Hey guys, what with it being the new year, and a new decade, I’ve been reading a bunch of those best of the decade thingees, and after reading The Onion AV Club’s 50 best movies, sorry, films, of the decade, I’ve decided it would to be fun to see how my opinions match up against professional competent critics. Anyway, here’s the list and my take on it.
Didn’t see it. A movie about a guy who is locked in a room and tortured for 15 years and then opens up the whoopass can. Should have seen it, been meaning to see it, is actually sitting on my netflicks queue, but just haven’t gotten around to watching it. I’m going to watch it really soon. Really, promise, quit making that face.
I saw about five minutes of this on cable one night. Two guys (Matt Damon and Casey Afleck) go hiking in the desert, get lost and die (oh crap, spoiler alert!). Anyway I’m sure it’s very good, but I switched over and started watching a repeat of the 1996 World’s Strongest Man Competition and never turned back. I should really rent this one too.
48 Crimson Gold:
Apparently an Iranian movie about a guy who delivers pizza, didn’t see it, and to be honest I don’t think I heard about it until this list.
47 Moulin Rouge:
Yay, I saw this one! The plot’s a big mess, but it’s a musical so that’s fine by me. Also this is a movie for anyone whoever thought to themselves man if only there was a way to make John Leguizamo shorter.
Didn’t see it. Really should seeing as it’s got Nicolas Cage playing twins.
Didn’t see it, but I’m sure it’s very good. We’ll just abbreviate this as DSIBISIVG to save time in the future.
44 4 Months 3 Weeks and 2 Days:
DSIBISIVG. See, I told you that would come in handy.
43 Brokeback Mountain:
This would be a lot higher on the list if it were up to me. This was the best love story of the decade, which caught a lot of crap because it involved gay cowboys and not porn. Heath Ledger gave an incredible performance.
42 L’ Enfant:
41 The Dark Knight:
The Onion AV Club called this the best super hero movie of the decade, which I think is selling it way short, because that is kind of like being declared the smartest castmate on The Jersey Shore. I like to think of this movie as proof you can make a kickass Hollywood Summer blockbuster and if everyone really gives a shit it can still be a good movie. I just wish Hollywood execs thought so too.
40 City of God:
Holy crap, I saw a foreign movie! This is a great movie that shows crime in Brazil by following the lives of a group of children as they grow up in a slum. I’d recommend this movie to anyone.
39 The Prestige:
I was really surprised to see this movie on the list. Granted, it was the best magician movie of 2006, but when I walked out of the theater I was thinking good, not great.
38 Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring:
37 A History of Violence:
Okay, now this was a great movie that dealt with seemed to be a mild mannered guy in a small town who it turned out had a monstrous past. This movie gets even more interesting when you match it up with Eastern Promises where the concept is almost run in reverse.
36 Pan’s Labyrinth:
Okay, I guess this movie is more proof that I’m a heartless philistine. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great movie, about a girl in an Alice in Wonderland situation in Spain under Franco (okay, that’s a horrible breakdown of the plot, but that’s the best I could do and keep it at one sentence), but I like the director, Guillermo del Toro’s work on the Hellboy movies a lot better. This one felt like award bait to me, and the Hellboy movies feel like he’s just trying to tell a great story. At least that’s my opinion.
35 Waking Life: DSIBISIVG
34 American Psycho:
Okay, at first I was cranky to see this movie on the list, but that is because I can’t stand Bret Easton Ellis the guy who wrote the book. When I sat down and gave the matter a little thought, I could see this movie on the list. You’ve got a very solid performance from Christian Bale and any movie where a guy is killing people to Hip to be Square is okay in my book.
33 Punch-Drunk Love:
I saw about a quarter of this over at buddy’s house before we ironically enough went out to get drunk. A good movie, and a surprisingly good performance from Adam Sandler. I think the director , Paul Thomas Anderson has some weird stuff going on in this movie just for the sake of being weird. You know, in the part that I saw.
32 AI Artificial Intelligence:
I see Sienna Miller…and two of your baby momas
This is kind of a dark science fiction version of Pinocchio. I think it scores more points for being visually striking then for the story. Besides it has Haley Joel Osment one of the creepiest kids of all time. I think he and Dakota Fanning having the potential to breed the anti-christ.
31 In The Mood For Love:
DSIBISIVG. This one has been sitting on my netflicks queue too, but hey, that GI Joe movie isn’t going to watch itself you know.
