Hey ya’ll, here is my list of favorite/best films of the decade. I have only included movies I have seen so there is a possibility that a film I have not yet seen this year could later make it onto my personal list. There is also a very good possibility that if I re-watched a film that it could take the place of a film on this current list. Anyway here is my list, what films are on your list?
10. Lost In Translation – 2003
In other hands this film could have been boring or meaningless but Sofia Coppola gives this story about two strangers, looking to connect in a foreign land both humor and depth. The cinematography is beautiful, Bill Murray is at his finest and Scarlett Johansson is unusually and delightfully modest.
9. Kill Bill (Volume 1 & 2) – 2003 & 2004
I remember coming home after seeing Kill Bill Volume 1 for the first time and feeling like my mind had turned into jelly. What exactly had I just seen? I wasn’t sure at the time, all I knew was that I was floored by the films visuals and non-linear plot. Volume 2 added an emotional subtext that completed the story and Uma Thurman created one of the greatest heroines ever on screen. Bravo to both Uma and Quentin!
8. Wall-E – 2008
Who knew Pixar could create such an artistic, message driven movie? The long, dialogue-free beginning somehow manages to be both disturbing and charming. Wall-E proves that kids’ movies need not be simple, dumb nor for that matter comforting.
7. The Dark Knight – 2008
Just when people had given up hope on intelligent action movies, The Dark Knight came in to save the day. The plot touches upon terrorism, corruption and the extent of power. Heath Ledger indeed gives a fantastic, terrifying performance all the more scary considering in the end, it is the Joker, not Batman who seems to speak the most sense, whom perhaps you end up rooting for.
6. Milk – 2008
Somehow you forget that you are watching a biopic when watching this film. Instead of simply following a man’s life, Gus Van Sant chronicles the lifespan of a political movement. This isn’t just a movie about gay rights, it’s about all the underdogs who have ever fought against established order – and won. Sean Penn is unbelievable in this film and his co-stars (Josh Brolin, James Franco and Emile Hirsch) deliver.
5. No Country for Old Men – 2007
Suspense, pure suspense. As Llewelyn Moss runs away from crazed sociopath Anton Chigurh, you cannot help but feel everything he feels. The cinematography is aggressive and the acting superb but most of all this film transports you, not to a fantasy land but to a land where evil triumphs over good.
4. Babel – 2006
Some have said that Babel is Crash but set around the globe. One of the biggest differences though is that the characters and emotions in Babel feel genuine. This film speaks not only to the fact that we are more connected than ever before but also how we are more detached. From the first scene in Morocco to the final scene in Tokyo, this film shows us that we all have the same desires and fears and it’s time we started understanding that. Beautiful cinematography, awesome score and great performances from an international cast.
3. There Will Be Blood – 2007
To me this movie is like the film equivalent of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. It is so rich in themes and ideas I don’t even know where to begin discussing it. I’ll admit when I first saw it I didn’t like it that much, I still find No Country for Old Men a more enjoyable film. That being said, when I saw it a second time, it all clicked for me. The incredible cinematography, the nerve-wracking score and most of all Daniel Day-Lewis’ performance make this not simply a great film but the one film of this decade that I believe will one day be in the same category of film as Citizen Kane and Casablanca.
2. The Lives of Others – 2006
In 2007 The Lives of Others won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film which is a nice award to receive but I want to make this clear, this film is not just one of the best foreign films, it is one of the best films period. This story of East Germany’s secret police eavesdropping on a writer and his actress girlfriend is so well constructed and so full of twists and turns it will leave you breathless. Disturbing, hopeful, beautiful, this movie will stay in your mind for days.
1. Lord of the Rings (Trilogy) – 2001, 2002 & 2003
The script, the visuals, the acting, the direction, the score, the editing. Every aspect of this film is so well executed, you can really tell how much attention and love (and money) was put into these films. The Return of the King won all 11 Oscars it was nominated for and for good reason. This is a landmark trilogy that does what movies do best: transport you to another world where even the smallest person can change the course of the future.
Very Honorable Mentions:
2000 – Gladiator, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Erin Brockovich, Almost Famous, O Brother Where Are Thou?
2001 – Monster’s Ball, Training Day, Moulin Rouge, Mulholland Drive, Amelie
2002 – Catch Me If You Can, Spirited Away, Hable Con Ella, Far From Heaven, Minority Report
2003 – Mystic River, 21 Grams, A Mighty Wind
2004 – Million Dollar Baby, The Aviator, Sideways, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
2005 – Brokeback Mountain, Good Night and Good Luck, Transamerica, Walk the Line
2006 – The Departed, Letters from Iwo Jima, Little Miss Sunshine, Volver, Little Children, Borat, Notes on a Scandal, Pan’s Labyrinth, Children of Men
2007 – In the Valley of Elah, Eastern Promises, Atonement, Ratatouille, Knocked Up, Zodiac, Lars and the Real Girl
2008 – The Wrestler, Slumdog Millionaire, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
2009 – Up in the Air, Inglorious Basterds, Avatar, The Hurt Locker