2000’s

25. THERE WILL BE BLOOD

There Will Be Blood

269 LISTS | 74 TOP SPOTS
Paul Thomas Anderson | 158 mins | Drama
Daniel Day-Lewis | Paul Dano | Ciarán Hinds | Martin Stringer

“Daniel Day-Lewis doesn’t just chew the scenery, he eats it up, swallows it and spews back it out like the thick black oil that seeps through Paul Thomas Anderson‘s seething tale of corruption, ambition and industry. Anderson’s slow burn of a film meets the audience at the crossroads of capitalism and religion, and with vicious glee, rips them both to shreds. Beautifully composed, methodically paced, and scored to Jonny Greenwood‘s magnificent, percussive soundtrack, “There Will Be Blood” makes a case that the birth of the industrial revolution was also the beginning of a serious readjustment of the social moral barometer and sees it through to its shocking (and frothy) end. Bleak, dark and mesmerizing, Anderson’s film posits that oil runs deeper through the American psyche than we think.” – indieWIRE

24. UP IN THE AIR

238 LISTS | 59 TOP SPOTS
Jason Reitman | 109 mins | Comedy/Drama/Romance
George Clooney | Vera Farmiga | Anna Kendrick | Jason Bateman

“What do you call a movie that’s at once a lighter-than-air screwball comedy; a timely-as-today snapshot of an America torn and frayed by economic terror; and a fly-the-friendly-skies portrait of a lonely-rogue charmer who believes that his roving corporate lifestyle is the new secret of life? I call it the most originally enchanting movie of the year — and, just maybe, a new classic.
As Ryan Bingham, a carefree professional downsizer who leaps from airport to airport, carving out his own cookie-cutter pleasure zone, George Clooney gives the most finely honed, deeply etched performance of his life, mingling the effortless old-school-movie-star charisma of an idol like Clark Gable with a quietly contemporary, self-questioning melancholy that grows richer and more haunting as the film goes on. Vera Farmiga, as his sexy fellow traveler, and Anna Kendrick, as a perky bottom-line office chipmunk, bring an up-to-the-minute feminine vivacity to the screen, and director Jason Reitman, far more than he did in either Thank You for Smoking or Juno, proves a master of tone, blithely juggling romance and comedy, hope and despair. In Up in the Air, Reitman catches the mood of a new America, a place where everything, from travel to romance to firing people, is mediated through the seductive detachment of technology.
The movie is finally a portrait of loss: of careers in free fall, of a man who comes to see that his ”happy” existence, as he soars over the heaviness of life, is really a mirage. But the loss stings only because the film’s embrace of what really matters is so moving and true.” – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

23. ALMOST FAMOUS

Almost Famous

166 LISTS | 27 TOP SPOTS
Cameron Crowe | 122 mins | Adventure/Comedy/Drama
Billy Crudup | Patrick Fugit | Kate Hudson | Frances McDormand

“Huckleberry Finn as 15-year-old rock critic, in one of the best coming-of-age movies ever made. Writer-director Cameron Crowe based the film on his own experiences, when he was 15, convinced a Rolling Stone editor he was an adult, and was assigned to accompany the Allman Brothers on a road trip.
In the film, Patrick Fugit is perfectly cast as the young, bright, earnest kid who talks himself into a magazine assignment and goes on the road with a band named Stillwater. One performance after another is performed with uncanny accuracy: Billy Crudup as the rock-god lead guitarist, not as fearsome as he looks; Kate Hudson as the groupie Penny Lane, who adores the Crudup character but takes sympathy on the kid; Frances McDormand as the hero’s mother, trusting him on this first step into adulthood but laying down the law about drugs and lecturing Crudup over the phone in a classic scene; and Jason Lee, as the lead singer, who wants better billing on the T-shirts.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

22. Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN

Y Tu Mama Tambien

190 LISTS | 23 TOP SPOTS
Alfonso Cuarón | 106 mins | Drama
Maribel Verdú | Gael García Bernal | Daniel Giménez Cacho | Ana López Mercado

