Friday, March 10, 2017

Top 250 Movies of the Millennium!

Here's my Top-250 Movies of the Millennium. It's just one man's opinion. I guess I've seen about 1100-1200 films in the last 16-17 years, but I haven't seen everything, so some omissions may still be on my watchlist. Let's look at a just-missed list and then countdown the top-250..

Just Missed(in NO PARTICULAR order - basically 250-300):Enough Said, Lego Movie, John Wick, Aloha, Cloverfield Lane, Life of Pi, Win Win,  Hugo, Bourne Identity, Bourne Supremacy, Tailor of Panama, Dirty Pretty Things, Signs, Unfaithful,  Devil Wears Prada, High Tension, The Proposition, Wedding Crashers, Old School, Babel, Find Me Guilty, Superbad, The Visitor, Pontypool, Martyrs, The Cove, Mr.Nobody, The Visitor, The Fighter, Jane Eyre, Wreck-it Ralph, Only God Forgives, Shuffle, The Perfect Host, CJ7, Gran Torino, The Raid,  It Follows,Paprika, Passion, Dom Hemingway, Jack Reacher, Wolf Creek, Silver Linings Playbook, Man on Wire, The Man Who Wasn't There, The Hurt Locker, Cloverfield, McConkey, Joe, Raid 2, State of Play.

Omitted:Catching Hell:30 for 30, I Hate Christian Laettner:30 for 30, and  short films.

*foreign language

Remember, I consider ALL the films on this list(inc the just missed list) to be "good" movies.

250.The Fountain

249.Eddie Strongman(2016)
"Eddie - Strongman" is a fine documentary that succeeds on many levels, but it's driven by the flamboyance, dedication, and sensitivity of its main character. In terms of showing the softer side of the man, and the harder side of strongman competition and training, the film is truly a champion.

248.Erin Brokovich(2000)
I just couldn't leave this off the list. Julia Roberts is really good here. I think 1998's "A Civil Action" is on par with this, but it doesn't qualify for the list. It certainly didn't get the same credit/attention.

"Buried" nearly made the just missed list. Here's the best film in that guild. Tense and smart for a film that spends its' entire running-time in a car. Hardy is one of the best actors in the biz.

Think of Valkyrie, only better. The last 45 minutes of this film is some of the best moderate budget action that you'll ever see. It's absolutely relentless. It gets better and better as every frame passes. Sean Ellis has two films on the list(this& Cashback#143). "Metro Manilla" will likely make the list, but I still have to finish the last 30 minutes before it qualifies. Definitely a director that has my attention.

245.The Hangover(2009)
Zach Galifianakis steals the show here, but the rest of the cast deserves some props too. Pass on the sequels. It was a VERY difficult decision to give this spot to The Hangover over Superbad, which I belief is every bit as funny, but doesn't have as good of an ending.

244.Bourne Ultimatum(2007)
All 3 Bournes are close, but this is the best. A good start, a nice cat-and-mouse plot, and a solid finish make this the most complete film in the series. All three would be in the top 300.

243.In Pursuit of Happyness(2006)
I think this is Will Smith's best performance. Based on a true story. The film drags the audience into the deep dark depths of poverty before throwing-in the life-vest. Good movie.

242.A Prophet(2009)*
I'm not as high on it as some(cannes), but it's a good prison flick. Raw and gritty film that thrives on those characteristics. Good lead performance.

Sharp direction. Nice camera work for a drama. This film looks absolutely fantastic.

240.Shaun of the Dead(2004)
Edgar Wright has another film on the list down at #95. This film spawned many similar films, but Wright seems to have his finger on this pulse, if you can find one.

239.I Saw the Devil(2010)*
No holds barred revenge flick. Crazy movie. Extremely violent. Weird in its spin on who is the antagonist/protagonist. I really love the opening scene. Scene:

Depressing film that is completely carried by Javier Bardem's virtuoso performance, and then some great camera-work doesn't hurt either. Tragedy shouldn't look this good.Scene:

237.Wasted on the Young(2010)
I think this film is both poignant and shocking. Aussies do thriller/horror right. The film really was at the forefront of the social-networking spin on thrillers/horrors. It's disturbing, and if not for a few small problems down the stretch could be ranked even higher.Clips/AMV

236.Grand Budapest Hotel(2014)
Won't be Wes Anderson's only film on the list. Perhaps I had a little trouble getting over the hokey set-pieces, and I know it's just the quirky way Wes does things, but I didn't love the ending either. Good movie overall though.

Seann William Scott absolutely makes this movie. He plays the dumb, sweet-yet-tough Doug Glatt to perfection. Behind all the f-bombs(250+), debauchery, violence, and comedy, lies a heart. A great "manflick" that somehow manages to take Hockey, Beer, and all that foul language and still appeal to just about anybody(save children. I love this. May move up. Scene:

234.The Prestige(2006)
I thought "The Illusionist" was better. Some of the supernatural subplot isn't finished, and Jackman is good not great. The film looks polished,  but I didn't love it as much as some others did. Keep in mind I've seen 1200 movies in this time frame so everything on the list is good(top 20%).

233.Curse of the Were Rabbit(2005)
A great achievement. I don't think it's as likable as Wes Andersons' "Fantastic Mr. Fox", but it's still a great stop-action animated film.

I really didn't like this as much as many did, but I appreciate the effort that went into it. Later down the list you'll see the foreign film that is both superior and overlooked compared to this, "C.R.A.Z.Y." Just one mans opinion.

231.A Beautiful Mind

230.Devils Rejects(2005)
If the measure of a horror film is in it's ability or inability to disturb the viewer - then 'The Devil's Rejects' is a solid entry into the genre. Zombie's finest work. There is a throwback 70's feel to the film. Rob successfully blends some vintage horror actors with fresh new faces. Disturbing.

229.28 Weeks Later(2007)
Nearly as good as the original. Finishes stronger than the original for sure. This definitely exceeded expectations. It's a really good horror-entry(one of about 25 to make the list). Great pacing and a good storyline.

