Sunday, January 10, 2010

Top 10 Movies of the Decade

What are my Top 10 movies of the decade? I've been looking forward to starting this discussion. Let's do this.......

10) Collateral (2004) - This is an underrated movie in my opinion. Tom Cruise was great as a grey-headed hitman and Jamie Foxx's performance was better than his Oscar winning role as Ray Charles that same year.

9) The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) - Gene Hackman talked Jive like you never heard in this role that was written specifically for him. It is very rare that I laugh out loud when watching a movie. I might smile a lot and say "that's funny", but that's about it. I laughed like DeNiro's Max Cady in this one.

8) Closer (2004) - Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, and Clive Owen give heart-felt performances in this very "adult" film from director Mike Nichols. When the movie, "Anything for the Shot: The Life and Times of Video Joe" gets the Greenlight, I want Clive Owen to play me.

7) Almost Famous (2000) - For a long time, I thought that this "Coming of Age Story" could possibly move Goodfellas out of the no. 1 spot on my all-time list. Over the course of time, I started to be really annoyed by the Kid (Patrick Fugit). But then again, I usually dislike performances by kids in most movies. The cute little girls from In America being the exception. They were unbelievable. Anyway, this "Love Letter to RocknRoll" still stands the test of time.

6) Adaptation. (2002) - This is a "Cinematic Tour de Force". Besides Nic Cage giving one of the greatest performances in the history of Cinema, I was more fascinated with the John Laroche character played by Chris Cooper (in an Oscar-winning role). Laroche's passion is finding Orchids, which is a very rare flower. His obsession is very strange but I respect it. He reminds me so much of my friend Larry B. (shoutout), who's passionate about ham radio and renewable energy.

5) Lost in Translation (2003) - "An Actor's Showcase". The ending made the movie for me; it was such a great ending. Bill Murray should have won the Oscar instead of Sean Penn that year. Murray wrote the book on subtlety. Tell 'em, Brent.....

4) Sideways (2004) - "No turning to the Dark Side", "Do not sabotage me"...just two of the phrases that I've lifted from this "Buddy Film" from Alexander Payne. This movie gave me the not-so brilliant idea of planning an ambitious trip across "the Texas Beer Country". The voice of reason prevailed and we didn't go.

3) No Country For Old Men (2007)- This was a perfect movie that had one of the greatest villains ever. Javier Bardem was as frightening as the shark in JAWS. When the movie first came out, I was unaware of who Bardem was. I think that this lack of knowledge made his character more real to me.

2) High Fidelity (2000) - No suprise here. In the "what movie character is most like you" conversation, I like to think people would automatically link me to Alonzo from Training Day. Too bad that's never gonna happen. Instead, I would no doubt be linked to Rob Gordon from High Fidelity. It's a sad fact of life. I will say that I was making mix tapes and listing Top5's long before that movie came out. However, I have to give credit where it is due. Ever wonder where I came up with the name of my business? Watch this movie.

1) Before Sunset (2004) - This movie may very well be considered a "one-watcher". However, that does not take away from it's greatness. After seeing Before Sunrise (1995), I was emotionally invested in these characters from from frame number one. The movie is completely dialogue-driven and I clung to every word. Many have asked themselves, "What might have been" once or twice with no real chance of ever finding the answer. These characters get to do something that few ever have the opportunity to do - reconnect with The One That Got Away.

Shoutout to Ocean's Eleven for being pure entertainment.

What do you think about my Top 10?

"Anything for the Shot"


kyle said...

Great list, but some major suprises for me......Collateral! Loved that movie. It had such a stylized look. Definitely an overlooked gem!

Another suprise was Closer. Can't say I agree, but the Clive Owen character was very memorable.

And Before Sunset at #1. Definitely a top 5 movie of the decade, but I just didn't have the guts to make it my #1. Kudos to you. You really are a romantic at heart.

Just some early observations to get the ball moving.....

The Franker said...

And here we go...

[10] No Country For Old Men
[9] The Departed
[8] Ghost World
[7] Sideways
[6] Juno
[5] The Dark Knight
[4] Shaun Of The Dead
[3] The Royal Tenenbaums
[2] Almost Famous
[1] Gangs Of New York

*and a special shout-out for Borat!

...thus spoke the franker

Christopher said...


No you have me all wrong. I'm a jaded realist at heart. Don't ask me what I think happens with Jesse and Celine.....

That's a good list.

The Franker said...

C...I'm a bit surprised to see Before Sunset at #1. I agree that it's that good, I just didn't predict it being on the list because I can't hardly separate the two Sunrise/Sunset movies.

It's like if I had put Kill Bill on my list (and I almost did), I would have had to list them as one entry despite the fact that I heavily favor part two.