“Part penetrating drama, part randy sex comedy, Alfonso Cuarón’s road trip fantasy Y Tu Mamá También was a blast of sheer liberation the likes of which is rarely, if ever, seen in films from our country. Much was made about the volume of all-clothes-barred sex scenes, but the film isn’t merely an excuse to stage the down-and-dirty escapades of its two horny teenage heroes (Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna). Cuarón instead probes into the emotions masked by youthful carnal pursuits of the opposite sex, revealing a lot of bumpy truths in the journey from adolescence to adulthood that films like American Pie wouldn’t know what to do with. The film begins with an infectious jubilance but winds up at a merciless crossroads of confusion and shame.” – Chuck Rudolph, Slant Magazine

21. A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE

A HIstory of Violence

289 LISTS | 42 TOP SPOTS
David Cronenberg | 96 mins | Drama/ Thriller
Viggo Mortensen | Maria Bello | Ed Harris | William Hurt

“The best movie of the year. Why? Because it stays with you the longest, stands up to repeat viewings and shoots out exciting ideas with a velocity and power no gun could match. Thank David Cronenberg for that, and for turning a genre film about a small-town husband and father (Viggo Mortensen), who may be a stone killer, into a study of how we wrap our jones for violence in God, country, family and any other excuse that’s handy. You know the drill. So does George Bush. Mortensen is so good that you don’t fully appreciate the gravitational pull of his performance until you take it home and let it live inside your head. Maria Bello is a force of nature as his lawyer wife, who is both frightened and turned on by the stranger she finds in the man she married. The acting is flawless, with a special nod to the mesmerizing, mind-bending William Hurt for a demonically funny portrait of evil. You won’t forget the words “Jesus, Joey” once you hear Hurt say them. What Cronenberg offers here is a master class in directing. The slaughter in the front yard is a scene for the time capsule. The man with a genius for locating what festers beneath fragile flesh in films such as The Fly, Dead Ringers, The Brood Videodrome and Spider has never won an Oscar, or even been nominated for one. Jesus, Joey.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

20. SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE

267 LISTS | 55 TOP SPOTS
Danny Boyle and Loveleen Tandan | 120 mins | Drama/Romance
Dev Patel | Freida Pinto | Saurabh Shukla | Anil Kapoor

“Danny Boyle masterfully applies his “Trainspotting” dichotomy – the humorous and horrific sharing equal screen time, occasionally at the same moment – with this story of a Mumbai orphan who perseveres like a Dickens hero amid police torture, fraternal betrayal and child mutilation. The film has a wickedly joyous heartbeat as fate carries a lowly “slumdog” to fame, fortune and a reunion with the lost love he’s been seeking all his life.” – David Germain, Associated Press

19. GHOST WORLD

Ghost World

184 LISTS | 19 TOP SPOTS
Terry Zwigoff | 111 mins | Comedy/Drama
Steve Buscemi | Thora Birch | Scarlett Johansson | Brad Renfro

“Terry Zwigoff and Daniel Clowes have adapted Mr. Clowes’s comic book into the best movie about youthful disaffection since ”The Graduate,” a rigorous, sympathetic, tartly funny story of the search for authenticity in a world dominated by phoniness. Thora Birch’s performance stands out as one of the truest portraits of an angry girl on the edge of adulthood ever committed to film.” – A.O. Scott, New York Times

18. MULHOLLAND DR.

Mulholland Drive

190 LISTS | 23 TOP SPOTS
David Lynch | 147 mins | Drama/Mystery/Thriller
Naomi Watts | Laura Harring | Justin Theroux | Jeanne Bates

“The first film in David Lynch’s quixotic, ironic style that I’ve liked — and I really liked it. A Hollywood dreamscape, involving the elements of film noir and backstage tarnished tinsel, plus sex, crime and intrigue, all turned in upon itself like a Mobius strip; everything leads to everything else, but there is no beginning and no end. Every single scene is compelling and fascinating, so we’re drawn in — but to what? Laura Harring and Naomi Watts play the two heroines. Or is there one heroine? Or is she a heroine?” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

