Thursday, December 24, 2009

Hectic But Eclectic's Top 70 Films Of The Decade (2000-2009)

Here's another decade list for you. Even moreso than my albums list, I went more with personal connection for ranking. While the quality and achievement of a film plays heavily as well, it's ultimately the impression that the movie left on me that guided this list. Call it a list of passion if you may. As much as I admired and enjoyed Memento, I didn't feel strong enough about to it include it here, even though it's still a good film and I would recommend it to anyone. On the other side, I love to watch Josie & The Pussycats at just about any time, but can acknowledge that it is flawed, thus not giving me the heart to include it here. The reasoning applied for those two films is pretty much why this list is at 70 and not the traditional 100. I couldn't stand to put anything on here that didn't engage me immensely.

To go along with this list, I've included brief descriptions of what I felt was the best scene in each movie. For scenes that include a very important, yet not publicly known plot point, I used spoiler tags, so be careful of where you place your cursor because the text will highlight as soon as it touches it.

1. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (dir. by Michel Gondry, 2004)
Best scene: As the last remaining memories of Clementine slowly fade, Joel hears her whisper "Meet me in Montauk.

2. Good Night, And Good Luck (George Clooney, 2005)
Best scene: Edward Murrow runs the first story attacking Senator McCarthy.

3. 25th Hour (Spike Lee, 2002)
Best scene: Jacob follows Mary up the stairs in the club as Deee-Lite's "Groove Is In The Heart" plays.

4. Kill Bill: Volume 1 & 2 (Quentin Tarantino, 2003/2004)
Best scene: The opening fight between The Bride and Vernita Green, which is put on hold when Vernita's daughter shows up from school.

5. Children Of Men (Alfonso CuarĂ³n, 2006)
Best scene: The surrounding fighting halts as all the soldiers stop and stare at Kee's newborn baby.

6. Requiem For A Dream (Darren Aronofsky, 2000)
Best scene: The nightmarish montage of all the characters at the end of the movie.

7. Punch-Drunk Love (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2002)
Best scene: Barry confronts Dean Trombell in Provo, Utah.

8. The Incredibles (Brad Bird, 2004)
Best scene: Hidden away in a cave, Elastigirl/Helen tells her kids the severity of their situation and how grave of danger they're in.

9. United 93 (Paul Greengrass, 2006)
Best scene: The passengers storm the cockpit.

10. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee, 2000)
Best scene: Yu-Shu Lien pursues a mysterious thief across the rooftops of a village.

11. Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi & Vincent Paronnaud, 2007)
Best scene: Tragedy ensues when police give chase to young men who had been secretly partying with women.

12. The 40 Year Old Virgin (Judd Apatow, 2004)
Best scene: The revelation that Andy is a virgin is revealed at poker night.

13. Moulin Rouge (Baz Lurhmann, 2001)
Best scene: The can-can scene which segues into Satine singing "Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend."

14. Volver (Pedro Almodovar, 2006)
Best scene: Raimunda tearfully sings a song at a party and is reminded of her deceased mother.

15. Wall-E (Andrew Stanton, 2008)
Best scene: Wall-E and Eve dance in space.

16. Amelie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001)
Best scene: Amelie leads a blind man down the street and describes the sights.

17. The Wrestler (Darren Aronofsky, 2008)
Best scene: An apologetic Randy tries to make amends with his daughter down at the boardwalk.

18. The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson, 2001)
Best scene: Margot steps off the bus to meet Richie while Nico's "These Days" plays.

19. City of God (Fernando Meirelles, 2002)
Best scene:Benny is accidentally murdered at his going away party.

20. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)
Best scene: Daniel Plainview reluctantly places himself at the mercy of the church and is forced to repent.

21. Dave Chappelle's Block Party (Michel Gondry, 2005)
Best scene: Erykah Badu joins Jill Scott and The Roots onstage for "You Got Me."

22. Hotel Rwanda (Terry George, 2004)
Best scene: Paul Rusesabagina sees scores of murdered corpses through the mist scattered along the road.

23. AI: Artificial Intelligence (Steven Spielberg, 2001)
Best scene: David's adopted mother abandons him in the woods.

24. Ocean's 11 (Steven Soderbergh, 2001)
Best scene: The entire casino heist.

25. Traffic (Steven Soderbergh, 2000)
Best scene: A pregnant Helena Ayala is told to snort coke to prove she is trustworthy.

26. Let The Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, 2008)
Best scene: Eli tells Oskar that she has been young for a very long time.

27. Closer (Mike Nichols, 2004)
Best scene: Larry demands that Anna tells him every graphic detail of her extramarital affair.

28. Chicago (Rob Marshall, 2003)
Best scene: Roxie Hart sings onstage among mirrors and dancers.

29. Rachel Getting Married (Jonathan Demme, 2008)
Best scene: Kym makes an awkward speech at her sister's wedding rehearsal.

30. Almost Famous (Cameron Crowe, 2000)
Best scene: Penny Lane overdoses and gets her stomach pumped while Stevie Wonder's "My Cherie Amour" plays and Will watches on.

31. Sky Captain & The World of Tomorrow (Kerry Conran, 2004)
Best scene: Sky Captain is engaged in a dogfight flying through the buildings of New York City.

32. Waltz With Bashir (Ari Folman, 2008)
Best scene:Ari's suppressed memory comes back in a jarring switch from animation to live-action.

