Lost in the Movies (formerly The Dancing Image): Best of the 21st Century?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Best of the 21st Century?

 
(updated Nov. 2010)

In January 2010, the film website They Shoot Pictures Don't They? released its top 250 films of the decade 2000 - 2009. This list was composed in a unique fashion: the site surveyed all the year-end top ten lists they could find, factored in some recent all-time best list that included recent movies, and calculated the films with the highest scores as "most acclaimed." Obviously, this method is far from foolproof but it does offer a semi-objective look at which movies were most acclaimed by critics over the past decade.

This was a period when I skipped a lot of new releases in order to explore the classics of the past. I don't regret this, but the list provided an opportunity for me to play catch-up in an interesting way. I was already renting and watching movies on the list which I hadn't seen (and reviewing some of these) so I decided to turn this exercise into a regular series. I would watch any films from the top 100 which I hadn't already seen, and review them.

The series unfolded on the website Wonders in the Dark throughout 2010 (an earlier incarnation had produced a few entries late in 2009, but the new version of the series began with The Hurt Locker in February 2010). It ran through November 2010, when I concluded with a big write-up on #95, Let the Right One In (comparing it to the book and American remake), followed by a short visual tribute to #100, Silent Light.

Below is the TSPDT? list. Any films I have reviewed are linked; the ones in bold are those I reviewed specifically for this series in 2010.


1. In the Mood for Love (2000, Hong Kong/France), dir. Wong Kar-Wai

2. Mulholland Dr. (2001, USA/France), dir. David Lynch

3. Yi yi (2000, Taiwan/Japan), dir. Edward Yang

4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004, USA), dir. Michel Gondry

5. Lost in Translation (2003, USA/Japan), dir. Sofia Coppola

6. Spirited Away (2001, Japan), dir. Hayao Miyazaki

7. There Will Be Blood (2007, USA), dir. Paul Thomas Anderson

8. Talk to Her (2002, Spain), dir. Pedro Almodóvar

9. A History of Violence (2005, Germany/USA), dir. David Cronenberg

10. Y tu mamá también (2001, Mexico), dir. Alfonso Cuarón

11. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000, China/Taiwan/USA), dir. Ang Lee

12. Sideways (2004, USA), dir. Alexander Payne

13. The Hurt Locker (2009, USA), dir. Kathryn Bigelow

14. Far From Heaven (2002, USA/France), dir. Todd Haynes

15. Million Dollar Baby (2004, USA), dir. Clint Eastwood

16. No Country for Old Men (2004, USA), dir. Joel & Ethan Coen

17. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001, USA), dir. Wes Anderson

18. Before Sunset (2004, USA), dir. Richard Linklater

19. Memento (2000, USA), dir. Christopher Nolan

20. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007, Romania/Netherlands/France/Germany), dir. Cristian Mungiu

21. Pan's Labyrinth (2006, Spain/Mexico/USA), dir. Guillermo del Toro

22. Zodiac (2007, USA), dir. David Fincher

23. Brokeback Mountain (2005, USA/Canada), dir. Ang Lee

24. Punch-Drunk Love (2002, USA), dir. Paul Thomas Anderson

25. Caché (2005, France/Austria/Germany/Italy), dir. Michael Haneke

26. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001, USA), dir. Steven Spielberg

27. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003, New Zealand/USA/Germany), dir. Peter Jackson

28. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (2005, Romania), dir. Cristi Puiu

29. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001, USA/New Zealand), dir. Peter Jackson

30. City of God (2002, France), dir. Fernando Meirelles

31. Adaptation (2002, USA), dir. Spike Jonze

32. The Departed (2006, USA), dir. Martin Scorsese

33. Grizzly Man (2005, USA), dir. Werner Herzog

34. Donnie Darko (2001, USA), dir. Richard Kelly

35. The Incredibles (2004, USA), dir. Brad Bird

36. Mystic River (2003, USA), dir. Clint Eastwood

37. Dogville (2003, Denmark/Sweden/France/UK/Germany/Finland/Italy/Netherlands/Norway), dir. Lars von Trier

38. Syndromes and a Century (2006, Thailand/France/Austria/Netherlands), dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul

39. 2046 (2004, China/France/Germany/Hong Kong), dir. Wong Kar-Wai

40. Ghost World (2001, UK/USA/Germany), dir. Terry Zwigoff

41. WALL-E (2008, USA), dir. Andrew Stanton

42. United 93 (2006, USA/UK/Franc), dir. Paul Greengrass

43. Moulin Rouge! (2001, USA/Australia), dir. Baz Luhrmann

44. Children of Men (2006, USA/UK/Japan), dir. Alfonso Cuaron

45. The Squid and the Whale (2005, USA), dir. Noah Baumbach

46. The Flight of the Red Balloon (2007, France/Taiwan), dir. Hou Hsiao-Hsien

47. Still Life (2006, Hong Kong/China), dir. Zhang Ke Jia

48. Summer Hours (2008, France), dir. Olivier Assayas

49. Requiem for a Dream (2000, USA), dir. Darren Aronofsky

50. The Queen (2006, UK/France/Italy/USA), dir. Stephen Frears

51. Elephant (2003, USA), dir. Gus Van Sant

52. Finding Nemo (2003, USA), dir. Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich

53. You Can Count on Me (2000, USA), dir. Kenneth Lonnergan

54. Capturing the Friedmans (2003, USA), dir. Andrew Jarecki

55. Tropical Malady (2004, Thailand/France/Germany/Italy/Switzerland), dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul

56. Dancer in the Dark (2000, Denmark/France/Sweden/Italy/Germany/Norway/Netherlands/Iceland/Finland/UK/USA), dir. Lars von Trier

57. L'Enfant (2005, Belgium/France), dir. Jean Pierre & Luc Dardenne

58. Russian Ark (2002, Russia/Germany/Japan/Canada/Finland/Denmark), dir. Aleksandr Sokurov

59. The Gleaners & I (2000, France), dir. Agnès Varda

60. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002 USA/New Zealand/Germany), dir. Peter Jackson

61. Letters from Iwo Jima (2006, USA), dir. Clint Eastwood

62. The Pianist (2002, UK/France/Poland/Germany/Netherlands), dir. Roman Polanski

63. American Splendor (2003, USA), dir. Robert Pulcini & Shari Springer Berman

64. Kings & Queen (2004, France), dir. Arnaud Desplechin

65. Inglourious Basterds (2009, USA/Germany), dir. Quentin Tarantino

66. The Lives of Others (2006, USA/Germany), dir. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

67. A Serious Man (2009, USA/UK/France), dir. Joel & Ethan Coen

68. I'm Not There (2007, USA/Germany), dir. Todd Haynes

69. Oldboy (2003, South Korea), dir. Park Chan-wook

70. The World (2004, China/Japan/France), dir. Zhang Ke Jia

71. A Christmas Tale (2008, France), dir. Arnaud Desplechin

72. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009, USA), dir. Wes Anderson

73. Waking Life (2001, USA), dir. Richard Linklater

74. Platform (2000, Hong Kong/Japan/France/Netherlands/Sweden), dir. Zhang Ke Jia

75. Almost Famous (2000, USA), dir. Cameron Crowe

76. Amores perros (2000, Mexico), dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu

77. The House of Mirth (2000, UK), dir. Terence Davies

78. In the Bedroom (2001, USA), dir. Todd Field

79. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007, USA/Canada), dir. Andrew Dominik

80. Synecdoche, New York (2008, USA), dir. Charlie Kaufman

81. The New World (2005, USA), dir. Terrence Malick

82. Wendy and Lucy (2008, USA), dir. Kelly Reichardt

83. Moolaadé (2004, Senegal/Burkina Faso, Morocco, Tunisia, Cameroon, Switzerland, Germany), dir. Ousmane Sembene

84. About Schmidt (2002, USA), dir. Alexander Payne

85. The Son (2002, Belgium/France), dir. Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne

86. Traffic (2000, Germany/USA), dir. Steven Soderbergh

87. Waltz with Bashir, (2008, Israel/France/Germany/USA/Japan/Finland/Switzerland/Belgium/Australia)

88. My Winnipeg (2007, Canada/USA), dir. Guy Maddin

89. Gosford Park (2001, USA/UK), dir. Robert Altman

90. The Headless Woman (2008, Argentina/France/Italy/Spain), dir. Lucrecia Martel

91.Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006, USA/UK), dir. Larry Charles

92. Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003, USA), dir. Quentin Tarantino

93. Atanarjuat (2000, Canada), dir. Zacahrias Kunuk

94. In Praise of Love (2001, France), dir. Jean-Luc Godard

95. Let the Right One In (2008, Sweden/Norway), dir. Tomas Alfredson

96. Inland Empire (2006, USA/France/Poland), dir. David Lynch

97. Amélie (2001, France/Germany), dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet

98. Shrek (2001, USA), dir. Andrew Adamson & Vicky Jenson

99. The Aviator (2004, USA/Germany), dir. Martin Scorsese

100. Silent Light (2007, Mexico/France/Netherlands), dir. Carlos Reygadas
__________________________
That's it for the series - here's the rest of the list, with links to previous reviews.
• • •
101. 35 Shots of Rum (2008, France/Germany), dir. Claire Denis

102. Goodbye, Dragon Inn (2003, Taiwan), dir. Tsai Ming-Liang

103. Saraband (2003, Sweden/Denmark/Norway/Italy/Finland/Germany/Austria), dir. Ingmar Bergman

104. Together (2000, Sweden/Denmark/Italy), dir. Lukas Moodysson

105. Holy Girl (2004, Argentina/Spain/Italy/Netherlands/Switzerland)

106. Vera Drake (2004, UK/France), dir. Mike Leigh

107. Werckmeister Harmonies (2000, Hungary/Germany/France/Switzerland/Italy), dir. Béla Tarr

108. The Fog of War (2003, USA), dir. Errol Morris

109. Munich (2005, USA/Canada), dir. Steven Spielberg

110. Up (2009, USA), dir. Pete Docter

111. The Piano Teacher (2001, Austria/France/Germany), dir. Michael Haneke

112. Colossal Youth (2006, Portugal/France/Switzerland), dir. Pedro Costa

113. The Man Without a Past (2002, Finland/Germany/France), dir. Aki Kaurismäki

114. The Dark Knight (2008, USA/UK), dir. Christopher Nolan

115. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003, USA), dir. Peter Weir

116. Good Night, and Good Luck (2005, USA/France/UK/Japan), dir. George Clooney

117. Time Out (2001, France), dir. Laurent Cantet

118. Paranoid Park (2007, USA/France), dir. Gus Van Sant

119. Regular Lovers (2004, France/Italy), dir. Philippe Garrel

120. Hunger (2008, UK/Ireland), dir. Steve McQueen

121. Police, Adjective (2009, Romania), dir. Corneliu Porumboiu

122. The White Ribbon (2009, Austria/Germany/France/Italy), dir. Michael Haneke

123. The Circle (2000, Iran/Italy/Switzerland), dir. Jafar Panahi

124. School of Rock (2003, USA/Germany), dir. Richard Linklater

125. Little Miss Sunshine (2006, USA), dir. Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris

126. Happy-Go-Lucky (2008, UK/USA), dir. Mike Leigh

127. Volver (2006, Spain), dir. Pedro Almodóvar

128. Half Nelson (2006, USA), dir. Ryan Fleck

129. Bad Education (2004, Spain), dir. Pedro Almodóvar

130. The Wrestler (2008, USA), dir. Darren Aronofsky

131. The Best of Youth (2003, Italy), dir. Marco Tullio

132. House of Flying Daggers (2004, Hong Kong/China), dir. Zhang Yimou

133. Capote (2005, USA/Canada), dir. Bennett Miller

134. Sexy Beast (2000, UK/Spain), dir. Jonathan Glazer

135. Bowling for Columbine (2002, USA), dir. Michael Moore

136. The Intruder (2004, France/South Korea), dir. Claire Denis

137. What Time is It There? (2001, France/Taiwan/Italy), dir. Tsai Ming-Liang

138. Black Book (2006, Netherlands/Germany/UK/Belgium), dir. Paul Verhoeven

139. Café Lumière (2003, Japan/Taiwan), dir. Hou Hsiao-Hsien

140. Once (2007, Ireland/USA), dir. John Carney

141. I'm Going Home (2000, Portugal/France), dir. Manoel de Oliveira

142. Gladiator (2000, USA), dir. Ridley Scott

143. Wonder Boys (2000, USA), dir. Curtis Hanson

144. Head-On (2003, Germany), dir. Fatih Akin

145. Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004, USA), dir. Michael Moore

