Best Movies of the 2000s
Here are our picks for the best movies of the 00s!
Honorable Mention: Fantastic Mr. Fox
An oddly hilarious, and surprisingly emotional tale, Fantastic Mr. Fox is Wes Anderson's quirky take on the children's book of the same name. The voice talents of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, and Willem Dafoe bring these characters to life and the stop-motion animation magnificently make this world feel so real. It's a stunning achievement for the dying artform and a welcome addition to the vast cinematic landscape.
10. The Dark Knight
Visionary director Christopher Nolan's groundbreaking version of the Caped Crusader took off with Batman Begins, but was taken to new heights with it's follow-up The Dark Knight. Christian Bale delivers another great performance as Bruce Wayne/Batman and he's backed up by Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Maggie Ghylenhaal and both Aaron Eckhart and Heath Ledger who challenge our hero in different ways by attacking his morals, methods, and heart. The entire cast is up to the task of the incredible screenplay which features intense action sequences supported by an engaging story of crime and justice.
9. The Road
The best post-apocalyptic film to come of the decade was The Road based on Cormac McCarthy's best-selling novel about a father and son who strive to stay alive with their humanity intact after devastating events destroy civilization. Viggo Mortensen has never been better in the role of the father and Kodi Smit-McPhee is simply awesome as the boy with the two forcing us to put ourselves in their well-worn shoes. The bleak tone and look of the film lends itself to the dark and dreary story which still manages to find hope is in midst of hopelessness.
8. Iron Man
One of the best blockbusters of the past decade, Iron Man launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe which has since become the largest and most successful film franchise of all time. Bringing Robert Downey, Jr. back to the top of the Hollywood A-List, this perfect marriage of actor and character is Jon Favreau's best action film thanks to heavy doses of humor and lots of heart. The movie fascinated audiences with it's comedic tone, tech-heavy action scenes, and likeable protagonist who has a satisfying and enjoyable character arc.
7. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
With it's memorable soundtrack, strange storyline, and excellent cast, The Coen Brothers' O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a satirical take on 1930s American South and a modern version of Homer's The Odyssey. This triumphant cast does some amazing work here, especially George Clooney, Tim Blake Nelson, and John Turrturo who play escaped inmates on the hunt for buried treasure with a few hilarious detours along the way. It's completely original, smartly written, and highly entertaining.
6. Children of Men
An astonishing dystopian film from Alfonso Cuaron, Children of Men is a gritty and grimy look at the future of humanity. In a world where women can no longer get pregnant, Clive Owen's Theo must transport the only pregnant woman on the planet to safety from the dangerous countryside through the war-torn city streets. The outstanding camera work keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire runtime of this exciting thriller and makes you feel like you're in the middle of each and every shocking scene with it's visceral action.
5. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
The revolutionary fantasy film that changed movie-making is The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Taking a huge risk, director Peter Jackson shot all three films back-to-back-to-back in New Zealand with his up-and-coming cast of actors and actresses as they adapted the books of J.R.R. Tolkien onto film. Fully realizing the epic scope and scale of this story of honor and courage, the team behind-the-scenes did an amazing job with the costumes, sets, and visual effects to make the fantastical believable.
4. Star Trek
It's never easy to bring back a beloved franchise, but J.J. Abrams managed to do just that with his modern, fun take on Star Trek. It's an action-packed romp through space as we follow Chris Pine's Kirk and Zachary Quinto's Spock on a mission to take down a vengeful madman along with the rest of the brilliant cast of actors and actresses who make up the stalwart crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Grounding the story in emotion, the filmmakers do a superb job with the movie and succeed in making us all Trekkies.
M. Night Shyamalan's greatest film is this superhero thriller starring Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson. Subverting the genre, Night's take on comic book material is wholly original, making for a unique and intriguing character-centric thrill ride featuring Willis and Jackson at the top of their game. It's a stirring psychological story of a man who discovers that nothing can harm him as he tries to help people with his gifts, but finds himself manipulated by a mysterious figure who may not be what he seems. It also features affecting performances by Robin Wright, Spencer Treat Clark, and Charlayne Woodard.
Pixar has become a trusted studio when it comes to quality, but never have they put out a better film than in 2008 with WALL-E. There's no dialogue in it's first 30 minutes, yet it tells a story and helps us get to know our titular character following his monotonous programing on a desolate, polluted Earth. Soon things take off when he develops a meaningful relationship with a highly-advanced robot who arrives with a special mission. This is their most shamelessly romantic film, but it's also a future dystopian adventure with a cautionary tale for humanity featuring beautiful animation, a stellar voice cast, and wonderful music.
1. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
The best film of the 00s is Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Turning a theme park attraction into a feature film is a challenging task, but Gore Verbinski's adaptation of the Disney World ride is a bold and daring adventure on the high seas with fun and relatable characters, a forbidden romance, and plenty of swashbuckling action. It's got a tight and funny script by Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio, some genius cinematography from Dariusz Wolski, and an indelible score from Klaus Badelt and Hans Zimmer. It's incredible cast draws you in as Orlando Bloom's Will Turner is humble and noble, Keira Knightley plays Elizabeth Swann as curious and intelligent, Johnny Depp's peculiar Captain Jack Sparrow is enigmatic and captivating, and Geoffrey Rush is startling as the creepy and sinister Barbossa. This is pure escapism at it's best and brought back a long-dead genre in the vein of Captain Blood or Mutiny on the Bounty for a new generation.