17. UP

254 LISTS | 31 TOP SPOTS
Pete Docter and Bob Peterson | 96 mins | Animation/Adventure/Comedy
Edward Asner | Jordan Nagai | John Ratzenberger | Christopher Plummer

“After a lifetime lived cautiously on the ground, a grouchy old widower ties thousands of balloons to his house and flies away on an adventure that delivers a new view of his familiar world. The unusual approach to air travel provides Up with its succinct title — not to mention a thrilling image of what it means to have a home in the sky. But this marvelous, moving, funny, and all-in-all beautiful modern animated classic from the remarkable House of Pixar lives up to its name on a deeper level, too: Every aspect of director Pete Docter’s creation is devised to lift the spirits of young and old viewers alike, elevating the art of movie storytelling along the way through the inspired use of sophisticated animation.” – Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

16. THE QUEEN

The Queen

268 LISTS | 23 TOP SPOTS
Stephen Frears | 103 mins | Biography/Drama/History
Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell, Alex Jennings

“The populace well knows that, by royal decree, Helen Mirren is this year’s queen of queens: Her Elizabeth II invites closer, fairer access to a modern monarch than any performance in memory, and Mirren deserves each and every honor bestowed upon her by the rulers of Hollywood. What this non-subject of the realm would like to celebrate now, however, is the movie beyond the movie star, with its astute observations about the tensions between tradition and change, responsibility and popularity, public display and private feeling, glamour and reliability (not to mention queen and prime minister). You thought you had soaked up every scrap available regarding the 1997 death of Princess Diana? Think again.” – Lisa Swarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

15. BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN

Brokeback Mountain

320 LISTS | 72 TOP SPOTS
Ang Lee | 134 mins | Drama/Romance
Jake Gyllenhaal | Heath Ledger | Michelle Williams | Randy Quaid

“If Heath Ledger has attracted so much attention for his performance in ”Brokeback Mountain” it’s partly because he has finally made good on his early overhyped promise and partly because his character in Ang Lee’s romantic tragedy, Ennis Del Mar, represents a kind of impacted masculinity that a lot of us recognize: I don’t know a single straight woman who hasn’t been involved with a man as emotionally thwarted as Ennis, the man who can’t tell you how he feels because he may not honestly know. And because the film is, in many respects, about how difficult it is to live in a culture that punishes men who give the appearance of being too soft, too weak and too feminine, I imagine that a lot of men, gay and straight, recognize Ennis, too.
Unlike Ennis, Jake Gyllenhaal’s doe-eyed Jack Twist wears desire as openly as pain. Without his sensitive performance, without his ache and yearning, ”Brokeback Mountain” wouldn’t work half as well as it does. The beauty of the performance is fully evident in the scene in which the older Jack remembers when Ennis gently wrapped his arms around him during the men’s first summer together. It’s a devastating moment both because it juxtaposes the men’s idyllic past with their difficult present, and because it reminds us of how memories live inside us as promises, rebukes and ghosts. When the scene returns to the present, you see in this man’s face a lifetime of hope blur together with a lifetime of disappointment, as well as the beginning of the lovers’ end.” – Manohla Dargis, New York Times

14. INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS

270 LISTS | 36 TOP SPOTS
Quentin Tarantino | 153 mins | Adventure/Drama/War
Brad Pitt | Diane Kruger | Eli Roth | Mélanie Laurent

“Quentin Tarantino is a natural and joyous filmmaker who feeds off his own tory story that fearlessly rewrites history. It finally comes down to a conflict between a fatuous Nazi monster (Chrisophe Waltz) and a fearless French Jewish heroine (Mélanie Laurent), with Brad Pitt as a knife wielding American commando leader. You have to hand him this: it’s one World War Two movie where we don’t know the ending. Waltz won best actor at Cannes 2009, has swept the critic’s awards, is a shoo-in as best supporting actor.” – Roger Ebert

13. THE DARK KNIGHT

297 LISTS | 78 TOP SPOTS
Christopher Nolan | 152 mins | Action/Crime/Drama
Christian Bale | Heath Ledger | Aaron Eckhart | Michael Caine

