without a definite route

my 37 favorite movies of the aughts

on January 6, 2010

i thought it would be fun to create a top 10 list of my favorite movies from the last decade. in addition to fulfilling my ocd list-making tendencies, it allowed me to relive some nice film memories. why 37? that’s just where it landed. could i come up with 13 more movies for a smooth 50? probably. but i have things to do so i’m happy with 37.

apologies if i forgot a glaringly obvious best movie of the decade. emmit was born in 2005 and i haven’t slept much since then. there are many movies i didn’t see and there are also genres that just don’t do it for me. i’ve seen the 40-year-old virgin on a lot of best of lists and for me it is mostly kind of…meh. also, although i really like documentaries, there aren’t many on this list. although i’ve learned a lot from some really amazing docs (who killed the electric car, bowling for columbine), there aren’t many that i would want to watch again.

i’m not saying that these were the best movies in terms of artistic achievement or critical success or whatever. i just enjoyed the heck out of them and can watch them over and over. i think, actually, that most of them are pretty celebrated, but there are a few that are simply my very own guilty pleasures.

i would love to hear what other favorite movies released between 2000-2009 are. what say you, internet?

  1. o brother where art thou – the music. clooney’s hair. “i said my peace and counted to 3.”
  2. children of men – perfectly captures dystopian helplessness and hopefulness. wonderful atmosphere. clive owen is amazing.
  3. lord of the rings trilogy – yep, i’m totally cheating here by counting these 3 movies as 1…if forced to choose my favorite? probably the fellowship of the ring…but please, don’t force me…
  4. gosford park – every time i watch it, i hear or see something new.
  5. memento – mind trippy and fun.
  6. amalie – luscious. gorgeous. makes me very happy.
  7. whale rider – simple and sweet. i cry just thinking about the concert of maori chants at pai’s school.
  8. pan’s labyrinth – one big wow! special effects and art as one.
  9. eternal sunshine of the spotless mind – one of the best love stories i’ve ever seen.
  10. crouching tiger, hidden dragon – the fight scenes are like elegant dancing. the bittersweet end chokes me up every time.
  11. layer cake –  british crime film with fun plot twists and turns. daniel craig is sexy.
  12. the bourne identity – action movies got smart. finally!
  13. the dark knight – dark and twisty. well played.
  14. quantum of solace – casino royale turned campy quippy bond into gritty dark bond. except for the bad title, i liked this outing better. more action, less texas hold ’em. daniel craig is magnetic as bond.
  15. best in show – maybe not quite waiting for guffman, but ultimately still a nearly perfect comedy.
  16. confessions of a dangerous mind – a little odd and perverse dark humor. great looking. george clooney as director was heavily influenced by the coen brothers and steven soderbergh. madly in love with sam rockwell.
  17. 25th hour – spike lee and edward norton at their best.
  18. royal tenenbaums – the freaking tennis wristbands crack me up!
  19. moulin rouge – “spectacular spectacular”
  20. sideways – funny and human.
  21. rabbit-proof fence – haunting. peter gabriel soundtrack is perfect.
  22. once – lovely lovely.
  23. gladiator – when russell crowe was sexy.
  24. brokeback mountain – beautiful and epic. moving performances.
  25. kill bill volumes 1 & 2  – cheating again – ha! if forced to choose…i’m a volume 1 girl.
  26. the departed – a scorsese violent classic about the concept of identity.
  27. the filth and the fury – super enjoyable doc about the sex pistols.
  28. triplets of belleville – great animation. great music. funny legs.
  29. sexy beast – ben kingsley rules.
  30. high fidelity – filled with ferocious verbal energy. extraordinarily funny. great use of breaking the 4th wall and of incorporating a music fixation into the story and soundtrack.
  31. star trek – love the casting. love that they messed with the TOS timeline. am excited for the next one. love jj abrams. was slightly distracted that the bridge looks like an apple store, but apple stores are pretty so i can forgive.
  32. minority report – the film noirish look is so very cool to look at. they overlit when shooting and did some magic in post to desaturate the colors. i also enjoyed the complexity of the story mixed with the action elements.
  33. rocknrolla – i love me some british crime  stories. an adrenalin fueled blast.
  34. young at heart – genuinely sweet and uplifting documentary about a senior choir that performs contemporary songs, like sonic youth and james brown. totally unexpected. made me kind of like coldplay.
  35. lost in translation – sweet and sad. a romance where emotional longing stands in for sexual gratification. bill murray is commanding and excellent.
  36. 300 – silly and fun. visually arresting stylized violence totally makes up for 1-dimensional characters. the abs don’t hurt either.
  37. becoming jane – the pretty costumes, production design and performances make a well crafted period piece, but it’s the chemistry between anne hathoway and james mcavoy that pleases me.

2 responses to “my 37 favorite movies of the aughts

  1. Sergio says:

    These are some films that never seem to be far from my dvd player

    eternal sunshine of the spotless mind (2004) – surreal romp through the mind of a man who is attempting to delete the memory of a past relationship. and usually i am the first to turn off a jim carey vehicle. directed by michel gondry – so you know it’s good fun

    chopper (2000) – eric bana puts on 40 lbs and a mess o tattoos to play an australian vigilante in what may or may not be a semi-autobiographical film. i believe this was his first role that received notice in america.

    party monster (2003) – this may not be great film – and really , the fact that it is based on a true story makes it just horrible. But I remember being a crazy party kid at the time – several of my friends were actually in ny at the time of the murder. so there is a morbid nostalgia about the events. and seth green is awesome as james st james.

    and if i can bend the rules a week:
    magnolia – released christmas day 1999. The perfect christmas film – depression, dysfunctional families, murder, drug abuse, and a musical number. several of my friends say this is just too heavy to watch over and over, but i must admit that it is in my dvd player at least once a month.

  2. ramblinjaq says:

    i must officially add to my list:
    atanarjuat – retelling of an inuit legend in the iniktitut language is a mythic drama of good v. evil. camera is situated within groupings of people to create a feeling of being a part of the action.

    no country for old men – although it gets a little too pessimistic for me at times, i was mesmerized by the minimalist score and the performances. the murder scene in the police station at the beginning is one of the most intimate things i have ever seen on film.

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