228.The Matador(2005)
Pierce Brosnan is absolutely charming in this quirky comedy/drama. It tackles serious and not-so-serious themes, but Brosnans "not sure if you can trust him" cocky renegade sheds a little light in every dark moment. Good movie. Original.

227.Oceans Eleven(2004)
I own all the Oceans movies from the original rat-pack to Ocean's Thirteen(#167). Soderberg was the perfect director for this series. He has the flair for something like this. Soderberg was also one of the executive producers for #225. As a director, Soderberg is a great editor, and has a fantastic eye behind the camera. The style for this film would remain a template and a strength for all of this milleniums' "Ocean's films".  Oceans Thirteen is still the best, "Twelve" didn't make the list.

226.Dark Blue(2002)
I really think this film was unfairly overlooked by the masses. Of course, we've seen this dirty cop stuff a million times before, but for me, the ending and Kurt Russell's performance make it well worth a view.. Solid drama/action.

Whether or not you think Snowden is a traitor, it's hard to deny the governments coordination with AT&T, Yahoo, and Facebook to garner information on EVERYONE(normal law-abiding citizens every move) is a serious concern and an attack on our civil liberties. As for the film, it's very interesting to actually see all the real footage of the man in the actual moment. I personally think it's one of the most important subjects and films of our time. Absolutely terrorism is a threat, but this is much, deeper than that.

224.The Dancer Upstairs(2002)*
Romance. Espionage. Political thriller. Kinda creepy. Javier Bardem stars in John Malkovich's directorial debut. Inconsistent pacing, but fine performances and a good overall film.

Solid slasher flick. I think the cast was comprised of 4 people! The setting, a cabin in the woods, and a slasher, and two beautiful women. Pretty straight-forward? Maybe. Pretty good little movie. Sometimes simple is good. I was NOT expecting this.

222.A History of Violence(2005)
Tame for Cronenberg. He makes up for it a bit in the climax. Ed Harris is an under-rated villain. The film does an absolutely fantastic job of creating and keeping tension. I may have to move this up!

The pace is a bit choppy in "Bronson", but Tom Hardy gives a fantastic performance as the notorious inmate. Stylized-modern(realistic and for the most part true) spin on "A Clockwork Orange". Good, but it ain't Kubrick. Hardy is on the list a few times.

Chappie spends quite some time setting up the characters, but for those with patience, there's a colossal payoff late. The first 50 minutes is a hokey/plodding 5/10, the last 50 minutes is lights-out 10/10. Well worth the wait. I guess mathmatically that makes it a 7.5...  yep, my list is right on pace here.

This sometimes over-dramatized Best Picture winner has been falling down this list fast. It's still a good movie, but I'm starting to question if it's a "great" one.

218.Wild Bill(2011)
This British gangsta-gone-straight drama is a fantastic little sleeper. Highly recommend this heartfelt and at times hardcore film.

217.Behind the Mask:The Rise of Leslie Vernon(2006)
Great balance of horror and comedy. The film just keeps giving us ingenious story-line and dialog, and doesn't stop for the duration. When the film decides to turn into a full-fledged slasher film 3/4 of the way through - it sticks true to it's horror film roots and shows us that, even when warned, we are completely obligated to the normal set of slasher rules.

216.Captain America Winter Soldier(2014)
Graduates into a "less hokey than the original" sequel, but I still prefer the original. This is a little faster paced, and still a very enjoyable film.

Think "Parenthood" meets "Boyhood". Crazy underrated and under-viewed is what it is. Seek it out.

214.The Life and Mind of Mark Defriest(2014)
The film is bolstered by some comical moments, which speak to Mark's steadfast and still-amazingly-present sanity. The interviews, for me, are really the highlight of the film, but the films music and animation raise this piece to another level. To me the 'angle' of proving Mark's insanity is only a sad state of "Telling the man what they want to hear and not addressing the real problem which is the system itself", but I guess if that is what is best for Mark then so be it. First rate doc. Full Movie:

A bit like "Trust" further down the list in that it tackles a tough subject head-on, realistically, and that makes for some very uncomfortable moments for the viewer, BUT, in movie-evaluating, that is definitely a positive. Anytime a movie has made one feel a strong, lasting emotional - it has succeeded.

212.The Motorcycle Diaries(2004)*
An on-and-off-road-trip drama about a young Che Guevara on an amazing  trip of self-discovery and medical-aid. Beautiful cinematography. Slower-paced.

211.The Last King of Scotland(2006)
Top-5 performance on the list.

210.The Rookie(2002)
I recently ranked this the 11th best baseball movie of all-time, between "The Bad News Bears" and "Sandlot". It's a somewhat simple film, but an uplifting one. It is based on a true story. I had it ranked higher, but it has fallen a bit with a re-watch or two. "Bull Durham", "Long Gone", "Ken Burns Baseball", and "The Natural" were at the top of that list.

209.Green Zone(2010)
Green Zone touches on some pertinent story lines in terms of the Shock-n-Awe Iraq campaign. I found the hesitation, yet need, to involve Iraqi citizens in Army investigations to be an important subject, and one where this film goes quite in-depth. The film also touches on some other important cultural differences in terms of how to rebuild a functioning government that the Iraqi's will support.

208.The Avengers(2012)
As a Avengers comic-book and Justice League cartoon fan, I had always anticipated a super-hero dream team finally making their debut with a quality feature film. I think the first 30 minutes is a bit hokey, but the rest of the film is solid.

207.St. Vincent(2014)
A struggling single mother reaches out to her free-loading neighbor for childcare. Bill Murray is fantastic. The kid is great. Melissa McCarthy plays the mother. Really solid, heartfelt movie.

M.Night's "superhero" movie is an underrated gem. Of all superhero films this is the most humanist and realistic in feel and approach. Perfect casting for the lead(Bruce WIllis). I think we forget that this is a superhero film, and for all the same reasons, this is an excellent movie.