“When this magnificently despairing, anarchic follow-up to Batman Begins was first released last summer, the death of bright talent Heath Ledger was still so fresh that every minute of his indelible turn as the Joker pro­voked shocks of pain as well as of plea­sure. Watched again with the passage of time and the changing, too, of the American political landscape, Christo­pher Nolan’s triumph of comic-book relevance, starring Christian Bale as a superhero uneasy with his calling in a city anesthetized to matter-of-fact evil, takes on new and even more poignant shadings of relevance.” – Lisa, Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

12. UNITED 93

United 93

280 LISTS | 59 TOP SPOTS
Paul Greengrass | 111 mins | Drama/History/Thriller
David Alan Basche, Olivia Thirlby, Liza Colón-Zayas, J.J. Johnson

“In its scary and lacerating way, a revelation: For most of Paul Greengrass’ amazing, hair-trigger 9/11 vérité thriller, we’re not just sitting back and watching a terrorist attack — we’re right on that plane, along with the passengers, living their fear, imagining what we would do, experiencing the shuddery charge of their bravery as they try to seize control of the plane from suicidal Islamic hijackers and, in a moment, alter the destiny of a world that has opened into an abyss beneath them. The bogus question turned into a mantra by the media — is it ”too soon” for a movie like United 93? — really translates as: Do American audiences want to feel this close to this actual a tragedy when they go to the movies? Maybe not. Maybe it’s about time they did.” – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

11. CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

198 LISTS | 54 TOP SPOTS
Ang Lee | 120 mins | Action/Adventure/Fantasy
Yun-Fat Chow | Michelle Yeoh | Ziyi Zhang | Chen Chang

“Ang Lee’s rapturous reinvention of the martial arts film is a sumptuous love story, set in an epic ancient China of intricate palaces and luminous green mountains. Wrapped around it are a series of action sequences that have brought back to the movies the kind of pure and magical joy we have almost forgotten: you watch this film with the same feeling of transport you had as a child, when you first sat in the dark and saw those dreamlike images flickering on the giant screen. Beautifully directed, and acted with stern grace by Chow Yun-Fat, one of the screen’s most dignified and charismatic performers, and Michelle Yeoh, an icon of bittersweet beauty. Easily the best movie of the year.” – Jay Stone, Ottawa Citizen

10. THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING

The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King

272 LISTS | 92 TOP SPOTS
Peter Jackson | 201 mins | Adventure/Drama/ Fantasy
Elijah Wood | Viggo Mortensen | Ian McKellen | Orlando Bloom

“’Well, I’m back.’ That’s Sam the hobbit speaking, succinctly marking his place at the end of The Return of the King. But it’s also me speaking – and millions like me – back for one last time in thrall to the movie magic that mortals have conjured in The Lord of the Rings. Out of J.R.R. Tolkien’s literacy epic, New Zealand director Peter Jackson has fashioned a cinematic masterwork, a trilogy that has stood as a classic since our first glimpse of the bucolic Shire in The Fellowship of the Ring, back in 2001. And in his concluding chapter, Jackson has established a new template of grandeur for the Big Finish: a 200-minute saga that feels huge but scaled for humans, massive but urgent. The Return of the King is a visual spectacle, a state-of-the-art display of technical flair, and a showpiece of plot density and narrative rhythms. But what moves us more is our identification with the stakes these mythical characters are fighting for, men and elves and hobbits alike – notions of enslavement and freedom made powerfully relevant by the grace of the filmmaker’s storytelling. The digitally created monsters are awesome; the organically created feeling of pertinence to our own embattled world is even more profound. It’s why we feel we too have alighted from a transforming journey at the trilogy’s end. And why we’ll keep coming back to reexperience the voyage.” – Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

9. THE DEPARTED

The Departed

307 LISTS | 50 TOP SPOTS
Martin Scorsese | 151 mins | Crime/Drama/Thriller
Tommy Lee Jones | Javier Bardem | Josh Brolin | Woody Harrelson

