Google+ Cinema Viewfinder: The Best Films of the 00s

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Best Films of the 00s

by Tony Dayoub

Oscar night has arrived. And with the Oscar recipients this year being all but a foregone conclusion, I post an alternative to the conversation happening throughout the rest of the film blogosphere.

Here are the best films of the 00s...

1. (tie) The New World (2005)

All the children of the king were beautiful, but she, the youngest, was so exceedingly so that the sun himself—though he saw her often—was surprised whenever she came out into his presence. Her father had a dozen wives, a hundred children, but she was his favorite. She exceeded the rest not only in feature and proportion, but in wit and spirit too. All loved her.

1. (tie) There Will Be Blood (2007)

I have a competition in me. I want no one else to succeed. I hate most people.

2. In the Mood for Love (2000)

In the old days, if someone had a secret they didn't want to share, you know what they did? ...They went up a mountain, found a tree, carved a hole in it, and whispered the secret into the hole. Then they covered it with mud and left the secret there forever.

3. Zodiac (2007)

I am not the Zodiac. And if I were, I certainly wouldn't tell you.

4. Das weisse band (The White Ribbon) (2009)

White, as you all know, is the color of innocence.

5. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)

"Subject to the requirements of the service."

6. Miami Vice (2006)

... There is undercover, and then there is "Which way is up?"

7. 25th Hour (2002)

...You're a New Yorker. That won't ever change. You've got New York in your bones. Spend the rest of your life out west, but you're still a New Yorker... You make a new life for yourself, and you live it. You hear me? You live your life the way it should have been. But maybe... this is dangerous, but maybe after a few years you send word to Naturelle. You get yourself a new family, and you raise them right. You hear me? Give them a good life, Monty.

8. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Well, technically speaking, the operation is brain damage, but it's on a par with a night of heavy drinking. Nothing you'll miss.

9. Inglourious Basterds (2009)

You probably heard we ain't in the prisoner-takin' business. We in the killin' Nazi business. And cousin, business is a-boomin'.

10. Children of Men (2006)

As the sound of the playgrounds faded, the despair set in. Very odd, what happens in a world without children's voices.

Performers of the 00s: Honored for their consistent quality in an extraordinary number of films this decade, regardless of the individual success of each movie.

Cate Blanchett - The Man Who Cried, The Gift, Bandits, The Fellowship of the Ring, Charlotte Gray, The Shipping News, Heaven, The Two Towers, Veronica Guerin, Coffee and Cigarettes, The Missing, The Return of the King, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Aviator, Stories of Lost Souls, Little Fish, Babel, The Good German, Notes on a Scandal, Hot Fuzz, I'm Not There, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Ponyo, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Mark Ruffalo - You Can Count on Me, Committed, Life/Drawing, The Last Castle, XX/XY, Windtalkers, My Life Without Me, View from the Top, In the Cut, We Don't Live Here Anymore, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 13 Going on 30, Collateral, Just Like Heaven, Rumor Has It, All the King's Men, Zodiac, Reservation Road, Blindness, The Brothers Bloom, What Doesn't Kill You, Where the Wild Things Are

Additional for Out 1 Film Journal:

James Hansen of Out 1 Film Journal solicited submissions (for movies, directors, and individual performances) from a number of film writers for their Best Movies of the 2000s post. I suggested all of the movies listed at the top, but since he was lookin for 13, here are two additional. The directors and performances follow.

A Christmas Tale (2008)
I ♥ Huckabees (2004)

-Paul Thomas Anderson (Punch-Drunk Love, There Will Be Blood) for allowing the madmen—actors—to run the asylum.
-Charlie Kaufman (Synecdoche, New York) for being an auteur before he was a director.
-Michael Mann (Ali, Collateral, Miami Vice, Public Enemies) for mastering the digital camera as he ventures further into "pure" cinema.
-Julian Schnabel (Before Night Falls, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Lou Reed's Berlin) for following his muse, and making lyricism a priority in cinema.
-Steven Soderbergh (Erin Brockovich, Traffic, the Ocean's Eleven series, Full Frontal, Solaris, Eros (segment: "Equilibrium"), Bubble, The Good German, Che, The Girlfriend Experience, The Informant!) for his overwhelming output, consistent in both quality and innovation.

Individual Performances:

Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Benicio Del Toro, Che
Laura Dern, Inland Empire
Mélanie Laurent, Inglourious Basterds
Meryl Streep, Doubt

For earlier postings of this series, including the best films by individual year, click here.


Hokahey said...

Excellent choices here, Tony. I have no quibble with your top two. They would be mine without hesitation, with Basterds in the #3 slot.

Dean Treadway said...

All great choices. I especially agree with THE NEW WORLD, my choice for the best of the decade, too. Really enjoyed the series!

Mike Lippert said...

Tony, I agreeded with every pick you put on this post including all the actors and directors until I got to I Heart Huckabees, which I really hated in that special way that you can hate a movie that is made by really talended people. Oh well, 99% is still quite good. I will miss this series.

Sam Juliano said...

Wow, THE WHITE RIBBON makes the final cut, eh? Exceptionally diverse list here, and who could really agrgue with your #1 choice?