205.Winged Migration
A great documentary about the migration of birds and birds in general. One of my few complaints is when the opening of the film talks about "no use of CGI" and then proceeds to have the only scene with CGI(opening credits/intro). Beautiful film though.

204.The Station Agent
Peter Dinklage is great in the character-driven drama about a dwarf that runs from a bad situation and ends-up parked at an abandoned New Jersey train station, where he meets other interesting characters. I believe he was nominated for an Academy Award for this. If so, well-deserved.

203.Count of Monte Christo(2002)
I must admit that I haven't seen nearly all of the versions of this story on film, but I do know that Guy Pearce makes an incredible antagonist. From what I understand it's pretty textbook, but it's still a really good movie.

202.The Descent(2005)
Here's a solid horror entry. The film really comes out of the gate with a shocking scene then gets into set-up mode. "The Descent" thrives on it's relentless claustrophobic feel and gore. Think "Sanctum" meets "Deliverance", and somewhere in the middle in terms of quality.

201.The Big Short(2016)
Typically this is isn't the type of film that would do well at the box-office, but some star power, and a subject that many are interested to learn more about, managed to allow the producers of this film to turn a nice profit.

Kids should stay entertained with the animation and the animals, but most of the humor is really adult humor. For that reason, it may be just about the best Disney/pixar animated film for adults.  THere are no lulls in that aspect. You will laugh early and often. Credit the writers. The plot is a bit thin, but very few animated films have complex/truly-original plots.

199.Confessions of a Dangerous Mind(2002)

Antoine Fuqua knows how to direct. Now, if he can learn how to make a spoiler-free trailer. Jake Gyllenhaal is fantastic in this.

When looking at the best horror films over the last 10-15 years - the Aussies rule! I'm starting to watch more and more Aussie horror flicks lately because the ratio of good horror flicks versus bad one's from the Aussie's is strides better than what you'll find coming out of Hollywood.

196.Inside Out(2015)

195.Inglorious Basterds(2009)
I wasn't nearly as high on this as some. Brad Pitt's southern draw was the highlight for me, but the film does have some amazing camera-work, a funny script, and some classic scenes.

194.American Psycho(2000)

193.The Way Way Back(2013)
Everything works here, but I think the movie would have benefited greatly with one extra scene with Duncan going back, or even writing or connecting with his love-interest one more time. While I site this as a weakness - the 'wanting more' aspect in coming-of-age films is common/necessary theme

192.Battle Royale (2000)*
Scene:(not for faint of heart)

191.The Autopsy of Jane Doe(2016)
Novel, in that it has some good actors, and it's GENUINELY scary.

190.Castaway on the Moon(2006)*
A unique film that has an interesting social commentary, good camera work, quirky comedy, and heart. Here's a Korean film you should check-out.

189.Despicable Me(2010)
Think Inspecter Gadget meets The Incredibles. Despicable Me has a fantastic message about good  vs. evil and family. I did NOT expect to like this movie. Very funny/entertaining film.

188.Captain America First Avenger(2011)
If you don't want to see a story that centers around a dangerous, independent faction of the Gustapo garnering power from unearthly sources, only for the U.S. to harness the same power to create the American fighting machine, only to get revenge, in what still amounts to an American WW2 propaganda campaign enactment - then don't see this movie. That war is over anyway. And if all that nonsense isn't enough for you - then don't worry - there's a lot more, fun 'nonsense' that I left out. Camp done right(think Flash Gordon).

Sacha Baron Cohen owns this character. Some will be offended, others will think it's hilarious. If you can't have a chuckle over this film then something is wrong with you.

I thought Mario did a fantastic job with this labor of love about his father. Love the mirror trick..  really nice effect. Good payoff, great little story.

They made this awesome sci-fi flick for a mere 990K. This is obviously a work of passion for first time director Kurt Wimmer. The film is full of good ideas and excellent action scenes. Christian Bale and Taye Diggs are excellent as partners, and later, adversaries.

184.Road to Perdition
Simply one of the "best looking" films of this period. Top 15 for cinematography on this list.


182.12 Years a Slave(2013)

181.Letters From Iwo Jima(2006)

180.Inside Llewyn Davis(2013)
"Inside Llewyn Davis" provides an intimate look at what life is like for a struggling musician.  There's a clear difference between a musician who does it for a hobby, and one that tries to do it for a living. This film highlights that difference, and the Coen Brothers always manage to slip-in some wit and tragedy.

Single-handedly dropped Sea Worlds business by 40%. I don't condone trapping healthy juveniles for our entertainment purposes.

178.Let Me In(2010)
Almost as good as the original. One of the better American remakes you'll find. One thing I really loved about this movie was the questions it asked about how/if vampires can befriend/live with humans without turning them into a vampire. This isn't necessarily a very scary film about vampires. It's a slower paced film shot with style. You can nearly count the kills on one hand, but on the other hand, the kills are 'tastefully' done. The original is in the top 50 below(#33).


176.Owning Mahoney(2003)
Much better than the more popular "The Cooler" Philip Seymour Hoffman's performance as a gambling addict is right there with Ben Mendelsohn's at #125.

175.XMen:First Class(2011)

 it spills out of the sewers with its rough film stock and its clichéd 'b' movie sound editing and leaves us with a successfully funny/stupid/scary if not wickedly entertaining ride.

173.Star Wars:the Force Awakens

172.Role Models(2008)

I don't know if it should have won Best Picture, but it is a good musical. Wow, that was tough. That was like Donald complimenting the people that didn't vote for him. Didn't mean to get political - You won't ever see it again on this blog. Only Movies, Beer, and Sports here.  Good movie.

170.United 93(2006)

169.The Wailing(2016)
The Koreans and the Aussies are really taking the mantle as far as horror films nowadays.

168.The Notebook(2004)
The Notebook is huge among the female persuasion, and why not? It stars Ryan Gosling and has more sap that a large pine tree. The time-skipping element, coupled with strong performances by James Garner and Gena Rowlands playing the couple later in life, makes this enjoyable. The guys get a little bit of comeback/revenge factor to quell their thirst for blood, since there is none. Ends strong.