“Crime in the streets. A Martin Scorsese specialty, from Mean Streets to GoodFellas. So what’s so special about The Departed that I’m calling it the best movie of 2006? For starters, it’s a new high in a historic career. The Boston crime milieu scrupulously laid out in William Monahan’s screenplay sparks something fresh in Scorsese about how moral corruption begins in childhood and festers in adult life. The acting, from Jack Nicholson’s Irish mobster to Mark Wahlberg’s hothead sergeant, is top of the line. And Leonardo DiCaprio, as an undercover cop, and Matt Damon, as an undercover criminal, give the performances of their lives. Scorsese orchestrates acting, writing, editing, production design and camera placement into a model of what directing is when craft rises to the level of art.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

8. ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

352 LISTS | 77 TOP SPOTS
Michel Gondry | 108 mins | Drama/ Romance/Sci-Fi
Jim Carrey | Kate Winslet | Tom Wilkinson | Gerry Robert Byrne

“Any year that produces Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a great one for movies. In fact, I’m a little dismayed that not everyone shares my conviction that this is an inexhaustible masterpiece and, by a wide margin, the best film in many years. I don’t rubber-stamp every Charlie Kaufman picture; I thought he boxed himself into a corner at the end of the otherwise marvelous Being John Malkovich, and Adaptation, despite its rollicking wit and invention, struck me as a conceptual dead-end. But in Eternal Sunshine, Kaufman moves the boundary posts of romantic comedy—what Stanley Cavell calls the “genre of remarriage”—by infusing it with the futuristic neuroscience (and paranoia) of Philip K. Dick. In the greatest remarriage comedies, enduring romantic happiness is only possible by falling in and out of love with the same person—your true love often being difficult to live with yet impossible to forget. But by forcing yourself to forget—sometimes just to go on living—you lose a part of your soul. Kaufman made the memory purge literal and the process by which the memories leak back into the psyche literal, too. What a journey: By the time the protagonist has circled in on the moment he found his soul mate, all traces of her have blown away. This is Orpheus and Eurydice in reverse: the one-way ticket to the underworld is not looking back. Michel Gondry brings all his delirious visual imagination to bear on this precarious lover’s mindscape, and the performances are heartbreaking—Jim Carrey the straightjacketed clown, Kate Winslet the rash, unstable, desperately unhappy romantic. If you didn’t get it, see it again. If you didn’t like it, I am so, so sorry—for us both.” – David Edelstein, Slate

7. MEMENTO

Memento

252 LISTS | 44 TOP SPOTS
Christopher Nolan | 113 mins | Mystery/Thriller
Guy Pearce | Carrie-Anne Moss | Joe Pantoliano | Mark Boone Junior

“Thriller is a rod that long ago lost its thrill. This year, though, a fascinating evolutionary zigzag in movie culture took place: The thriller became the prestige enthrallment of choice. Sexy Beat, The Deep End, even In the Bedroom, with its domestic fusion of torment and firearms – these, in their disparate ways, were the new art thrillers. The greatest of them all, and the most cathartic and haunting movie experience I had this year, was Memento. For 113 spellbinding minutes, Christopher Nolan’s visionary film noir places us directly inside the furiously revolving tape-loop brain of a man who has lost his short-term memory, his identity, maybe even his sanity, and who therefore clutches at every waking moment as if it held the answer to life itself. The audience clutches right along with him. Structured not so much backwards as sideways, so that the past and the future appear to be crashing, with atomic fury, from both ends into the present, Memento turns the very process of watching a movie into an investigation of how a splintered modern soul assembles itself into being. Guy Pearce, in the performance of the year, invests each tentative, do-or-die encounter with a volcanic desperation made flesh. The billboard of clues tattooed on his body – the ultimate To Do list – suggests nothing less than crucible of the information age. Memento was scary, hypnotic, and profound. In a word, thrilling.” – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

6. WALL-E

WALL-E

339 LISTS | 47 TOP SPOTS
Andrew Stanton | 98 mins | Animation/Adventure/Family
Ben Burtt | Elissa Knight | Jeff Garlin | Fred Willard