Anyway, my own:

1 Far From Heaven (Haynes)
2 Son Frere (Chereau)
3 The Fountain (Aronofsky)
4 WALL-E (Stanton)
5 The Return of the King (Jackson)
6 Kings and Queen (Despletchin)
7 The New World (Malick)
8 Dogville (Von Trier)
9 Bright Star (Campion)
10 Tropical Malady (Weerasethakul)

Kevin J. Olson said...

I love what you did here, Tony. I love your images and the succinct quotes that trigger moments from the films they belong to. This was a great way of going about your unveiling of this list...I applaud you. Oh, and your choices are pretty damn good, too. I guess I need to hurry up and watch The White Ribbon!

I'm elated to see Inglorious Basterds -- a film I think is the best of the decade -- and Miami Vice on your list.

This was a tremendously entertaining series! Kudos to you, sir.

Matthew K. said...

Glad to see "Master and Commander" on the list. Always wondered why that one isn't more highly regarded.

J.D. said...

Very cool picks and it was great to see you rank ZODIAC and MIAMI VICE so highly!

Tony Dayoub said...


One of the only reasons I don't put BASTERDS up higher is that it came out too recently for me to grasp how significant I feel the film to be.


Welcome back. Glad you kept up with the series. Saw your Oscar predix post, and you did pretty well.


99% IS pretty damn good. I'm not surprised about your distaste for I ♥ HUCKABEES. My wife hates it. And I remember being the only one giggling hysterically in the theater. But I stand by my pick. Damn comedy made me think, and I loved Marky Mark in it.


I like your list. Some of my blind spots include FAR FROM HEAVEN, SON FRERE, KING AND QUEEN, and TROPICAL MALADY. Glad to see you rate THE NEW WORLD highly as well.


Thanks for the compliment. I really wanted the films to speak for themselves. Run and go see THE WHITE RIBBON, but be forewarned. It's a tough movie to empathize with.


MASTER AND COMMANDER is sorely underrated. Any movie tht makes me dig the usually conceited Crowe rates high in my book. I would love to see a sequel to this.


C'mon man! Didn't you expect me to?

Stephen said...

Very nicely presented, Tony.

I'm glad to see someone appreciate Ruffalo, a consistently good actor. Always convincing and with a wry humour too. Impressive again in Shutter Island.

My list, if I may:

1 The New World
2 Revenge of the Sith
3 Three Times
4 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
5 Spirited Away
6 Notre Musique
7 A.I.
8 Antichrist
9 Mulholland Drive
10 The Skywalk is Gone

Tony Dayoub said...

Eclectic list there, Stephen. I can't really argue with most of them. Even ANTICHRIST, which I wasn't a big fan of, I can at least understand. But you'll have to tell me sometime how REVENGE OF THE SITH worked its way up to 2nd best of the decade.

Stephen said...

"But you'll have to tell me sometime how REVENGE OF THE SITH worked its way up to 2nd best of the decade."

Well, it's quite simple really. I don't think I've been more excited watching a film. The first twenty minutes is great action / slapstick, then it descends a moving and wrenching spiral into inevitability and momentous tragedy.

Seeing the new films join to the old was a profoundly strange experience.

I know the majority don't like Revenge of the Sith but no matter. Lucas remains the action / fantasy master.

M. Carter @ the Movies said...

I LOVE that you included "Eternal Sunshine" AND "Inglourious Basterds" in this list. What good taste you have, CF! "Children of Men" also deserves a spot.

I'm a little shocked to see "Miami Vice" in here, which I personally kind of hated.

Some of my top picks:

"Requiem for a Dream"; "No Country for Old Men"; "The Fall"; "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days"; and "The Departed"

Jake said...

I don't know why it took me so long to comment on this, though I have had Internet troubles all week. I love your list, Tony, and I'm sad that I didn't have my epiphany with Miami Vice sooner, as it likely belongs in my own top 10 now. I'm surprised at myself, though, for not mentioning The New World in my own list, but I need to spend more time with it, and watch the recently released alternate cut to compare the versions, before I make a more solid judgment. One day I might revisit and revise my list, much in the same way you presented yours (do yearly lists and revise the ones I already made leading up to a reevaluated list), but I wouldn't think of doing that for a few more years.

Tony Dayoub said...

No big deal, Jake. The lovely thing about the interwebs is that the posts stay here for an infinite amount of time allowing you to visit them at your leisure. I look forward to reading your list(s)when you revise it.

Vancetastic said...

Wow, I guess I really need to see The New World, don't I?

You'll see some familiar titles on mine, as well as some that are sure to be considered controversial (like that Revenge of the Sith pick -- I love it!)

1. Donnie Darko
2. Children of Men
3. Almost Famouos
4. Lost in Translation
5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
6. Vanilla Sky
7. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
8. There Will Be Blood
9. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
10. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

Tony Dayoub said...

Not so controversial, Vancetastic.

All of the titles you listed were in my top 10 for their respective years except for the three I haven't seen: PERFUME, DIVING BELL, and 4 MONTHS. ALMOST FAMOUS just missed my top 10 for that year.

Vancetastic said...

Glad to see you appreciate Vanilla Sky as well. I thought that was the controversial one.