:29 pm

    Matt said...

    See lots of mentions as to WALL-E not being mentioned. Expect nothing less, Kris has a famous hatred of good mov..err…WALL-E, at least that was my impression last year. WALL-E is fantastic and deserves to be on every decade list, but do not expect that from Kristopher Tapley, he didn’t understand the film.

  • 72 12-21-2009 at 12:38 pm

    Gar said...

    Great read, Kris. My favorite films of the decade are as follows:

    Best Film
    “Memento” (Christopher Nolan, 2000)

    Runner-up:
    “The Lord of the Rings” (Peter Jackson, 2001-03)

    Honorable Mentions:
    “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” (Cristian Mungiu, 2007)
    “Amelie” (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001)
    “Children of Men” (Alfonso Cuarón, 2006)
    “City of God” (Fernando Meirelles, 2002)
    “The Departed” (Martin Scorsese, 2006)
    “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (Julian Schnabel, 2007)
    “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (Michel Gondry, 2004)
    “Finding Nemo” (Andrew Stanton, 2003)
    “The Incredibles” (Brad Bird, 2004)
    “Moulin Rouge!” (Baz Luhrmann, 2001)
    “No Country for Old Men” (Joel & Ethan Coen, 2007)
    “Pan’s Labyrinth” (Guillermo del Toro, 2006)
    “Ratatouille” (Brad Bird, 2007)
    “There Will Be Blood” (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)
    “United 93″ (Paul Greengrass, 2006)
    “WALL-E” (Andrew Stanton, 2008)

  • 73 12-21-2009 at 1:08 pm

    Frank Lee said...

    1. Mulholland Drive
    2. Match Point
    3. Zodiac
    4. Bad Education
    5. Inglourious Bastards
    6. Team America: World Police
    7. Cloverfield
    8. Zoolander
    9. Brokeback Mountain
    10. School of Rock

  • 74 12-21-2009 at 1:10 pm

    El Rocho said...

    Very interesting list. Each one took me by surprise. A very artistic list. Very creative. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love reading this shit. And this one was Grade A. Thanks, man.

  • 75 12-21-2009 at 1:19 pm

    Louis said...

    1) In the Bedroom
    2) About Schmidt
    3) Under the Sand
    4) Vicky Cristina Barcelona
    5) The Wrestler
    6) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    7) Capturing the Friedmans
    8) The Class
    9) Maria Full of Grace
    10) Y Tu Mama Tambien

  • 76 12-21-2009 at 1:32 pm

    Jeffrey Filiault said...

    Your list surprised me quite a bit… but in a good way. There’s much more overlap than I would have anticipated.

    I applaud that you chose to leave out the LOTR trilogy. That took some serious balls… I didn’t include it either.

    Here’s my list:
    1. “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (2007)
    2. “Oldboy” (2003)
    3. “A History of Violence” (2005)
    4. “Gosford Park” (2001)
    5. “El Laberinto del Fauno” (2006)
    6. “Moulin Rouge!” (2001)
    7. “Cidade de Deus” (2002)
    8. “The Fountain” (2006)
    9. “Memento” (2000)
    10. “Wall-E” (2008)

  • 77 12-21-2009 at 2:44 pm

    Ivan said...

    100. 24 Hour Party People/Michael Winterbottom, 2002
    99. Habana Blues / Benito Zambrano, 2005
    98. Old Boy / Park Chan-wook, 2003
    97. Lantana/Ray Lawrence, 2001
    96. La marche de l´empereur/Luc Jacquet, 2005
    95. Snatch / Guy Ritchie, 2000
    94. Vicky Cristina Barcelona/Woody Allen, 2008
    93. Yesterday/Darrell Roodt,2004
    92. Persepolis/Vincent Paronnaud &Marjane Satrapi, 2007
    91. The Constant Gardener/Fernando Meirelles, 2005

    90. Promises/Carlos Bolado &Justine Shapiro, 2001
    89. The School of Rock/Richard Linklater, 2003
    88. Hedwig and the Angry Inch/John Cameron Mitchell, 2001
    87. The Filth and the Fury/Julien Temple, 2000
    86. Paranoid Park/Gus Van Sant, 2008
    85. 28 Days Later/Danny Boyle, 2003
    84. Turtles Can Fly/Bahman Ghobadi, 2004
    83. American Gangster/Ridley Scott, 2007
    82. Princesas/Fernando Leon de Aranoa, 2005
    81. Dolls/Takeshi Kitano, 2002

    80. Milk/Gus Van Sant, 2008
    79. Adaptation/Spike Jonze, 2002
    78. The Departed/Martin Scorsese, 2006
    77. Wall-E/Andrew Stanton, 2008
    76. The Return/Andrei Zvyagintsev, 2003
    75. District 9/Neill Blomkamp, 2009
    74. Far from Heaven/Todd Haynes, 2002
    73. Iron Man/Jon Favreau, 2008
    72. Capturing the Friedmans/Andrew Jarecki, 2003
    71. The Lord of the Rings: TFOTR/Peter Jackson, 2001

    70. (500) Days of Summer/Marc Webb, 2009
    69. There Will Be Blood/Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007
    68. A History of Violence/David Cronenberg, 2005
    67. Y tu mamá también/Alfonso Cuaron, 2001
    66. Ghost Dog: the Way of the Samurai/Jim Jarmusch, 2000
    65. V for Vendetta/James McTeique, 2006
    64. Ratatouille/Brad Bird, 2007
    63. The Bourne Supremacy/Paul Greengrass, 2004
    62. Rachel Getting Married/Jonathan Demme, 2008
    61. About a Boy /Chris Weitz & Paul Weitz, 2002

    60. Whisky/Juan Pablo Rebella & Pablo Stoll,2004
    59. American Psycho/Mary Harron, 2000
    58. Half Nelson/Ryan Fleck, 2006
    57. The Edge of Heaven/Fatih Akin, 2007
    56. Dancer in the Dark/Lars Von Trier, 2000
    55. The Royal Tenenbaums/Wes Anderson, 2001
    54. Into the Wild/Sean Penn, 2007
    53. Bridget Jones´ Diary/Sharon Maguire, 2001
    52. Dogville/Lars Von Trier, 2003
    51. Volver/Pedro Almodovar, 2006

  • 78 12-21-2009 at 2:46 pm

    tintin said...