Also, can you imagine how much you would have anticipated and enjoyed Before Sunset if you had seen the first movie in the mid 90s and had to wait almost ten years for the sequel?!

Christopher said...

BTW Does anybody know how to import widescreen videos from youtube without cutting off half the image? Sabotage.

kyle said...

And without further ado:

10) 500 Days of Summer: Its been a good 3 years since I enjoyed a movie this much on a first viewing.

9) Thirteen Conversation About One Thing: The most overlooked movie of the decade. And my favorite ending of the decade too...and that's saying alot!

8) High Fidelity: Not much more to say here than what's already been said. One of those movies that just hits home....and more poignant now that I've turned 30.

7) Rushmore: The funniest movie of the decade. And perhaps the most brilliantly executed coming-of-age story too.....

6) Sideways: Paul Giammati gives one of my favorite performances of the decade. Also, the biggest Oscar snub of the decade.

5) Crash: I'm just a sucker for the the whole "intersecting stories" movie. I hate how this movie is bashed because it won Best Picture. There are so many pitch-perfect performances starting with Matt Dillon.

4) Before Sunset: There is not one thing I would change about this movie. Perfect actors, perfect setting, perfect dialogue, perfect ending.

3) Memento: One of the reasons I really started to get into movies. And that means alot when coming up with a decade's best.

2) In America: Maybe I spoke too soon. This may be my favorite ending of a movie this decade. I think the world would be a much better place if everyone was ordered to watch this movie.....

1) 21 Grams: The movie that most moved me this decade. Name a movie that has three better performances. You can't.

The Franker said...

Kyle...would you agree that 500 Days of Summer is like Annie Hall for this generation? I wish I thought of that description because I find it to be dead on. of the most ingenious films I can remember!

In America...I remember liking it very much when I saw it the first time, but I'm gonna have to go check it out again since I've heard it come up in so many discussions prior to this list.

21 Grams...Wonderful performance, and as much as I liked Bill Murray in Lost In Translation and wanted him to win an Oscar...we ought to remember that Sean Penn was great in BOTH Mystic River AND this 21 Grams.

And Chris...another thought on your list...when I think of "Chris movies" High Fidelity is the one I think of.

One final thought: IMO, The Departed had the best cast and best ensemble performances of any movie this decade...does anybody agree or do I need to STFU :)

Christopher said...


First, I want to thank you for including "Before Sunset" softy.

Second, I have to voice my displeasure at "Rushmore". Many people love this movie but I did not. Too speak rather bluntly, I hated it. For me, fewer character traits are harder to put up with than having to deal with somebody who does not know their limitations. Frank will agree. To quote "The People's Champion", Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, that kid should "know his role and shut his mouth." He was way too young for that teacher and he should have known this.


I agree that Giamatti's performance was a huge snub in 2004. However, it takes away from the power of the snub when everyone acknowledges that they were left off. Who would you have replaced in the Best Actor category that year? Don't say Eastwood.

"21 Grams" was full of great performances (Benicio's finest). However, the director's non-linear storytelling took away from the performances. Am I telling tales out of school?

brent said...

I'm going to release my top 10 little by little, as I have time. The curtain please...

#10 Punch-Drunk Love: Most say love must be a certain way. It doesn’t. And no film has turned love on its ear quite like PT Anderson’s criminally underrated Punch Drunk Love. Highlighted by great performances from Phil Hoffman, Emma Watson, and Adam Sandler, this unconventional love story doesn’t live at the heart of love, but in the dark outskirts of it…where love is nervous, manic, desperate, acheingly tender and…different. By the end, when Sandler’s Barry expresses his affection to Watson’s Lena, he says, “I'm lookin' at your face and I just wanna smash it. I just wanna smash it with a sledgehammer and squeeze it. You're so pretty.” Different, yes. Romantic, definitely!

Christopher said...

Should we take on one issue at a time? BTW you're right Frank, High Fidelity defines me.

kyle said...


I agree that The Departed has a great ensemble. Maybe top 10 for the decade. I would definitely rate it behind 21 Grams, In America, Sideways, and Crash just from my top 10 list.

Another 21 Grams sidenote: As great as Tim Robbins was in Mystic River, it was a total sham Benicio did not win Best Supporting for 21 Grams. IMHO best performance of the tour de force.

Question: Why have we not heard from Brent or Joe?

kyle said...

Chris, I totally disagree with you about the non-linear storytelling of 21 Grams. Just a preference I guess, but I like that style.

I also beg to differ on your appraisal of Max Ficsher in Rushmore. He was a dreamer. That was one of the major points of the movie.......

kyle said...

Point of interest: Only Sideways has been on all three revealed top 10s so far....will the streak continue????

Joko said...

