November 13, 2009


The 100 Best Films of the Decade: Art house or Blockbuster? Juno or Jason Bourne? Is The Bourne Supremacy really better than Brokeback Mountain? And if Finding Nemo made it, what the hell happened to Shrek? Tell us where we got it wrong, or right, and post your alternative lists below (Times of London, 11/06/09)

10 Hunger (Steve McQueen, 2008)
Provocative London-born artist McQueen directs a revelatory Michael Fassbender in a movie that purports to tackle the infamous 1981 IRA hunger strikes but is actually a hypnotic meditation on the ineffable mystery of human life. Achingly profound.

9 The Queen (Stephen Frears, 2006)
Compassionate and intelligent, witty and wicked, this account of what happened behind the Palace gates after the death of the Princess of Wales is a crown jewel of a movie. Helen Mirren is a very human HRH.

8 Casino Royale (Martin Campbell, 2006)
The high camp of the Brosnan era Bond is ditched, and Fleming’s hero returns rebooted (and Bourne-ified), with an intense turn from Daniel Craig, and some breakneck set-pieces. An opening parkour-style chase through Madagascar sets the tone.

7 The Last King of Scotland (Kevin Macdonald, 2006)
Forest Whitaker gives one of the great performances of the decade as Idi Amin. He nails the Ugandan dictator’s deadly charm — he’s a charismatic monster; part amiable buffoon, part stone-cold killer.

6 Slumdog Millionaire (Danny Boyle, 2008)
Twelve years after Trainspotting, Boyle produces a dizzying Mumbai-set romance that redefines the possibilities of a progressive yet commercially successful national industry. Oscars abound.

5 Team America: World Police (Trey Parker, 2004)
The South Park creators launch an assault on pretty much everyone, from North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il to poor, hapless Matt Damon. It’s jaw-droppingly offensive and wildly funny.

4 Grizzly Man (Werner Herzog, 2005)
Party nature documentary, part philosophical tract, Herzog’s eerie account of the life and brutal death of mildly unhinged bear-watcher Timothy Treadwell is a monumental piece of cinema — emotionally satisfying, intellectually stimulating, but primal to the core.

3 No Country for Old Men (Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, 2007)
The alchemic combination of the Coen brothers’ eloquent precision and Cormac McCarthy’s vivid nihilism makes for a bleakly compelling cycle of violence. The only thing more terrifying than Javier Bardem’s haircut is the clinical efficiency of his murders.

2 The Bourne Supremacy / The Bourne Ultimatum (Paul Greengrass, 2004, 2007)
The action movie is dragged, kicking and back-flipping, into the Noughties courtesy of Matt Damon’s amnesiac superspy and director Greengrass’s film-making élan. Marrying jittery docu-style camera work with healthy political cynicism, Greengrass transformed Bourne into an anti-Bond for the PlayStation generation.

1 Hidden (Cache) (Michael Haneke, 2005)
It is only as the decade draws to a close that it becomes clear just how presciently the Austrian director Michael Haneke tapped into the uncertain mood of the Noughties.

Haven't seen them all, but I'd add a few & rerank the Top 10 as follows:

1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

2. Lives of Others

3. Lord of the Rings Trilogy

4. Master & Commander

5. Bruce Almighty

6. Gladiator

7. Lagaan

8. Lady and the Duke

9. Wall*E

10. Dark Blue World

11. Night Watch

11. Donnie Darko

12. Zodiac

13. About Schmidt

14. Once

15. Lost in Translation

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 13, 2009 6:53 AM
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