Our smart and clever – if indecisive – Ian unloaded his best movies of the 90s last week, and while I have some definite opinions on that decade, I thought I would leapfrog ahead for now and dig into my favorite movies of the 2000s (the ‘aughts?)
I was a certifiable adult in this decade. The turn of the millennium found me four years out of college, living roommate-less in my own apartment, making enough money that I was allowed some discretionary fun, and still loving the hell out of the Backstreet Boys. Over the course of the decade I got married, moved cities (twice), faced some gut-busting personal losses, met (or re-connected with) some of my BFFs, and left the security of a job I’d been at for more than a decade to pursue something new. The jury may still be out on that overall decision, but it was there I got to meet my pals and fellow nine-words-ers Ian, @andyramsey, and Oddernod/Ryan, so that’s good enough for me.
Point being, as this self-absorbed rant continues, that the 2000s weren’t fooling around. Not in my life, and not in American cinema . The movie landscape had less ground to break – technologically speaking – with The Matrix in the past and Avatar in the future. We began to see more reboots, from the excellent Ocean’s 11 to the terrible Texas Chainsaw Massacre. “It” guys and girls of the 90s (Freddie Prinze Jr., Rachael Leigh Cook) slinked into the shadows to allow for a new generation of Reynolds, Garners, Bales, and Ceras.
Michelle Williams and Joshua Jackson emerged as the winners of the Dawson’s Creek rising-star-off, leaving Katie Holmes a slave to her incongruous marriage and James Van der Beek left to make amusing memes on the Internet (and – even worse – Ke$ha videos). Netflix made it all easier to see off-the-beaten-path flicks. And there were some pretty good movies, too. My favorites are listed below.
And since I’m happy to follow Ian’s example, there are a few more than nine here. My nine best (with a heavy skew toward the early part of the decade), my massive tie for 10th and 11th places and a few that are still gathering dust in the Netflix queue. Reviews for the top nine to follow in the coming days.
What are your favorite movies of this century’s first decade?
My Nine Most Fantastic
9. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005. d. Shane Black. Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan)
8. American Psycho (2000. d. Mary Harron. Christian Bale, Jared Leto, Reese Witherspoon, Chloe Sevigny)
7. Revolutionary Road (2008. d. Sam Mendes. Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates, Michael Shannon)
6. Batman Begins (2005. d. Christopher Nolan. Christian Bale, Liam Neeson, Katie Holmes, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy, Gary Oldman)
5. Love Actually (2003. d. Richard Curtis. Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Laura Linney, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman)
4. Traffic (2000. d. Steven Soderbergh. Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Benicio Del Toro, Don Cheadle, Erica Christensen)
3. Mulholland Dr. (2001. d. David Lynch. Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux)
2. High Fidelity (2000. d. Stephen Frears. John Cusack, Iben Hjejle, Jack Black, Todd Louiso, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Joan Cusack, Tim Robbins)
1. Ocean’s 11 (2001. d. Steven Soderbergh. George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Bernie Mac)
The best of the rest …
About a Boy, Brokeback Mountain, 8 Mile, No Country for Old Men, Bowling for Columbine, The Dark Knight, Wedding Crashers, Almost Famous, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Aviator, The Departed, Kill Bill 1, A Single Man, Serenity
The second-best of the rest …
Best in Show, Chicago, Final Destination, Superbad, Iron Man, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Wrestler, Juno, Kill Bill 2, Elf, School of Rock, Mystic River
Ones I have yet to see…
Requiem for a Dream, Pan’s Labyrinth, Children of Men, Wall-E, City of God, Into the Wild, The Incredibles.
Any part of Lord of the Rings. Gladiator. Anything involving Kate Hudson excluding Almost Famous.