Top 10 of the 2000’s

For a while I’ve been considering listing the ten best films of each decade and decided to start it off with the most recent. Keep in mind that I haven’t seen every film released in-between the years 2000 and 2009 so this list is made up of the ten best films released in that span that I have seen. Here they are:

10. Waltz With Bashir directed by Ari Folman

Waltz With Bashir is, without a doubt, the best animated film that I have ever seen and quite possibly the finest documentary that I have ever seen. It takes elements of both these styles of film and combines them in such a way that leaves you in awe of what you are watching on screen. It illustrates the horrors of war using some of the most beautiful animation I’ve ever seen while still managing to contain your interest with the actual story-lines. The film is made up of a series of vignettes and testimonies that range from beautiful to horrifying but always keep you captivated. It is a unique film I would not only list as one of the best of the 2000’s but also as one of the best I’ve ever seen.

9. Brokeback Mountain directed by Ang Lee

I challenge you to find a more heartbreaking love story than that of the two cowboys Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist. This is a film that is perfect in every department. The direction by Ang Lee is masterful, the cinematography is beautiful, and the acting is extraordinary. The work on display here by the late Heath Ledger is some of the finest acting that has ever been captured on film and will soon be held as one of greatest performances of all time. This film is nothing short of perfection.

8. The White Ribbon directed by Michael Haneke

This is a film that stays with you long after the credits has stopped. Through immaculate direction, beautiful cinematography, and a variety of haunting performances filmmaker Michael Haneke managed to create one of the most unforgettable films of the 21st century thus far.

7. Hunger directed by Steve McQueen

The first time I watched this I was left sitting, unable to move, and shaking. This is the film that has probably had the most direct affect on me emotionally. It is beyond brutal and at times it is hard to witness, but by the time you make it to the credit’s you’ll have witnessed something incredible.

6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind directed by Michel Gondry

A man’s memories of his ex-girlfriend are being deleted and he attempts to save them by traveling through his subconscious. Only Charlie Kaufman could craft a story like this and manage to make it so extraordinarily well done. Utter brilliance.

5. American Psycho directed by Mary Harron

My love for American Psycho is unending. Hell, it’s the inspiration for the name of this website. Full of insanely quotable lines, fantastic acting by Christian Bale, one of the most fascinating characters of recent years, and it makes me laugh with every viewing. I’m happy to call this one of the best films of the 2000’s.

4. Mulholland Drive directed by David Lynch

I’ve seen this film four times. Four times. I still have no idea what the hell happened. Doesn’t stop the film from being perfect though.

3. Synecdoche, New York directed by Charlie Kaufman

Charlie Kaufman’s directorial debut is what Roger Ebert called the best of the decade and it comes very close to being the same for me. A perfectly complex screenplay, a excellent leading performance by Philip Seymour Hoffman, and a wonderful ensemble cast featuring the brilliant work of Michelle Williams, Catherine Keener, and Tom Noonan. These are a few of the reasons why I consider this film to be a masterpiece and one of the greatest films ever made.

2. There Will Be Blood directed by Paul Thomas Anderon

What is there to say about this film that hasn’t already been said? Daniel Day-Lewis delivers the best performance of his career, the decade, and maybe of all time. Paul Thomas Anderson is a cinematic master who, in this film, created one of my favorite characters of all time. This film drinks my milkshake every time I see it.

1. Werckmeister Harmonies directed by Bela Tarr

There are no words I can use that would properly describe the brilliance of this film and the profound affect it has had on me. It’s something that you just have to see yourself. This is the true definition of the term masterpiece.

There you have it. Would any of these be on your list?

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11 thoughts on “Top 10 of the 2000’s

  1. Absolutely epic list. I agree with pretty much all of the choices that I’ve seen. Werckmeister Harmonies is the only film I’d ever accept in the #1 spot, though I shouldn’t say that, but it’s true. Here’s my top ten: 1: Werckmeister 2: Code Unknown 3: Cache 4: Inland Empire 5: Gerry 6: White Ribbon 7: The Best of Youth 8: There Will Be Blood 9: A Serious Man 10: Songs from the Second Floor. Honourable Mentions: The Piano Teacher, Dogville, Russian Ark, Hunger, Synecdoche.

    • Thanks. It seems like Werckmeister Harmonies pretty much tops every list I make. Unfortunately I’ve only seen five of your picks, all of which I love, although for me The White Ribbon surpasses Cache.

    • Russian Ark would definitely earn a place on any list of technically impressive or boundary-breaking movies, but content-wise I wasn’t blown away. It was very unusual and striking though.

      • I adore it. Every time I watch it I’m just swept away. It has to be one of the most beautiful films ever made (interestingly, my vote for most beautiful film visually would go to another Sokurov film, Mother and Son</em) and one of my favourites.

  2. Very interesting choices.. I actually haven’t seen most of them, and haven’t even heard of a few (Werckmeister Harmonies?). I would agree that Brokeback Mountain and Eternal Sunshine would make it on quite a few top-10 lists, but I don’t know that I’d have them on mine. Definitely The Departed; possibly Inglorious Basterds, Pan’s Labyrinth, A History of Violence, Memento, and Spider-man 2.

    • Werckmeister Harmonies is an under seen gem and definitely worth the watch. I love most of the choices you listed, particularly The Departed, Inglorious Basterds, and Pans Labyrinth.

  3. I have seen five of these and love them. (Just saw Hunger and Holy Fuck Steve McqueenThere Will Be Blood is probably my favorite of the decade. Really rad of you to have Synecdoche and The White Ribbon so high. Great films that are very divisive. Amongst my personal favorites also Adaptation., Ratatouille, PDL, Burn After Reading, The Royal Tenenbaums, don’t know why I just listed comedies. Actually its hard to sum up a decade with ten films. Anyways nice list.

    • Thanks. TWBB was close to being my favorite of the decade but it’s still a very close second. Synecdoche and The White Ribbon are two films that I just adored, particularly Synecdoche. Kaufman’s writing is magic. I love your choices. Some of my favorite comedies of the decade.

  4. Excellent list, a handful of which (Brokeback, Hunger, Mullholland Dr., TWBB) are on my top 10 of the decade as well. I think it’s time I give Synecdoche another go (saw it in theaters, appreciated by didn’t like it).

    Well done, Ethan!

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