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John’s Top Ten Movies of the ’00s

So many good flicks so little time, before I jump let me tell you that I’m not very attached to the order I put these in. I mean I think this would be the list no matter what but picking which ones are better? I don’t know man that’s hard, might as well list a couple that were contenders

Honorable Mention
Zodiac – So very, very close an excellent vintage mystery with all the style and flare of the 60s and 70s.
Apocalypto – Sometimes the most simple methods of storytelling are some of the best.
Gran Torino – Yeah “Get Off My Lawn!” the movie!
Big Fish – Tim Burton gets closer to his roots with a film that actually has a good story.

Now here we go

10. Cast Away (2000)
It’s funny that I’ve probably seen this movie like twenty times but Sean’s only seen it like twice due to “The Lemme Family Curse.” There’s something about it’s simplicity that I find irresistible. Plus it stars Tom Hanks, one of my all time favorite actors in a full on Tom Hanks one man show. It’s well photographed, it’s funny, it’s moving and it’s a unique take on the “Man Vs. Nature” genre. It’d almost be perfect if it wasn’t for fact that the movie has to jump ahead four years after like an hour.

9. Ghost World (2001)
This is one of those movies I love the more I see it. Directed by oddball filmmaker Terry Zwigoff (Crumb, Bad Santa) and based off of Daniel Clowes graphic novel, Ghost World may be my favorite coming of age movie about the awkward transition from teen to adult. There’s a wacky cast of characters but what really makes this film so special is the relationship between Enid (Thora Birch) and Seymour (Steve Buscemi, in possibly his best role.) It’s funny, stylish and leaves you with a lot to think about.

8. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Edgar Wright makes the kind of movies that I would kill to make someday. Brilliantly layered comedy with witty dialogue and top notch comedic performers. Co-written with star Simon Pegg, Shaun of the Dead is the ultimate loving tribute to horror movies and in my opinion the best comedy/horror movie ever made. Filled to the brim with homages to George A. Romero and other zombie movie greats, this was not only one of my favorite comedies of the 2000s but my favorite horror film.

7. Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
I don’t think anyone expected this to become as huge as it did and just like the rest of the world I was blown away. The attention to detail towards Middle Earth is reason enough to celebrate this film but that’s only one piece of the pie. Exciting and breathtaking with interesting characters wrapped up in a classic story. I loved this one so much that I was actually disappointed when I saw Two Towers. and Return of the King. There was just something undeniably fresh about Fellowship and it wasn’t weighed down by multiple subplots or excessive action. Don’t get me wrong I like em all but this one was really special for me.

6. Signs (2002)
Signs may just be my most suspenseful theater going experience. Immensely atmospheric with great scares, visuals and a bone chilling soundtrack from James Newton Howard. It was freaky form the moment the opening credits played with that intense main theme. From there on it’s a subtle yet cleverly told thriller that blurs genres. What I really like about this flick is that unlike a lot of creature features you actually get to see little glimpses of these invaders right from the beginning. It’s not like that bullshit where music builds and then you just see a cat.

5. The Host (2006)
I can’t believe how much South Korea’s all time blockbuster has grown on me since my first viewing at the Neptune Theater (gotta go back there someday). On the surface it may look like more of an over-the-top, thrill ride monster movie but when you get down to it, it’s a truly a touching story of a family that always sticks together with clever dark humor and excellent biting satire. It’s a rare treat to see a monster flick that has intelligence. For me watching this film every year has become sort of a family tradition…. And I like that tradition.

4. The Dark Knight (2008)
Don’t really know where to put this but I know it had to be here. The greatest superhero film I’ve seen, it’s a stunning crime drama of epic proportions. Sure the story is a little busy, still don’t care much for that whole financial dealy subplot that involves Batman going to Honk Kong. There isn’t a lot of character development for Bats himself either but those are minor complaints. There’s so much edge of your seat suspense I could puke. You got two highly absorbing plot-lines in the fall of Harvey Dent and the rise of the maniac that is the Joker (a now classic performance from the late Heath Ledger) It’s some of the most fun I’ve had at the movies period.

3. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and 2 (2003, 2004)
I couldn’t split these two up, I mean they were intended two be one film anyway. One part’s the slick eye candy/kung fu flick (The best kung-fu movie I’ve ever seen if I might add) while the other balances it out as a more subtle, actor driven tribute to spaghetti westerns. It’s easily the most inventive action movie of the decade and nobody can beat Tarantino when it comes to dialogue. Got to love that kick-ass soundtrack as well.

2. Memento (2000)
I can’t recall a film this unconventional or intensely absorbing solely do to it’s story. Perhaps the best mystery/thriller type movie I can think of. Memento is a film I could watch over and over again and still notice new things. It’s a fun film to discuss and analyze over it’s ambiguity and you have to applaud the work that was put into this script, bravo Christopher Nolan, bravo.

1. No Country For Old Men (2007)
: That’s right, the atmospheric thriller from the Coen’s that took home the gold in 2007 is not only my favorite Coen brothers movie but my favorite of the decade. It just seemed to come out of nowhere and I was definitely taken aback by how different it was from other contemporary thrillers. It hits hard hitting on powerful themes and has a compelling power behind the cast (most notably Javier Bardem), it’s an instant classic.

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