Alright, been going back and forth on this one but here it is:

10. Ocean's Eleven
I'm sorry, I'm not sorry....

9. The Wrestler
Love a character study...

8. 500 Days of Summer
Very enjoyable and had some very memorable scenes...great music

7. There Will Be Blood
Daniel Plainview is one of my favorite characters of all time...

6. Adaptation
A shame that Cage didn't win for this one...

5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
A different look at relationships and love altogether....

4. 21 Grams
Love the way it is done and probably the best performance of the decade in Benicio

3. High Fidelity
Great music and discussions about it

2. No Country For Old Men
Coen Brothers really can pick "local" people well

1. The Royal Tenenbaums
Has what i look for in a movie...

shout-out to: The Departed, City of GOD, Almost Famous, Hustle and Flow

kyle said...

Observations of Joe's List:

1) Glad to see The Wrestler and Eternal Sunshine make an appearance in one of our top 10's.

2) Suprised to see No Country up at number 2. For some reason I was thinking you liked There Will Be Blood better.

Christopher said...

And the Sideways streak is broken...I'm ready for Bronco's #9.....

Brent said...

#9 Adaptation: A frequenter of this blog asked in a previous post to name a better acting trifecta than that contained in the film 21 Grams. Well, sir, I will see your Watts, Del Torro, and Penn and raise you a Cooper, Cage, and Streep. And guess what, I'll rake the pot. Captained by one of the most important figures in film this decade in Kaufman, the screenplay is layered, funny, and absolutely brilliant. This movie still consistently keeps me up nights. So what do you get when you combine the ensemble performane of the decade with the screenplay of the decade? Well, you get the number 9 movie of the decade.

kyle said...

You raked the pot without giving any type of support for your arguement?????

I'll give you that Cage and Cooper were great, but Streep was ultimatley sold but forgettable. All of the performances of 21 grams were Oscar nominated (everyone agrees Penn was nominated for his combined work of Mystic River and 21 Grams.....

Brent said...

If you want to use the Academy as a barometer, then let's do. We can speculate all we want, but at the end of the day only two of the performances in 21 Grams were nominated for Oscars. All three performaces from Adaptation were nominated, including Streep's forgettable? performance. Thanks for making my argument for me! For my money:

Cooper vs. Del Torro: Cooper
Cage vs. Penn: Cage
Streep vs. Watts: Watts

Adaptation vs. 21 Grams: Adaptation

kyle said...

My mistake.

How exactly was Cooper better than Del Torro. To me, Cooper's role was an easy role to play, much along the lines of Thomas Haden Church's Jack in Sideways. Great character, easy role.

Derek said...

Here's my list for best of the decade:

10.) Traffic - Took the war on drugs and humanized it, started a countrywide conversation and provided one of my favorite quotes of the decade "If there is a war on drugs, then many of our family members are the enemy. And I don't know how you wage war on your own family. " Brilliant across the board.

9.) Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2 - My winner of the decade for "the movie I have to stop down for every time its on Spike" award. Profane, stylish and wonderful. Everything I love about Tarantino plus a truly great performance by David Carradine.

8.) High Fidelity - One of the first book to movie translations that I felt was as good if not improved on the source material. Is there a better movie to show the melancholy, insufferable, illogical reasons why we (men) do what we do? I doubt it. Incredible soundtrack that I still work in from time to time today.

7.) United 93 - Only movie that has shaken me this much after watching is Saving Private Ryan. Paul Greengrass deserved the Oscar for this faithful retelling of what when on that September morning. Not only does it show the mass confusion and ill-prepared structure of our emergency response, it showed the bravery of those souls lost upon United 93. Sobering, masterful and well worth the watch.

6.) Once - As soon as this movie was over, I was reaching for the computer to buy the best soundtrack of the decade, reaching for the remote to start the movie over again, and for the kleenex to dry my eyes. This is a movie I watch anytime I'm in a lull because it has such warmth and perception on what drives us creatively and as humans.

Derek said...

Part Two:

5.) Zodiac - A movie that has every reason not to work but does on so many levels. Will be studied for a long time as the first movie to use visual effects to enhance the atmosphere of a location rather than to call attention to itself. Works as a thriller but so much more as how obsession forms us and alters our lives. Fincher has us from the first frame and doesn't let go. His most adult and accomplished movie.

4.) Sideways - A movie worthy of so much praise. The scene with the naked trucker and the "here's your wallet" line got the biggest reaction from me in a theater this decade. Original, heartfelt, hilarous and bittersweet. With four perfect performances including my favorite of the decade in Paul Giamatti.

3.) No Country For Old Men - My favorite book to movie adaptation. I could repeat a lot of what you guys have said on this one but I won't. One of the rare movies I've watched and as soon as it was over I said "perfect." I've seen the film roughly half a dozen times and it only gets richer with each viewing. Best villain since Hannibal Lecter.

2.) Almost Famous - The movie of my 20's. One of the best movie going experiences of my youth. A movie that shows us what its like to grow up in a hurricane of pop culture and how that affects our relationships, our views on life and the people we love. When I watch the film now it feels like an old home movie, I am William Miller and that is my life. Albeit less glamorous and without the groupie deflowering.

1.) Lost In Translation - The movie of my 30's. My favorite scene in a film in the last ten years is the one where Bill and Scarlett are sitting on the bed talking about their lives, regrets, and the future. I've seen the film 10-12 times but I've rewatched that scene twice as many. Bill talks about children, marriage and life with such candor I wish someone had taken me aside when I was 20 and told me this is how it would be. Beautifully shot and written and with the most wonderful endings of any film I ever seen. I feel there was no better film out there this decade that spoke to me as the person I am now than this one. I wish I had seen it ten years ago.

Honorable Mention in order:
The Departed, The Hurt Locker, Juno, Wall-E, The Royal Tenenbaums, Bourne Trilogy, Wonder Boys, Michael Clayton, Up In The Air, and Children Of Men

brent said...

#8 High Fidelity: Top 5 reason High Fidelity could be the movie of the decade:

5) The source material was written by Nick Hornby, who could make a strong case for person of the decade in film. Not only did he write High Fidelity, he also wrote About A Boy (a whicker away from making my top 10), and penned the lovely screenplay for this year's an Education.

4) As stated before, no movie has more acutely conveyed what makes the male species tick. Its the male mind put to's as if times the movie is uncovering our deepest darkest secrets and everything we are capable of.

3) A coming of age story about a 30 something? Genius.

2) If you don't know director Stephen Frears, you should. He doesn't get the recognition he deserves. How many of you saw his other gem (no not The Queen) this decade Dirty Pretty Things. Exactly.

1) The movie had its world premier in 2000 at SXSW. Come'on, you know a Dawson is gonna like that.

Christopher said...


I really enjoyed the depth and articulation in your fine list. Lost in Translation was #5 on my list and your post made me think that it wasn't ranked high enough (high as in #1).Thanks For the Jive!


The in-depth analysis and respect you have for your bottom 3 on the list make me wonder how you can keep this up. I can't imagine your praise for #1. Should be interesting.

On best ensemble cast,it's hard to disagree with Frank on "The Departed". However, we will compare performances on a future Jive.

Are we not going to hear from the Hall of Famer? I want to see his list.

Derek said...

Please put me on board the 21 Grams is overrated wagon. So relentlessly grim I remember exiting the theater running for the laughter of children and sunlight. Only redeeming factor was the fact that it kept Naomi Watts nudity streak intact.

The Franker said...

Wow..there's a lotta love for 21 Grams and Sideways within this thread!

Derek...great comments for your movies. I think I am about to have to go back and resubmit my list with commentary added.

And finally, someone on here mentioned Kill Bill. That is the one omission from my own list that is really bugging me that I left off. So consider this my way of giving it credit!
P.S. I think Bill is one of my favorite characters of the decade who gave me one of my favorite movie quotes of the 200s..."I'm a killer, you know that. A murdering b*stard. And there are consequences to breaking the heart of a murdering b*stard."

Here's my list again plus commentary:

[10]No Country For Old Men:
I really can't find any flaw in this movie...including the ending. As I was sitting in the theater, I remember thinking how that I was seeing the best movie of that year.

[9] The Departed:
I really do have to reassert my firm belief that although it had only one acting nomination, The Departed still had the best overall cast performances of the decade...Jack, Leo, Matt Damon, Mark Walberg, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin, Ray Winstone, and Vera Farmiga. who are IMO at the top of their collective games.

[8] Ghost World:
This is just one of those movies that I identified very much with the two main characters (for better or worse.) Plus, it features one of my very favorite actors, Steve Buscemi in a role in which he does not just play the creepy villain or comedic role.

[7] Sideways:
There's nothing I can add to this that hasn't already been said. I predict the next time that Paul Giamatti lands a substantial role, he will be given the Oscar to make up for this snub.

[6] Juno:
To quote something Roger Ebert once said about another film..I just wanted to hug this movie. Laugh if you want, but the character of Juno was one of my favorite female roles of the decade (along with Summer Finn..but that's another story altogether.)

[5] The Dark Knight
This was my most eagerly anticipated movies of the decade and incredibly, it exceeded all of my expectations. Totally ignoring the already legendary performance of Heath Ledger, I absolutely loved the nature of good vs evil conflict running through this movie. I often debate to myself whether people are naturally good or naturally evil and how we will act in a given situation and I love dhow it played out throughout this movie.

[4] Shaun Of The Dead
I expected to get some ridicule for this entry, but screw you guys, I love it :)Just repeat the movie's tagline. I actually do identify quite a bit with the main character Shaun and I have no doubt, when the undead do inherit the earth, I would probably act about the same as he does!

[3] The Royal Tenenbaums
This has been discussed already on this thread, but this movie makes me laugh every time I watch it. Just wondering, does anyone else feel the undercurrent of sadness beneath the humor?

[2]Almost Famous
I have to say that walking out of the theater after seeing this almost ten years ago, I felt an exhilaration (for lack of a better word) that I don't think was matched throughout the decade...except maybe in the case of #1 on my list. What did I love about this movie? To quote Russell Hammond: "To begin with..EVERYTHING."

[1] Gangs Of New York
This is another one that I thought would cause me to get some slack, but it really is my favorite film of the 2000s. Bill The Butcher is without a doubt, my favorite movie character of the decade. I also am probably alone in this discussion in liking the work of Leonardo DiCaprio in most of his movies. (he hardly makes a bad film...wouldn't you agree?) However, as much as I liked the 1860s NYC setting, attention to detail, and dark is Daniel Day-Lewis' performance that puts this at the top of my list instead of farther down on it.

(Sorry that was so work computer was in the shop all day!)

brent said...

#7 The Royal Tenenbaums: In a seemingly benign moment, Richie Tenenbaum, after his failed suicide attempt, is briefly seen wearing hospital issued pj's with "Recovery Area" stamped across the place here his heart would be. In a movie whose theme touches on regret, forgiveness, inherited sin, and ultimately redemption, I challenge you to find a more powerful scene in cinema! Wow, I still get chills. Its subtleties like this that make Wes Anderson more than a great director but a Master, and The Royal Tenenbaums more than a great movie but a Masterpiece.

brent said...


If I was making a top 10 comedies of the decade, Shaun of the Dead definitely would be on it. Also, it is nice to see Ghost World getting a shout out. I think it is wildly overlooked nowadays. And it was the first time I layed eyes on the lovely Scarlett Jo-haaaa-nson!

Joko said...

i am glad derek gave a shout out to once....

really i am a little surprised it wasn't on anyone else's list....

also to answer the questions about there will be blood....

4-7 were all in a was 7 b/c the preacher was not a very good actor...simple as that...but i loved the movie and DDL was great....

Chris....I like you having balls on your list, only thing is you haven't seen anything in the last three years....ha....

Frank...glad to see one of us had the defining movie of the decade on one list, the dark knight....

kyle you shouldn't have to back down from any anti - 21 grams talk.....

bronco...little like christopher, where can the list go from here....????

still waiting to hear from the G.O.A.T......

brent said...

Joe, to answer your question, it can get even more similar...

#6 Before Sunset: If I could be present during the production process of any movie, I think I would want to witness Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, and Richard Linklater. I envision them in coffee shops in the morning, bars late at night, just having meanigful conversations, and throwing them against the wall and seeing what sticks. But I digress. What a simple movie! Two characters talking. However, present with them are other not so obvious characters: Paris, Honesty, Romance, Dissapointment, Hope, Chance, Fate...and you see all these present in Jesse's face when he glimpses Celine for the first time in nine years. What a complex movie! Two people talking.

brent said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
kyle said...

Wow. Tough not to take Derek's anti-21 Grams diatribe personally. Evidently, Derek did not appreciate the love story between Watts or Penn; or the hope of redemption for Benicio at the end.

I find that the best stories of hope and redemption are usually relentlessly grim.

brent said...

#5 Sideways: Director Alexander Payne has a way of capturing the rhythm of ordinary life. His movies are immensely relatable, but with the assistance of this all-star cast, Sideways is a slice of life right out of anybody's heart. I would suggest, instead of all these personality test in which participants are classified according to color (red, blue, green personalities), we classify them according to the four central characters of this movie. Lets face it, your either a Mia, Stephanie, Jack, or a Miles (Kyle, you are a classic Miles). And speaking of Miles, its as good a time as any to unveil my performance of the decade. When it comes to these lists, I realize we are uncannily incestuous, but I have to echo Derek's sentiment that Paul Giamatti's turn as Miles was the best acting this decade had to offer. I could watch him order that muffin a hundred time, and I probably have. Moreover, while we are at it, I guess I should unveil my favorite scene of the decade. When Miles and Mia take turns discussing wine, writing/acting/directing all blend together into what else, but Life. And most important is the knowledge that we are watching so much more than two people converse about wine, this is two people baring their very souls. Isn't this why we watch movies?!?

brent said...

In reading over my last entry...I realized a grave mistake. Please know that i do indeed know that Mile's love intrest's name is in fact Maya and not Mia. Don't hit me.

Christopher said...


I totally agree with you about the preacher from There Will Be Blood. He was almost as bad as the kids from Gran Torino. Almost. If Paul Dano can become an actor, you would think that anybody could.

Everybody...this isn't us is it?

Louis: You guys are snobs.
Dick: No, we're not.
Louis: Yeah, seriously, you're totally elitist. You feel like the unappreciated scholars, so you shit onto people who know lesser than you.
Rob, Barry, Dick: No!
Louis: Which is everybody...
Rob, Barry, Dick: Yeah...
Louis: That's so sad.

I think we have discouraged anybody who might have a difference of opinion to post on this thread. We're not like those guys from High Fidelity! If you are a reader of my Jive, please feel free to at least comment. Break the monotony of us somehow all having love for the same movies....or if you would like to, put us in our collective places...

Not that we all agree on everything. Kyle...I didn't mention it before. I HATE "Crash"

brent said...

#4 Lost in Translation: I cannot top Derek's tribute to this movie. However, let me say this. Most people are not happy with their lives. And most of the time, all they really need is a little help. A sly glance in an elevator, a head on the shoulder, a pat on the foot, or a whisper in the ear. It sounds simple, but those simple things have to come from the right. And sadly, that person is rarely a wife or a husband. But when you do find that person, like Bob found Charlotte, life seems like it will be ok. I'd like to think that is what Bob whispered into Charlotte's ear.

Katie said...

Let me just say you guys are indimidating, but to break the monotony here is my list. Don't judge me to harshly.

10. Gosford Park (2001) – The film was a brilliant throwback to old Agatha Christie murder mysteries and an homage to the British drama “Upstairs, Downstairs”. I love period films and you’ll see by the rest of my list and this movie was really a great exploration of the British class systems in the 1930s.

9. Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003) – Kill Bill was my first introduction to Quentin Tarantino (yes I was late to the party on that one) and now I’m a fan. This movie was unlike anything I’d ever seen. The music and the juxtaposition of styles made me feel like I was watching something special and it’s a feeling I still get while watching it.

8. Pride & Prejudice (2005) – Yet another adaptation of a story that has been done to death but I love this version. Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennett and Mathew Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy are perfectly cast. However the main reason this movie has become one of my favorites is the cinematography. The movie is beautifully shot and it makes the story even more magical.

7. Almost Famous (2000) – Like several of you I thought this was a great coming of age story but it was Penny Lane that did it for me. She is ballsy, free spirited, and someone’s muse. She is everything I wish I was but am not.

6. The Departed (2006) – I agree with Frank here that the ensemble cast is amazing. The story was engaging and full of twists. It’s a real mind game of a movie and I can watch it multiple times and not get board. Plus any movie that throws President Bartlett off a building gets my attention.

Katie said...

And the rest...

5. The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006) - This is an Irish made independent film about the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War. Cillian Murphy and Padraic Delany are amazing as brothers who end up on opposing sides of the conflict. The movie is difficult to watch but so great at the same time. Also, if I never see someone’s fingernails pulled out again it will be too soon.

4. Black Hawk Down (2001) – The sound editing and music makes this film for me. The story and cast are brilliant but it’s the sound of the battle that keeps you in the movie. I can watch this film over and over.

3. Brokeback Mountain (2005) – This is a truly beautiful and heartbreaking love story. Ang Lee created two worlds one of beauty and isolation where Ennis and Jack could be in love and a harsh and gritty reality where they couldn’t. I still believe the movie was robbed, but I can see some of you disagree with that. It still makes me cry every time I watch it.

2. Brick (2005) – If you haven’t seen this movie go see it. It’s a modern day film noir set in high school with Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing a Sam Spade like character. The dialogue, plot, and characterization draw almost directly from classic detective stories which seem out of place in the modern setting. The story is never dull and keeps you engaged through the entire film. Joseph Gordon-Levitt sells his character and makes you realize yet again how amazing an actor he really is.

1. Lord of the Rings (2001,2002,2003) – Wow what can be said about the great scifi/fantasy trilogy since Star Wars. The breadth and scope of the these films makes them instant classics. These were books that could never be turned into movies and yet Peter Jackson made an epic. The acting was top notch, the New Zealand vistas made you believe in Middle-Earth, and the CGI blended almost seamlessly into the live action. They are defiantly my favorite movies of the decade and near the top of my favorites of all time.

brent said...

Nice variety from Katie. And I absolutely love Brick. On with the countdown:

#3 In America: You can have all the blue creatures and CGI affects you want, but in the end, its about the story. With outstanding performances all around, this was the best story of the decade made by one of the best storytellers around, Jim Sheridan. I have never rooted for my beloved Horns or Spurs quite the same way as I rooted for this little underdog Irish family. And those sweet little Bolger sisters. What a revelation! Hands down female performances of the decade. This movie doesn't just pull on the heart strings, it puts your heart in a headlock and proceeds to bust out wrestling moves that would make Frank Chamberlian jealous. If by the end of this movie you are not emotionally exhausted, its not that the movie didnt assault your heart , its just that you don't have one.

Christopher said...


What? No praise for High Fidelity, Sideways, or for the great Bill Murray? J/k

Thanks for adding to the discussion. I totally agree with you about Brokeback Mountain. How did that not win? More specifically, how did stupid "Crash" win?

B.J. said...

Ok, I guess I'll put my two cents in. This is my top ten of the decade.

1. Open Range
2. Joyeux Noel
3. Gran Torino
4. High Fidelity
5. In Pursuit of Happyness
6. The Wind That Shakes the Barley
7. The Dark Knight
8. No Country for Old Men
9. There Will be Blood
10. Ice Harvest

Ok, there are my top ten of the decade so let's see what everyone thinks.

brent said...

#2 (500) Days of Summer: It was as if they made this movie just for me.


Christopher said...

Man, somebody sure ran out of steam...

kyle said...

I knew it would happen Chris. You just can't keep that up.

BTW, did you finish 21 Grams?

Christopher said...

I did. It was my second viewing (first in 6 years)and was very impressed by it. I thought the nonlinear story telling worked this time. But...did it work because I was vaguely familiar with what was going on? Once again...Benecio was awesome. So was Watts and Penn. Frank mentioned that Sean Penn had two great performances in 2003, thus justifying his victory over Bill Murray. True, they were great performances...but not as memorable as Murray's in my opinion. Benecio over Robbins 10 times out of 10.

As much as I appreciated the movie on the second viewing, I still have to wonder why someone would love it so much as to put it at #1 for the decade. It's somber...It's's depressing. It doesn't inspire hope. It's a movie to respect...not to love.

brent said...

Chris, would you rank Benecio's performance over Cooper's?

Ive said once, and I'll say it again, I liked Benecio better in Traffic than 21 Grams.

Christopher said...

The performances were in two seperate years so I don't feel I have to pick. But if the two performances were going head to head and I was an academy voter, I would have voted for Chris Cooper. My decision would have been influenced by the fact that Benecio had already won for Traffic. I think this is the same thoughts that went through Academy voters' minds when they gave the Oscar to Tim Robbins.

brent said...

We're finally there:

#1 Amelie: Maybe this movie kills cute. I don't care. I like my tea sweet and my music twee. And for my money, Amelie is the best movie this decade.

Funny, you couldn't get two movies more different than Kyle's and mine. Where 21 Grams is bleak and grim, Amelie is vibrant and joyful. In a list littered with love stories, this one is the best. The Cannes film festival would not allow this film to be shown, citing that it was not serious enough. What is more serious than love? In what now has become legend, the film was shown in every back ally theatre available opposite time slots that coincided with festival showings. Amelie drew more crowds and more buzz than anything Cannes had to offer and went on to claim top prizes at all the other major film festivals.

The movie is imaginative and clever, flanked by a beautiful score and gorgously shot in warm hues of green and red. The fact that it is in French does not subtract from the movie, only adds to the aura of romance. And a saucer eyed Audrey Tautou is a vision. Lovely music, beautiful colors, Paris, a pretty girl, who couln't fall in love?

The fact that this movie didn't sniff any of the other lists mentioned here causes me to not only question everybody's taste in movies, but also question the very friendship we share.

Watch this movie, and let's talk.

Christopher said...

You caught your second wind. I'll definately finish it next time.....

Lyle said...

10) In the Valley of Elah - Where you are left wanting more Tommy Lee Jones after watching "No Country.." this movie gives you your full Tommy Lee fix.

9) Adaptation - Anyone who has ever fancied the notion of writing a movie script has to marvel and the greatness of this screenwriting gem.

8) Million Dollar Baby - You know I am a sucker for Clint Eastwood directed pic. Plus teaming up Eastwood with Morgan Freeman. A one watcher...true. But very powerful performances and storyline with this film.

7) O' Brother Where Art Thou - Surprised this wasn't on anyone's list. Maybe because it has become somewhat cliched because we all watched and imitated it so damn much. But sheer movie watching enjoyment and great acting from start to finish.

6) Juno - Loved it. Sharp wit matched with good storyline and characters.

5) Michael Clayton - George Clooney proves he has some dramatic acting chops to go with his dashing good lucks and olive oil charm.

4) Castaway - What other actor could have pulled this off? I'll tell you...nobody. One of the great acting performances of all time.

3) High Fidelity - For all the reasons thus far mentioned by the other commentators.

2) Gladiator - Don't usually go for the "epic" movie genre, but I absolutely loved this movie and still watch it every time I see it on.

1) Royal Tenenbaums - Such good characters. Such good dialogue. Such great acting and writing. Can watch it over and over and still laugh every time.

Surprised some of the movies on here made a "best of the decade" list, but I believe that is so because on the whole the 00s' were a down decade for movies when compared with past decades such as the 90s or the 70s. 00s' were more on the same level as the 80s'.

However, I do think it worth mentioning it was a great decade for comedies and animation. Some noteworthy examples:

Old School
Wedding Crashers
Horton Hears a Who!
Finding Nemo

Also, I have a comment on the "Lost in Translation" lovefest going on here...Brent, why would you say that "life would be okay" now that they found each other and then left each other to go back to their dull lives which were obviously lacking in something which possibly could only be filled by each other's constant companionship.

I actually saw the ending which was cut from the original. After the two part ways after their dramatic "whisper in the ear" Bob goes back to his hotel room. Cut to the next scene,the maid walks in the next morning and finds Bob dead from self strangulation. He is buck naked with a picture of Charlotte in his left hand which he had obviously masterbated to in his final breath of life.

Shakespearian eh?

Joko said...


love the list...great stuff...

valley and clayton were two movies that made my short list and fought with them making the list.....everytime I see clayton on tv I can't turn the channel.

also i love the list of comedies.....are we going to do top comedies next?

Christopher said...


I'm gonna disregard your blasphemous commentary on what could have easily been my favorite movie of the decade. Having said that....

Your list offered some variety that we probobly needed. I'm glad to see someone gave a shoutout to Million Dollar Baby. If I was a voting member of the Academy, I would have voted Eastwood as Best Actor that year. Which brings me to another thought...

In the midst of all these comments, it was discussed how horrible it was that Paul Giamatti was snubbed by Oscar. I agreed but also implied that there was no room on the ballot that year; citing Eastwood as one that could not be removed from the nominees. I did some research and realized I had some of my years mixed up and that there were two performances that were not in the same league as Giamatti's - Leo for "the Aviator" and Depp for "Finding Neverland". The snubb was bigger than I remembered. Anyway....

You brought up a point that I happen to agree with in that the 00's weren't as good as the 70's and 90's. I tried to come up with my top10 of the 90's on a whim and it was not easy. In ranking order - 70's, 90's, 00's, and then the mediocre 80's.

BTW, High Fidelity seems to be the universal favorite and I'm really suprise by that.

The Franker said...


O Brother Where Art Thou was one that was thisclose to making my list but I couldn't bump any of those I ended up listing. But you are right in that the dialogue has become pretty much part of the cousins' communication with each other...sorta like Christmas Vacation or even Lonesome Dove. If I remember correctly, when I saw that in the theater, the audience was TOTALLY into it as well.

Also, I want to completely agree with you that Tom Hanks' performance in Castaway was one of the very best of the decade IMO. As much as it pains me to say it, I can't even imagine Daniel Day-Lewis playing that role and making the movie interesting with very little dialogue. I think he did a similarly great performance in The Terminal as he carried the movie with his physical performance. He didn't speak english and communicated emotions through his movements, expressions, etc.

brent said...

If a numerical value is given to each movie that made a list, our collective list would go as follows:

1) High Fidelity: 41 points (7 lists)

2) The Royal Tenenbaums: 38 points (6 lists)

3 & 4) Sideways and No Country for Old Men: 29 points (both made 5 lists)

5) Almost Famous: 26 points (4 lists)

6) Lost in Translation 23 points (3 lists)

7) Before Sunset: 22 points (3 lists)

8 & 9) In America and 21 Grams: 17 points (2 lists)

10) Adaptation: 14 points (4 lists)

11) 500 Days of Summer: 13 points (3 lists)

I think a case could be made for The Royal Tenenbaums being the consensus #1 in that it was named movie of the decade by two lists and High Fidelity ne'er had one (average rank: HF at 4.2 while RT at 3.7). Also, hard to break the tie between Sideways and No Country. Same point totals as well as same amount of mentions. Niether topped any list. 21 Grams would probably move out of the tie with In America based on its first place vote; however, I believe Adaption, which was named on 4 lists, and 500 Days, which was listed on three lists, could easily be place before the afore mentioned movies (both were listed on only 2 lists).

The Franker said...

Well done Bronco! It occurred to me to tabulate some kind of results of the survey but I never got around to it. That's pretty cool.

I think it's interesting that there have been a whole bunch of movies viewed by the participants in this discussion and for so many of us to list many of the same films is pretty neat.

I really wasn't leading into anything with this post...just an observation.