About 14 months ago I ran a Best of Decade list using the years 2000 to 2009 (although ’09 had another couple of months to go at the time). Here’s another shot at the decade but this time defining it as 2001 to ’10. I’m not saying these films were the “best,” but they do possess, in my mind, the strongest positive after-flow effect. Right now, looking back, this is what the decade feels like to me. And it could change a bit down the road.
I decided this time to also throw in some legendary first-decade stinkers but I didn’t try hard enough to please have at it. Let’s just say in a blanket sense that all Pirates of the Caribbean movies blew chunks — at least we can get that straight. And I’m sure I’ve gotten date or two wrong, and left out many fine and deserving films….sorry.
I’m already sorry I compiled this list because it took too damn long to sort and think through. I’ve decided for now on 80 films as the best of the decade. That’s about right, proportionally-speaking.
Best of 2001: In the Bedroom, Ghost World, Monster’s Ball, Sexy Beast, A Beautiful Mind, The Royal Tenenbaums, Y tu mama tambien (7). Among Worst of 2001: The Majestic, K-PAX, Serendipity, Saving Silverman,
Best of 2002: The Pianist, The Quiet American, Talk To Her, The 25th Hour, Adaptation, City of God, 8 Mile, Bloody Sunday, Bowling for Columbine, The Pianist, Whale Rider, Road to Perdition (12). Worst of 2002: Eddie Murphy‘s I Spy, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, Rollerball, Bad Company, Bubba Ho-Tep, Snow Dogs, The Sweetest Thing.
Best of 2003: American Splendor, Matchstick Men, Open Range, Reversal of Fortune, Touching the Void, Mystic River (6). Worst of 2003: Love Actually, Cheaper by the Dozen, Cold Mountain, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions.
Best of 2004: Sideways, The Incredibles, Collateral, The Motorcycle Diaries, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Sea Inside, The Corporation, Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession, I Heart Huckabees (9). Worst of 2004: Finding Neverland, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.
Best of 2005: Brokeback Mountain, Grizzly Man, Capote, The Wedding Crashers, A History of Violence (5). Worst of 2005: Two For The Money, Aeon Flux, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo.
Best of 2006: Children of Men, United 93, The Lives of Others, The Departed, Pan’s Labyrinth, Hustle and Flow, Babel, Notes on a Scandal (8). Worst of 2006: Snakes on the Plane, Running With Scissors, RV.
Best of 2007: Zodiac, No Country for Old Men, Control, Michael Clayton, Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead, Four Months, Three Weeks & 2 Days, There Will Be Blood, Things We Lost in the Fire, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Orphanage (10). Worst of 2007: Balls of Fury, Norbit, Good Luck Chuck, Lions For Lambs, Elizabeth: The Golden Age.
Best of 2008: Che, Man on Wire, The Visitor, WALL*E, Doubt, Three Monkeys, Slumdog Millionaire (7). Worst of 2008: The Hottie & The Nottie, Sex and the City, My Blueberry Nights.
Best of 2009: The Hurt Locker, An Education, Avatar, A Serious Man, Sin Nombre, Up In The Air (6). Worst of 2009: I Love you, Beth Cooper, Love Happens, All About Steve…who cares?
Best of 2010: The Social Network, Black Swan, The Fighter, The King’s Speech, Inception, Let Me In, Blue Valentine, Toy Story 3, 127 Hours, Biutiful (10). Worst of 2010: The Bounty Hunter, Marmaduke, Killers, Flipped, When In Rome, Grown Ups. Most Misunderstood, Under-Valued Comedy of 2010: Hot Tub Time Machine.