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Best of 2001

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Critic Top Ten Lists - 2001

compiled by Ron Reed

Alex Fung gathered critic lists for this year, but his compilation of the data does not appear to be available online. If I can obtain or retabulate it, I'll post it here. In the meantime, this is a tabulation I put together from the following much more limited list of sources; National Board of Review, Roger Ebert, Rolling Stone, New York Times, Time Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Premiere and salon.com

1 Lord Of The Rings 61

2 Mulholland Drive 58

3 Moulin Rouge 46

4 In The Bedroom 44

5 Black Hawk Down 40

6 Royal Tenenbaums 39

7 Waking Life 29

8 Shrek 27

9 A.I. 23

10 Ghost World 21

11 Lantana (Australia?) 20

12 Amores Perros (Mexico) 19

12 In The Mood For Love (Hong Kong) 19

12 Monster's Ball 19

15 Amelie (France) 17

15 Sexy Beast 17

17 Tailor of Panama 16

17 Together (Sweden) 16

19 Man Who Wasn't There 15

20 Ali 13

20 Donnie Darko 13

20 Gleaners and I, The 13

23 Kandahar 12

24 Ocean's 11 11

25 Circle, The 10

25 Fat Girl 10

25 Last Orders 10

28 Beautiful Mind, A 9

28 Deep End, The 9

30 Memento 8

30 Vanilla Sky 8

32 Monsters Inc. 7

33 Charlotte Grey 4

33 Others, The 4

33 Pledge, The 4

33 Wit 4

37 Liam 3

38 Apocalypse Now Redux 2

38 Gosford Park 2

40 Bridget Jones Diary 1

40 Center of the World 1

40 Claim, The (Iran) 1

40 Dish, The (Australia) 1

40 Final Fantasy 1

40 Heist 1

40 Score, The 1

40 Spy Kids 1

40 Yi Yi 1

49 Life As A House 0

49 Shipping News 0

Edited by Ron

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So, it's been ten years.

I'd be curious to know what A&Fers would choose as their top 10 or 20 of 2001, now that they've had a decade to chew on these films.

Here's mine, at this point (including titles that weren't accessible in the U.S. until 2001 with the exception of a festival or two) - and it's quite a bit different than how I'd rated these films back in 2001:



  1. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  2. Gosford Park
  3. Lantana
  4. Moulin Rouge
  5. In the Mood for Love
  6. The Royal Tenenbaums
  7. Waking Life
  8. Flowers of Shanghai* (first non-festival U.S. release - DVD)
  9. Mulholland Drive
  10. Amelie
  11. The Devil's Backbone
  12. The Road Home
  13. Donnie Darko
  14. Ghost World
  15. Memento
  16. In the Bedroom
  17. The Circle*
  18. The Widow of St. Pierre
  19. The Vertical Ray of the Sun
  20. Zoolander

Edited by Overstreet

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So, it's been ten years.

I'd be curious to know what A&Fers would choose as their top 10 or 20 of 2001, now that they've had a decade to chew on these films.

FWIW, I started a column six months ago dedicated to revisiting best and worst of 2001 Ten Years Later.

Great minds must just think along the same wavelength, I guess.

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So, it's been ten years.

I'd be curious to know what A&Fers would choose as their top 10 or 20 of 2001, now that they've had a decade to chew on these films.

Here's mine, at this point (including titles that weren't accessible in the U.S. until 2001 with the exception of a festival or two) - and it's quite a bit different than how I'd rated these films back in 2001:

  1. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  2. Gosford Park
  3. Lantana
  4. Moulin Rouge
  5. In the Mood for Love
  6. The Royal Tenenbaums
  7. Waking Life
  8. Flowers of Shanghai* (first non-festival U.S. release - DVD)
  9. Mulholland Drive
  10. Amelie
  11. The Road Home
  12. Donnie Darko
  13. Ghost World
  14. Memento
  15. In the Bedroom
  16. The Circle*
  17. The Widow of St. Pierre
  18. The Vertical Ray of the Sun
  19. Zoolander
  20. Divided We Fall

Nice to see Lantana up that high. I'll never understand what people see in Red Windmill, though.

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Interesting. In 2001 I had begun my second year of university. While my number one film has remained the same, the order of some of the others has changed. Some of these films I didn't see until quite a bit later, and others I would need to revisit to know how I'd feel about them now, since I haven't watched them in the intervening decade (i.e. AMÉlIE, A BEAUTIFUL MIND, WAKING LIFE)

(Also, we're going to count MEMENTO and IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE as 2001? Ok.)

Right now I'd rank my top ten:

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING

MULHOLLAND DRIVE

MOULIN ROUGE!

MEMENTO

A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE

THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS

GOSFORD PARK

GHOST WORLD

MONSTER'S INC

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I own quite a few of these, but rarely revisit them. It's hard to even come up w five.

