Hey, Pete here.
So, I've been inspired by the decades lists over at the AV Club. The cool thing about the 2000's is that it is the first decade that I was really able to culturally immerse myself in. It includes my 4 years of high school, 4 years of college, and 2 years of "adulthood".
This decade was formative for me and I saw a lot of movies. In high school, my friends and I were transitioning from big budget blockbusters to more critically acclaimed film. College was my first real exposure to artsy cinema. Cape Girardeau did not see the release of many of my favorite movies this decade. I frequented the Landmark Theatres in St. Louis on weekends. I made a list of 70 great films I saw and it brought back a lot of great memories. Here are 25 films that stick with me and I see myself revisiting over and over again:
25. Iron Man
24. The Incredibles
23. Good Night, and Good Luck
20. Pan's Labrynth
19. Fantastic Mr. Fox
18. Almost Famous
17. Pirates of the Caribbean
16. Gangs of New York
15. Star Trek
14. Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
13. Big Fish
11. Squid and the Whale
10. An Education
9. Dark Knight
8. Kill Bill
7. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
5. Royal Tenenbaums
Wes Anderson is my favorite director. I think that Rushmore is his best film (made previous decade), but this one has the best overall style. Anderson's OCD attention to detail is in full force in this move, as is his perfect use of music. There is a very even balance between comedy and drama, making this a hard film to categorize. This movie is moving, hilarious, and beautiful.
This movie came out of nowhere for me. I went to see it on a whim and was blown away. It is a high school murder mystery film noir. The cinematography is exciting and the dialogue is incredibly clever. I can't believe this was Rian Johnson's first movie. Also, this Gordon-Levitt kid is going places, mark my words.
3. Shaun of the Dead
Best comedy of the decade! It really says something when, even after dozens of viewings, I still find new jokes every time I watch it This operates as both a romantic comedy and a zombie film, which is not an easy feat to pull off. I'm so ready for Edgar Wright to knock my socks off again with Scott Pilgrim next year.
True innovation is a rare thing in films these days. This movie is truly unique in its storytelling techniques. The backwards scene structure makes for a mind-screwing first viewing and rewarding repeat viewings. This movie is fun to watch and masterfully crafted. I still recommend this to anyone who has never seen it.
1. Lord of the Rings Trilogy
No set of films this decade ever seemed as immediately classic as this trilogy. The books seemed impossible to adapt, but Peter Jackson did it. My friends and I sat in the cold, waiting to be the first in line for these movies (we were nerds, if you couldn't guess). I saw the first film 6 times in theaters. These are some of my favorite movies of all time. They are the closest thing my generation has to Star Wars. Downside: they make most other fantasy movies seem disappointing.