1. A Serious Man (The Coen Brothers) A film that has inched it’s way up to my number one of this decade ever so slowly. I always loved this film, but it’s meant more to me the more I watch it. The existential crisis movie to beat all existential crisis movies.
2. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch) The dream world of David Lynch is one of the most absolute stunning places to visit in film, but make no mistake “Mulholland Drive” is his absolute masterpiece.
3. In Bruges (Martin McDonagh) A funny though tragic account of gangsters who have to hide out in a small European town after botching a job.
4. No Country for Old Men (The Coen Brothers) Since this film, The Coen Brothers really haven’t made a wrong step, they have become the most assured filmmakers on the planet. This thriller based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy is perfectly put together in every way.
5. Summer Hours (Olivier Assayas) A film about globalization and how it can break tradition and family apart. A harsh theme for a film, but this one is given great life by the cast and direction. A wonderful french film.
6. Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Vol.2 (Quentin Tarantino) For me the best thing Tarantino has ever done. This tribute to kung fu cinema and spaghetti westerns from a feminist point of view is still one of the most fun times I’ve ever had watching a movie.
7. I’m Not There (Todd Haynes) Haynes’ bio of Bob Dylan told through a collage of performers ranging from Heath Ledger, to Richard Gere, to Christian Bale, to most impressively Cate Blanchett is a stirring look into the life of an artist through the art they create rather than the life they have lived or claimed to have lived.
8. Waking Life (Richard Linklater) Linklater’s experimental animated feature about dreams, reality, and life feels like a college philosophy student’s dream come true. I find it Linklater’s most compelling work.
9. Master and Commander The Far Side of the World (Peter Weir) An underseen, underrated sea adventure that feels like the last real epic Hollywood has ever produced.
10. Zodiac (David Fincher) Fincher’s best film in my opinion, an epic investigation on the Zodiac killer honing in on three men who were deeply affected by the case. The film has only raised more fans since its initial release, and should be considered a masterpiece in crime movies.
Honorable mentions: The Coens almost made the cut again with “O Brother Where Art Thou?” Richard Linklater’s “Before Sunset” is the best in the Before trilogy Del Torro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth” remains that director’s best film. I kinda have a love/hate relationship with “Moulin Rouge”. Robert Altman who never slowed down until his death had three great movies “Gosford Park”, “The Company” and “A Prairie Home Companion” to finish off his career. “Almost Famous” is a nice memoir. Wes Anderson had “The Royal Tanenbaums” Spielberg added a few great movies to his ouvre among them “A.I.”, “Minority Report”, “Munich”, and the underrated “The Terminal”. Tarantino had “Inglorious Basterds”. Sam Raimi made perhaps the best superhero film “Spiderman 2”, but Christopher Nolan also had “The Dark Knight”. Korean films were a highlight with Bong Joon-ho’s “Mother” which is a mix between psychological thriller and mother and son drama. Won-Kar Wai had “In the Mood for Love”, Clint Eastwood had his double feature of war films “Flags of our Fathers” and “Letters from Iwo Jima” as well as the boxing drama “Million Dollar Baby”. British director Mike Leigh had “Happy-Go Lucky”. Paul Thomas Anderson gave Adam Sandler his one great movie “Punch-Drunk Love”. Michael Mann had Tom Cruise go bad in “Collateral”. Peter Jackson had the wonderful epic “Lord of the Rings” films as well as a nice reboot of “King Kong”, Spike Lee had “The 25th Hour”. Pixar made their two best films “Wall-E” and “Up”
Did I miss any? I probably did, what are your favorite films of the 2000s?