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.
The Illusionist This and another film on my list both revolve around the same basic plot element: Magic. The Illusionist is a story about an amazing magician, who does things that can only be described as real magic and is played by my favorite modern actor, Edward Norton. Add in Paul Giamatti and an inherently evil Rufus Sewell, and this story of love, magic, and deceit keeps you going until the credits roll.
The Bourne Ultimatum The third film in the Bourne series is also the best. Jason (played by Matt Damon) is as gritty as ever as he struggles to remember his past. In the process he takes down a big part of the CIA and kicks some major ass. The shaky cam style fits perfectly and him getting close to Nikki Parsons (Julia Styles) was something I was really hoping for. Like The Illusionist, you are glued to your seat until the moment that Moby’s rerecording of Extreme Ways plays to end the movie and reveal the fate of Bourne. Here’s to hoping for more Bourne films.
UP UP managed to do something that I didn’t think was possible: It outdid Pixar’s previous film, WALL-E, in both creativity and story telling. Some said this was going to bomb at the box office because all previous Pixar films had a toy line to go along with the film and UP didn’t have a viable toy line: Boy were they wrong. This story about life and doing what you want to before you run out of time ended up grossing more than $400 million on a $175 million budget.
Snatch Another movie that doesn’t get the love it should. Guy Ritchie’s story about underground boxing in the UK is full of unexpected violence and Brad Pitt doing some of his finest. Vinnie Jones and Jason Statham also bring the best performances of their careers in this movie. Only one Statham film even comes close to Snatch and that is Bank Job which narrowly missed out on this list. If you need a reason to see this movie, do it to see Brad Pitt knocking people out with one punch and one of the most amazing accents I have ever heard.
Moon A throwback to Star Wars-era sic if, Moon has only one actor: Sam Rockwell. He’s on the Moon by himself mining for Helium 3. His only companion is Gerty, a robot voiced by Kevin Spacey. This movie is currently the front runner to win Best Picture at the 2009 Academy Awards and Sam Rockwell will likely be up for Best Actor (and should be up for Best Supporting actor as well). The use of miniatures instead of CGI in this film only added to this film and really made you miss the days of Star Wars.
V for Vendetta “Remember, remember the fifth of November…” No best of the “2000’s” list is complete without the Wachowski Brothers’ best film to date. Yes, it is even better than The Matrix. Hugo Weaving dons a mask as the anarchy-craving, revenge-seeking V who plans to bring down the British government in an alternate timeline. The themes of this movie are quite possibly the best of any on this list and who would have thought that Natalie Portman was just as hot with a shaved head as she normally is?
Children of Men A twist to the traditional apocalyptic film - every woman in the world is sterile. The youngest person in the world is a celebrity and is 20 years old. Clive Owen proves that he is one of the best actors of our generation while Chiwetel Ejiofor and Julianne Moore give great performances in very limited screen time. The ending of the film turns into an action piece and the last 5 minutes or so are so powerful that you are likely to cry. Children of Men is one of those movies that really, really makes you lose faith in humanity.
A Knight’s Tale Combine Heath Ledger with the genius that is Alan Tudyk and the always awesome villain, Rufus Sewel, and you are bound to have an awesome movie. The way it starts out is just classic; a medieval crowd singing We Will Rock You with horns playing the solo at the end. One of the few movies I could actually recite to you word for word (and probably tell you exactly what was going on when those words were said).
A Beautiful Mind This movie surprised me. I saw it rather recently and had always assumed it was a sappy story. Instead, it was the exact opposite. It was a telling tale of losing to yourself and then refinding yourself. Not to mention that this combined great story telling with my single greatest fear: going insane and being sent to an insane asylum. Russell Crowe was as good as ever in this while Paul Bettany and Ed Harris turned in absolutely spectacular performances. Oh, and having Jennifer Connelly wasn’t exactly a bad thing either.
Inglourious Basterds Quentin Tarantino said that he wanted to create a masterpiece before the start of the next decade. To many, Kill Bill was his masterpiece of the decade. No, no, no. Not for him. He set out to make “Tarantino’s Vision of World War II” as it was put in early viral marketing. This one is relatively new so I won’t spoil it for you but the name “Bear Jew” will live in infamy now and Christoph Waltz, someone who was never even heard of before this movie, will likely walk away with an Oscar for his performance become an A-lister in Hollywood
I absolutely nodded my head when I saw V for Vendetta.
It deviated from the graphic novels (I read the novels after watching the movie), but I feel it stands on its own. Fantastically brilliant. One of the few shows since 2000 to literally grab my attention from the beginning till the end. The only other is The Dark Knight.