Monday, January 04, 2010

Recapping the Decade: 2000-2009

After slaving over my Top Ten Movies of 2009, out of some perverse sense of duty, I've also put together a new list of ten favorites from 2000-2009. In addition to that, I'm reprinting my original lists — or, at least, these are as close to the original versions of those lists as I have. (I recall some early-decade revisions made circa '04.) There are some glaring omissions (for example, I saw Panic Room six times theatrically, but it doesn't appear on my 2002 list), so they don't necessarily reflect my views today, but to my surprise a lot of them come quite close. Let's kick it off with the brand-new decade list, shall we?

Best of the Decade: 2000-2009
1. The New World (2005, Terrence Malick)
2. Gerry (2002, Gus Van Sant)
3. Before Sunset (2004, Richard Linklater)
4. There Will Be Blood (2007, Paul Thomas Anderson)
5. Inglourious Basterds (2009, Quentin Tarantino)
6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004, Michel Gondry)
7. Dogville (2003, Lars von Trier)
8. 25th Hour (2002, Spike Lee)
9. Almost Famous (2000, Cameron Crowe)
10. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001, John Cameron Mitchell)

Notes: Needless to say, this was tough. There are at least a dozen other movies that were in the running. I briefly considered borrowing Dan Sallitt's method of ranking films from 1999-2008 instead. But while Sallitt's got an international rationale, for me, it would just be cheating. (If you're curious, that cuts Basterds for eligibility and bumps Hedwig. Insert Fight Club at #2 and Eyes Wide Shut at #3.)

1. Almost Famous (Cameron Crowe)
2. Dancer in the Dark (Lars von Trier)
3. Requiem for a Dream (Darren Aronofsky)
4. State and Main (David Mamet)
5. Bring It On (Peyton Reed)
6. Wonder Boys (Curtis Hanson)
7. You Can Count On Me (Kenneth Lonergan)
8. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Joel Coen)
9. Hamlet (Michael Almereyda)
10. Traffic (Steven Soderbergh)

Notes: I remember the original version of this list (written for my high school newspaper) had Traffic in the top spot. But that was just posturing. And if I were to remake this list today, it wouldn't be anywhere near it at all. Still dig the other nine, though I might reorder them.

1. The Princess and the Warrior (Tom Tykwer)
2. Mulholland Dr. (David Lynch)
3. Waking Life (Richard Linklater)
4. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (John Cameron Mitchell)
5. Training Day (Antoine Fuqua)
6. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai)
7. Freddy Got Fingered (Tom Green)
8. Audition (Takashi Miike)
9. Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly)
10. AI (Steven Spielberg)

Notes: This is pretty close to the original, I think, though I know AI is a product of mid-decade revisionism. (I hated it upon its release, and only warmed to it in subsequent viewings.)

1. 25th Hour (Spike Lee)
2. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Peter Jackson)
3. Igby Goes Down (Burr Steers)
4. Spider-Man (Sam Raimi)
5. The Piano Teacher (Michael Haneke)
6. The Rules of Attraction (Roger Avary)
7. Y Tu Mamá También (Alfonso Cuarón)
8. Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki)
9. Lovely & Amazing (Nicole Holofcener)
10. Adaptation. (Spike Jonze)

Notes: Also very close to the original, though LOTR was added only after I saw the extended cut on DVD. As noted earlier, Panic Room should be here someplace.

1. Gerry (Gus Van Sant)
2. Elephant (Gus Van Sant)
3. Intolerable Cruelty (Joel Coen)
4. Shattered Glass (Billy Ray)
5. Kill Bill, Vol. 1 (Quentin Tarantino)
6. Down With Love (Peyton Reed)
7. 28 Days Later... (Danny Boyle)
8. Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (McG)
9. Bad Santa (Terry Zwigoff)
10. Ichi the Killer (Takashi Miike)

1. Before Sunset (Richard Linklater)
2. Dogville (Lars von Trier)
3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry)
4. Undertow (David Gordon Green)
5. The Brown Bunny (Vincent Gallo)
6. Primer (Shane Carruth)
7. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (Wes Anderson)
8. Mean Girls (Mark Waters)
9. Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (Quentin Tarantino)
10. The Five Obstructions (Jørgen Leth & Lars von Trier)

1. Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee)
2. Munich (Steven Spielberg)
3. The 40 Year Old Virgin (Judd Apatow)
4. Caché (Michael Haneke)
5. Mysterious Skin (Gregg Araki)
6. Serenity (Joss Whedon)
7. Walk the Line (James Mangold)
8. A History of Violence (David Cronenberg)
9. War of the Worlds (Steven Spielberg)
10. Shopgirl (Arnand Tucker)

Notes: My love/hate relationship with Brokeback Mountain is well documented, so I'll spare you. Mysterious Skin belongs in the top spot.

1. The New World (Terrence Malick)
2. The Science of Sleep (Michel Gondry)
3. Miami Vice (Michael Mann)
4. The Descent (Neil Marshall)
5. Marie Antoinette (Sofia Coppola)
6. The Departed (Martin Scorsese)
7. The Proposition (John Hillcoat)
8. Inside Man (Spike Lee)
9. Volver (Pedro Almodóvar)
10. Dave Chappelle's Block Party (Michel Gondry)

Notes: An unusually strong year, this one. If I'd expanded my top ten of the decade to top 20, you'd likely see a number of these titles show up.

1. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (Tom Tykwer)
2. Lars and the Real Girl (Craig Gillespie)
3. Joshua (George Ratliff)
4. The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck)
5. Grindhouse (Robert Rodriguez/Rob Zombie/Edgar Wright/Eli Roth/Quentin Tarantino)
6. Hot Fuzz (Edgar Wright)
7. Eastern Promises (David Cronenberg)
8. Ratatouille (Brad Bird)
9. Black Book (Paul Verhoeven)
10. Pan's Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro)

Notes: Also a strong year, although I probably overrated the top two films. 3-10 are really the cream of the crop. Should've found room for Zodiac and Gone Baby Gone, which do appear on the original version of this list (a total cheat, with several ties).

1. Cloverfield (Matt Reeves)
2. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson)
3. Love Songs (Christophe Honoré)
4. Southland Tales (Richard Kelly)
5. Synecdoche, New York (Charlie Kaufman)
6. Speed Racer (The Wachowski Brothers)
7. Forgetting Sarah Marshall (Nicholas Stoller)
8. WALL•E (Andrew Stanton)
9. Burn After Reading (Joel & Ethan Coen)
10. The Wackness (Jonathan Levine)

Notes: Not to knock Cloverfield (for which I still have great fondness, but haven't seen since its release), but There Will Be Blood, Synecdoche, New York and Southland Tales are the true top three (in that order).

2009 [Full post]
1. Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino)
2. Lorna's Silence (Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne)
3. Star Trek (J.J. Abrams)
4. Tetro (Francis Ford Coppola)
5. Afterschool (Antonio Campos)
6. The House of the Devil (Ti West)
7. Broken Embraces (Pedro Almodóvar)
8. Away We Go (Sam Mendes)
9. The Messenger (Oren Moverman)
10. Fantastic Mr. Fox (Wes Anderson)


Nicole Marie said...

I can't even tell you how happy I am that Mean Girls made the list.

boo, you whore.

VistaVision said...

Two Tykwers!

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.

Sci-Fi Freak said...

Hey where's Moon on the 2009 list? That was one genious movie! But then again we all have different opinions!