With the first decade of the new Millennium winding down, I felt it time to write about the best films so far. This is a list of my favorite movies of the last decade. They will be split into separate parts and released every few days. All movies included were released on or after January 1, 2000.
Lord of War Lord of War, in my very honest opinion, is the greatest of all Nicolas Cage movies. Once upon a time, he made good films and this was one the final of these. Add in the best opening sequence of the last decade as well as brilliant performances by Sir Ian Holm, Jared Leto, and Ethan Hawke and this is easily one of the most spectacular films of the new millennium. Lord of War Opening Sequence
Lord of the Rings I’m cheating here. I am clumping the entire trilogy into one point. There is truly only one book which is divided into three volumes which are future divided into two parts each and this was filmed together. Either way, this is easily the most epic films since the mid 90’s when Armageddon and Independence Day were released. The only thing that could possibly be said about it that is bad is that the Director’s Cuts weren’t the original release. Large battles, medieval warfare, mythical creatures. Lord of the Rings is a trilogy that will be remembered 50 years from now. Fellowship of the Ring intro
Sunshine Danny Boyle’s underrated sci-fi classic. So very few people have seen it but so many should. Yes, the change from a space journey to a slasher film was unexpected and somewhat unneeded (although Mark Strong was excellent as the villain) but the visuals were spectacular. The story was breathtaking. And the ending scene with Cillian Murphy just made your jaw drop and then… you cry because you are so happy. Not to mention that the score to this film was just beautiful. Do yourself a favor and listen to John Murphy’s theme song. Sunshine Trailer
No Country For Old Men This movie can be summed up in a simple phrase: Incredibly fucked up. Just to prove this, remember about 10 minutes into the film. Guy gets pulled over by a cop car. “Cop” comes walking to the car with a compressed air cylinder in his hand and sakes the guy to get out of his car. Next thing you know, the “Cop” uses the compressed air to blow a hole through the guys head and steals his car. The rest of the movie is just as messed up as that. Javiar Bardem turns in the performance of his career and helped earn this film Best Picture in 2007 No Country For Old Men Trailer
Juno The first of two Jason Reitman films on this list. Ellen Page, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, and JK Simmons united to great this amazingly well done film about a teenager getting pregnant. It was fun, quirky, hilarious, sad, and disturbing all at the same time. Diablo Cody won an Oscar for the screenplay and I walked out of that movie thinking “Holy crap. Jason Bateman is a freaking pedophile!” Juno Opening Credits
Thank You For Smoking This would be the other Reitman film. This is one of the few films I have ever seen which focuses almost entirely on the lobbying done in Washington and how companies gain favor with the politicians and the public. Aaron Eckhart turned in the best performance of his career as the head of the Cigarette Lobbyists. His quick talking and smart thinking combined for a lethal film co-starring Robert Duvall and JK Simmons. Thank You For Smoking Trailer
Idiocracy This is the most recent film on the list for me to see. I saw it about a week ago and thought it was a brilliant comedy and an excellent look at what our future may hold for us: More intelligent people tend to reproduce less while less intelligent people reproduce more. Eventually the less intelligent people will overcome the more intelligent people and idiocy will become champion. Luke Wilson and Dax Shepherd were very enjoyable in this Mike Judge (creator of Beavis and Butthead, King of the Kill, and Office Space) film. Idiocracy Trailer
Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith As bad as the prequel trilogy was compared to the original trilogy, Revenge of the Sith stands by itself as an excellent movie. The fight scene between Anakin and Obi-Wan on Mustufar was so well done that I sat there with my mouth open the entire time. Yoda vs. the Emperor was just as awesome. Finally seeing how that young boy from The Phantom Menace became the greatest villain in the history of film, however, was absolutely priceless. Revenge of the Sith Trailer
The Dark Knight The final film that Heath Ledger finished featured what will likely be his greatest performance. This movie was less about Batman and more about the Joker than anything. His “Magic Trick” will be imitated for years to come and I will forever remember the first time I ever swore in front of my father (I said “Holy Shit!” when he did that). Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, and Christian Bale turned in very good performances and Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent/Two-Face was just riveting. The music itself may have been better than the second highest grossing film ever in the US. The only knocks you can put against it is that so little time was given to Eckhart’s Two-Face before he was killed off and that they replaced Katie Holm’s Rachel Dawes character. Bank Robbery Scene
Equilibrium This is likely the least liked film on my list. Regardless, I love it. Sean Bean and William Fichtner steal the show from main characters Christian Bale and Taye Diggs despite seeing limited screen time. This movie was the start of the Gunkata fighting style which is one of the most visually pleasing fighting styles I have seen to this day. The story itself is interesting. It’s dystopian society where emotions are restricted with a serum injected into one’s neck. A must watch in my opinion. Equilibrium Trailer
What can I say? It's my favorite movies of the last decade. Not the best but my favorite. Although I would have to argue that Lord of War, Lord of the Rings, Sunshine, and No Country For Old Men belong on both lists.
