Sunday, June 13, 2010


My dad once told me about when he saw Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange" when it was initially released in theaters in 1971. It was rated X and was shown in one theater in Louisville, Kentucky that also doubled as a porno theater. He said at the time it was very controversial and most people considered it cheap exploitation, devoid of any substance, and an assault on taste and the boundaries one should explore with sex and violence on film. Now, it's considered a masterpiece. I don't think you could ever know if you're watching what will become part of the cultural lexicon and the quintessential canon of "best of..", but it is worth chewing on the endless possibilities. The first ten years of the new millennium is a fascinating space of time because it stills feel present and difficult to define. The images that are projected on the screen are stories that connect to us and define us. Sometimes they're ugly, sometimes they're far removed from reality, and sometimes they cut right to the bone and say something so true and honest that you can't help but have those images seared into your memory. Some of the best works from filmmakers new and old were able to do that from 2000 to 2009. Maybe decades from now it will be easier to assess what is truly the best of that time, but each of the films that I think were the twenty-five best reflect something personal and profound, and that is the timeless quality of good art. Here are the twenty-five best films from 2000-2009:

1. There Will Be Blood, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (2007)

2. Children of Men, directed by Alfonso Cuaron (2006)

3. Talk to Her, directed by Pedro Almodovar (2002)

4. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, directed by Andrew Dominik (2007)

5. 24 Hour Party People, directed by Michael Winterbottom (2002)

6. The Bourne Identity/The Bourne Supremacy/The Bourne Ultimatum, directed by Doug Liman and Paul Greengrass (2002) (2004) (2007)

7. The New World, directed by Terrence Malick (2005)

8. Before Sunset, directed by Richard Linklater (2004)

9. Zodiac, directed by David Fincher (2007)

10. The Station Agent, directed by Tom McCarthy (2003)

11. City of God, directed by Fernando Meirelles (2002)

12. About a Boy, directed by Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz (2002)

13. Mulholland Drive, directed by David Lynch (2001)

14. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, directed by Michel Gondry (2004)

15. 2046, directed by Wong Kar Wai (2004)

16. Wall-E, directed Andrew Stanton (2008)
17. Dogville, directed by Lars Von Trier (2003)

18. Lost in Translation, directed by Sofia Coppola (2003)

19. The Piano Teacher, directed by Michael Haneke (2001)

20. 25th Hour, directed by Spike Lee (2002)

21. Adaptation, directed by Spike Jonze (2002)

22. Kill Bill Vol. 1., directed by Quentin Tarantino (2003)

23. Traffic, directed by Steven Soderbergh (2000)

24. The Royal Tenenbaums, directed by Wes Anderson (2001)

25. Far From Heaven, directed by Todd Haynes (2002)

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