This is the first of four posts on the Top 40 movies of the decade (2000-2009). I’ve only included the top 40 movies that I personally saw (either in the theater or on DVD) – I am sure that if I had seen every film that came out in the last 10 years that this list would be drastically different.
That said, I have seen well over 500 films from this decade. When making this list, I took into account the films that had the most impact on me, the ones that had the best acting, writing and directing, and the ones that I simply liked the most. Although the majority of films on this list are in English, a number of other languages are represented as well. I made an initial list of around 60 films with the initial intent of having simply a top 25 – however, I couldn’t bear to keep off other 15 films. Go to after the break for numbers 31-40:
#40 – Star Trek
The 2000’s may go down as the film decade of reboots, with a number of franchises getting a new and improved look this decade (and more than one of these making my list). Perhaps the most unlikely franchise to get a successful makeover, JJ Abram’s Star Trek – with numerous TV series and movies already – was a stunning success. The characters were fresh again, the action was crisp, the casting was near perfect, and above all, it was funny. The best time at the movies in 2009.
#39 – Slumdog Millionaire
Danny Boyle had a great decade. In addition to getting the Best Picture Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire, he directed the wonderful “Millions” and the highly underrated “Sunshine”. Slumdog Millionaire was a beautifully shot and acted movie, with a killer soundtrack and some very funny moments. It was the feel good version of “City of God”, and in my opinion, a better movie for it.
#38 – The Proposition
Brutal. There really isn’t any other way to describe the best western of the decade. Guy Pierce was haunting, Ray Winstone was amazing, and this Aussie film make other (good) westerns of recent years like “3.10 to Yuma” look tame in comparison.
#37 – Kill Bill Volumes 1 & 2
Tarantino’s best movie since Jackie Brown showed him at his technical best, and made Uma Thurman the most kick-ass heroine in years. David Carradine (who will be missed) was near perfection, and the movie produced the only role that I have ever liked Lucy Liu in.
#36 – Pan’s Labyrinth
Weird and haunting, Pan’s Labyrinth makes me want “The Hobbit” (which Guillermo Del Toro will also direct) to come out tomorrow.
#35 – Night Watch
We don’t get to see a lot of Russian movies here in the US, and that is too bad, because I have a suspicion that there are a lot of great movies being made over there. “Night Watch” was one that did make it out, and it was a great snapshot of a changing and chaotic Russia – and of course vampires.
#34 – Spiderman
Sam Raimi made Spiderman into about as entertaining a movie as one could imagine. It was funny, vibrant, exciting and stayed true to the spirit of the comics. Many people seem to think that Spiderman 2 was the better movie, but I recently watched Spiderman again, and if for no other reason, the closing scene in the cemetery makes it one of the best comic book movies ever.
#33 – Venus
Somebody please try to explain to me how anyone can take the Oscars seriously when Peter O’Toole has never won one? His fire made Venus the best romance of the decade, if not one of the most unlikely. Let’s hope someone sees fit to give him one more role like this so he can grab one of those statues.
#32 – Waitress
This one even surprised me. I had forgotten this gem, but as I was going through movies I’ve seen, I saw it and remembered how much it affected my wife who watched it with me, and I have to say that it is an amazing movie. Of course it was also a tragic one, as its director was senselessly murdered after the movie was complete. Even so, this is an uplifting movie.
#31 – The Pianist
Another really brutal movie, but the subject matter dictated it. Roman Polanski (whatever you think about him as a person) showed why many consider him one of the great all-time directors, and Adrien Brody turned in a (probably) once-in-a-lifetime performance. Not a movie that is easy to sit through twice, but great nonetheless.
The rest of the list: