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The best films of the aughts


M. Dale Prins
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I realize there's six months to go, but hey, put another way, we're 95% of the way through that decade. And in the next six months I'll have the most film-catching-up time than I've had in any period since B. Dale was born, so there's that selfish aspect as well.

My alphabetical, early-aughts-concentrated, feature-length, not-at-all-set-in-stone list:

Dogville

Ghost World

Hell House

Memento

Michael Clayton

The Son

Time Out

The Wind Will Carry Us

Yi Yi

You Can Count on Me

Dale

Edited by M. Dale Prins

Metalfoot on Emmanuel Shall Come to Thee's Noel: "...this album is...monotony...bland, tripy fare..."

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I don't know about "best." Ask me in 50 years or so, and I might begin to have a guess. But here are a bunch that I think are worth celebrating, for one reason or another.

If I were going to design some kind of "2000-2009 master class", I'd probably show scenes from these films:

  • Beau Travail
  • Children of Men
  • Code Unknown
  • Distant
  • Dogville
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • Finding Nemo
  • Flight of the Red Balloon
  • Flowers of Shanghai
  • Gosford Park
  • Heartbeat Detector
  • Killer of Sheep
  • L’Enfant
  • Yi-Yi
  • There Will Be Blood
  • The Lord of the Rings trilogy
  • The New World
  • Mulholland Drive
  • My Kid Could Paint That
  • Punch-drunk Love

Otherwise, In no particular order, with glaring omissions that I'll remember tonight while I watch Public Enemies:

4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 DaysA History of ViolenceAdaptationAlmost FamousAmelieArmy of ShadowsBeau TravailBirthBorn Into BrothelsCach Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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By "best" I mean "favorite." But I hope that's generally understood.

Dale

Edited by M. Dale Prins

Metalfoot on Emmanuel Shall Come to Thee's Noel: "...this album is...monotony...bland, tripy fare..."

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Well, several titles stand out, though this list might be peculiar to my own tastes and experiences over the past ten years. I am deficient in the area of foreign language film making, not because I don't like it but because I never know where to begin. That said:

The Lord of the Rings trilogy

The New World

Letters from Iwo Jima

The Ninth Day

The Pianist

Hotel Rwanda

The Passion of the Christ

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

The Departed

The Dark Knight

Black Hawk Down

No Country for Old Men

There Will Be Blood

The Incredibles

Minority Report

United 93

Wall-E

A Beautiful Mind

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Gone Baby Gone

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

-"I... drink... your... milkshake! I drink it up!"

Daniel Plainview, There Will Be Blood

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Jeff, does Killer of Sheep count? I ask because that would be a serious contender for my top ten should it be accepted as a film from this decade. It did play in Berlin in the late 70's, and was then selected for preservation in the 90's by the Library of Congress.

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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That's one of those "gray area" questions. It topped several critics' "Best of" lists for 2008. So... if it's a list of films that became accessible in the "aughts," then yes, I think it qualifies. But if we're being strict about "the year it first screened" or "the year it was made," then no.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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I knocked my list down to 10 and included others I really enjoyed off the top off my head as honorable mentions.

10 Favorites:

  • Children of Men
  • A History of Violence
  • Memento
  • Oh Brother Where Art Thou
  • 25th Hour
  • Amorres Perros
  • High Fidelity
  • Sexy Beast
  • Mystic River
  • Ghost World
Honorable Mention:

The Squid and the Whale

No Country for Old Men

8 Women

Rabbit-Proof Fence

Inside Man

Bourne Identity

The Royal Tenenbaums

Best in Show

Cold Mountain

Zodiac

Pan

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Jeffrey's list above is so exhaustive I don't know that I have any titles to add. I don't keep up with my Top 10 lists of each year, although I've posted several of them here over the years. They're not something I return to very often.

Off the top of my head, I'd say Zodiac is the strongest movie I've seen this decade, but it's not my "favorite," as Dale has requested. Previous entries in this thread remind me of A History of Violence, which would be way up the list. And has anyone mentioned Jim Sheriden's In America? (One of the things about the way the new board displays in-process posts is that I can no longer see the previous 10 posts, or whatever the count was in our earlier incarnation, while entering in my new post, so to find out whether someone posted something earlier in the thread, I'd have to back out of this post and copy-and-paste before and after backing out. Too much trouble.) EDIT: Blast you, Jeffrey Overstreet!

