And here it is, one of the most difficult things to do as a film fan, put together a list of the best/my favorite films of the decade that has now past us – the 2000’s! Wha-WHAT!!! This shit was so hard at first, trying to decide what should go where and then I thought of a few other films I would love to have on this list, but couldn’t take anything off either. And heaven forbid I forget something and someone reminds me! I may have an aneurism!
Now, I was going to post all 25 in one shot, but my lady friend said that might be too much to ask of people to read in one sitting and I think she’s right. So this is 25-11 and tomorrow I will put up my top ten films of the decade!
Alrighty, nuff shit chat already, let’s get this party started!
25. No Country for Old Men
The Cohen brothers came out with one of their best films period and showed they still have the chops to make movies like they did early on in their careers. This film partially brought the awesome Josh Brolin back into the limelight and even more so, gave us one of the greatest on screen villains of all time in the form of Anton Chigurh played brilliantly by then mostly unknown, Javier Bardem.
24. Slumdog Millionaire
Danny Boyle is one of the best filmmakers working today and the variety of cinema that he has brought to us is quite impressive if you look at his solid career as a whole. He hits on all cylinders and touches on many different genre aspects with Slumdog Millionaire - A movie that mixed the horrors of violence, poverty, and street culture, with a story about childhood and love, and all done with an artistic visual style all its own.
23. The Departed
That’s three best pictures in a row! Sure, it’s a remake, but it is a remake that is just fantastic and The Departed brought the cool back to American gangster films and even brought me back into Leonardo DiCaprio’s corner with his great performance. It’s a rollercoaster of a movie that goes at a hundred miles a minute and never lets down once – there is no lull and absolutely no downtime. It’s straight beat after beat and doesn’t stop to linger for even the slightest moment.
One of the best Sci Fi films in the last ten years, this highly under known film was completely overlooked due to The Matrix, but Equilibrium is a phenomenal movie that was nothing short of badass. Christian Bale has been one of my favorite actors for some time (though he is starting to stray) and that is mostly due to his amazing performance in this film. The action is so original with the Gun Kata and the emotion of the story was spot on and heavily influenced by the classic Fahrenheit 451…which is one of my favorite stories to begin with.
21. Pan’s Labyrinth
Over the years, darkness and heavy subject matter have been traded for wallet emptying merchandising in what would be considered the fairytale. In fact, it really isn’t a genre that exists anymore and I think many a horror fan yearned for a dark, adult geared fantasy film and Pans Labyrinth is the movie that gave it to us. Guillermo Del Toro shows why he is a master as he guides the viewer through a modern day fairytale that isn’t afraid to be tough and dark.
No, there is not a lot of depth or anything of the sort in this Spanish zombie film, but what it lacks in thought provoking themes, it certainly makes up for with the horror factor. REC expertly uses the handheld vérité style and never feels forced, but very natural in how the filming is executed. You can’t quite make everything out at times and that makes you physically peek your head as if you might actually see something more than the camera is showing you. There were some very effective jump scares and the tension is so thick at times that you can’t help but jump. In the end, it is scary as shit and just a true horror flick in its purest form.
19. Kill Bill vol 1
Kill Bill made a whole genre of film cool again and people can scream rip-off, I scream amazingly made homage to films that almost no one knew about beforehand. Great music, awesome fight scenes, and amazingly shot, Kill Bill is a movie that can mix over the top Japanese samurai cinema, with epic moments of honor and emotion. Kill Bill also has one of the best all time cliff hangers to boot.
Here we go again, talking about Martyrs. It was number 2 on my best of ‘09 list and it makes my best of the decade list too. No film challenged viewers more than Martyrs and even if you aren’t into how things unfold in the movies third act, as I am, you cannot deny the perfection with how this film is crafted. This will be a film horror fans will be talking about in 30 years and I think it may be most comparable to what The Texas Chainsaw Massacre did to its audiences back when it released.
17. Donnie Darko
Mixing science fiction with what could almost be a coming of age story, Donnie Darko captured a decade with a creative eye and injected a certain amount of realism to all its inhabitants. It is a film filled with tragic characters that would do nothing more than try and make a difference in someone else’s life through selfless acts. I was Head Over Heels for this film and the impact it had on me as a movie fan looking for something different is why it makes this list.
16. Inglourious Basterds
And again, Tarantino has showed up on my list with a film I have talked about more than once. It was my favorite film of last year, so of course it is in my top 25 of the decade. “Wait for the cream!”
15. Shaun of the Dead
One of the best comedies of the decade and even more so, one of the best horror comedies of all time. I think we all know that it’s not an easy thing to do, make a horror comedy that is. The balance is tough to work – keeping the funny, funny and the horror, scary enough. Shaun of the Dead brought something so fresh to the Zombie genre as well as horror in general and Nick Frost and Simon Pegg are one of the best on screen comedic duos ever!
14. American Psycho
And here is another reason why Christian Bale is one of my favorite actors. He brought to life one of the most insane characters to ever grace the screen and I have no need to spew out the classic lines about shitty 80’s pop music – we all know them, we all know how gosh darn funny that shit was too as he waxed intellectual about music while waxing a couple of fine asses. The blackest of black comedies, American Psycho is a film that created a perfect mix of madness, humor, and is one of the most original horror films of the decade.
13. The Royal Tenenbaums
Wes Anderson made magic with Rushmore, but that magic made was just a warm up for the masterful story telling of The Royal Tenenbaums. Amazing character development, beautiful color palate, brilliantly shot, this is a film that is completely hysterical at times, while being powerful in its emotional impact at others. One of the best ensemble casts ever put to screen with performances that were just plain wonderful from all involved.
12. A Bittersweet Life
From one of the finest directors working today, Ji-woon Kim crafted a gangster film that is much more than meets the eye. With deep undertones of self inflicted loneliness and one characters search for the happiness and enjoyment that can be found in the intricacies that life has to offer, this is a film where silence speaks volumes. There are action scenes that are just superb and staggering in how they are shot with such originality and freshness. And the performance by Byung-hun Lee is movingly subtle and it is this role along with JSA that made him one of my favorite Korean actors.
I actually wrote a review back in November for this one and just haven’t posted it yet (I tend to do that), but this is a film that I saw very recently and it is one that made an incredible impact on me with its thought and heart. One of the most original, unconventional, and wonderful love stories ever made, Ki-duk Kim has an ability to go way outside the box and his metaphorical presence is an ability unlike very few filmmakers can achieve. 3-Iron is a movie that should be the blue print for how to make a film with depth and meaning. It shows you do not need to cater to stupid, just to tell a love story and actions speak more than a thousand words, while the smallest of touches result in the biggest of impacts.
That about does it for now ladies and germs, hope you found a few interesting picks among my list thus far and please let me know what you think. Otherwise, see ya tomorrow with 10-1!