146. 25th Hour (2002, USA), dir. Spike Lee

147. Gangs of New York (2002, USA), dir. Martin Scorsese

148. Notre musique (2004, France/Switzerland), dir. Jean-Luc Godard

149. Demonlover (2002, France/Japan/Mexico/USA), dir. Olivier Assayas

150. To Be and to Have (2002, France), dir. Nicolas Philibert

151. Shaun of the Dead (2004, UK/USA/France), dir. Edgar Wright

152. La Commune (Paris 1817) (2000, France), dir. Peter Watkins

153. Eureka (2000, Japan/France), dir. Shinji Aoyama

154.Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004, USA/China), dir. Quentin Tarantino

155. Three Times (2005, France/Taiwan), dir. Hou Hsiao-Hsien

156. The Triplets of Belleville (2003, France/Canada/Belgium/UK), dir. Sylvain Chomet

157. In the City of Sylvia (2007, Spain/France), dir. José Luis Guerín

158. In America (2003, USA/Ireland/UK), dir. Jim Sheridan

159. Songs from the Second Floor (2000, Sweden/France/Denmark/Norway/Germany), dir. Roy Andersson

160. Eastern Promises (2007, USA/Canada/UK), dir. David Cronenberg

161. Last Days (2004, USA), dir. Gus Van Sant

162. Milk (2008, USA), dir. Gus Van Sant

163. Erin Brockavich (2000, USA), dir. Steven Soderbergh

164. Ten (2002, Iran/France), dir. Abbas Kiarostami

165. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007, France/USA), dir. Julian Schnabel

166. A ma soeur! (2001, France/Italy), dir. Catherine Breillat

167. Spider (2002, Canada/UK/Japan/France), dir. David Cronenberg

168. I Don't Want to Sleep Alone (2006, Taiwan/France/Austria), dir. Tsai Ming-Liang

169. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000, USA), dir. Joel & Ethan Coen

170. The Hours (2002, USA), dir. Stephen Daldry

171. The Host (2006, South Korea/Japan), dir. Bong Joon-ho

172. Man on Wire (2007, UK), dir. James Marsh

173. Spellbound (2002, USA), dir. Jeffrey Blitz

174. Bloody Sunday (2001, UK/Ireland), dir. Paul Greengrass

175. Distant (2002, Turkey/Netherlands), dir. Nuri Bilge Ceylan

176. Kinsey (2004, USA/UK/Germany), dir. Bill Condon

177. Ratatouille (2007, USA), dir. Brad Bird

178. George Washington (2000, USA), dir. David Gordon Green

179. Irréversible (2002, France), dir. Gaspar Noé

180. Hotel Rwanda (2004, USA/UK/South Africa/Italy), dir. Terry George

181. Two Lovers (2008, USA/France), dir. James Gray

182. Up in the Air (2009, USA), dir. Jason Reitman

183. Minority Report (2002, USA), dir. Steven Spielberg

184. 21 Grams (2003, USA/Germany), dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu

185. 24 Hour Party People (2001, UK), dir. Michael Winterbottom

186. Offside (2006, Iran), dir. Jafar Panahi

187. Hero (2002, China/Hong Kong), dir. Zhang Yimou

188. Chicago (2002, USA), dir. Rob Marshall

189. Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks (2003, China), dir. Wang Bing

