Top 25 Films of the 2000s

As much as I struggled ordering my top albums list, the films list was even more difficult.*  This is despite being assisted by Netflix’s rating system.  Basically, I came up with a list of movies I rated 5 stars from this decade – somewhere from 35 to 45 films – and narrowed it down from there.  I felt that ranking them from 1-25 was a bit disingenuous as I could move almost all of them five spots or so and not feel like the list was worse.  So, instead of coming up with a definitive list, I’m breaking up my top 25 into three different pyramid tiers, plus my number one film.

* Despite films being longer than albums on average, I still feel that you can absorb a higher percentage of what a film has to offer on its first viewing.  Is this because I watch more films?  Is it because I am not a filmmaker, whereas I do, in fact, write music?  Am I not watching enough Alejandro Jodorowsky films and too many Jason Statham films?**

** That question was facetious – you cannot watch too many Jason Statham films.

Below is the list, starting with the bottom tier.  Each tier is in alphabetical order.

Tier 3 (15-25)

Borat (2006)
Grindhouse: Planet Terror (2007)
Knocked Up (2007)
Kontroll (2003)
Memento (2000)
Millennium Actress (2001)
Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
The Prestige (2006)
The Savages (2007)
The Science of Sleep (2006)
Sin City (2005)
Talladega Nights (2006)

Tier 2 (8-14)

The Dark Knight (2008)
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
Gladiator (2000)
In Bruges (2008)
Mulholland Dr. (2001)
Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
Spirited Away (2001)

Tier 1 (2-7)

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003)
Primer (2004)
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
Snatch (2000)
Superbad (2007)

#1 Film

–> Amélie <–

Most unknown from top 25: Kontroll – a Hungarian comedy-thriller that you really should see

Most critically derided from top 25: probably The Life Aquatic, though I don’t think any of these movies scored below 50% on Rotten Tomatoes

Barely missing the cutoff date: Kikujiro – this was definitely a Tier 1 film and probably one of my all-time top 10.  Netflix actually had this listed as being released in 2000, but that must have been the US release date or something.

Wanted to include in top 25 but could in no way justify it: 2 Days in Paris, The Darjeeling Limited, Dan in Real Life, Last Life in the Universe

Worst film that I saw: Radio (2003) – This cliche of a film just made me angry all the way through (I was on a bus, so it was still better than the alternative of staring at my seat for 1.5 hours… barely).  Also, Die Another Day (2002) and The Family Man (2000).

Worst film that I didn’t see: Epic Movie – It’s so frustrating that these humorless, phoned-in movies make money.  Read Cracked’s takedown on this terrible series.

Most overrated: Idiocracy (2006) – While perfectly geared towards the kind of people who love to post messages about Ron Paul on Digg, this film’s premise wore out its welcome extremely quickly and was hyperbolic to the point that I found it irritating instead of funny.

Decade winner: Wes Anderson

There wasn’t too much of a contest for #1.  Since I saw Amélie years ago, it’s been in the back of my mind as my favorite film of the decade.  The Royal Tenenbaums made a late run up the chart, but nothing could top the wit and charm of Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s masterpiece.

I was pretty surprised that Gladiator was released this decade, as it feels like it has been out for ages.  For some reason, I pictured it coming out around the same time as The Matrix.  Out of all of the films on this list, Gladiator is probably the one I’ve seen the most times – mostly on lazy days in high school for some reason.

Arbitrary song of the day: Major Lazer – Pon De Floor


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