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Monday, November 23, 2009

Best movies of the decade: 50-26

"Tuned Into Pop Culture" guest contributor Nick Carrabine is a News-Herald staff writer.

I Compiled a list starting with 185 movies from 2000-2009 which were all films I’ve seen and were highly rated on IMDB, Critics, Rotten Tomatoes and many nominated for Academy Awards. About 90 percent of them, I own in my 300 plus DVD collection.

Some of the things I considered when making this list:
* Which ones have the best chance of standing the test of time? Meaning, which ones can you watch 10 years from now and feel like the plot or the movie isn’t outdated.
* Which ones can you watch over and over again without getting sick of it.
* Obviously, writing, directing, acting and creativity of the film.
* Movies that may not be entertaining/worth watching over and over again but must be seen at least once because the message or historical importance.

I immediately went through the list of 185 movies as fast as I could and put a star next to the movies that HAD to be listed without thinking twice about it. From there, I compiled 26.

Then I went through the list as fast as I could again and put a minus sign next to the movies that I could go without seeing again. Not that I don’t like the movies, just that I didn’t consider them to be in the top 50. Here, I crossed off 110 rather quickly, only thinking twice about a dozen of them.

That left me with 49 movies and only 24 to choose.

I then went through the list a second time, looked at the movies I didn’t pick right away and asked myself why, then decided if they were worth putting in the top 50.

From there, I actually tried to rank them, but obviously that is hard to do when you’re talking about condensing hundreds of great movies into the top 50.

So I give to you, MY top 50 movies of this past decade:

50. The Believer (2001) - Ryan Gosling plays a Jewish man who becomes anti-Semitic. This movie is tough to watch at times because of the content but is worth watching at least once.

49. Insomnia (2002) - This is the first of four Christopher Nolan-directed movies on this list with a star-studded cast of Al Pacino, Robin Williams and Hilary Swank. While investigating a murder, Pacino accidentally shoots his own partner and tries to live with the guilt..

48. I am Legend (2007) - Will Smith has slowly but surely started to take on more mature and serious roles and this is one of his better movies about the last man on earth. He is literally the only person on screen for the first 45-55 minutes or so and I never once lost interest or got bored.

47. The United States of Leland (2003) - The acting by the always solid Don Cheadle and Gosling is wonderful in this story of a young man’s experience in a juvenile detention center.

46. Chaos Theory (2007) - This little heard of movie featuring Ryan Reynolds is both funny and dramatic as an obsessive compulsive husband and father unravels the truth behind his family’s history.

45. In the Bedroom (2001) - This is one of the more depressing movies on this list about an middle-aged woman who is going through a divorce while dating a college-aged student that ends in tragedy.

44. Remember the Titans (2000) - If you haven’t seen this movie, you might as well pack up your things and get out of town. Cheesy at times (aren’t all sports movies?), but a great story nonetheless.

43. Across the Universe (2007) - I was very skeptical about seeing this movie because, one, it’s mostly a musical and, two, I thought it’d do one of the greatest bands of all time a huge disservice, but the story is told wonderfully through Beatles music.

42. Green Street Hooligans (2005) - Plot centers around a Harvard undergrad who is expelled, moves to London where his sister lives and is introduced to the violent underworld of soccer. This is basically the UK version of Fight Club, only nowhere near as good.

41. Knocked Up (2007) — In typical Judd Apatow fashion, this movie is funny, sad and heartwarming all at the same time. Also Seth Rogan’s first starring role.

40. Juno (2007) - Didn’t think I’d like this movie too much because I despise Ellen Page, but the story is solid and the supporting cast is great, especially Jason Bateman.

39. 500 Days of Summer (2009) - Only one of three 2009 movies to make this list but this deserves a spot. A story about a man who falls in love with a woman who doesn’t believe in love and his attempts to make her believe in their relationship.

38. Shaun of the Dead (2004) - Original, funny and all around, a real great movie. Simon Pegg’s hot streak cooled off following this and the also solid, Hot Fuzz.

37. Matchstick Men (2003) - Nicholas Cage is fantastic in this movie about a obsessive compulsive professional con artist.

36. Wedding Crashers (2005) - Another hilarious adult comedy about well, crashing weddings (or in Will Ferrell’s case, funerals.) Unfortunately, Vince Vaughn has tried to play the exact same character in every single role since.

35. Half Nelson (2006) - Finally the role that got Gosling nominated for a well deserved Academy Award for Best Actor. Gosling plays a drug addicted high school teacher who connects with one of his students, whose brother is a drug dealer.

34. Superbad (2007) - Another Appatow movie that provides the laughs, heart and fun.

33. 40-year-old Virgin (2005) - See above.

32. The Hangover (2009) - By far the funniest movie I’ve seen since Old School and in time, may be one of the funnier movies in the past 10-15 years.

31. Into the Wild (2007) - Emile Hirsch gives a great performance as a young man who throws all of his possessions away and tries to live in the wild.

30. American Psycho (2000) - By far one of the more disturbing movies I’ve ever seen and the sickening thing is, it’s supposed to be a comedy. This has become a cult classic and Christian Bale’s claim to fame (before Batman, of course.)

29. Man on Fire (2004) The story of an ex-hitman sent to protect a family whose daughter was kidnapped. One of Denzel Washington’s finer performances.

28. Inglorious Basterds (2009) - Saw this movies twice within the first week it was out. The opening 20 minute scene is one of the best scenes I’ve ever seen in any movie in my entire life.

27. Das Leben Der Anderen (The Lives of Others) (2006) - A German film about a secret service agent instructed to observe and surveillance a writer and his actress girlfriend. This film is very moving and has one of the more jaw-dropping scenes of the decade.

26. Anchorman (2004) - Saw this movie at least three times in the theater as to this day, stands as Will Ferrell’s funniest movie. This movie boasts countless quotables.

I will post my top 25 movies of the decade on Friday and coming in December, I'll list my top 100 albums of the decade.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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November 24, 2009 at 12:00 PM 

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