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EW’s Best Movies of the Decade Re-Visited…

December 16, 2009

This past week EW released their Top Ten Movies of the past decade.    Here’s their list:

10.) Almost Famous

9.) Lost in Translation

8.) The 40-Year-Old Virgin

7.) Children of Men

6.) Moulin Rouge

5.) WALL -E

4.) The Dark Knight

3.) Gladiator

2.) Brokeback Mountain

1.) The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Not a bad list, overall.   It includes a nice combination of box office hits as well as indie films.

Still, I think I’ll make my own list below…

10.) Gosford Park – 2001

Robert’s Altman’s last great masterpiece is an old-fashioned pot-boiler mystery that’s really all about the characters.  In the end, the mystery is just a red herring.  Altman really was an actor’s director, bringing out amazing performances, most notably from Clive Owen and Kelly MacDonald.




9.) High Fidelity – 2001

Based on Nick Hornby’s most well-known novel, Stephen Frears and the writing team of Steve Pink and John Cusack transplanted the Brit tale to Chicago, creating a non-stop laughfest about how love so often defies logic.  Oh – and why Katrina and the Waves suck.


8.) Pan’s Labyrinth – 2006


Try and see this movie without either being A.) blown away by the complex symbolism  or B.) crying like a baby.  I dare you.



7.) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – 2004

Michael Gondry’s surreal vision of what happens when you forget to remember is one of the decade’s loopiest, most creative films.  Kate Winslet is always amazing, but kudos for Gondry for allowing Jim Carrey to dial down the mania to play the SANE half of the couple.

6.) Almost Famous – 2001

It’s always a tie for me which of Cameron Crowe’s films will hold up best over time:  Almost Famous or Say Anything.  The best thing about the former is that it reminds you of what it is like to be a part of something insanely great – even if it is fleeting.

5.)The Aviator – 2004

I adored The Departed, but I believe three decades from now, The Aviator is the Scorsese film most of us will be re-watching.  It is a perfect combination of bio-pic and feel-good Americana – tracking the life of such a bizzarre genius while watching the gorgeous decades fly by in quick succession.  There’s not a bum performance to be found anywhere.


4.) The Dark Knight – 2007

Thank you to Chris Nolan for reminding us that the best superheroes aren’t heroes at all.  It is the power of the everyman who cannot face his own destiny that compels us to feel for Nolan’s anti-hero.   This is what will make this film stand up to the test of time.

3.) Bridget Jones’s Diary – 2001

What?  A comedy you say?  Yep – a comedy that harkens back to the days when screenplays actually made sense and co-stars actually had chemistry.  As Bridget would write,  “Vry Vry Good.”

2.) Moulin Rouge – 2001

No other movie of the decade has been as innovative and addictive as Baz Luhrmann’s sugar-coated fantasy.  It’s the movie that moved the world to love “Like a Virgin” again for all the wrong reasons.  Every moment is gorgeous, every angle perfectly jarring.  To see this film is to awaken from the monotony of what the last half of the decade has unfortunately become…


1.) The Lord of the Rings Trilogy – 2000 – 2003


Peter Jackson’s timeless trilogy reminded us all why we still go to the theater.   Each movie stands on its own as an instant classic, that rare combination of stunning cinematography, a flawless script, and heartwarming performances.  A rare perfect storm that we might not see again for quite a long time.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jeff permalink
    December 18, 2009 3:17 am

    A few thoughts…

    1. I just don’t get the whole Almost Famous thing. It certainly wasn’t a bad movie by any stretch…but it just didn’t “ring” with me.

    2. Really, EW, Brokeback Mountain? See my comments above.

    3. I agree about Moulin Rouge. Talk about a movie that DID “ring” with me…

    4. I will be very interested to see how “The Dark Knight” holds up over time. Don’t get me wrong, it really is an awesome movie…but I wonder how much of the euphoria was propelled by the untimely death of Heath Ledger…

    5. I need to see Wall-E, Children of Men, and Pan’s Labrynth again. I liked Wall-E, but want to watch it again to see if I allow myself to get swept away by it this time. I think I fell asleep during Children of Men (not a bad comment about it, I just tend to fall asleep during movies). I know I REALLY liked Pan’s Labrynth…I just want to see it again.

    6. I really liked High Fidelity as well. Nice addition to your list.

    7. How ’bout Casino Royale? I know I have an unhealthy obsession with the Bond series reboot…but I think it gets a lot of credit AS a reboot (and a good movie by itself).

    8. Maybe I should just “shut up” and write my own list….

  2. December 18, 2009 1:25 pm

    If I had to pick a # 11 it would be Casino Royale. Maybe I wasn’t as enthused since Quantum of Solace…not that I should let that movie tarnish the other one!

    Number 12: Gangs of New York. I still think it has too many flaws (continuity and screenplay, plus Cameron Diaz) to make it on the top 10, although I love to watch it all the time as you well know!

    You know how I love Almost Famous – a good rite of passage movie gets me every time. I love that rock n’ roll lifestyle, of course. Cameron Crowe can be very hit and miss. Hit: Almost Famous, Say Anything Miss: Vanilla Sky, Elizabethtown. Quite a bit of difference, there…

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