167.Oceans Thirteen(2007)
Infinitely rewatchable. Pitt and Clooney have great chemistry. The film looks and sounds incredible, has a frenetic pace, and finishes strong. What's not to like here?? A little better than the original(#227/Soderberghs orig anyway). Pacino is great!

166.Me and Earl and the Dying Girl(2015)

165.Kubo and the Two Strings(2016)
Really awesome combination of stop-action, real set-design, real animation, and CGI. Kubo is perhaps a bit too complex for the kids, but the look subject matter make the film entertaining for all ages.

164.Train to Busan(2016)*
"Train to Busan" is a superlative zombie film. Most films in this genre suffer from inconsistencies. Well, it's a zombie movie so I guess calling it unrealistic would be a bit moronic, but you know what I mean.. the zombies acting inconsistent or other stuff that just doesn't make sense. No character arcs..  unfinished subplots.. and forgotten references also seem to be common weaknesses with these types of films. None of that is present here. A tight, good looking zombie movie.

163.Meet the Parents(2000)

162.A Separation(2011)
I'd like to see how Americans are gonna try to remake/ruin this one.

A unique baseball movie in that it focuses on the management instead of the players. A really solid 'score' and fine performances from both Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill make this my #9 overall  film from 2011.

160.Charlie Countryman(2013)
I get the criticism of this film. It's a bit far-fetched, but I find it to be immensely entertaining. Evan Rachel Wood is a fox(she is also in The Wrestler#30). The film has some superb action, loads of style, good music, and a nice little supernatural subplot. Trippy fun. Never hurts to have Mads Mikkelson(Villain from Casino Royale) as the villain.

159.Planet Terror(2007)
Again, like Deathproof, you may or may not like it, but there is NO denying that this film hit the nail on the proverbial head in terms of achieving what it set out to accomplish. It reeks of a dirty explotation horror film on bad film stock. A gory, frenetic, short horror film with a few dashes of comedy. I think Robert Rodriguez' half of the double-feature is ever-so-slightly better than Quentin's.

158.Kiss Kiss Bang Bang(2005)
KKBB  is a fun and unique film. It's a murder mystery, a comedy, and a "Hollywood/LA" movie. Sometimes that last part gives good films a boost with critics, like "The Player" or "Hugo", but I think this movie is fresh and unique enough to appeal to just about anyone.  Robert Downey Jr, and Val Kilmer are a great ambiguously half-gay duo:).






152.High Fidelity(2000)

151.World Trade Center(2006)
First, this isn't a political film, this is a character-driven film. I hate I have to even touch on the politics. The trade centers went down. Fact. Because of terrorists, fact. THey killed 3,000 people in 3 hours. Fact. The film doesn't show the towers falling down. The film doesn't mention anything about why, who, or what motivated anyone. It focuses on a small group of men, risking their lives to save others in the light of tragedy, and in the process, creates on of the best dramatic duo performances of the decade.

150.The Spectacular Now(2013)
The acting is strong across the board. Miles and Shailene are two of the best young actors in the business. I started to seek-out Miles after his performance in "21 and Over", and Shailene was fantastic in "The Descendents". They make the perfect couple here.This is a pretty big departure from "500 Days of Summer"(the directors last big hit), but it still envelopes the same age demographic.This is probably more along the lines of "Perks of Being A Wallflower". While it lacks a bit of style of that great film,.. it hits just as hard on the serious notes.

149.The Life of David Gale(2003)

148.Gangs of New York(2002)


146.The Illusionist(2006)

145.Best in Show(2000)

144.V for Vendetta(2005)


142.Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon(2000)*

141.Forgetting Sarah Marshall(2008)


139.The Best Offer(2013)

138.Zero Dark Thirty(2012)

137.Stop at Nothing:The Lance Armstrong Story(2014)

136.28 Days Later(2002)

135.Last Samurai(2003)


Ganz gives the last of the top-5 performances on the list. You've all seen people referencing the scene where Ganz(Hitler) loses his $#!T in the bunker, only with their own subtitles to fit the occasion.

132.Elite Squad:The Enemy Within(2010)*
Sure, the action in "Elite Squad:The Enemy WIthin" is furious, just as good as anything Tony Scott, Ridley Scott, or Jane Doe has ever offered out of Hollywood. But, what really sets this film apart is it's dark, seedy layers.The main character, Nascimento, is a torn man. He's torn between work and home, torn between personal gain and political responsibility.. I can't remember an action film where the conflict of the main character was explored more thoroughly than this.

131.Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind(2004)

130.Thank You For Smoking(2005)

129.The Martian(2015)


127.Children of Men(2006)

Best Rocky since the original. There is a gritty realism to the film. It manages to use the nostalgia without feeling gimmicky. The references and recurrences from earlier ROcky films fit seamlessly into this new fresh story. THe acting and the direction are inspired. Stallone's personal care for this series has shown over the last two films - especially in the more serious scenes

125.Mississippi Grind(2015)
"Mississippi Grind" is a great film bolstered by the chemistry and performances of the two leads.
The film steady rolls out of the gate. Like the Mississippi itself, it doesn't seem to be in a hurry, but it keeps rolling towards it's destination. This is not a film of twists, cons, or gimmicks. It's a realistic examination of two gambling addicts, who find friendship and success despite their differences and problems. Ben Mendelsohn gives an Oscar-worthy performance.

"Dope" is a smart, funny, exciting, sometimes horrifying, and mostly enlightening coming- of-age tale about 'Malcolm', his two friends, and their unintentional cross-over to the wrong side of the street.

123.Hacksaw Ridge(2016)
I'm VERY aware that this film hovered around 8.6+ on IMDB for months, and maybe that had a little to do with the fact that I was a wee-bit disappointed. It IS excellent, but I thought the entire set-up was good not great, and some of the action a bit over-stylized. Regardless, it's an amazing story with amazing cinematography and acting.  I thought Vaughn was miscast, and they needed more romance dialog.