LOTR

Moulin Rouge

Amores Perros

In the Mood for Love

The Road Home

That's it. I mean, I haven't read any of the responses, but I cannot fathom how domestic tragedies like In The Bedroom or Monsters Ball can withstand the test of time. Memento would've gotten higher marks if I didn't figure it out inbthe first ten minutes. Beautiful Mind is nice enough, until you realize that it not only runs contrary to what really happened, but the artistic choices they made make one lose all respect for Jennifer Connelly's character. And Waking Life is a bore.

And Mulholland Dr still ranks as perhaps the worst moviegoing experience in my entire life. Worse than that Dana Carvey Bottom 100 feeder...

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Some of these I haven't seen in years, but here is my top ten as I remember it:

A.I.

Memento

Donnie Darko

The Man Who Wasn't There

Amelie

Ghost World

Lord of the Rings

Black Hawk Down

A Beautiful Mind

The Others

Guilty Pleasure: The Fast and the Furious

Edited by J.R.

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I'm pretty sure a few of us were in contact even in the late 90s, but the film journals didn't start until 2003. The film journals have since changed my life for the better. Great film memories = better memory, period. Unfortunately, if you ask me where I was in 2001 I wouldn't have a clue.

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1 - The Fellowship of the Ring

2 - Black Hawk Down

3 - 15 Minutes

4 - A Beautiful Mind

5 - The Sopranos (Season Three)

6 - The Pledge

7 - 61*

8 - To End All Wars

9 - Gosford Park

10 - The Man Who Wasn't There

11 - Blow

12 - Training Day

13 - Ali

14 - Monsters, Inc.

15 - Mulholland Drive

16 - Made

17 - The Mummy Returns

18 - A Knight's Tale

19 - Ocean's Eleven

20 - Formula 51

Here's my old list. I have still yet to see Amelie, Amores Perros, Brotherhood of the Wolf, The Devil's Backbone, I'm Going Home, O, or Spirited Away. Doesn't look like the deepest of years, but then I wasn't paying as much attention 10 years ago as I do now.

Edited by Persiflage

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Hmmm. The Devil's Backbone was released in 2001 in the U.S. I wonder why that didn't make our original list here. I'm adding it into my favorites list.

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Rather than debate what does or doesn't qualify as a 2001 film, I'm going by the New York Commercial Release rule. The exact order could be shuffled a bit, but this is a really strong top 20:

1. Code Unknown (Michael Haneke)

2. The Gleaners and I (Agnès Varda)

3. Mysterious Object at Noon (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

4. Waking Life (Richard Linklater)

5. La Ciénaga (Lucrecia Martel)

6. Fat Girl (Catherine Breillat)

7. Mulholland Dr. (David Lynch)

8. One Day in the Life of Andrei Arsenevich (Chris Marker)

9. Sexy Beast (Jonathan Glazer)

10. The Circle (Jafar Panahi)

11. Eureka (Shinji Aoyama)

12. Our Song (Jim McKay)

13. Va Savoir (Jacques Rivette)

14. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai)

15. Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr)

16. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (John Cameron Mitchell)

17. The Vertical Ray of the Sun (Tran Anh Hung)

18. Ghost World (Terry Zwigoff)

19. Tape (Richard Linklater)

20. The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson)

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Hmmm. The Devil's Backbone was released in 2001 in the U.S. I wonder why that didn't make our original list here. I'm adding it into my favorites list.

That's funny. I just watched it last night and liked it a lot (and also completed seeing all of del Toro's films). I'd probably slot it into the second five and bump MONSTERS, INC. to an Honourable Mention.

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One of my favorite years of cinema. Trying to stick with 10:

Code Unknown

Va Savoir

Werckmeister Harmonies

The Royal Tenebaums

Lantana

Mulholland Drive

Waking Life

AI

Sexy Beast

The Man Who Wasn't There

Gleaners hasn't grown on me. Vagabond on the other hand has crept into my top ten. AI really is an immense film, and picks up on the bulk of the themes that keep me neck-deep in sci-fi. I could probably rate it higher here.

Donnie Darko is the big surprise for me. The intro gets me every time, and I typically watch it for the Echo and the Bunnymen scene, but I prefer Southland Tales in Kelly's short canon.

Edited by M. Leary

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Rather than debate what does or doesn't qualify as a 2001 film, I'm going by the New York Commercial Release rule.

Yeah, if I were using *that* list, I'd have Code Unknown at #1, and quite a few others from this list. Fact is, some didn't play more than one American city, or outside of a festival, until one or two years later, so I've got them listed differently in my list archive.

