I read far more books than I see movies ... and I am on far shakier grounds commenting on film than on literature ... but despite all that I decided just for the fun of it to put together a list of movies from the first decade of the 21st century that I have opinions about. We've started making plans for our annual Oscar-watching party, and my holiday break starts soon during which I should get to see a movie or two, and both got me thinking about the recent era in film. You'll see that it's all over the map, ranging from political/historical to Hollywood goofy. It's no doubt highly flawed in all sorts of ways but here I go wading in.
Faves: About A Boy, Across the Universe, Adaptation, A.I., Ali, Atonement, Be Kind Rewind, Best In Show, Bloody Sunday, Chuck and Buck, City of God, A Cock And Bull Story, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Dreamgirls, Elf, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Fast Food Nation, For Your Consideration, Girlfight, The Golden Compass, Gosford Park, The Great Debaters, I Really Hate My Job, Infamous, In the Valley of Elah, Lagaan, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, Lumumba, The Motorcyle Diaries, Mr. Bean's Holiday, Milk, O Brother Where Art Thou?, The Others, Pan's Labyrinth, The Quiet American, Paradise Now, Rabbit-Proof Fence, Requiem For A Dream, Shaun Of The Dead, Trouble The Water, The U.S. Vs. John Lennon, V For Vendetta, Vera Drake, Walk Hard The Dewey Cox Story, Whale Rider, The Wind That Shakes The Barley
Mixed feelings: Brokeback Mountain, Chicago, Crash, Dogville, Doubt, Frida, High School Musical, Hustle & Flow, Moulin Rouge
To see/high hopes. Of course I haven't seen most movies that came out. My Netflix list is impossibly long and since we switched to one movie at a time to save money we're going through it even slower than before. But these are a few high on the to-see list: Amores Perros, Billy Elliot, Dancer In The Dark, The Laramie Project, Lilya 4Ever, Maria Full of Grace, Under The Same Moon
Worst. Well yeah most movies are awful, but these I feel deserve special notice because they were reactionary in one way or another, were box-office hits, and/or received high praise of which they were deeply undeserving: A Beautiful Mind, Black Hawk Down, The Constant Gardener, The Dark Knight, The Fountain, Gangs Of New York, Gladiator, I Heart Huckabees, Juno, Knocked Up, The Last Samurai, The Lives Of Others, Munich, Stranger Than Fiction, Synecdoche NY, Talk To Her, There Will Be Blood, Vanilla Sky, Waltz With Bashir, When Darkness Falls, Zoolander
Finally, special notice to a film that was in pretty much every respect a train wreck and yet was oddly enjoyable: Mamma Mia.