120.Before Sunset(2004)

119.Michael Clayton(2007)

118.Winter's Bone(2010)


116.Dear Zachary(2008)

115.The Incredibles(2004)

114.Dark Knight Rises(2012)

113.Big Fish

112.Rogue One(2016)
I thought this was CLEARLY better than Force Awakens.  Its exactly what they said it was.. a Star Wars story. A story that deserved to be told and in a way that blended it seamlessly with episode 4, and once and for all married the grit of 1976 with the cgi improvements of 2016.

111.Bowling for Columbine(2002)


The thing that sets apart 'Brick' is the excellent script from Rian Johnson. The film really should open with a glossary:) When a student that usually keeps to himself finds out about a missing ex, he takes it upon himself to find out what's going on. What ensues is pure magic. Memorable scenes with colorful characters that submerge the viewer in the depths of HS yuppie hell. JGLevitt is brilliant.

Highly recommended for it's emotional impact and staying true to the subject matter. Hard to imagine that there's a better way to warn parents about these types of threats than to tackle the subject with such honesty and restraint for Hollywood-cookie-cutter storytelling.Highly recommended, but should come with some type of disclaimer or warning.

107.Joy Division(2007)

106.I Origins(2014)
 This is an amazing film. It asks a lot of the viewer: suspension of belief(s), patience, open- mindedness. The film won't be for everyone, but to those with an open heart and open mind you will find one of the most satisfying journeys of the 2014 movie-season. I don't care about the accuracy of any of the science within - save that for the movie-nit-pickers.

105.A.I. Artificial Intelligence(2001)

104.Into the Wild(2007)

103.Before I Disappear(2014)
You just don't find 'indie' films like this everyday. It's apparent that the film-maker, writer, and star of the film(same guy) considered this a labor of love. Nursing it from short-film Oscar winner, to no-lesser(if not much better) feature film sleeper- diamond. It's like "true Romance", " "After Hours" and "St.Vincent" had a lower budget baby.  

102.Donnie Darko(2001)
Donnie Darko quickly garnered cult-status. Break-out role, style/art-direction and good cinematography. Creepy flick

101.Catch Me If You Can(2002)

A landmark artistic achievement. This film changed the game. Nothing had ever looked like this - like a graphic novel that jumped-off the page. Not before and not since.

Awesome action sequences make up for some suspect acting in supporting roles. Cliché'd, yes. Overly violent, yes. Tough subject matter, yes. THe occasion bad line or suspect acting, yes. BUT, WHO CARES? This movie makes the Bourne series look BORING. I had a grin on my face for the last hour. This is what I want from a movie... my money's worth.. "Popcorn-movie" done right.

98.Cast Away(2000)

Artistically, it's amazing.If you've ever wanted a film to be the epitome of an incredible 'shooter game' - then this is it. SOme moments late in the film had me standing up in front of the television with anticipation and excitement.As a thriller, it works because the action is done so well, and because the 'revenge quotient" is high. The film WILL do nothing but further excite those in anticipation of Villeneuve's "Blade Runner 2" project. He's the right man for the job. ANd this film does nothing to change the fact that he is EASILY one of the top 1 or 2 directors to watch right now.


95.Hot Fuzz(2007)

94.Pirates of the Caribbean(2003)

93.Almost Famous(2000)

92.The Chaser(2008)*

91.Eastern Promises(2007)



88.Cinderella Man(2005)

87.Return of the King:LOTR(2003)

86.Tekkon Kinkreet(2006)
Scene:(warning spoiler/climax but it's so amazing I had to use it)

85.Amores Perros(2000)*

84.The Departed(2006)


82.Lone Survivor(2013)

81.Black Swan(2010)

80.The Secret in Their Eyes(2009)*
This film will beat the crap out of the viewer. The film really demands the audiences attention. It jumps back in forth in time, and the characters are rather candid and restrained. Better than the American remake, go figure rt?

79.Perks of Being a Wallflower(2012)


77.Fantastic Mr. Fox(2009)
The movie is chock full of low brow, a-typical Wes Anderson adult humor. Yet, the stop-action animation, the characters, and a great deal of restraint from the director, has magically turned Fantastic Mr. Fox into an instant children's and adult classic.

76.Guardians of the Galaxy(2014)

75.The Diving Bell and the Butterfly(2007)*

74.Toy Story 3(2010)

73.Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance(2002)*

72.Batman Begins(2005)
I really don't care for the opening scene here, but the rest of the film has grown on me with repeat viewings. We are all very lucky to get this Bale/Nolan combination for a few films at least. Hardy is excellent.

71.Blood Diamond(2006)
underrated..this is one powerhouse of a movie. Leonardo and Djimons' performances are dead-on. The two bring a power to the film that is only equaled by the fantastic an under-appreciated action sequences. The film is incredibly well-fashioned and the plot flows with grace while never leaving the viewer with any of those 'uncomfortable' lulls in the story or in its action.

Michael Mann does it AGAIN. From early 80's entries like "Thief" and "Manhunter" we learned that he had a deft touch for stylish, dark yet colorful thrillers. Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx are both great here.

69.Requiem for a Dream(2000)

68.House of Flying Daggers(2004)


66.Wolf of Wall Street(2013)
Dicaprio is fantastic. Wolf of Wall Street has the sales-appeal of "Glengarry Glen Ross", and the flair/shock-factor of Tarantino.

