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The Top Films of the Decade: Honorable Mentions

Narrowing the films of the decade down to 101 of the best was a long and difficult process. Inevitably the list was not long enough, but it had to stop somewhere. Still, there were lots that didn’t make the cut, ranging from titles that really deserved inclusion to just good movies that I would have loved a chance to recommend. And so, I bring you the Honorable Mentions: an addendum of 99 titles that didn’t make the cut, separated into three tiers and ordered alphabetically. That’s a nice, round 200 total films: a pretty good number for the first decade of the 2000s.

Tier 1: The Great Regrets

Oh, how I wish I could have included these! Most of them appeared on the list at one point, but for one reason or another they were eventually supplanted. If I were to redraft it tomorrow, any one of them could make the cut as easily as something currently there. In any case, like the top 101, they are all must-see films.

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu, 2007)

Babel (Alejandro González Iñárritu, 2006)

Black Hawk Down (Ridley Scott, 2001)

Blame it on Fidel! (Julie Gavras, 2006)

Cast Away (Robert Zemeckis, 2000)

Changeling (Clint Eastwood, 2008)

Doubt (John Patrick Shanley, 2008)

The Fall (Tarsem Singh, 2006)

The Fog of War (Errol Morris, 2003)

Frozen River (Courtney Hunt, 2008)

Ghost World (Terry Zwigoff, 2001)

Good Night, and Good Luck. (George Clooney, 2005)

House of Sand and Fog (Vadim Perelman, 2003)

I’m Not There (Todd Haynes, 2007)

Into the Wild (Sean Penn, 2007)

Juno (Jason Reitman, 2007)

The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2006)

Michael Clayton (Tony Gilroy, 2007)

Notes on a Scandal (Richard Eyre, 2006)

The Passion of the Christ (Mel Gibson, 2004)

The Queen (Stephen Frears, 2006)

The Reader (Stephen Daldry, 2008)

Shotgun Stories (Jeff Nichols, 2007)

Son of Rambow (Garth Jennings, 2007)

Spellbound (Jeffrey Blitz, 2002)

Spider-Man 2 (Sam Raimi, 2004)

Star Trek (J.J. Abrams, 2009)

Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (Michael Winterbottom, 2005)

Tsotsi (Gavin Hood, 2005)

Up in the Air (Jason Reitman, 2009)

Water (Deepa Mehta, 2005)

Wonder Boys (Curtis Hanson, 2000)

Yi Yi (Edward Yang, 2000)

______________________________

Tier 2: The Good Ones

Depending how the wind was blowing that day, any of these might show up on the top list, but probably not. That doesn’t mean they aren’t great, stand-out films, though. They’re all rock-solid and deserve to be seen.

Amelie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001)

Best in Show (Christopher Guest, 2000)

Born into Brothels: Calcutta’s Red Light Kids (Zana Briski & Ross Kauffman, 2004)

Brick (Rian Johnson, 2005)

Collateral (Michael Mann, 2004)

Control Room (Jehane Noujaim, 2004)

An Education (Lone Scherfig, 2009)

Erin Brockovich (Steven Soderbergh, 2000)

Everything Is Illuminated (Liev Schreiber, 2005)

Friday Night Lights (Peter Berg & Josh Pate, 2004)

Gangs of New York (Martin Scorsese, 2002)

Good Bye Lenin! (Wolfgang Becker, 2003)

Gosford Park (Robert Altman, 2001)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Alfonso Cuarón, 2004)

In the Bedroom (Todd Field, 2001)

Inside Man (Spike Lee, 2006)

Into Great Silence (Philip Gröning, 2005)

Invictus (Clint Eastwood, 2009)

Lust, Caution (Ang Lee, 2007)

Moon (Duncan Jones, 2009)

Nobody Knows (Hirokazu Koreeda, 2004)

Once (John Carney, 2006)

Punch-Drunk Love (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2002)

Scotland, Pa. (Billy Morrissette, 2001)

Seraphim Falls (David Von Ancken, 2006)

Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2006)

Thank You for Smoking (Jason Reitman, 2005)

Ushpizin (Giddi Dar, 2004)

Vanilla Sky (Cameron Crowe, 2001)

Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Woody Allen, 2008)

White Oleander (Peter Kosminsky, 2002)

The Wrestler (Darren Aronofsky, 2008)

X2 (Bryan Singer, 2003)

______________________________

Tier 3: The Recommendations

You wouldn’t find any of these on my short-list of greatest films of the decade, but I’d happily sit down to watch them with you anytime. They’re all excellent entertainment (according to the conventions of their respective genres), and well worth a look.

Black Book (Paul Verhoeven, 2006)

Burn After Reading (Joel & Ethan Coen, 2008)

Charlie Wilson’s War (Mike Nichols, 2007)

The Cove (Louie Psihoyos, 2009)

Death at a Funeral (Frank Oz, 2007)

The Duchess (Saul Dibb, 2008)

Enemy at the Gates (Jean-Jacques Annaud, 2001)

Gran Torino (Clint Eastwood, 2008)

Hard Candy (David Slade, 2005)

The History Boys (Nicholas Hytner, 2006)

Idiocracy (Mike Judge, 2006)

Insomnia (Christopher Nolan, 2002)

Iron Man (Jon Favreau, 2008)

The Last King of Scotland (Kevin Macdonald, 2006)

Match Point (Woody Allen, 2005)

Matchstick Men (Ridley Scott, 2003)

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (Bharat Nalluri, 2008)

The Mist (Frank Darabont, 2007)

Monster Camp (Cullen Hoback, 2007)

Once Upon a Time in Mexico (Robert Rodriguez, 2003)

Orange County (Jake Kasdan, 2002)

Rent (Christ Columbus, 2005)

Revenge of the Sith (George Lucas, 2005)

Secondhand Lions (Tim McCanlies, 2003)

Sin City (Frank Miller & Robert Rodriguez, 2005)

Snatch. (Guy Ritchie, 2000)

Spider-Man (Sam Raimi, 2002)

Stranger Than Fiction (Marc Forster, 2006)

This Film Is Not Yet Rated (Kirby Dick, 2006)

Tropic Thunder (Ben Stiller, 2008)

The TV Set (Jake Kasdan, 2006)

Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (Steve Box & Nick Park, 2005)

Zombieland (Ruben Fleischer, 2009)

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~ by Jared on April 4, 2010.

One Response to “The Top Films of the Decade: Honorable Mentions”

  1. Most of your tier 2 would have made my tops list, esp: Goodbye Lenin!, Amelie, and Prison of Azkaban.

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