My 25 Favorite Films of 2000-2009

I was thinking about movies this weekend with the announcement of this year’s Ebertfest lineup and Kevin Smith’s rant about movie critics. So, I thought you’d all get a kick out of what I consider the 25 best films of the last decade. I’m sure I’ve left out someone’s favorite. Tell me where I’m wrong.

Almost Famous: bootleg edition (US (2001)…Cameron Crowe)
Easily my favorite Crowe film. So many amazing scenes. Perfect script. Great acting from actors not quite on the verge of superstardom.

Battle Royale (Japan…Kenji Fukasaku)
Amazing action flick. I can see an American version doing well.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Hong Kong…Ang Lee)
The finest Wire-Fu movie ever made. Superior acting.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Extended Version) (US/New Zealand (2002)…Peter Jackson)
I remember seeing this in the theater and hearing complaints that it was over too soon.

Gangs of New York (US…Martin Scorsese)
Perfect casting, acting and direction.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Extended Version) (US/New Zealand (2003)…Peter Jackson)
Easily the finest action film of 2002. Great performances. Suffers only mildly from being the middle film.

Road to Perdition (US…Sam Mendes)
Easily one of the best movies based on a comic book ever created. Tom Hanks is brilliant.

Kill Bill Vol 1 (US…Quentin Tarantino)
The Crazy 88s fight is an amazing achievement. The long tracking shot is one of the finest ever filmed. Far superior to vol. 2.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Extended Version) (US/New Zealand (2004)…Peter Jackson)
The culmination of everything LOTR. Earned the Oscar even though it was really for the entire trilogy achievement.

Mystic River (US…Clint Eastwood)
Powerful performances. Great cast.

The Incredibles (US…Brad Bird)
Easily one of the best super hero films of all time. Everything you’d want in a Fantastic Four film

Kill Bill Vol 2 (US…Quentin Tarantino)
The talky half of the Kill Bill franchise. I’d like to see the two volumes recut into one film.

Sin City (US…Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller, Quentin Tarantino)
The first time I can remember really feeling like the director was using the comic book as storyboard instead of source material. Over the top and visually entertaining.

Casino Royale (US/UK…Martin Campbell)
Bond for the 21st century. Barely any nods to the original 60s character. Wonderful reboot.

The Departed (US…Martin Scorsese)
I walked out of the theater knowing I’d seen the best movie of 2006.

Gone Baby Gone (US…Ben Affleck)
Impressive debut from Ben Affleck. Suffers a bit with Casey as the lead, but story will get you talking after the lights come up.

Grindhouse (US…Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino)
Pure fun.

Ratatouille (US…Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava)
Best Pixar flick since The Incredibles. Perfect voice casting.

The Dark Knight (US…Christopher Nolan)
Suffers mightily in the third act. Virtuoso performance by Heath Ledger.

Let the Right One In (Sweden…Tomas Alfredson)
A boy meets a girl(?) vampire. Easily one of the top five films of 2008.

Wall-E (US…Andrew Stanton)
This is a film instead of movie. Consequently, audiences were confused. The dialogue-free opening is one of the greatest silent/non-silent scenes in all of film.

The Wrestler (US…Darren Aronofsky)
Roarke’s return to the limelight. He reminds us he actually can act. Perfect ending.

Star Trek (US…J.J.Abrams)
One of the all time best examples of updating source material for modern audience ever put on film. Re-energized the tired franchise.

Up (US…Pete Docter, Bob Peterson)
It walks the line between film and movie. In fact, the opening montage is a whole movie in and of itself.

Watchmen: the directors cut (US…Zach Snyder)
Will go down as one of the greatest comic book adaptations ever put on film. The full length cut incorporating the Black Freighter story is the only way to view this masterpiece.