    My list:

    Atonement
    Wall-E
    Million dollar baby
    Moulin Rouge
    Pan’s Labyrinth
    Lord of the Ringd trilogy
    Babel
    Revolutionary Road
    Changeling
    Into the Wild

  • 79 12-21-2009 at 2:56 pm

    Ivan said...

    50. Sin City/Robert Rodriguez & Frank Miller, 2005
    49. Gomorrah/Matteo Garrone, 2008
    48. Irreversible/Gaspar Noe, 2002
    47. The Squid and the Whale/Noah Baumbach, 2005
    46. Moulin Rouge/Baz Luhrmann, 2001
    45. Revolutionary Road/Sam Mendes, 2008
    44. Mulholland Drive/David Lynch, 2001
    43. Across the Universe/Julie Taymor, 2007
    42. Hunger/Steve McQueen, 2008
    41. Gladiator/Ridley Scott, 2000

    40. Bowling for Columbine/Michael Moore, 2002
    39. The Orphanage/Juan Antonio Bayona, 2007
    38. Love Actually/Richard Curtis, 2003
    37. Late Marriage/Dover Koshashvili, 2001
    36. X2: X Men United/Bryan Singer, 2003
    35. Inglourious Basterds/Quentin Tarantino, 2009
    34. The Hours/Stephen Daldry, 2002
    33. Spiderman 2 /Sam Reimi, 2004
    32. You Can Count on Me/Kenneth Lonergan, 2000
    31. Punch-Drunk Love/Paul Thomas Anderson, 2002

    30. Closer/Mike Nichols, 2004
    29. Joy Division/Grant Gee, 2007
    28. The Lives of Others/Florian Henckel v. Donnersmarck, 2006
    27. Sex and Lucia/Julio Medem, 2001
    26. Lost in Translation/Sofia Coppola, 2003
    25. The Sea Inside/Alejandro Amenabar, 2004
    24. Birth/Jonathan Glazer, 2004
    23. C.R.A.Z.Y./Jean- Marc Vallé, 2005
    22. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days/Christian Mungiu, 2007
    21. Pan´s Labyrinth/Guillermo Del Toro, 2006

    20. Memento/Christopher Nolan, 2001
    19. Billy Elliot/Stephen Daldry, 2000
    18. Amélie /Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001
    17. Shortbus/John Cameron Mitchell, 2006
    16. Talk to Her/Pedro Almodovar, 2002
    15. The Princess and the Warrior/Tom Twyker, 2001
    14. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind/Michel Gondry, 2004
    13. Le scaphandre et le papillon/Julian Schnabel, 2007
    12. Kill Bill ( vol. 1 & 2)/Quentin Tarantino, 2003-2004
    11. The Dark Knight/Christopher Nolan, 2008

    10. A Prophet / Jacques Audiard, 2009
    9. Almost Famous/Cameron Crowe, 2000
    8. Let the Right One In / Tomas Alfredson, 2008
    7. In the Mood for Love / Wong Kar Wai, 2000
    6. Children of Men/Alfonso Cuaron, 2006
    5. City of God/Fernando Meirelles, 2002
    4. Requiem for a Dream/Darren Aronofsky, 2000
    3. Brokeback Mountain/Ang Lee, 2005
    2. Waltz with Bashir /Ari Folman, 2008
    1. 25th Hour/Spike Lee, 2002

  • 80 12-21-2009 at 3:05 pm

    Billyboy said...

    @ Alex,

    I agree about Blanchett. Amazing performance. But for me watching Tilda sweating, practicing speeches and (spoiler) loosing to Clooney in that last scene was just… I don’t know. Few performances made me feel that way. Can’t put it into words.

    And “Julia” was beyond that. I’m still pissed everyone is ignoring that performance this year.

  • 81 12-21-2009 at 3:33 pm

    Gareth said...

    Thought for a second our Lists would match up very closely… then it got weird :-)

    Inland Empire, as great as it is, as inventive and free from any parameters of what has come before it (in terms of narrative and tone and just about anything else) it is… it can not, in my opinion, match the sheer brilliance of Mulholland Dr.

    And as your thoughts on the Lord of the Rings trilogy are on record, I’m not surprised they are nowhere to be seen on your wrap up of the decade. Though I disagree whole heartedly.

    My (ALMOST LOCKED DOWN) Top 10 of the 00′s:

    10. Moulin Rouge!
    9. The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
    8. Dogville
    7. Brokeback Mountain
    6. The Hours
    5. The Dark Knight
    4. There Will Be Blood
    3. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
    2. Mulholland Dr.
    1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

  • 82 12-21-2009 at 3:34 pm

    The World said...

    wow, your list ist almost as bas as Eberts best of the year!

  • 83 12-21-2009 at 3:51 pm

    Chris said...

    I started reading your site in 2005 when you still had a Blogger account, and I somehow never knew what you thought of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, the film which finally turned me into the film geek I am.

    I am glad you seem to love it. And even though it’s the only film I have on my own decade top 10, I still think your list really gives a wonderful insight into what the noughties meant on film.

  • 84 12-21-2009 at 4:44 pm

    Paul Outlaw said...

    My list (today):

    1. I’m Not There (Haynes)
    2. Wo hu cang long (Lee)
    3. The New World (Malick)
    4. Children of Men (Cuarón)
    5. Die Unberührbare (Roehler)
    6. Sur mes lèvres (Audiard)
    7. Adaptation. (Jonze)
    8. The Assassination of Richard Nixon (Mueller)
    9. No Country for Old Men (Coens)
    10. Batman Begins/The Dark Knight (Nolan)

    Honorable Mention:
    Brokeback Mountain (Lee)
    Far From Heaven (Haynes)

    Some recurring artists in the list:
    Christian Bale (three times)
    Judy Becker
    Carter Burwell
    Todd Haynes
    Edward Lachman
    Heath Ledger (3x)
    Ang Lee
    Emmanuel Lubezki (3x)
    Julianne Moore (3x)
    Michelle Williams

  • 85 12-21-2009 at 5:18 pm

    BurmaShave said...

