The decade (in movies) so far

gene_hackmanI can’t believe we’re already half a month into 2009. I’m still trying to get used to describing this decade as the 00’s and here we are a year away from sewing it up and entering the 10’s.

We’re also a year away from the inevitable ‘Best of the ’00s’ lists, so I figured I’d go ahead and get a head start on mine. The past nine years have delivered some wonderful films and it’s going to be extremely tough narrowing them down to ten.

For starters, I’ve done the not-as-tough job of winnowing my favorite films since 2000 down to a list of 20. At the end of 2009 I’ll add any standouts from this year to the list and do the hard work of highlighting just ten.

First, here’s a look at the number of films I’ve listed per year:

2000 – 1
2001 – 5
2002 – 2
2003 – 1
2004 – 4
2005 – 2
2006 – 2
2007 – 3
2008 – 0

2001 and 2004 are the standouts, with this past year the weakest. The rest fall somewhere in between.

Here’s an alphabetical breakdown of the films (note: I inadvertently left the two films in bold off this list when I first published it):

Adaptation (2002)
Amores Perros (2001)
Bad Education (2004)
Before Sunset (2004)

Children of Men (2006)
City of God (2003)
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
I’m Not There (2007)
The Incredibles (2004)
Memento (2001)
Moulin Rouge (2001)
Mulholland Drive (2001)
No Country For Old Men (2007)
No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (2005)
Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
Pride & Prejudice (2005)
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
There Will Be Blood (2007)
Y Tu Mama Tambien (2002)

I have two films by Alfonso Cuaron, two films written by Charles Kaufman, two films about Bob Dylan, five foreign-language films, one animated film, one musical and one comedy.

I won’t go any further than this for now, except to say that Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind will definitely find a place in the final ten. The rest has eleven months to shake out.

6 thoughts on “The decade (in movies) so far

  1. Amy says:

    Well, my first observation is that it’s sort of disturbing that I haven’t seen five of them. Not for lack of you trying to get me to see them, of course 🙂

    Second, I wonder how you came up with this list. Why not simply list your top three from each year, allowing for a bonus one or two films from a year that is particulary strong? Your 2nd favorite film of 2000 and 2003 (not to mention Slumdog this year) really don’t deserve to wind up on the “for your consideration” list at all? Fascinating.

    Third, I can’t help but notice what a dark list of films this is. As I just glance over the list of the 15 films I have seen, the ones that might wind up on my long list would be Adaptation, Moulin Rouge, The Incredibles, and Eternal Sunshine. So I would guess I’m a sunnier person in general than you are ;-P Of course, my lack of foreign film representation also reveals that I’m a more shallow person than you as well. C’est la vie.

    Fourth, and no surprise here, you’ve got me wondering about my own list now, which is, I know, the game.

  2. Amy says:

    Fifth, after just doing a quick overview of my decade top ten lists, I find myself wondering if a decade best list should be more than just a collection of the films you loved best each year. For instance, Pirates of the Caribbean was my 6th favorite film of 2003, yet I’ve watched that movie more and think of it far more often and more fondly than I do a few of the films that came before it in 2003 and many other films that occupied the top five spots of each year’s top ten list. In fact, Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow is one of the most indelible movie characters created in the 2000’s. Doesn’t a film that introduces such a character, and such a performance, deserve a special consideration when it comes time to create a best of the decade list?

  3. Clay says:

    I wouldn’t exactly call Adaptation, Moulin Rouge or Eternal Sunshine light films. And I wonder which films would round out your top twenty… could be they’re just as dark.

    As far as throwing in films from each year just for the sake of fairness, I don’t see the point. I compiled this list of twenty by taking the top five from every year, grouping them into one big list of 45, and then knocking out the titles that didn’t rise above the rest of the pack. I didn’t pay attention to what year any of them were from until I had the final list of twenty.

    I wouldn’t want to remove one of the films listed above to make room for Slumdog Millionaire because I like all of those films better than Slumdog. No affirmative action for 2008 on my list!

  4. Clay says:

    As for the Pirates question… I would suggest that if that film has stayed with you more than the ones you once ranked above it, then it has probably earned a spot above those films on your decade list. Maybe you don’t want to go back and revisit your 2003 list at this point, but you can certainly give Pirates a retroactive boost.

    I already see some cases where films I have ranked lower than others within a given year are going to jump ahead of them on this list.

  5. Otter says:

    No room for Slumdog or Frost/Nixon?

    Is this “City of God”‘s to lose?

  6. Clay says:

    Those two would fall a bit outside this list. I found this year underwhelming (though I still have a few films left to see).

    Right now it’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Minds to lose, but City of God is definitely a top-fiver.

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