65.Lady Vengeance(2005)*

64.No Country for Old Men(2007)

63.Black Book(2006)*

"Kontroll" is a visceral, visual feast with mind-boggling sound and rich, quirky characters. There's no denying the incredible sound and look of this film.There's a delicate balance of tension, mystery, action and comedy going on here. The cross-genre nature of the film will certainly divide audiences, but I found that aspect of the movie to perfectly fit the chaos and randomness of the subway setting and the characters found within - fictitious or not. Bulcsu' is an enigma. He's constantly running from/after something. This is extremely puzzling because of his likable nature, and because he's so seemingly successful at everything he does.There's a hint of depth for the character of bulcsu - just enough to tease. As an audience member you'll want to know what drove this leader of men, this nice guy, to the dark depths of the subway system. In the end, the subway walls come crashing down on top of him, and all he needs is someone or something to lead him out of the path of destruction. Bulcsu will find his way out, but only after he's finished proving something to himself.The name of the film is a paradox. Antal's world is the picture of everything EXCEPT control. Scene:


60.Gone Girl(2014)
"Gone Girl" is an absolute immersion into a great murder mystery. The plot seems to be ever-evolving, and the whole thing is bolstered by some fantastic performances from a great cast. The six largest roles(Affleck, Pike, Harris, Perry, Coon, and Dickens) are deftly handled. Tyler Perry is probably the best surprise here, but everyone is good.

59.Hell of High Water(2016)
One of the best films I've seen for 2016. Second behind Moonlight. I haven't seen LaLa Land. HOHW has masterclass performances from Pine and Bridges. Many have compared-it to "No Country for Old Men". I agree with the comparisons both in style and overall quality. I know I'm probably in the minority ranking this slightly above the other at #63. Either way, they're both great.

Style-filled thiller. 5 Million bucks invested, and a thriller that makes recent American thrillers look, well, less-thrilling.The key here is in the direction, and with what's sitting, cut on the editing floor. I often use the term "somebody cared about that one" when referring to movies, and somebody definitely cared about "Headhunters". Looks like a 20 million dollar American thriller, and is better than most of those. Norwegian.


56.Training Day(2001)
Antoine Fuqua made the list with this and "Southpaw#198". Similar to "Dark Blue#226". Ethan Hawke is fine, but this flick is Denzel Washington showing everyone how to do it. Solid movie.

55.The King's Speech(2010)

54.Mad Max:Fury Road(2015)
My brother loves this movie. Of course, he's an arteeest, so it makes perfect sense. He may have influenced this ranking by 10 or 20 spots. I think the film is on a near-"300" visual wonder-level, but the plot and dialog are even more simplified and basic. And I didn't love the first 10 minutes. There's still some jaw-dropping moments, especially in the second half.

53.Spirited Away(2001)

I love it when a film really breaks all the rules like this. For many of the same reasons, I want to see "Logan".  "Deadpool" is an irreverant superhero film led by a perfect casting and performance by Ryan Reynolds. The film ceases the opportunity its "R" rating affords it. Awesome movie.

51.City of God(2002)*

50.Mulholland Drive(2001)
Now here's a movie that will make you think. You might never figure anything out, but what fun would it be if it weren't thought provoking. A similar, more popular list had this at #1. I don't know about all that, but it's definitely a good movie. Strange. Scene:

49.Infernal Affairs(2002)*
This film really shows the difference between an American film and Hong Kong(foreign) cinema. Per usual, this film doesn't feel the need to bombard the viewer with dialog that spells out every single action in the movie. It's pacing is slower, and it has more style than Scorcese's remake. I realize this is why I like it and why others may not, but this is a really good movie.

48.The Man From Nowhere(2010)*
Here's a great "revenge-factor" flick. I challenge anyone who doesn't like foreign films to try this and tell me you don't like it. The young female actress is exceptional, the film has style, and a great ending.

47.Touching the Void(2003)
One wouldn't expect a re-enactment documentary about a climbing accident to be so damn entertaining. If it weren't for 2015's "Meru(#10 below)", this would be not just one of the best climbing documentaries of the millennium, but of all-time. Really touches on the emotion and seriousness of the event, as well as have moments of sheer brilliance, like in this scene:

46.Ex Machina(2014)
I love slow-burning science-fiction films. Ex Machina is the debut film for Alex Garland, who also wrote "Dredd(just missed)", "Sunshine(pretty good)", and 28 Weeks Later(#229).  The film is like an adult/horror slant on Spielberg's "A.I. (#105). Solid flick!

45.Lost in Translation(2003)
I wanna know what's whispered in the end. Great movie.

44.The Two Towers:LOTR(2002)
I know I'm gonna get some flack for my placement of the LOTR films, but for me this is the most entertaining of both trilogies.

It puts a modern spin on "Cherry2000" or "Electric Dreams". It's by far the best of that lot, even though I personally dig those B-flicks from the 80's that were ahead of their time. Phoenix is fantastic here. Spike Jonze' best film since Being John Malkovich, and it's probably a small step above that one too. It's definitely a melancholy tale for the digital-age. Really good movie. It was my 4rth rated film for 2013, and would have been #1 or 2 in just about any other year of this millennium.

42.The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo(2011/u.s.)
Is this the first American remake to be better than the foreign original. I think it is. I mean I have "Infernal Affairs" ahead of "The Departed" and I can't remember anything else being even close.

41.The Sea Inside(2004)*

'Moon' defies the detractors with it's subtle but powerful story, and uses some fantastic editing, music(amazing!!), and acting to weave one of the better films of the year. Worth owning. Undoubtedly, some will call this boring, but many film masters will take notice of the care and effort that it took to piece together this fine work of art - because that's what it is. Director Duncan Jones is David Bowie's son. Opening Scene:

39.The Place Beyond the Pines(2012)

38.The Social Network(2010)
Some of them usic from the movie:

37.Memories of Murder(2003)*
Seldom a film is this deliberate and this edge-of-your-seat at the same time. The 2nd highest ranked Korean film on the list(A Dirty Carnival#31). Visually striking.  Awesome movie.

36.The Descendants(2011)
The film manages to capture justified euthanasia and the vibe and beauty of Hawaii in the same film. So, tonally it's a dynamic film with great performances from Woodley and in particular Clooney. Well-written.

If you're a Luc Besson fan then you will love this movie. He brings just about everything that he usually brings to the table minus the furious action. We have a powerful and exotic female. This film oozes with style, and as far as cinematography goes, this might be besson's best...much thanks to Arbogast of course. Angel-A delivers with beauty and intrigue.Scene:

34.Short Term 12(2013)
A great small-budget independent film. I had toggled this film between #1 and #4 for 2013 for months(so many tight/good movies in '13).  Right now I have it at #2. Prisoners(#13 here) is #1, for now. Drama.