    Well, you are the man. A thousand times yes for your inclusion of THE FOUNTAIN and sincere thanks for not bowing to the fine but overrated RINGS trilogy. Very very solid list.

    Incidentally, my own:

    10. The Departed
    9. The Dark Knight
    8. City of God
    7. Sexy Beast
    6. Zodiac
    5. In Bruges
    4. Almost Famous
    3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    2. Royal Tenenbaums
    1. Children of Men

  • 86 12-21-2009 at 5:27 pm

    Kiel said...

    1. The New World
    2. The Lord of the Rings
    3. Elephant
    4. Cold Mountain
    5. A.I. Artificial Intelligence
    6. Speed Racer
    7. Lost In Translation
    8. Moon
    9. Bug
    10. The Fountain

  • 87 12-21-2009 at 5:44 pm

    Zac said...

    When I saw the picture of Minority Report, I thought it was your #1 movie of the decade!

    No overlap on the Top 10, but 3 of your honorable mentions made my Top 10.

    10. Batman Begins/City of God/Traffic
    9. The Dark Knight
    8. Zodiac
    7. The Departed
    6. Munich
    5. Million Dollar Baby
    4. Minority Report
    3. Memento
    2. Almost Famous
    1. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

    I have them chronologically reversed. except for the Rings trilogy. which has been #1 since Return of the King came out.

  • 88 12-21-2009 at 5:56 pm

    Douglas said...

    I haven’t seen everything so I can’t say that these are the best of the decade… but they are my favourite.

    1. There Will Be Blood
    2. Little Miss Sunshine
    3. The Dark Knight
    4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    5. Avatar
    6. The Wrestler
    7. In Bruges
    8. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
    9. Finding Nemo
    10. Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of ythe Black Pearl

  • 89 12-21-2009 at 6:36 pm

    Sean Stangland said...

    Bravo, Kris, on your inclusion of “The Fountain,” which is probably the second-most misunderstood, unfairly maligned film of the past decade. (The first? “A.I.”) And also on the inclusion of “Finding Nemo,” which, while not as thought-provoking or daring as “WALL-E,” will probably be Pixar’s enduring, popular classic for decades to come.

    With all these end-of-the-decade lists, there is one film that seemingly everyone can agree belongs, no matter our personal tastes and distastes: “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”

  • 90 12-21-2009 at 7:11 pm

    Murdock said...

    No particular order:

    The Dark Knight
    Into the Wild
    Assassination of Jesse James
    Return of the King
    Fantastic Mr. Fox
    Public Enemies
    Tropic Thunder
    Catch Me If You Can
    Black Hawk Down
    25th Hour/Zodiac

  • 91 12-21-2009 at 7:17 pm

    Murdock said...

    Honnorable Mention: Ocean’s Eleven

  • 92 12-21-2009 at 7:24 pm

    Packie said...

    10. Hot Fuzz
    9. Spirited Away
    8. Kill Bill vol. 2
    7. Inglourious Basterds
    6. No Country for Old Men
    5. The Dark Knight
    4. Little Miss Sunshine
    3. There Will Be Blood
    2. The Departed
    1. Black Hawk Down

    Not the most interesting list but I haven’t seen alot of movies from early on in the decade.

  • 93 12-21-2009 at 7:27 pm

    Chase H. said...

    I0. Unbreakable
    9. Pan’s Labyrinth
    8. Diving Bell and the Butterfly
    7. Wall-E
    6. In America
    5. Avatar (saw it twice. f to all who question this)
    4. Children of Men
    3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    2. AI: Artificial Intelligence
    1. Spirited Away

  • 94 12-21-2009 at 8:02 pm

    Kevin said...

    @ Chad Hartigan: Shortbus is an excellent film. Its honesty and emotional impact is plainly there on the screen. It had one of the most naturalistic, convincing ensembles ever, incorporated a very poignant soundtrack and showcased director Cameron Mitchell’s prowess for examining the complexities of human relationships.

    I realise it’s probably an underseen little film (I don’t think anyone even mentioned it in their comments except for Kris, but I may be wrong!), but I would definitely urge those who haven’t to do so. It is, without a doubt, a vital, important and ultimately, universal piece of work.

  • 95 12-21-2009 at 8:09 pm

    Frank Lee said...

    Kiel,

    When I saw people putting “Where the Wild Things Are” on their best of 2009 lists, I thought, That makes as much sense as someone putting “Speed Racer” on their best of the decade list. And you did!

  • 96 12-21-2009 at 8:35 pm

    Meli said...

    I love you forever for naming The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford as your number 1. Your inclusion of The Fountain in your top ten means we’d have a love/hate relationship.

  • 97 12-21-2009 at 8:38 pm

    Dylan said...

    Based on everyone’s list, I think it can be stated that Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is the best film of the decade.

  • 98 12-21-2009 at 9:05 pm

    Zan said...

    1: No Country for Old Men
    2: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
    3: Traffic
    4: The Wrestler
    5: Sideways
    6: Gone Baby Gone
    7: Jarhead
    8: There Will Be Blood
    9: Collateral
    10: Adaptation
    11: Children of Men
    12: Downfall
    13: Punch-Drunk Love
    14: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    15: The Squid and the Whale

  • 99 12-21-2009 at 9:28 pm

    AntonioA said...

    1. Requiem for a Dream
    2. Amores Perros
    3. A Beautiful Mind
    4. The Incredibles
    5. Vanilla Sky
    6. There Will Be Blood
    7. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
    8. The Dark Knight
    9. Billy Elliot
    10. Spiderman

    Hon Mentions: Ratatouille, LotR The Return of the King, HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Diarios de Motocicleta, The Edge of Heaven, Children of Men and 21 Grams.

  • 100 12-21-2009 at 9:31 pm

    Dave said...