Awww, somebody went to Taco Bell for lunch
If this was my list this would be in the top ten. It’s a heartwarming story about a little robot that poops garbage bricks and his quest for love. If it can make a dyed in the wool a-hole like me get misty it has to be good.
29 Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon:
An awesome movie about bandits, a stolen sword and old kung fu fighters. This would be a great movie if for no other reason then it gave American audiences the chance to see Chow Yan Fat before he blew up to the size of the Hindenburg.
28 Morvern Callar:
DSIBISIVG Honestly, are those even real words?
27 What Time Is It There?:
26 The Incredibles:
Really, this was one of the best movies of the decade? Really?? Look this is a good movie, but if this is on the list I don’t see how every other Pixar movie doesn’t make it on too. I mean I really liked it, but really???
DSIBISIVG (Man this keeps showing up more and more, when is Transporter 2 going to show up on this list so I have something I can give an opinion on?)
24 Yi Yi:
DSIBISIVG Actually this title sounded made up, but I checked online and it’s a real movie
23 The Man Who Wasn’t There:
A great story about a barber who gets caught up in murder and other assorted freaky stuff. At least that’s what I took away from watching the last 20 minutes of it with my mom one afternoon. What I saw was great, and I love the Coen Brothers, but I haven’t gotten around to watching this one for a kind of embarrassing reason. It stars Billy Bob Thorton, and ever since Bad Santa I can’t see him in anything and not hear John Ritter in the back of my head saying, “he’s not going to be saying fuckstick in front of the children, is he?”
22 United 93:
I’ve never seen this movie, but I haven’t really watched any movies that are about 9/11. And it’s not for any political reason, I just don’t want to relive that day in a movie, kind of weird, huh?
I don’t think I saw this one. I saw about half of a movie about the Zodiac killer and it was pretty boring, but this movie came out at the same time as another one on the subject and I can’t remember which one I saw. I guess I need to check this one out. You know, assuming I didn’t see it already.
20 The Squid And The Whale:
19 The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers:
Man, who is his trainer? That little dude is ripped!
I’m glad they picked this movie for the list instead of The Return Of The King. Sure, that one won the academy award, but that was more Hollywood finally admitting Peter Jackson had made three awesome movies then it being the best of the bunch. The Two Towers had all the big battle stuff you had in the third, and the best CGI actor of all time with Gollum.
18 Mulholland Drive:
I didn’t see this one, which is kind of surprising because I like David Lynch movies. Looks like my netflicks queue just got one longer.
17 The Royal Tenenbaums:
Because who hasn’t wanted to go to an underground dogfight with their grandpa? Really? Me Neither?
The best movie Wes Anderson’s ever made in my opinion, but that isn’t saying much. When you get right down to it, I think as a director the guy is much more interested in being quirky then in telling a good story. I think the main reason this movie works is because Gene Hackman is frigging awesome in it, but what do I know? I haven’t seen half the movies on this list so far.
16 Almost Famous:
When I came out of the theater back in 2000 I thought this was a good movie, and liked it, and every year since then my attitude towards this movie has gotten worse and worse. This is mainly because of being repeatedly exposed to people who love this movie and having to listen to them pitch it as one of the all time great movies of the decade. Um, nope, not great. It was good, actually very good, but it doesn’t make it as a great drama or a great comedy in my opinion, and when you add the fact that this movie is responsible for Kate Hudson having a movie career for the last ten years…argh! I just hated this movie a little bit more.
15 Y Tu Mama Tambien:
DSIBISIVG, huge shocker, huh?
14 Talk To Her:
13 Grizzly Man:
Didn’t see it, but I hear it’s about a guy who decided to live with bears and was eaten by them. It’s always good to hear Mother Nature and I share the same sense of irony.
12 Before Sunset::
I didn’t see it, and it’s not foreign, go figure.
11 Time Out:
10 Children of Man:
I’ve seen about 70% of this movie on cable but never from the start all the way through. For seem reason I only catch this starting in the middle. You know what movies always seem to be starting on cable when I turn on my TV? Babylon AD, Cheaper By The Dozen 2, and The Express. By the way, HBO? Please burn in hell, love you, bye-bye.
9 The New World:
8 Capturing The Friedmans:
DSIBISIVG. Oh come on it was a documentary, like I’m going to watch one of those.
7 Kill Bill:
Now the Onion AV Club only went with Vol. 1, but I think you have to count both movies together because Quentin Terrintino shot it as one movie, and they spilt it up into two parts because it was five freaking hours long. I also think this, because while the action scenes are way cooler in Vol.1, it’s finding out about the relationship between Bill and Beatrice that elevates this movie into something truly special.