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Rather than debate what does or doesn't qualify as a 2001 film, I'm going by the New York Commercial Release rule. The exact order could be shuffled a bit, but this is a really strong top 20:

1. Code Unknown (Michael Haneke)

2. The Gleaners and I (Agnès Varda)

3. Mysterious Object at Noon (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)

4. Waking Life (Richard Linklater)

5. La Ciénaga (Lucrecia Martel)

6. Fat Girl (Catherine Breillat)

7. Mulholland Dr. (David Lynch)

8. One Day in the Life of Andrei Arsenevich (Chris Marker)

9. Sexy Beast (Jonathan Glazer)

10. The Circle (Jafar Panahi)

11. Eureka (Shinji Aoyama)

12. Our Song (Jim McKay)

13. Va Savoir (Jacques Rivette)

14. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai)

15. Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr)

16. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (John Cameron Mitchell)

17. The Vertical Ray of the Sun (Tran Anh Hung)

18. Ghost World (Terry Zwigoff)

19. Tape (Richard Linklater)

20. The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson)

By the way, your list has just had me add about a half dozen films from director's I've recently discovered (Tran Anh Hung, Marker, Joe, etc.). Thanks.

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If you're interested in those directors, you should check out La Cienaga, too. It's Martel's first feature.

This list reminds me . . . I sure wish Jonathan Glazer would make another movie. How do you make two films as amazing as Sexy Beast and Birth and then stop? IMDb says his next one is due in 2014.

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Glazer's scheduled to release Under the Skin in 2014:

Aliens descend upon Earth with a specific mission in mind: To abduct hitchhikers and take them back to their home world, where human meat is considered a delicacy.

Starring Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, and Patrick Warburton.

From a story posted last November:

A spokesman for production company Film Nation tells the Hollywood Reporter, "(Johansson plays) an alien on earth, disguised as the perfect aesthetic form of a mesmerising woman. She scours remote highways and desolate scenery looking to use her greatest weapon to snare human prey - her voracious sexuality... Taking her point of view throughout, the film presents a unique look at our world through alien eyes."

If it weren't Jonathan Glazer, I'd be a little sick to my stomach.

Edited by Overstreet

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ranking order highly tentative

In the Bedroom

Monster's Ball

The Gleaners and I

LOTR

Moulin Rouge

Amelie

The Man Who Wasn't There

The Widow of St. Pierre

Memento

Lantana

Ghost World

A Beautiful Mind

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AI really is an immense film, and picks up on the bulk of the themes that keep me neck-deep in sci-fi. I could probably rate it higher here.

Glad to hear you rate it.

Me? Using the Wikipedia list of 2001 films, these come up as favorites:

A.I.: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

ALL ABOUT LILY CHOU-CHOU

GOSFORD PARK

MOULIN ROUGE!

MULHOLLAND DRIVE

Out of curiosity, has anyone else here seen LILY CHOU-CHOU?

If I was counting EUREKA and IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE as 2001 releases, they would certainly make the cut. Especially EUREKA. IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE I certainly admire, but I don't think it's quite as good as the critical consensus makes it out to be.

For 2001, the Ryan Holt Guilty Pleasure award goes to Ridley Scott's HANNIBAL. Feel free to throw tomatoes.

If it weren't Jonathan Glazer, I'd be a little sick to my stomach.

I'm sick to my stomach because it is Glazer. I really don't get the love for his films.

Edited by Ryan H.

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Out of curiosity, has anyone else here seen LILY CHOU-CHOU?

I started watching it, liked it, but then had to send it back before I could finish it because I needed to get another movie for class. I'll come back to it sometime.

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Me? Using the [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:2001_films]Wikipedia list of 2001 films[/url

Thanks for that link! Rather than restate the favorites mentioned here -- many of which, in retrospect, don't seem as interesting to me 10 years later as they did at the time -- I figured I'd use the list to dig up films from 2001 that I still need to see.

The one that stands out: Lovely and Amazing. I've fallen pretty hard for Nicole Holofcener, but have only seen two of her later films. Her 2001 film doesn't appear on anyone's list (so far), so maybe no one else has seen it, or it's just not Top 10 worthy for that year.

Edited by Christian

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I started watching it, liked it, but then had to send it back before I could finish it because I needed to get another movie for class. I'll come back to it sometime.

You should. If nothing else, ALL ABOUT LILY CHOU-CHOU is a fascinating exercise in style.

Thanks for that link! Rather than restate the favorites mentioned here -- many of which, in retrospect, don't seem as interesting to me 10 years later as they did at the time -- I figured I'd use the list to dig up films from 2001 that I still need to see.

You're welcome.

That said, my experience with my favorites of 2001 has been opposite of yours. I've found myself falling deeper and deeper in love with films like A.I.: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, ALL ABOUT LILY CHOU-CHOU, and MULHOLLAND DRIVE, all of which were films that initially left me a little cold.

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That said, my experience with my favorites of 2001 has been opposite of yours. I've found myself falling deeper and deeper in love with films like A.I.: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, ALL ABOUT LILY CHOU-CHOU, and MULHOLLAND DRIVE, all of which were films that initially left me a little cold.

My wife bought me an A.I. DVD at a yard sale in the past year. "Didn't you like it?" she asked. "Not really, but maybe I will if I watch it again," I said.

Still haven't watched it.

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Was trying to find a thread on here for Amelie but couldn't find one...is there one?

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