Other than those titles, I'd like to cite the two films I've mentioned in the thread on the best films so far of 2009: Summer Hours and Hunger (the latter technically 2008). It's hard to say just yet, but I think one or both of those two might make my final best-of-this-decade list, assuming I put one of those together.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Some of my personal favorites in rough chronological order:

Traffic

Requeim for a Dream

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Memento

Minority Report

City of God

Frailty

28 Days Later

Kill Bill

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Hero

Spider-Man 2

Munich

Broken Flowers

Jarhead

The Prestige

Pan's Labyrinth

Zodiac

The Assasination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Hot Fuzz

The Fall

The Dark Knight

Edited by J.R.
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Nobody going out on a limb for Hitch eh? I will. My fave traditional romantic comedy.

"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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Christian wrote:

: Other than those titles, I'd like to cite the two films I've mentioned in the thread on the best films so far of 2009: Summer Hours and Hunger (the latter technically 2008).

Actually, they're BOTH technically 2008. They both played the local film festival in 2008, and they both had regular local theatrical releases in 2009.

I don't have time to make a list right now, but I certainly wouldn't make "accessibility" an issue, since that is such a relative term. Maybe I would create a special category for films I only got around to discovering this year, because they were finally released on home video or because they happened to play for one night at one of the local cinematheques, etc. (The 1999 restoration of Erich von Stroheim's Greed had its premiere here a few months ago, and Bresson's Trial of Joan of Arc played here for the first time since I've started looking for it -- which was years ago -- so they'd both be top contenders for that secondary list, for me. But I'd never call them the best of the '00s.)

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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I'm going to go with my favorites year by year, but I'll probably add some more later...

2000 - Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

2001 - Amelie

2002 - Talk To Her

2003 - The Man on the Train/Gerry (both technically 2002... neither came to Sacramento until summer 2003)

2004 - Before Sunset

2005 - Cinderella Man

2006 - United 93

2007 - No Country for Old Men/Zodiac (I honestly cannot choose between these two)

2008 - The Dark Knight

2009 - Up (could and probably will change)

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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  • Amelie
  • At the Death House Door
  • Doubt

  • Flight of the Red Balloon
  • God's Cartoonist: The Comic Crusade of Jack Chick

  • Grizzly Man

  • Heartbeat Detector
  • Into Great Silence

  • Into the Wild
  • The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

  • L'Enfant
  • Lars and the Real Girl
  • Ostrov

  • Man on Wire

  • Manufactured Landscapes
  • My Kid Could Paint That
  • Not of This World

  • Punch-Drunk Love

  • Rachel Getting Married
  • Ratatouille

  • Shotgun Stories

  • Syndromes and a Century

  • The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
  • The Man Without a Past

  • The Natural History of the Chicken
  • The New World

  • The Return

  • The Son

  • There Will Be Blood
  • Up
  • Up the Yangtze

  • Wall-E
  • Yi-Yi: A One and a Two

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In skimming the top of the top ten lists I have made for myself for each year of the decade, I decided these were the most memorable (but I'm sure I'm forgetting something):

Almost Famous

Batman Begins

Before Sunset

Code Unknown

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Hero

High Fidelity

House of Flying Daggers

Good Night and Good Luck

Into the Wild

Memento

Millions

Mirrormask

Paprika

Sophie Scholl

Spirted Away

Spiderman

Ratatouille

United 93

Up

Wall-E

The Incredibles

The Lord of the Rings trilogy

The Saddest Music in the World

The Son

The Station Agent

The Wrestler

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  • 4 months later...

Tricky task. These are the ones that come to mind at the moment (some of which are solid choices):

The Son (solid)

Lantana

The Dark Knight (solid)

Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (solid)

Finding Nemo

4 months, 3 weeks & 2 days (solid)

The Pianist

Once

Spirited Away

The Passion of the Christ (solid)

Hotel Rwanda

Touching the Void

If I think of others, or I have a slightly downgraded opinion of any of these films I will do some editing!:)

Edited by Benchwarmer
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Some of us didn't see this thread in time, here is a Link to the second one.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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