6 Spirited Away:
I didn’t see this one either, and probably should because every person I’ve ever talked to says it’s great.
4 No Country For Old Men:
This would be my choice for the second best movie of the decade if it were up to me, but it’s not. From the opening shot of the wide open Texas landscape to the end of the movie with Tommy Lee Jones quietly admitting he doesn’t understand the world any more, this is a movie the is hitting on all cylinders. Sure the ending will have you saying, huh, what, who? But it also makes you want to go back and watch it again to see what you missed the first time.
3 There Will Be Blood:
And for my finale, I put this dummy on my knee and he sings Swanee River while I eat crackers
This came out the same year as No Country For Old Man, and they both have head scratching endings. The difference, for me anyway, is this one the ending feels weird for the sake of weird. Look, this is a great movie, it looks beautiful, has really good acting, but I just don’t like it. The plot lurches around, and Daniel Day Lewis is such a good actor, it’s easy to forget that he is pretty much pulling a full Shatner on this one.
The big difference for me between this movie and No Country for Old Men, is in NCFOM, when it ended I wanted to watch it again to figure out what they were trying to say. When I got my “I drink your milkshake!” at the end of this one, my response was “well fuck you too!” I’m sorry but the director of this movie, Paul Thomas Anderson, pulls this crap all the time (See Punch-Drunk Love above) and I’m tired of it. The guy is really talented, but the only movie he’s made with a remotely watchable plot was Boogie Nights, a movie that was about spirit gluing a 10 inch rubber cock to Markey Mark. Look, as you can see, this one wouldn’t be in my top 10.
2 25th Hour:
A movie by Spike Lee about a drug dealer in New York, and his last day before he goes to jail. It’s got a dynamite cast, Edward Norton, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and it looks beautiful. Spike Lee always manages to piss me off in interviews, but when you put the guy behind a camera he knows what to do. I wouldn’t rate this movie this high, but it is one of the better movies of the decade.
1 Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind:
If you had told me in 2000 that my favorite movie of the decade would star Jim Carey, I would have tried to check you into a mental hospital. But in this movie, about a guy trying to have his mind wiped of memories of an ill fated love affair, and changing his mind in the middle was the smartest and most human movie I saw in the last ten years. Oh, and if you watch Dollhouse and can’t see where the Sierra and Victor romance came from after seeing this you’re more then a little dense.
Well there you have it, what the pros thought was the best of the best, and proof that I spent too much time in the last decade watching movies like The Fast And The Furious. There were a lot of good movies on that list, but here are a few that I’m not going to say are the best, but are definitely movies that I really enjoyed this past decade.
(In no particular order)
Did you like The Departed? Well I didn’t, because this movie that came out in China like three years before was the original and way better. It’s the story of a criminal who is sent undercover into the police force and a young cop who is sent to infiltrate the mob. It’s tense, has really solid acting and a much better ending then the movie we gave a best picture Oscar to.
The smartest movie ever made about morons ever made. The most average guy in the world in 2005 gets put into suspended animation and when he wakes up in 500 years, he’s the smartest man in the world. Look I know this isn’t a perfect movie, but it never fails to make me laugh and is just full of quotable lines.
“The love of a pimp is very different from that of a square.”
“Don’t worry sco, plenty of tards are living kickass lives now. My first wife was tarded, and now she’s a pilot.”
“I’m the secretary of state, brought to you by Carl’s Junior.”
“The President also promised that if Joe didn’t solve all their problems, he would personally kick his smart balls all the way to the roof of his smart mouth. And then throw his smart ass back in jail.”
“It’s got electrolytes.”
Anyway, it makes me laugh.
Slum Dog Millionaire:
How this movie didn’t crack their list is beyond me. Actually that the director, Danny Boyle, couldn’t get one movie on the list when he spent the decade pumping out movies like Slum Dog, 28 Days Later (My pick for the est horror movie of the decade), and Sunshine, and not crack this list is kind of criminal . The best director of the decade in my opinion.
Well that’s what I took away from my foray into serious movie talking, what about you guys? Any movies that should have been on the list? Any that were on that you couldn’t stand? Did anyone see any of the vast number of movies I didn’t see and have a recomendation?
Oh, and if you want to see what real, talented movie critics can do, head over the the Onion AV Club and check out the original list.