January 02, 2010

The "Best" And "Worst" Films Of The Decade

Yeah, I know--everyone's making these lists. So why should you give a shit about mine? I honestly don't know. I don't know if anyone even reads this thing anymore, but I took the time to sit down and make the list, so I'm damn sure going to include it here.

A couple of points:
  • I have "best" and "worst" in quotes because I'm not really maintaining these are the best or worst films of the decade. The best list should rightly be called "my favorites." For example, I'm sure there have been any number of great films over the last decade that I haven't seen. I could probably name them, but I'm not including them. And the worst list is even more vaguely defined. Here, I've included not only "bad" films, but films that I thought were vastly overrated. (Some of them are on a lot of "best of the decade" lists!) As with the other extreme, I'm sure that there were some really terrible films out there, but I wasn't stupid enough to waste my time with them. Let me repeat: these are only movies I have seen.
  • I didn't run the numbers, but it feels like I have a lot of recent ones. Even though I hate lists that do that, I can't help it--it's tough to think of the older films.
  • The list is alphabetical*
  • I know...the list isn't complete. I just thought I'd put it up here until I finished.
The Best:
  1. Amelie(2001)
  2. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy(2004)
  3. Apocalypto(2006)
  4. Batman Begins(2005)
  5. Black Hawk Down(2001)
  6. The Bourne Identity(2002)
  7. Brick(2005)
  8. Casino Royale(2006)
  9. The Dark Knight(2008)
  10. The Descent(2005)
  11. District B13(2004)
  12. Elf(2003)
  13. The Fall(2006) 
  14. Finding Nemo(2003)
  15. The Gift(2000)
  16. Gone Baby Gone(2007)
  17. Gran Torino(2008)
  18. Grizzly Man(2005)
  19. Iron Man(2008)
  20. Joy Ride(2001)
  21. King Kong(2005) 
  22. The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters(2007)
  23. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang(2005)
  24. The Last Samurai(2003)
  25. Let the Right One In(2008)
  26. The Lord of the Rings trilogy(2001/2002/2003)
  27. The Magdeline Sisters(2002)
  28. Man on Wire(2008)
  29. Memento(2000)
  30. Oldboy(2003)
  31. The Reader(2008)
  32. Requiem for a Dream(2000)
  33. Shaun of the Dead(2004)
  34. Sin City(2005)
  35. Sin Nombre(2009)
  36. Spartan(2004)
  37. Spider-Man(2002)
  38. Sunshine(2007)
  39. Tae Guk Gi(2004)
  40. Taken(2008)
  41. Things We Lost in the Fire(2007)
  42. Towelhead(2007)
  43. Unbreakable(2000)
  44. Unleashed(2005)
  45. Venus(2006)
  46. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit(2005)
  47. Watchmen(2007)
  48. Whale Rider(2002)
  49. The World's Fastest Indian(2005)
  50. The Wrestler(2008)

The Worst:
  1. The Departed(2006)*
  2. Kill Bill, volumes 1&2(2003/2004)*
  3. Slumdog Millionaire(2008)*
  4. 88 Minutes(2008)
  5. Basic Instinct 2(2006)
  6. A Beautiful Mind(2001)
  7. Borat(2006) 
  8. Catwoman(2004)
  9. Click(2007)
  10. Cloverfield(2008)
  11. Crash(2004) 
  12. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon(2000)
  13. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button(2008)
  14. Dawn of the Dead(2004)
  15. The Day After Tomorrow(2004)
  16. Death-Proof(2007)
  17. The Devil's Rejects(2005)
  18. Disaster Movie(2008)
  19. Fahrenheit 9/11(2004)
  20. Freddy vs. Jason(2003)
  21. Friday the 13th(2009)
  22. Halloween(2007)
  23. Halloween II(2009)
  24. High Fidelity(2000)
  25. Hostel, Part II(2007)
  26. I Know Who Killed Me(2007)
  27. Inglorious Basterds(2009)
  28. Knowing(2009)
  29. My Bloody Valentine(2009)
  30. Nature's Grave(2008)
  31. One Missed Call(2008)
  32. Planet of the Apes(2000)
  33. Prom Night(2008)
  34. Righteous Kill(2008)
  35. Rollerball(2002)
  36. The Room(2003)
  37. Signs(2001)
  38. Sleuth(2007)
  39. Snakes on a Plane(2006)
  40. The Spirit
  41. Superman Returns(2006)
  42. Train(2008)
  43. The Wicker Man(2006)
* You probably noticed that the first three "worst" films are out of alphabetical order. That's because those three boggle my mind. Two of them were Oscar winners. And for the life of me, I can't figure out why. They weren't terrible films, but I wouldn't even have put any of them in the top 10 for their respective years. I know people disagree over matters of taste, but I look at those films and I truly can't understand how anyone could possibly put those in a "best of" list. They're not terrible films. I just find them to be...mediocre, at best. The Departed, despite having a slew of great actors, was acted amazingly poorly, the bad accents made me wince (yeah, I'm talking to you, Sheen), and the plot was illogical and full of huge holes. Kill Bill is yet another mishmash of "stuff that Quentin thinks is cool," and I really resent that it was split into two films because a) it didn't need to be, and b)of course it was about the money. Get an editor, Quentin. That said, the second installment was much better. Slumdog is the one I am least offended by, but still...it's so caught up in its gimmick that you can never really become interested in the characters. Forget about the fact that we know the main character survives from the beginning, which tends to reduce any sense of suspense or danger we might feel. What really bothered me is that every time I started getting interested in the characters, the film jumped to a different time. To be honest, I would have rather watched a complete two-hour film about any of the various incarnations of the characters (like the young boy looking to meet his hero). I wanted a film that fully developed the characters. Instead, I feel like I got a bunch of different characters that I never really got to know, and consequently never cared about.

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