33.Let the Right One In(2008)*
This swedish vampire film takes every advantage of it's setting. Extremely effective horror film with the odd-balance with 'the innocence of youth'. The American remake made the list and is NEARLY as good as the original.

32.Finding Nemo(2003)
Fittingly, Nemo is the highest ranking animated film of the millennium.  Pixar made it with Toy Story 3(#74), and would have made it very high with Toy Story 2(40-50ish) if not for it being released in 1999.

31.A Dirty Carnival(2006)*
This is the Goodfellas of Korean movies, as in a similar story, but with all the genre-bending quirkiness of a Korean director/film. Well worth your time to seek this one out.

30.The Wrestler(2008)
Aronofsky just missed the list with "The Fighter", but made the list with "The Fountain(#250)", "Black Swan(#81)" and the Wrestler. Rourke gives a fantastic performance about a man who has nothing left but his profession. He wrestles with his inner-demons as much as his comrades in the ring. Powerful film.

29.Rust and Bone(2012)*
Marion Cotillard is superb in this film, and Matthias Shoenaerts is also an up-n-comer. Rust and Bone is a hard-hitting drama about a guy who is rough around the edges, and the unlikely woman who smooths those edges out. Her transformation and story is even more powerful than his. Scene:

I've debated with some about the quality of this film, and after re-watches I am more confident than ever that this film deserves a spot way-up on the list. "Chef" is a great movie for foodies, and for lovers of film in general. A great cast, good writing, and a heartfelt story, coupled with some good music and awesome color-splash make this a real winner. The definition of a feel good movie.  WHile I've debated with some strangers about the overall quality, every friend that I have turned-onto this film has had the same opinion of the film, it's excellent. Scene:

27.Wild Tales(2014)*
This anthology foreign entry is about the animalistic nature of human beings.  A fantastic little film that you might have missed.

Grand in every way. As thought provoking as it is visually striking. Sounds great too.

Nicolas Winding Refn had another film above(Bronson#221), and yet another onthe just missed list(Only God Forgives).  Drive is a work of art and a throwback to the Michael Mann/Wlilliam Freidkin films of the late 70's and early 80's.  I love the opening look and feel though it does have a few minor flaws in execution. The film has a fantastic soundtrack and amazing cinematography. Tighten-up and add more scenes like the opening, and it could be in the top 10. Regardless, you get to the top-25 on this list and you've earned-it.

24.The Dark Knight(2008)
I think if you shorten this about 20 minutes, touch-up two-faces CGI, the ending, and the buses pulling out in the line early, and you'd have yourself a top-ten film no doubt. Then there's the whole courtroom scene which also doesn't work for me. That's me nit-picking though because the rest of the 2 and a half hours is nearly flawless. I'd have it higher if those weaknesses didn't stick out like a sore thumb to me. It's an EXCELLENT film either way, but I wanted to explain why I don't have it higher when I KNOW many will.

23.Django Unchained(2012)
Tarantino really pushes the envelope here. I know it's not always period correct or politically correct either, but I still love this movie. It's funny, it's beautiful, and it's action packed. Sure, it's offensive and gory, but if that doesn't bother you, it is pure entertainment. Dicaprio is fantastic. Awesome cinematography.

22.District 9(2009)
This is part social-commentary and part sci-fi. Neil Blomkamp stamped the directorial map with this one. He would later give us Elysium and the already mentioned "Chappie"(#220). Initial releases of the DVD were missing some of the Alien subtitles, which really detracted from the storyline and overall impact. Maybe worth a rewatch, whatta you think? Awesome flick.

21.A Very Long Engagement(2004)*
Jean Pierre-Jeunet is a master in the use of vibrant color and incredible settings. He also has a deft touch for quirky characters and mystery. This is an EPIC film that wouldn't be a stretch in calling it a masterpiece.  Perhaps the ending could have been a little different/better, but I wouldn't know how to do it.

20.Midnight in Paris(2011)
Midnight in Paris is Woody Allen's best film in years. The film has a fantastic concept where a modern day writer gets love-advice and makes a new circle of friends with deceased writing legends. It plays perfectly with the modern day setting of his failing love-life and the city of Paris on the whole. Owen Wilson was perfect for this role!

19.Inside Man(2006)
Spike Jones "Inside Man" is a razor-sharp thriller/heist flick that only gets better with repeat viewings. Awesome direction and great performances from Washington, Owen, and Ejiofor. You may want to revisit this on a huge screen and without interruption to see what you missed.

18.Searching for Sugar Man(2012)
IF you go into this with NO knowledge of the subject - it's fantastic. Prejudice. Greed. Misinformation. Vindication. Appreciation. Why did it take a documentary made nearly 40 years after the fact to bring this man's music and story to the forefront?

17.Casino Royale(2006)
I've put a lot of thought into whether or not I consider this to be the best Bond film of all-time. Whether you think it is or it is not, it is undoubtedly in the argument against Goldfinger and From Russia With Love(I've heard others like Skyfall, Spy Who Loved Me and You Only Live Twice mentioned in these arguments). While the film fails to deliver on some of the Bond staples like Gadgets, it thrives on incredible action sequences(THE OPENING!!), the best bond-girl performance in the series, and a free-flowing, well-paced storyline that draws the audience-in. Considering the film is breaking in a new Bond, and establishing itself as a prequel, only bolsters the argument that it in fact may be the best of all-time.

It's funny how such a low-key independent film ranks this high on the list. The main reason is the chemistry between the two leads, and the script itself. The setting and the roller-coaster ride of events make this infinitely re-watchable. Hilarious movie. Giamati should have won an Oscar for this.

15.In the Mood for Love(2000)*
I'm not sure what all of it means, but it's right there in the top 5 on the entire list(maybe THE top) in terms of cinematography. A true work of art.