    1. No Country for Old Men (USA)
    2. Departures (Japan)
    3. Doubt (USA)
    4. The Wrestler (USA)
    5. Sideways (USA)
    6. Sophie Scholl: The Final Days
    AND Downfall (Germany) TIE
    7. Happy Times (China)
    8. Apocalypto (USA)
    9. Aaltra (France)
    10. Nobody Knows (Japan)

    But I have not seen Air Doll, The White Ribbon, or Baaria yet and they all look like classics…

  • 101 12-21-2009 at 9:45 pm

    The Dude said...

    As if it matters (since there are a thousand “best of lists” in these comments sections and I bet nobody’s actually reading all of them), but my tops of the decade:

    TOP TEN
    1) Sideways
    2) Lost in Translation
    3) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    4) No Country for Old Men
    5) Children of Men
    6) The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
    7) Volver
    8) The Wrestler
    9) Finding Nemo
    10) The New World

    HONORABLE MENTIONS (in no particular order):
    Gomorrah, Wall-E, Kill Bill, There Will Be Blood, Synecdoche NY, The Dark Knight, Almost Famous, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, In the Mood For Love, Far From Heaven, Talk to Her, Spirited Away, Before Sunset, The Incredibles, Cache, The Squid and the Whale, Good Night and Good Luck, Ratatouille, United 93, The Departed, Persepolis, 4 Months 3 Weeks 2 Days, Moulin Rouge!, The Triplets of Belleville, Up

    Of all the genres, I must say I am most impressed with the output we’ve seen in animation these past 10 years. Sure, a lot of it came from Pixar, but there were a number of non-Pixar movies that really stuck with me, both from a visual standpoint as well as a story-telling standpoint. And I haven’t even seen this year’s crop…I caught Up, but I still have to see Ponyo, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Coraline, and the Princess and the Frog.

  • 102 12-21-2009 at 10:25 pm

    Kiel said...

    Frank Lee,

    Speed Racer is a sheer joy of a film. Its energy and its unrelenting message of true family values triumphing over fake corporatism are both daring and very much welcomed. Give most directors a bunch of money and they produce mindless, forgettable junk. With Speed Racer, the Wachowski Brothers created a pop art masterpiece.

    Kris, just out of curiosity, what were your top ten films of the 1990′s?

  • 103 12-22-2009 at 12:31 am

    decs said...

    Hell why not… My top 10 of the decade (in alphabetical order)…

    4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
    Adaption
    Children of Men
    The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
    Dogville
    Downfall
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    Pan’s Labyrinth
    Ratatouille
    Spirited Away

  • 104 12-22-2009 at 2:10 am

    Ed said...

    Dogville being at #2 definitely took me by surprise, but otherwise a solid list. At the risk of repeating a lot of titles, here’s my list:

    #1. Lost in Translation (2003)
    #2. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
    #3. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
    #4. The Wrestler (2008)
    #5. Children of Men (2006)
    #6. 28 Days Later (2003)
    #7. Avatar (2009)
    #8. The Departed (2006)
    #9. Training Day (2001)
    #10. The Devil’s Backbone (2001)

  • 105 12-22-2009 at 4:05 am

    Glenn said...

    Stunning list! I think “Diving Bell” is overrated and “Adaptation” hasn’t done well in my mind like Kaufman’s other written films (excluding “Synecdoche”). I wouldn’t include titles like “Jesse James” and “The Fountain” but they are far more worthy and interesting titles than what the majority of people would choose.

    Having “Moulin Rouge!”, “INLAND EMPIRE”, “Finding Nemo”, “Eternal Sunshine” and “Dogville” on there is inspired, inspiring and altogether brilliant. Those five titles exemplify everything cinema should and could be.

  • 106 12-22-2009 at 5:52 am

    han said...

    my list:

    1. Last Days
    2. Mulholland Dr.
    3. Silent Light
    4. In the City of Sylvia
    5. Birth
    6. The Piano Teacher
    7. Punch-Drunk Love
    8. Tropical Malady
    9. Elephant
    10. Marie Antoinette

  • 107 12-22-2009 at 7:09 am

    Pauley said...

    I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am the The Assasination of Jesse James is at the top of your list. I remember following the production and was quite disappointed when it landed without a splash. It took me quite a long time to see it, but when I did (in the backwoods of inland China) I was absolutely gobsmacked. Kudos for the list.

    I haven’t compiled mine yet, but I know that The Assasination, Dogville, Eternal Sunshine and Moulin Rouge would definitely be on my list.

  • 108 12-22-2009 at 8:36 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Thanks for all the compliments, guys. It was a lot of (painstaking) fun putting this together.

  • 109 12-22-2009 at 11:50 am

    Fitz said...

    Great list Kris, my list has most of the same Dogville, Eternal Sunshine, Jesse James, The Fountain just in a different order.

  • 110 12-22-2009 at 12:05 pm

    Dean Treadway said...

    Great piece, Kris! I will eventually do my top 100 but for now, my top 30:

    1) The New World (2005, Terrence Malick)
    2) The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007, Andrew Dominick)
    3) You Can Count On Me (2000, Kenneth Lonergan)
    4) The House of Mirth (2000, Terrence Davies)
    5) Moulin Rouge! (2001, Baz Luhrmann)
    6) Mulholland Dr. (2001, David Lynch)
    7) Russian Ark (2002, Alexandr Sokurov)
    8) The Fountain (2006, Darrin Aronofsky)
    9) Elephant (2003, Gus Van Sant)
    10) Old Joy (2006, Kelly Reichardt)
    11) Nobody Knows (2005, Kore-eda Hirokazu)
    12) United 93 (2006, Paul Greengrass)
    13) In The Bedroom (2001, Todd Fields)
    14) Donnie Darko (2001, Richard Kelly)
    15) No Country For Old Men (2007, Joel and Ethan Coen)
    16) The Fall (2008, Tarsem Singh)
    17) There Will Be Blood (2007, Paul Thomas Anderson)
    18) Million Dollar Baby (2004, Clint Eastwood)
    19) Children of Men (2006, Alfonzo Cuaron)
    20) Dancer in the Dark (2000, Lars Von Trier)
    21) The Brown Bunny (2003, Vincent Gallo)
    22) Grizzly Man (2005, Werner Herzog)
    23) Vera Drake (2004, Mike Leigh)
    24) Inglouious Basterds (2009, Quentin Tarantino)
    25) All The Real Girls (2003, David Gordon Green)
    26) Catch Me If You Can (2002, Steven Spielberg)
    27) Punch-Drunk Love (2002, Paul Thomas Anderson) Love
    28) In America (2003, Jim Sheridan)
    29) Bright Star (2009, Jane Campion)
    30) Max (2002, Menno Meyies)

  • 111 12-22-2009 at 1:53 pm

    Jeff said...