Seen all of these movies other than Sushine. Equilibrium is an awesome movie. No Country for Old Man was so overrated it's not even funny. It was pretty average. Watchable, sure, but a best/favorite? I don't see how. I can see where you're coming from with the rest of them, though.
Edit: Oh yeah, Dark Knight sucked, too. Heath Ledger was the only real redeeming quality of that movie, and even he couldn't save it.
I realized that I never fully responded to this, so...
Lord of War - agree, great movie.
Lord of the Rings - Yes epic, epicly horrible. For whatever reason, I just didn't enjoy these movies. The dialog seemed horrible, the acting seemed horrible, and too much time was spent on useless things. Seriously, do we really need 3 hours of Frodo's life sucks? This one I'd take off the list.
Sunshine - Haven't seen, won't comment.
No Country For Old Men - Has there ever been a movie with less of a plot? I seriously wished I could unsee this movie.
Juno - Pretty funny and good drama, but there was nothing in it that made me want to see it again, which I feel is required for a movie to be on a best list.
Thank You For Smoking - Very original, very insightful, and overall pretty funny. But again, I wouldn't want to see it again. A must see movie, for sure, but not a best.
Idiocracy - The concept of how humanity will get more stupid made sense and was funny, but that could easily have been a 5 minute stand up bit. There was no need for this to be a movie.
Star Wars - Seen it, but won't comment because I'm incredibly biased.
The Dark Knight - I actually agree, I thought this film was pretty incredible with the acting and the plot. I've never seen such a sadistic villain, which was really awesome in film.
Equilibrium - I'm a sucker for dystopias, and I thought it was an original concept, so I'll agree.
Some films I feel are missing off the top of my head: -Donnie Darko (at a glance seems pointless, but has an incredible amount of symbolism) -Lucky Number Slevin (it's like modern day Shakespeare).
I'm a sucker for Jason Reitman, I'm not going to lie. I love his movies and have seen Juno more times than I can count and I've seen Thank You For Smoking 3 times since seeing it for the first time early last month.
Lord of the Rings... not sure what to say other than I completely disagree with everything you said.
Idiocracy would have made a good stand up set but I think the movie itself was just funny as hell. Of course, that may have made it onto the list because of how recently I had seen it.
You're right about TDK. I can't remember a villain as... evil, as insane as Ledger's Joker. The movie was more about the Joker than Batman which is another thing I don't recall ever seeing in a superhero movie.
Equilibrium was included because of the concept, fight scenes, William Fichtner, and Sean Bean. The movie itself was pretty mediocre but those four things were good enough to warrant a spot on here.
As for your two that are missing, I have yet to see Donnie Darko. I know, I know. I should watch it. Just haven't gotten around to seeing it, you know? As for Lucky Number Slevin... meh. Watched it, got bored with it. Never been a fan of those types of movies. Mafia/Crime Lords/Police duking it out has never been something I enjoyed. When all is said and done with these lists, you'll also notice that I will leave The Departed off of here and that is commonly cited as one of the best movies of the last decade and I hear people say it's the best Scorcese film of all time. Just not my thing, you know?
Part II is finished and Part III is almost done. Part II will go up soon. Just waiting for something from Chris.