14.The Revenant(2015)

This is a fantastic work of art. "Moonlight" follows its protagonist through three segments of his life, each powerful on its own. All the actors cast to fill the roles make the transitions seamless, even though the characters change physically and emotionally. Production-wise, "Moonlight" is a ray of light; each frame, in my opinion, a work of perfection. The cinematography, lighting, and soundtrack create a rich, deep world of pain, healing, hope and style. This is near flawless story-telling, and the films balance between the homosexual drama, and the tough ghetto setting shreds stereotypes, and makes everyone rethink the subject. I'm floored that this is a directorial debut.

U23D is an amazing film, but unfortunately it's one that only a select few will ever see, or it's looking more and more like that everyday. The film was shot on 17 IMAX cameras, and is more or less the work of National Geographic making a 3D music concert. It actually isn't the best U2 performance. It isn't a bad performance by any means, but visually this may be the most amazing film EVER MADE, and for that reason, a big claim, it deserves this spot on the list. IF it is ever re-released on IMAX everyone must try to see it. There has never been a 3-D film as good as this and who's to say if there will ever be.

11.The King of Kong(2007)
I have two documentaries on the cusp of the top 10 here, but they were among my favorite films of the millennium. The King of Kong takes a benign subject matter, and enriches it with colorful characters, espionage, and a crescendo-like story that gets better and better as it goes. Excellent film. This is my #2 film of 2007.

Meru checks every box. Visually it's stunning. One of if not THE best looking film about climbing that has ever been made.. Kudos to Jimmy Chin who's second profession could be as an elite cinematographer. The film really shows the human-element of each person in the film, and when Chin starts to scale the final step in the climax, it stands my arm hairs on end. This is my #1 film of 2015

Denis Villaneuve has made some great films, but imo this is the film that really opened everyones eyes as to his potential.  The climax where Jake is speeding in the rain is perhaps the most intense scene I've seen in years. It's incredibly well-shot. IMO the definitive moment of the film - when director and cinematographer take the build-up of the previous two hours and work it into an amazing crescendo. An absolutely AMAZING scene. The whole film paces, but the last 25 minutes is by far the best.

8.Pans Labyrinth(2006)*
What an incredibly unique film from Guillermo Del Toro. I saw this with a few family members and I don't think ANY of us were expecting something so powerful and intriguing. It's an ambitious film that ties together war and fantasy. Del Toro's best to date.

7.Kill Bill Vol. 1(2003)
This is the grand samurai vision from Quentin Tarantino, and right there with most stunning visual films on the entire list. It is just an amazing film.

6.Temple Grandin(2010)
Claire Danes would have won an Academy Award for best actress if this weren't a made for tv film. The film probably would have been nominated for best picture as well. Danes is spectacular! It is one of the best films of the millennium that many people haven't seen(along with #1).

5.Slumdog Millionaire(2008)*
Reminds me a bit of Moonlight in its segmented timeline. Danny Boyle's film oozes energy and style, and takes a diverse, beautiful picture of India. The "hollywood" ending is balanced with the heartbreak and cringe-worthy scenes speckled throughout the film. Awesome movie.

Whiplash, for me, is a much deeper film than it appears at the surface. The director would go on to make "La La Land", which isn't included because I haven't seen it yet. But "Whiplash" is exceptional. Not only are Simmons and Teller giving perhaps the best duo performances on the list, but the film makes the viewer think when it's over. Did Simmons character have good intentions or was he evil? Did Simmons benefit or lose from his actions? Did Teller benefit or lose from Simmons actions? Obviously Simmons crossed the line, but did that make Teller a better musician? And that final scene..   WOW..   just amazing. The scaled-down look and feel(moderate budget)only adds to this. Great film.

3.There Will Be Blood(2007)
There is little doubt that this is a tough watch. P.T. Anderson has made a masterpiece here. This film will undoubtedly hold the test of time and will forever be considered a classic from the era. Sure it's long, tedious, and the music is haunting/borderline annoying, but it's certainly effective. Lewis' performance is perhaps the best on the entire list(or right there with Claire Danes in Temple Grandin). This film will beat the shit out of you, but in a good way for movie-lovers. ANything that can make you this uncomfortable is a monumental achievement. Brooding, disturbing film with awesome performances.

2.The Pianist(2002)
Well, there is little doubt that Roman Polanski can still make a great film.  The best holocaust film since "Schindler's List", and imo it's every bit as good. The physical transformation of the lead is amazing. The slow-burning last 45 minutes is still very tense, and the moment when the SS Officer realizes the loss and damage that is a result of their actions really says so much with so little. The camera work is awesome too.

1.The Twilight Samurai(2002)*
 We have arrived at my #1 film of the millennium. Yoji Yamada has perhaps made a few films that should be on this list as well, but I haven't seen all of them in full so a few like "Hidden Blade" and "13 Assassins" are being left off for that reason even though they may be good enough to make the list. The Twilight Samurai is a very special film to me. The music is unbelievable, and it's obviously a work of someone who has a passion for this setting and period in Japanese history. The film, like so many foreign films, doesn't feel the need to spell everything out in script for the viewer, even though it is a very basic story. There are only 2-3 scenes with any action and they are short. Hiroyuki Sonada is fantastic, and the perfect protagonist to root for..   The last 30 minutes is fantastic and thought provoking.


Crafted with precision, 'The Twilight Samurai' is the story of an honest, hard-working Samurai who fights to earn respect by respecting others. Many of those around him(outside of his immediate family and renewed love-interest) under-estimate his strength and resolve.

The film(made in 2002) is period-precise and the viewer is completely engulfed into this society, and even those familiar with this time and culture will be enlightened and intrigued at every turn. I find this film to be haunting, enlightening and very real. The quality of this work is of the absolute highest measure.

This IS NOT an action film. The Twilight Samurai is one man's journey to erase the ghosts of his past and future. The journey carries every emotion, and we feel everything that the lead character goes through. We sympathize with him, and later, we celebrate in his achievements.

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