    This would be my list:

    1. Yi Yi (Yang, 2000)
    2. Still Walking (Kore-eda, 2008)
    3. Old Joy (Reichardt, 2006)
    4. The New World (Malick, 2005)
    5. Werckmeister Harmonies (Tarr, 2000)
    6. Revanche (Spielmann, 2008)
    7. You Can Count on Me (Lonergan, 2000)
    8. The Best of Youth (Giordana, 2003)
    9. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (Jones, 2005)
    10. Brokeback Mountain (Lee, 2005)

  • 112 12-22-2009 at 7:15 pm

    Kevin said...

    Wow Jeff, that’s one of the more obscure lists I’ve seen. I mean I’ve heard of many of the titles on your list, some I haven’t (Still Walking, Old Joy, The Best of Youth), but that’s about it. The only one I’ve seen is Brokeback Mountain, which was fantastic, poignant and definitely deserves to be on the list.

    Just a side question: Would you consider your picks to be relatively obscure, high-brow types? (just wondering why I haven’t even remotely heard of some of those)

  • 113 12-22-2009 at 7:54 pm

    Anthony B. said...

    1. City of God
    2. Diving Bell and the Butterfly
    3. A Serious Man
    4. Paradise Now
    5. Requiem for a Dream
    6. The Pianist
    7. Traffic
    8. Synecdoche, NY
    9. Capturing the Friedmans
    10. Mystic River

  • 114 12-22-2009 at 10:11 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Kevin- I’d say Jeff’s list is only a 5 on an obscurity scale to 10. You’d be doing yourself a favor by checking out titles like Still Walking and Old Joy and if you like those, maybe you can go further to Tropical Malady and Nights and Weekends.

  • 115 12-23-2009 at 10:43 am

    entertainmenttod said...

    I dont get what people see in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I hated that film. Also The Fountain, while very interesting its still a misfire.
    Just my opinion.
    Some of My favorites
    Unbreakable
    Moulin Rouge
    Million Dollar Baby
    Gran Torino
    The Dark Knight
    United 93
    Spiderman 2
    There Will be Blood
    Sicko
    2012 -Great guilty pleasure

    Chuck

  • 116 12-23-2009 at 11:28 am

    Paul Outlaw said...

    @ Chuck (115);

    If Gran Torino is on your best of decade list, it’s not surprising that you might hate The Fountain and Eternal Sunshine because they are about as far as you can get aesthetically from the Eastwood flick.

  • 117 12-23-2009 at 2:00 pm

    entertainmenttod said...

    @Paul- To me Gran Torino is to Eastwood what The Shootist was to John Wayne. As a fan I love both.

    chuck

  • 118 12-23-2009 at 2:54 pm

    Paul Outlaw said...

    @ Chuck:

    Fair enough, although I don’t agree. To me Gran Torino is to Eastwood what McQ is to John Wayne. (I’m a fan of Eastwood and Wayne, but Gran Torino did not do it for me.)

  • 119 12-23-2009 at 7:21 pm

    John said...

    I’ll leave the choice of the 10 best films to critics. As an audience member, I’ll just say the 10 films that meant the most to me.

    1,2. Star Trek, The Dark Knight… This decade, Hollywood gave up trying to find anything new, and they put their best efforts into retelling stories of old. And for all the dung they’ve gotten for it, if they’re going to make my childhood heroes come alive in full widescreen glory with this much wit, style, intelligence, thought, and bravado, then more power to them. Shakespeare rarely felt the need to come up with anything new and his stuff has stood up pretty well. (Of these two, I give the edge to STAR TREK. For two reasons…a) these were my heroes growing up, and b) I think I’ve reached an age where I actually prefer a movie to have a positive outlook on the universe.

    3. Training Day. If you want to see what great screen acting is, watch this. Electric, in the moment, feeding off of each other, imbued with a past we rarely hear of. Plus, great words, great style, great locations, great movie.

    4. Saw/Saw 2. Wes Craven once said that a horror movie really scares you if you think the guy making it is dangerous. That definitely applies here. These movies are also valuable to see the fine line between extreme yet effective cinema and sick torture porn (the movies that came after these two). In these films, story, dialogue, character, pace, tone… all were essential. After these two, though, I felt like I was watching snuff films shot by a fan of Nine Inch Nails Videos. Special kudos to Tobin Bell for giving one of the scariest performances in film history (in #2) while being so weak he could barely move from his chair.

    5. The 40-Year-Old Virgin. More laughs than you can shake a stick at, a hero to cheer, a comedy which takes itself seriously yet remembers it’s a comedy. Strangely, I have not enjoyed Mr. Apatow’s subsequent efforts much, but this is a damn masterpiece.

    6. Michael Clayton. By mixing the genres of character study and legal thriller, we suddenly have a serious character piece that doesn;t bore you to tears and a thriller that actually seems like it could have happened.

    7. 3:10 to Yuma. Christian Bale and Russell Crowe may be poster boys for over-testosteroned movie stars behaving like spoiled little bitches, but the two fools sure can act when they get good material. By mixing modern expectations of character development and production value, with a good old-fashioned storytelling ethic, we get the most satisfying Western since the good old days when these things were all over the place.

    8. Gladiator. Same thing, just with Crowe, Phoenix, and a different major genre of the good old days.

    9. Mr. Brooks. Possibly the only movie in history to get you to empathize with a serial killer. Casting Kevin Costner and letting him terrorize Dane Cook is probably how they got away with it.

