The Best Films of the Decade

For the longest time, I was resolved not to do this. A decade best list? Ugh! Too many movies have been made, most of which I haven't seen, for me to act brazenly enough to put together such an ambitious best-of list on so little. However, upon recently viewing Paul Harrill's Self-Reliant Film blog, I found a format I like for composing such a list. Below are the films that I found to be the most outstanding efforts of the aughts, listed in order of release (and then alphabetically) and not in any order that quantifies quality. I am not going to provide write-ups and explanations of my choices because I'd be sitting at this computer forever doing so. This is just a list. If you want rationales for why specific movies were included, e-mail me or write a comment. Like I said, these kind of lists are dialogue-starters if they function as nothing else. There was no set number or quota for the list. If the movie was exceptional to me in any way, I included it. Also, some of the movies you can't really "like" but can nonetheless acknowledge their importance to the development of the filmmaking art in this decade, and/or for bravely testing the boundaries of the form.

Almost Famous (Cameron Crowe, 2000)
Bamboozled (Spike Lee, 2000)
Eureka (Shinji Aoyama, 2000)
Mysterious Object at Noon (Arpichatpong Weerasethakul, 2000)
Platform (Jia Zhang-Ke, 2000)
Werckmeister Harmonies (Bela Tarr, 2000)
Gambling, Gods and LSD (Peter Mettler, 2001)
Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001)
Va Savoir (Jacques Rivette, 2001)
Ataranjuat: The Fast Runner (Zacharias Zunuk, 2002)
24-Hour Party People (Michael Winterbottum, 2002)
Y Tu Mama Tambien (Alfonso Cuaron, 2002)
The Best of Youth (Marco Tullio Giordana, 2003)
Elephant (Gus Van Sant, 2003)
Laissez-Passer (Bertrand Tavernier, 2003)
Saraband (Ingmar Bergman, 2003)
Downfall (Oliver Hirschbiegel, 2004)
Lost in Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2004)
Broken Flowers (Jim Jarmusch, 2005)
Cache (Michael Haneke, 2005)
Cruel But Necessary (Saul Rubinek, 2005)
Live and Become (Radu Mihaileanu, 2005)
Match Point
(Woody Allen, 2005)
Regular Lovers (Philippe Garrell, 2005)
The Yacoubian Building (Marwan Hamed, 2005)
The Free Will (Matthias Glasner, 2006)
Syndromes and a Century (Arpichatpong Weerasethakul, 2006)
Volver (Pedro Almodovar, 2006)
Into Great Silence (Phillip Groning, 2007)
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (Andrew Dominik, 2007)
Margot at the Wedding (Noah Baumbach, 2007)
No Country for Old Men (Joel Coen, 2007)
There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)
12 (Nikita Mikhalkov, 2007)
Zodiac (David Fincher, 2007)
Man on Wire (James Marsh, 2008)
Waltz With Bashir (Ari Folman, 2008)
Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino, 2009)
A Serious Man (Joel Coen, 2009)
The White Ribbon (Michael Haneke, 2009)



  1. Good list. I would definitely like to see David Lean's version of Mulholland Drive. It would be a simultaneously sprawling and claustrophobic.

  2. Oopsy! Ha ha. Need to fix that. I would like to see David Lean's Mulholland Drive myself! I guess that's what happens when you write something a 4:00 a.m. I would picture Bob from Twin Peaks jumping out from behind some sand dune and scaring poor old Lawrence to death. The Seven Pillars of Terror!