33. Hedwig & The Angry Inch (John Cameron Mitchell, 2001)
Best scene: The "Wig In A Box" number where Hedwig regains her confidence through wigs.

34. Sin City (Robert Rodriguez, 2005)
Best scene: John Hartigan takes away Roark Jr.'s pride for the second time.

35. Ponyo (Hayao Miyazaki, 2009)
Best scene: Ponyo runs across waves of water in a violent storm to reach Sosuke as he looks on in amazement.

36. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001)
Best scene: Diane wakes up and looks just like Betty, but is a failed actress instead.

37. Changing Lanes (Roger Mitchell, 2002)
Best scene: Gavin's wife tells him to be more aggressive at a restaurant.

38. Happy-Go-Lucky (Mike Leigh, 2008)
Best scene: Scott lashes out at Poppy during a driving lesson.

39. The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008)
Best scene: The Joker and his gang try to ambush Harvey Dent's convoy, but Batman shows up to thwart their plans.

40. The Fountain (Darren Aronofsky, 2006)
Best scene: Tomas drinks sap from the Tree of Life and transforms into grass.

41. The Lord Of The Rings series (Peter Jackson, 2001-2003)
Best scene: In The Return of the King, Aragorn arrives with the Army of the Dead to attack the Corsair ships.

42. Munich (Steven Spielberg, 2005)
Best scene: The plan to detonate a bomb through a phone goes awry as the intended target's daughter picks up the phone.

43. Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, 2005)
Best scene: Alma tearfully reveals her suspicions about Ennis and Jack.

44. No Country For Old Men (Joel & Ethan Coen, 2007)
Best scene: Anton Chigurh chases Llewelyn to a motel, where they engage in a public shootout.

45. Spider-Man 2 (Sam Raimi, 2004)
Best scene: Spider-Man chases Doctor Octopus on an elevated train through the city.

46. Far From Heaven (Todd Haynes, 2002)
Best scene: Frank goes to a gay bar looking for a sexual encounter.

47. The Class (Laurent Cantet, 2008)
Best scene: Souleymane surprisingly shines the most during a class project.

48. In The Loop (Armando Iannucci, 2009)
Best scene: Malcolm Tucker rips into the Minister for International Development and anyone else in his view after the Minister calls war "unforeseeable."

49. Y Tu Mama Tambien (Alfonso Cuaron, 2002)
Best scene: Things are awkwards between Julio and Tenoch as they wake up in bed together the next morning after they've had sex with each other.

50. House of Flying Daggers (Zhang Yimou, 2004)
Best scene: Leo and Jin fight an epic battle that lasts from fall to winter.

51. Slumdog Millionaire (Danny Boyle, 2008)
Best scene: Jamal and Latika's dance number at the train station.

52. Cache (Michael Haneke, 2005)
Best scene: Majid commits suicide in front of Georges.

53. Finding Nemo (Andrew Stanton, 2003)
Best scene: Marlin chases after a scuba diver who has taken Nemo.

54. Kung Fu Hustle (Stephen Chow, 2004)
Best scene: Coolie, Tailor and Donut defend Pig Sty Alley by fighting off hundreds of gangsters.

55. Unbreakable
(M. Night Shyamalan, 2000)
Best scene: At the hospital, David Dunn watches on as the last remaining passenger dies from a train wreck of which he suddenly becomes the only survivor.

56. Spellbound (Jeffrey Blitz, 2002)
Best scene: No particular stand outs, but anytime the focus turns to the spelling bee itself, things get tense.

57. X2: X-Men United (Bryan Singer, 2002)
Best scene: Nightcrawler runs amok in the White House.

58. Spartan (David Mamet, 2004)
Best scene: In the midst of a shoot-out, Scott rescues the President's daughter. She is still frantic and scared but not yet out of danger, so he tells her to "shut your fucking mouth."

59. Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2002)
Best scene: Chihiro and Zeniba take a train ride across water.

60. Pan's Labyrinth (Guillermo del Toro, 2006)
Best scene: Ofelia awakens the Pale Man and is instantly chased by him.

61. Death Proof (Quentin Tarantino, 2007)
Best scene: Stuntman Mike becomes the hunted and drives for his life away from four angry women seeking revenge.

62. Adaptation (Spike Jonze, 2002)
Best scene: The sequence towards the end where the movie switches from Charlie's writing style to Donald's action-packed approach.

63. Minority Report (Steven Spielberg, 2004)
Best scene: Anderton runs away from from flying cops, who are also his co-workers.

64. Coraline (Henry Selick, 2009)
Best scene: Coraline walks through a garden filled with lights in the "other world."

65. Lost In Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003)
Best scene: Taking a taxi to the airport, Bob sees Charlotte on the street and hops out of the car to say goodbye.

66. Monster's Ball (Marc Forster, 2001)
Best scene: Leticia breaks down as she watches her son die in the emergency room.

67. Superbad (Greg Mottola, 2007)
Best scene: Seth and Evan look on at each other as they go their separate ways at the mall with their respective objects of desire.

68. Speed Racer (Andy & Larry Wachowski, 2009)
Best scene: The opening scene and how it seamlessly flashes back between the past and the present race.

69. Black Hawk Down (Ridley Scott, 2001)
Best scene: A defenseless soldier is stuck in a helicopter and knows that death is imminent as a growing number of city dwellers surround him.

70. Capturing The Friedmans (Andrew Jarecki, 2003)
Best scene: Pretty much any argument that David is a part of.

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