190. Nobody Knows (2003, Japan), dir. Hirokazu Koreeda

191. In the Loop (2009, UK/Cayman Islands), dir. Armando Iannucci

192. Tarnation (2003, USA), dir. Jonathan Caouette

193. A Prairie Home Companion (2006, USA), dir. Robert Altman

194. Downfall (2004, Germany/Austria/Italy), dir. Oliver Hirschbiegel

195. The Sun (2005, Russia/Italy/France/Switzerland), dir. Aleksandr Sokurov

196. Black Hawk Down (2001, USA), dir. Ridley Scott

197. Rachel Getting Married (2008, USA), dir. Jonathan Demme

198. Maria Full of Grace (2003, Colombia/Ecuador/USA), dir. Joshua Marston

199. Crash (2004, USA/Germany/Australia), dir. Paul Haggis

200. Flags of Our Fathers (2006, USA), dir. Clint Eastwood

201. Persepolis (2007, France/USA), dir. Vincent Paronnaud & Marjane Satrapi

202. High Fidelity (2000, USA/UK), dir. Stephen Frears

203. Femme Fatale (2002, France), dir. Brian De Palma

204. Chicken Run (2000, UK/USA), dir. Peter Lord & Nick Park

205. Monsoon Wedding (2001, France/Italy/Germany), dir. Mira Nair

206. Collateral (2004, USA), dir. Michael Mann

207. Morvern Callar (2002, UK/Canada), dir. Lynne Ramsay

208. I Heart Huckabees (2004, USA/Germany/UK), dir. David O. Russell

209. Casino Royale (2006, UK/USA/Czech Republic/Germany), dir. Martin Campbell

210. Howl's Moving Castle (2004, Japan), dir. Hayao Miyazaki

211. East of Bucharest (2006, Romania/France), dir. Corneliu Porumboiu

212. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005, UK/USA), dir. Nick Park & Steve Box

213. The Duchess of Langeais (2007, France/Italy), dir. Jacques Rivette

214. Before Night Falls (2000, USA), dir. Julian Schnabel

215. Match Point (2005, UK/USA/Luxembourg), dir. Woody Allen

216. Keane (2004, USA), dir. Lodge Kerrigan

217. The Man Who Wasn't There (2001, USA/UK), dir. Joel & Ethan Coen

218. Unknown Pleasures (2002, Japan/France/South Korea/China), dir. Jia Zhangke

219. Crimson Gold (2003, Iran), dir. Jafar Panahi

220. Bright Star (2009, UK/Australia/France), dir. Jane Campion

221. Slumdog Millionaire (2008, UK), dir. Danny Boyle

222. The Beaches of Agnès (2008, France), dir. Agnès Varda

223. Gerry (2001, USA), dir. Gus Van Sant

224. Gomorrah (2008, Italy), dir. Matteo Garrone

225. Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (2005, UK), dir. Michael Winterbottom

226. The Edge of Heaven (2007, Turkey/Germany/Italy), dir. Fatih Akin

227. Into the Wild (2007, USA), dir. Sean Penn

228. King Kong (2005, USA/New Zealand/Germany), dir. Peter Jackson

229. Woman on the Beach (2006, South Korea), dir. Hong Sang-soo

230. 28 Days Later... (2002, UK), dir. Danny Boyle

231. Monsters, Inc. (2001, USA), dir. Peter Decter, David Silverman & Lee Unkrich

232. Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003, USA), dir. Thom Andersen

233. Old Joy (2005, USA), dir. Kelly Reichardt

234. Late Marriage (2001, Israel/France), dir. Dover Kosashvili

235. Still Walking (2008, Japan), dir. Hirokazu Koreeda

236. Blissfully Yours (2002, Thailand/France), dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul

237. Coraline (2009, USA), dir. Henry Selick

238. Kung Fu Hustle (2004, Hong Kong/China), dir. Stephen Chow

239. Code Unknown (2000, France/Germany/Romania), dir. Michael Haneke

240. Paradise Now (2005, Israel/Netherlands/Germany/France), dir. Hany Abu-Assad

241. Of Time and the City (2008, UK), dir. Terence Davies

242. Billy Elliot (2000, UK), dir. Stephen Daldry

243. A Time for Drunken Horses (2000, Iran), dir. Bahman Ghobadi

244. Ballast (2008, USA), dir. Lance Hammer

245. Where the Wild Things Are (2009, USA), dir. Spike Jonze

246. Under the Sand (2000, France/Japan), dir. François Ozon

247. Iraq in Fragments (2006, USA), dir. James Longley

248. Private Fears in Public Places (2006, France/Italy), dir. Alain Resnais

249. Bamako (2006, Mali/France/USA), dir. Abderrahmane Sissako

250. Climates (2006, Turkey/France/Netherlands), dir. Nuri Bilge Ceylan

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