Friday, January 1, 2010

Top 25 Films of the Decade (2000 - 2009)

So here we are on the eve of the New Year and it's not just any New Year's Eve, it's the eve when we say "Goodbye" to another decade and make our way into another one. So it only seemed fitting that on this New Years Eve 2009, since I am now the author of a blog about films, that I post a quick list of the Top 25 films of the past ten years. I know, I know, this blog is supposed to be about the movies that I watch for the "1001" book, but it's not everyday you get a chance to take a look at a decade in retrospect. So after a brief post on the "Top 25 Films of the Decade" it will be back to business as usual here on "1001 Movies I (Apparently) Must See Before I Die.

A quick note about the list before I get into it: I didn't put a WHOLE lot of thought into this list. I just took a quick look at my DVD shelf and some message board posts over at IMDB, concerning the best movies of the decade, so it is possible that I'm forgetting something. But, actually I think I covered all the bases here and what I'm left with is a nice list of my favorite movies from the past ten years.

Here we go...

25. Signs (2002) M. Night Shyamalan - One of my favorite horror flicks, not only of the past ten years, but ever. Now that's not really saying a whole lot, as horror really isn't my genre of specialty, but still a fantastic film that provides lots of thrills and even some drama, with some great performances from Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix, pre-nutjob...that goes for both of them.

24. Monster's Ball (2001) Marc Forster - One that I really fell in love with the first time I saw it and thought that Billy Bob Thornton and even Halle Berry turned in some excellent performances as the racist prison guard and poor black woman respectively.

23. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) David Fincher - An absolutely heartbreaking love story and yet another fantastic film from David Fincher. Pitt and Blanchett are great and provide us with plenty of memorable scenes.

22. The Assassination of Richard Nixon (2004) Niels Mueller - A little known flick, that if memory serves me correctly, went straight to DVD. Sean Penn plays Sam Bicke a man who has been pushed around all of his life and finally snaps under the pressures of his own life. Great flick and a fantastic performance from Penn.

21. Match Point (2005) Woody Allen - Without a doubt, the best Woody Allen film of the past ten years. Woody Allen takes a complete 360 and delivers a film unlike any of his predecessors and does it to perfection!

20. The Wrestler (2008) Darren Aronofsky - Being a fan of professional wrestling myself, this one is kind of a given for the list. Absoultely loved the rebirth of Mickey Rourke, as he totally delivers and rebuilds his career in as long as it took him to portray Randy "The Ram" Robinson.

19. Cinderella Man (2005) Ron Howard - Not really a huge Ron Howard fan, but he did produce two really good films this decade in Cinderella Man and A Beautiful Mind. The latter didn't quite make the cut for my list of flicks, but I couldn't deny the sadness and triumph of Cinderella Man.

18. The Weather Man (2005) Gore Verbinski - Another obscure flick for the list, but one that I absolutely loved. I actually remember seeing the trailer and KNOWING that I'd love this film and man, was I right.

17. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001, 2002, 2003) Peter Jackson - Since the "1001" book groups these three films into one entry, I figured I'd follow suit. I didn't go 100% bat shit over this group of films like some people did, but they grabbed my attention and excitement enough to be included on this list.

16. Kill Bill Vols. 1 and 2 (2003, 2004) Quentin Tarantino - My former favorite director chimes in with his best of the past ten years with the release of the Kill Bill double feature. Really who doesn't love these films, as they have a little bit of everything for the movie-goer in you.

15. High Fidelity (2000) Stephen Frears - Another one that I fell in love with almost immediately. High Fidelity provides great laughs and follows Rob Gordon as he muddles through his love life and talks directly to you...the viewer.

14. Vanilla Sky (2001) Cameron Crowe - I know this one gets dissed by a lot of people, but I'm really not sure why, as it provides some fantastic scenes and camera work and gives you a little bit to think about as well. Can't wait to see the original "Open Your Eyes", which is included in the "1001" book.

13. Cast Away (2000) Robert Zemeckis - Cast Away was the movie that got me into movies...I mean really into movies. I went from casual movie watches and floored it into high gear after seeing Hanks alone on a deserted island. So for that reason, it's hard to deny it a decent spot on my Top 25 of the Decade.

12. Mystic River (2003) Clint Eastwood - The past ten years was the decade for Mr. Eastwood as he really stepped into his own as a director and produced some of the decade's most memorable flicks, with Mystic River being, in my opinion, his best.

11. About Schmidt (2002) Alexander Payne - I always tear up at the end of this film, as Warren Schmidt reads a letter from the child that he sponsors and cries his eyes out, letting all of the troubles that have accumulated over the course of this flick, pour out of him. Great, great movie!

10. Shaun of the Dead (2004) Edgar Wright - Not only the best "romantic comedy about zombies" but one of the best comedies and films that I've seen, especially of the last ten years. Thumbs up to Edgar Wright and his cast of funny people for breaking out over the past decade.

09. Lost In Translation (2003) Sofia Coppola - Bill Murray, the comedic legend, stars as Bob Harris and absolutely tears the freakin' house down with his performance. And the kicker is...Lost In Translation isn't even really a comedy. Scarlett does a great job too in this Coppola directed flick.

08. Memento (2000) Christopher Nolan - One that probably made the majority of us, who saw it, go "HUH!??" Memento takes the standard movie formula and completely turns it inside out...literally. Great flick and one that will always be a favorite.

07. Ruang rak noi nid mahasan (2003) Pen-Ek Ratanaruang - English translation of the title: Last Life in the Universe. Caught this one on television near the end of 2006 and totally fell in love with it. The only foreign flick to make my Top 25 Films of the Decade and what a foreign film it is. If you haven't seen it...go see it.

06. Mulholland Dr. (2001) David Lynch - If Memento made you go "HUH!?", then Mulholland Dr. made you go "........", or in other words, it left you speechless as you ran to the internet to get an explanation of the plot. Love this film and love movies that really make you think. Possibly Lynch's best flick ever...possibly.

05. Almost Famous (2000) Cameron Crowe - Wow, Cameron Crowe grabs two of the twenty-five slots this decade and totally knocks out a home-run with Almost Famous, the story of a boy who wants nothing more than to be a music journalist...and gets his wish when he's given the opportunity to tour with Stillwater.

04. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) Michel Gondry - One of the most romantic movies ever made, in my opinion as two people fall in love twice, after having their memories erased. Great, great film with a great script by Charles Kaufman.

03. Little Miss Sunchine (2006) Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris - Dayton and Faris came out of nowhere and haven't been heard from since with this absolutely heartwarming flick, with an absolutely crazy cast. Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette, Steve Carell, Alan Arkin and Abigail Breslin.

02. Punch Drunk Love (2002) Paul Thomas Anderson - Adam Sandler steps out of his comedy shoes and steps into a great role as Barry Egan, a social outcast who wants to keep it that way. This could easily be number one on any given day, but on this day I had to go with another choice...

01. Sideways (2004) Alexander Payne - My favorite flick of the decade and what a movie it is, as Thomas Haden Church and Paul Giamatti turn in outstanding performances as Jack and Miles, and the ladies (Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh) don't do a bad job themselves. Great flick and one that will ALWAYS have a top spot on my "Favorite All-Time Movies".

So there you go, my "Top 25 Films of the Decade". This has really been a great ten years in film and I'm glad I lived through it and was able to take in a lot of the cinema that was produced. Of course, now it's back to business as usual here on the blog and my review of "M" should be up later tonight. Hope you enjoyed this temporary break from the normal. Have a safe and happy New Year.

December 31, 2009 9:05pm

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