    10. The Hangover. Funniest movie ever. Zach Galifinakis is the only actor who could possibly be considered as an alternative to Mr. Waltz at the Oscars this year, but that lamebrained Academy only believes in arthouse crap these days!

  • 120 12-24-2009 at 5:04 am

    mark vincent k said...

    Nice list; although, mine differs:
    1. Requiem for a Dream
    2. Brokeback Mountain
    3. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
    4. Transamerica
    5. Far From Heaven
    6. No Country for Old Men
    7. There Will Be Blood
    8. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    9. Little Children
    10. Babel

  • 121 12-25-2009 at 10:25 am

    Big Braveheart said...

    10. Donnie Darko
    9. Training Day
    8. Gladiator
    7. There Will Be Blood
    6. No Country For Old Men
    5. The Lord Of The Rings trilogy
    4. Minority Report
    3. Batman Begins
    2. The Departed
    1. The Dark Knight

    With The Dark Knight the definite numero uno
    for me the rest of the list are in no particular order but all great films.

    Honorable mentions have to go to : In Bruges,
    Requiem For A Dream, The Prestige, Let The Right One In, Tsotsi, City Of God, The Machinist, Sexy Beast, Sin City, Watchmen, Casino Royale, American Gangster, Munich,
    The Lives Of Others, Buffalo Soldiers, Dead Man’s Shoes, Hustle & Flow, A History Of Violence, Blow, The Insider, Collateral,
    Vanilla Sky, Dog Soldiers, Redbelt, House Of Sand & Fog, Traffic,Mr. Brooks, X2, Tupac : Resurection, Grizzly Man and all the good films that come out this year. I’m sure i’ve missed a few but these are some cracking movies.

    Chris Nolan without doubt the film-maker of the decade.
    these are

  • 122 12-26-2009 at 12:00 am

    FrankieJ said...

    Good choices–
    DOGVILLE is my #1.

    http://www.newyorkcool.com/archives/2009/December/film-Frank_J_Avella.htm

  • 123 12-27-2009 at 12:50 am

    Rare Addict said...

    1. Bolt (2008 – yes, I went there)
    2. Wall-E (2008)
    3 & 4 (still figuring out which one I prefer). Inglourious Basterds and Avatar (2009)
    5. The Incredibles (2004)
    6. The Princess and the Frog (2009)
    7. Coraline (2009)
    8. Up (2009)
    9. The Dark Knight (2008)
    10. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
    11. District 9 (2009)
    12. Team America: World Police (2004)
    13. Finding Nemo (2003)
    14. Beowulf (2007)
    15. There Will Be Blood (2007)
    16. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
    17. (500) Days of Summer (2009)
    18. Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)
    19. Saw (2004)
    20. Star Trek (2009)

  • 124 12-27-2009 at 11:50 am

    Dean said...

    10. Far From Heaven
    9. Before Sunset
    8. 21 Grams
    7. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    6. Adaptation
    5. Bowling for Columbine
    4. Memento
    3. 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days
    2. There Will Be Blood
    1. The Lives of Others

  • 125 12-27-2009 at 5:10 pm

    Me. said...

    10. The Motorcycle Diaries
    9. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
    8. Spirited Away
    7. The Triplets of Belleville
    6. Volver
    5. Pan’s Labyrinth
    4. Water
    3. Amélie
    2. The Pianist
    1. The Lord of the Rings – The Trilogy

  • 126 12-27-2009 at 5:13 pm

    Me. said...

    My list can change though

  • 127 12-30-2009 at 3:01 pm

    Marvin said...

    1. Children of Men
    2. Gosford Park
    3. Brokeback Mountain
    4. Yi Yi
    5. L’enfant
    6. 5×2
    7. Syndromes and a Century
    8. The Saddest Music in the World
    9. Y tu mama tambien
    10. Lost in Translation

    11. A History of Violence
    12. Before Sunset
    13. La mala educacion
    14. Dancer in the Dark
    15. Ratatouille
    16. Volver
    17. Tropical Malady
    18. Dogville
    19. Adaptation.
    20. Requiem for a Dream

    Very happy for all the Yi Yi love. Make Ed Yang’s other movies available, damn it!

    Happy New Year!

  • 128 1-02-2010 at 8:27 am

    h.h. said...

    Happy new year!!

    1) There will be blood
    2) Mulholland drive
    3) 4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days
    4) In the mood for love
    5) The return
    6) The holly girl
    7) Adaptation
    8) Shortbus
    9) Simpathy for Lady Vengeance
    10) The russian ark / Let the right one in (tie)

  • 129 1-06-2010 at 1:50 pm

    Joel said...

    1. Minority Report (Spielberg, 2002)
    2. Precious (Daniels, 2009)
    3. King Kong (Jackson, 2005)
    4. Children of Men (Cuaron, 2006)
    5. No Country for Old Men (Coen, Coen, 2007)
    6. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Fincher, 2008)
    7. A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (Spielberg, 2001)
    8. Let the Right One In (Alfredson, 2008)
    9. The Dark Knight (Nolan, 2008)
    10. Pan’s Labyrinth (Del Toro, 2006)

  • 130 2-19-2010 at 1:42 pm

    movieman said...

