The 100 Best Films of the Decade: 2000 – 2009 (part 1)

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brick-poster-1100- Brick (2005)

Directed by Rian Johnson

Genre: Film Noir, Mystery, Crime

Rian Johnson’s Brick is a rare gem; the low-key, post-modern approach mingles ’40s and ’50s costume accents and the hard-boiled attitude of the great 1930s and ’40s detective novels with the institutional drab of a suburban high school. Take the regular struggles of high school life – romances, cliques, teen pregnancy and drugs and blend it in with film geek allusions to everything from Raymond Chandler to Blue Velvet and you got yourself a teen movie with edge, bite and attitude.

BatmanBeginsWallpaper102499- Batman Begins (2005)

Directed by Christopher Nolan

Genre: Sci-Fi, Action

Batman is the grittiest and most intriguing of all comic book superheroes and thankfully director Christopher Nolan delivered an exhilarating picture that is almost operatic in scope and impact. Batman Begins isn’t perfect, but it is was one hell of a way to welcome the DC heroes back to the silver screen. Fantastic to the eye, involving and skillful both as a drama and an action film and stars an actor who is completely believable as both Bruce Wayne and Batman. Nolan makes the wise decision to take Batman back to basics and creates a fascinating thriller that’s grounded in angst and meant for mature audiences.

Listen to our review from podcast #48

wildzero_big.jpg105571282398- Wild Zero (2000)

Directed by Tetsuro Takeuchi

Genre: Cult, Horror, Comedy, Sci-Fi

Wild Zero is the 2000 Japanese “Jet rock ‘n’ roll” zombie horror comedy cult classic, directed by Tetsuro Takeuchi, and starring the Japanese garage punk band Guitar Wolf. Borrowing many elements from other popular B-movies such as Psychomania and Evil Dead 2, Wild Zero would best be described as The Ramones remaking Night of the Living Dead for Troma studios. A film that is exuberantly silly, wears its influences on its sleeve, never looks cheap (despite the minimal budget) and is bursting with unstoppable energy from start to finish.

Listen to our review from podcast #3

Unbreakable50097- Unbreakable (2000)

Directed by M. Night Shyamalan

Genre: Thriler, Sci-Fi, Mystery

Once upon a time Shyamalan`s films showed him as a rapidly promising and maturing filmmaker, taking risks and making them pay off. Unfortunately that did not last long. However Unbreakable is still compelling, stylish and beautiful to watch. A brilliant homage to comic book superheroes and villains. In a decade overflowing with superhero films, Unbreakable is one of the better origin stories.

Listen to our review from podcast #37

paranoid-park-dvd-review-20081008050617334-00096- Paranoid Park (2007)

Directed by Gus Van Sant

Genre: Drama

The photography by cinematographer Christopher Dolye is worth the price of admission alone. Great stedi cam shots, long takes and some wonderful use of slow motion. The world that Van Sant creates is poetic and hypnotic. He takes us into the head of a teenage boy and lets us run with it, giving us a real sense of place and time. In some ways it feels like voyeurism, as if we are actually looking into someone’s life.

Listen to our review from podcast #55

kingofkongvegas95- The King of Kong (2007)

Directed by Seth Gordon

Genre: Documentary

Who would have ever guessed that a documentary about gamers obsessed with scoring a world record at Donkey Kong would be worthy of consideration for the decade’s best? An audience favorite on the film festival circuit, The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters is laugh-out-loud funny and brilliantly keeps up it’s dramatic pace while never losing sight of the personal stories of the stranger-than-fiction cast of characters. Fascinating, thoroughly engaging and a moving study of obsessive competition.

Listen to our review from podcast #18

rescuedawn2xs194- Rescue Dawn (2006)

Directed by Werner Herzog

Genre: War, Bio-pic

This is a tough movie-going experience made up of moments that represent cinema at its best. Rescue Dawn avoids all the typical foibles inherent in the war movie and represents a solid effort that fans of the genre should actively seek out.

Gwoemul the Host movie93- The Host (2006)

Directed by Joon-ho Bong

Genre: Sci-fi, Creature Feature, Horror, Comedy

Monster movies tend to be as misunderstood as their creatures, but make no mistake; The Host is a great monster movie chock-full of strong performances, unexpected humor, political commentary, family conflict and satiric references to some of the more absurd aspects of Korean cinema. A beautifully made, thoroughly enjoyable monster flick that stands head and shoulders above most sci-fi / action movies.

2351194_profile_mbox_background92- C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005)

Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée

Genre: Drama

C.R.A.Z.Y. goes far beyond what could have simply been a coming of age story by overcoming all the trappings of genre. Montreal Director Jean-Marc Vallée delves beneath all the complex layers that unite and divide a family and rather than just focus on  his hero’s sexual growth, he analyses how he must first come to grips with countless other issues such as his religious beliefs, social environment, friendships, family relationships and peer pressure. Patrice Bricault-Vermette’s art direction stands out, meticulously capturing the period detail while Vallee’s music selection is sublime, using everything from Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” to David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.”

gngl-fanlisting91- Good Night, and Good Luck. (2005)

Directed by George Clooney

Genre: Drama, Bio-pic

Good Night, and Good Luck stands, tall, impressive and expressive joining not only the best films about journalism, but one of the better films of the decade. A good-looking, powerfully acted, deeply felt and deeply committed film. It’s also a highly personal statement for Clooney, whose father was a TV news anchorman, and a tribute to Edward R. Murrow, a family friend and hero.

star_trek_03_102490- Star Trek (2009)

Directed by J.J. Abrams

Genre: Action, Sci-Fi

Sci-fi origin stories tend to be disappointing whether the subject is Luke Skywalker, Batman, or Wolverine; since we already know where we’re going and thus the getting there can be tedious and boring. J.J. Abrams avoids those problems and crafts an exciting origin story the successfully blends the hip and classic, with a perfect cast, dazzling effects, some of the best action sequences of the year, and enough heart to make you care.

Listen to our review from podcast #116

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5 Comments
  1. […] Andy Baio of waxy.org has been tracking the online distribution of Oscar screeners since 2003, only to discover that  every year, the piracy scene manages to release nearly every film by nomination day. Last year, all but three films were leaked in DVD quality by nomination day.  According to Andy, fewer Oscar screeners leaked online this year — only 14 out of 34 nominated films, the lowest percentage ever. Andy goes on to ask, “why the shift this year? Are studios doing a better job protecting screeners and intimidating Academy members? Or was this year’s crop of films too boring for pirates to bother with? My answer is that he may not be looking hard enough considering many sources tell me that several of the best picture nominees including the foreign language choices have. As far as the quality of films goes, I personally think 2009 was a great year in film and can easily taking second place in the number of submissions to my top of the decade. […]

  2. Ian says

    Star Trek?
    Really?

    Otherwsie nice list.

    1. Ricky D says

      I really do not like any of the original Star Trek movies or shows (except for maybe part 2) but I really think Star Trek deserves a spot on the list. It is a movie I can easily watch again. I had a blast watching it on the big screen and I think it is exceptionally well made despite all the flares. More importantly it will stand the test of time.

  3. Simon says

    I really shouldn’t be as stoked to see this list as I am, but these are all great choices so far.

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