    2000: “The Virgin Suicides” (directed by Sofia Coppola)
    2001: “Donnie Darko” (directed by Richard Kelly)
    2002: “Adaptation” (directed by Spike Jonze)
    2003: “May” (directed by Lucky McKee)
    2004: “The Polar Express” (directed by Robert Zemeckis)
    2005: “Little Manhattan” (directed by Mark Levin)
    2006: “Inland Empire” (directed by David Lynch)
    2007: “Bridge to Terabithia” (directed by Gabor Csupo)
    2008: “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (directed by David Fincher)
    2009: “Inglourious Basterds” (directed by Quentin Tarantino)

    Runners-up:
    “About Schmidt” (2002; directed by Alexander Payne)
    “A.I.: Artificial Intelligence” (2001; directed by Steven Spielberg)
    “The Anniversary Party” (2001; directed by Alan Cumming and Jennifer Jason Leigh)
    “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” (2007; directed by Andrew Dominik)
    “Away We Go” (2009; directed by Sam Mendes)
    “Babel” (2006; directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu)
    “Blood Diamond” (2006; directed by Edward Zwick)
    “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” (2006; directed by Larry Charles)
    “Bowling for Columbine” (2002; directed by Michael Moore)
    “Brokeback Mountain” (2005; directed by Ang Lee)
    “Bully” (2001; directed by Larry Clark)
    “Changeling” (2008; directed by Clint Eastwood)
    “Children of Men” (2006; directed by Alfonso Cuaron)
    “Cloverfield” (2008; directed by Matt Reeves)
    “The Dark Knight” (2008; directed by Christopher Nolan)
    “The Devil Wears Prada” (2006; directed by David Frankel)
    “Dogville” (2004; directed by Lars von Trier)
    “Drag Me to Hell” (2009; directed by Sam Raimi)
    “Elephant” (2003; directed by Gus Van Sant)
    “Enchanted” (2007; directed by Kevin Lima)
    “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” (2005; directed by Scott Derrickson)
    “Garden State” (2004; directed by Zach Braff)
    “The Girl Next Door” (2004; directed by Luke Greenfield)
    “The Good Girl” (2002; directed by Miguel Arteta)
    “Grizzly Man” (2005; directed by Werner Herzog)
    “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” (2009; directed by David Yates)
    “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” (2001; directed by John Cameron Mitchell)
    “Hostel” (2006; directed by Eli Roth)
    “House of 1000 Corpses” (2003; directed by Rob Zombie)
    “Identity” (2003; directed by James Mangold)
    “In Bruges” (2008; directed by Martin McDonagh)
    “The Informers” (2009; directed by Gregor Jordan)
    “In the Cut” (2003; directed by Jane Campion)
    “Into the Wild” (2007; directed by Sean Penn)
    “The Invisible” (2007; directed by David S. Goyer)
    “Jeepers Creepers” (2001; directed by Victor Salva)
    “Joshua” (2007; directed by George Ratliff)
    “Junebug” (2005; directed by Phil Morrison)
    “Kill Bill: Volume One” (2003; directed by Quentin Tarantino)
    “Last Days” (2005; directed by
    “Lifelines” (2009; directed by Rob Margolies)
    “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2003; directed by Peter Jackson)
    “Lost in Translation” (2003; directed by Sofia Coppola)
    “Marley & Me” (2008; directed by David Frankel)
    “Mean Creek” (2004; directed by Jacob Aaron Estes)
    “Mean Girls” (2004; directed by Mark S. Waters)
    “Million Dollar Baby” (2004; directed by Clint Eastwood)
    “Monster” (2003; directed by Patty Jenkins)
    “Monster’s Ball” (2001; directed by Marc Forster)
    “Moonlight Mile” (2002; directed by Brad Silberling)
    “Moulin Rouge” (2001; directed by Baz Luhrmann)
    “Mr. Brooks” (2007; directed by Bruce A. Evans)
    “Mulholland Drive” (2001; directed by David Lynch)
    “Must Read After My Death” (2009; directed by Morgan Dews)
    “The Night Listener” (2006; directed by Patrick Stettner)
    “No Country for Old Men” (2007; directed by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen)
    “November” (2005; directed by Greg Harrison)
    “The Orphanage” (2007; directed by Juan Antonio Bayona)
    “The Phantom of the Opera” (2004; directed by Joel Schumacher)
    “The Pledge” (2001; directed by Sean Penn)
    “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” (2009; directed by Lee Daniels)
    “Rachel Getting Married” (2008; directed by Jonathan Demme)
    “Rent” (2005; directed by Chris Columbus)
    “Road to Perdition” (2002; directed by Sam Mendes)
    “The Rules of Engagement” (2002; directed by Roger Avary)
    “The Safety of Objects” (2003; directed by Rose Troche)
    “The School of Rock” (2003; directed by Richard Linklater)
    “Signs” (2002; directed by M. Night Shyamalan)
    “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” (2004; directed by Kerry Conran)
    “Snow Angels” (2008; directed by David Gordon Green)
    “Solaris” (2002; directed by Steven Soderbergh)
    “Spirited Away” (2002; directed by Hayao Miyazaki)
    “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (2007)
    “Synecdoche, New York” (2008; directed by Charlie Kaufman)
    “United 93″ (2006; directed by Paul Greengrass)
    “The United States of Leland” (2004; directed by Matthew Ryan Hoge)
    “Up in the Air” (2009; directed by Jason Reitman)
    “Vanilla Sky” (2001; directed by Cameron Crowe)
    “War of the Worlds” (2005; directed by Steven Spielberg)
    “Where the Wild Things Are” (2009; directed by Spike Jonze)
    “The Wrestler” (2008; directed by Darren Aronofsky)

  • 131 2-19-2010 at 8:29 pm

    movieman said...

    Now for the worst films of the decade (BECAUSE I JUST HAVE TO). Here we go. 100 terrible films from the years 2000 to 2009:

    In alphabetical order:

    “The Adventures of Pluto Nash” (2002; directed by Ron Underwood)
    “Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London” (2004; directed by Kevin Allen)
    “Alexander” (2004; directed by Oliver Stone)
    “Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker” (2006; directed by Geoffrey Sax)
    “All About Steve” (2009; directed by Phil Traill)
    “All the King’s Men” (2006; directed by Steven Zaillian)
    “Alone in the Dark” (2005; directed by Uwe Boll)
    “An American Carol” (2008; directed by David Zucker)
    “An American Haunting” (2006; directed by Courtney Solomon)
    “American Outlaws” (2001; directed by Les Mayfield)
    “Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid” (2004; directed by Dwight Little)
    “Are We Done Yet?” (2007; directed by Steve Carr)
    “Bad Boys II” (2003; directed by Michael Bay)
    “Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever” (2002; directed by Wych Kaosayananda)
    “Basic” (2003; directed by John McTiernan)
    “Battlefield Earth” (2000; directed by Roger Christian)
    “The Black Dahlia” (2006; directed by Brian De Palma)
    “Bless the Child” (2000; directed by Chuck Russell)
    “Bones” (2001; directed by Ernest Dickerson)
    “Bratz” (2007; directed by Sean McNamara)
    “Bride Wars” (2009; directed by Gary Winick)
    “Bulletproof Monk” (2003; directed by Bruce Hunt)
    “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” (2001; directed by John Madden)
    “The Cave” (2005; directed by Bruce Hunt)
    “Cheaper by the Dozen” (2003; directed by Shawn Levy)
    “Christmas with the Kranks” (2004; directed by Joe Roth)
    “The Crew” (2000; directed by Michael Dinner)
    “The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course” (2002; directed by John Stainton)
    “Diary of the Dead” (2008; directed by George A. Romero)
    “Dirty Dancing: Havana Night” (2004; directed by Guy Ferland)
    “Disaster Movie” (2008; directed by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer)
    “Dragonball: Evolution” (2009; directed by James Wong)
    “Dragon Wars” (2007; directed by Hyung-rae Shim)
    “Duplicity” (2009; directed by Tony Gilroy)
    “Epic Movie” (2007; directed by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer)
    “Exit Wounds” (2001; directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak)
    “Extreme Ops” (2002; directed by Christian Duguay)
    “The Fog” (2005; directed by Rupert Wainwright)
    “The Forbidden Kingdom” (2008; directed by Rob Minkoff)
    “Friday After Next” (2002; directed by Marcus Raboy)
    “From Justin to Kelly” (2003; directed by Robert Iscove)
    “G-Force” (2009; directed by Hoyt Yeatman Jr.)
    “The Good German” (2006; directed by Steven Soderbergh)
    “Hanging Up” (2000; directed by Diane Keaton)
    “Hart’s War” (2002; directed by Gregory Hoblit)
    “Hitman” (2007; directed by Xavier Gens)
    “House of the Dead” (2003; directed by Uwe Boll)
    “I Love You, Man” (2009; directed by John Hamburg)
    “The In Crowd” (2000; directed by Mary Lambert)
    “The In-Laws” (2003; directed by Andrew Fleming)
    “In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale” (2008; directed by Uwe Boll)
    “Invictus” (2009; directed by Clint Eastwood)
    “Johnson Family Vacation” (2004; directed by Christopher Erskin)
    “Kingdom of Heaven” (2005; directed by Ridley Scott)
    “Let’s Go to Prison” (2006; directed by Bob Odenkirk)
    “The Longest Yard” (2005; directed by Peter Segal)
    “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” (2003; directed by Troy Beyer)
    “The Man” (2005; directed by Les Mayfield)
    “The Master of Disguise” (2002; directed by Perry Andelin Blake)
    “Meet the Spartans” (2008; directed by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer)
    “Monkeybone” (2001; directed by Henry Selick)
    “The Musketeer” (2001; directed by Peter Hyams)
    “National Lampoon’s Gold Diggers” (2004; directed by Gary Preisler)
    “National Lampoon’s Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj” (2006; directed by Mort Nathan)
    “National Security” (2003; directed by Dennis Dugan)
    “Next Day Air” (2009; directed by Benny Boom)
    “Next Friday” (2000; directed by Steve Carr)
    “Nutty Professor II: The Klumps” (2000; directed by Peter Segal)
    “The One” (2001; directed by James Wong)
    “The Perfect Holiday” (2007; directed by Lance Rivera)
    “Ready to Rumble” (2000; directed by Brian Robbins)
    “The Reaping” (2007; directed by Stephen Hopkins)
    “Rebound” (2005; directed by Steve Carr)
    “Reindeer Games” (2000; directed by John Frankenheimer)
    “Resident Evil: Apocalypse” (2004; directed by Alexander Witt)
    “Righteous Kill” (2008; directed by Jon Avnet)
    “Rollerball” (2002; directed by John McTiernan)
    “The Rundown” (2003; directed by Peter Berg)
    “The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause” (2006; directed by Michael Lembeck)
    “Semi-Pro” (2008; directed by Kent Alterman)
    “Slackers” (2002; directed by Dewey Nicks)
    “Showtime” (2002; directed by Tom Dey)
    “The Skulls” (2000; directed by Rob Cohen)
    “A Sound of Thunder” (2005; directed by Peter Hyams)
    “Space Chimps” (2008; directed by Kirk De Micco)
    “The Spirit” (2008; directed by Frank Miller)
    “Spy Game” (2001; directed by Tony Scott)
    “Stay Alive” (2006; directed by William Brent Bell)
    “Texas Rangers” (2001; directed by Steve Miner)
    “Thunderbirds” (2004; directed by Jonathan Frakes)
    “TMNT” (2007; directed by Kevin Munroe)
    “Transformers” (2007; directed by Michael Bay)
    “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” (2009; directed by Michael Bay)
    “Underworld: Rise of the Lycans” (2009; directed by Patrick Tatopoulos)
    “Unearthed” (2007; directed by Matthew Leutwyler)
    “The Wash” (2001; directed by D.J. Pooh)
    “White Noise” (2005; directed by Geoffrey Sax)
    “The Whole Ten Yards” (2004; directed by Howard Deutch)
    “XXX: State of the Union” (2005; directed by Lee Tamahori)
    “Zoom” (2006; directed by Peter Hewitt)

  • 132 7-23-2010 at 1:10 am

    Marc R. said...

    10. Minority Report
    9. Traffic
    8. Children of Men
    7. Lost in Translation
    6. City of God
    5. The Dark Knight
    4. There Will Be Blood
    3. Pan’s Labyrinth
    2. Ratatouille
    1. The Lord of the Rings 1-3

  • 133 3-05-2012 at 12:09 am

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    2.Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    3.There Will Be Blood
    4.A.I. : Artificial Intelligence
    5. The New World
    6. Where the Wild Things Are
    7.Margot at the Wedding
    8. Lord of The Rings (Trilogy)
    9. Waltz with Bashir
    10. Watchmen

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