“Most smart filmmakers want to parade their facility with all the tools in the modern movie box. Andrew Stanton, the director and cowriter of the Pixar animated feature WALL-E, experimented with what talking pictures could plausibly do without. Talking, for example: the first third of the movie has almost no dialogue. How about depriving the two main characters — the humble, lonely trash compacter WALL-E and his space princess EVE — of emotional signifiers like a mouth, eyebrows, shoulders, elbows? Yet with all the limitations he imposed on himself and his robot stars, Stanton still connected with a huge audience. Great science-fiction love stories (there aren’t many) will do that. So will futurist adventures that evoke the splendor of the movie past. A dirt-of-the-earth guy hooking up with the ultimate ethereal gal, WALL-E and EVE could be the 29th century version of Tracy and Hepburn, or Seth Rogen and any attractive woman. It hardly matters that the movie is not-quite-silent, when it blends art and heart as spectacularly as WALL-E does.” – Richard Corliss, TIME

5. FAR FROM HEAVEN

Far From Heaven

252 LISTS | 44 TOP SPOTS
Todd Haynes | 107 mins | Drama
Julianne Moore | Dennis Quaid | Dennis Haysbert | Patricia Clarkson

“From the earliest days of Hollywood moviemakers have tried to re-create the past on film. The beauty, and genius, of Todd Haynes’ daydream of a 1950s Hollywood soap opera is the way that it re-creates the synthetic glories of the movie past, only to turn them into a universal canvas of hidden romantic longing. Haynes, in an act of technical and imaginative audacity, conjures the domestic hothouse world of director Douglas Sirk down to the last exquisitely too-perfect autumn leaf and cocktail-noir camera angle. Yet it isn’t just the candied retro look of Far From Heaven that is brought off with such nimble virtuosity; so is its rapturous atmosphere of retro passion. Playing characters who are trapped, without knowing it, in a world that insists on straightening every last kink of romantic craving, Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid, and Dennis Haysbert turn their wholesome dialogue into pure poetry, a conduit for emotions too forbidden to be expressed. Haynes embraces the fakery of old Hollywood, but he loves its sincerity, too. As you watch Far From Heaven, the movie seems to keep asking whether this lavishly repressed landscape of ‘50s suburban artifice could possibly be our world as well. The answer, of course, is that it is and always will be – as long as decorum fights desire, and as long as our dreams of fulfillment remain inseparable from the movies that helped shape them.” – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

4. SIDEWAYS

Sideways

385 LISTS | 78 TOP SPOTS
Alexander Payne | 127 mins | Comedy/Drama/Romance
Paul Giamatti | Thomas Haden Church | Virginia Madsen | Sandra Oh

“Two washouts – a failed novelist (Paul Giamatti) and a horn-dog actor (Thomas Haden Church) dreading his impending marriage – hit California wine country, get wasted and pick up two waitresses (Virginia Madsen and Sandra Oh). And this I’m calling the best movie of the year? You better believe it. Sideways has it all: Sublime acting; acutely perceptive direction by Alexander Payne, who wrote the model of a script with Jim Taylor; and a way of getting inside the heads of its characters until the details of their obsessions, their language and their coping mechanisms for failure in life and love hold up a mirror for all of us to gaze at our flawed selves. It’s the only perfect movie of 2004.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

3. NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

No Country for Old Men

379 LISTS | 101 TOP SPOTS
Ethan Coen and Joel Coen | 122 mins | Crime/Drama/Thriller
Tommy Lee Jones | Javier Bardem | Josh Brolin | Woody Harrelson

“No guts, no glory. That’s my standard for giving pride of place to the year’s best movies. I’m not looking for formal perfection, just the passion and exhilaration of personal filmmaking that walks the high wire and dares to fall on its ass. For me, no 2007 film experience had more creative juice than No Country for Old Men, a transfixing meditation on good and evil that enabled writer-directors Joel and Ethan Coen to forge a blood connection with Cormac McCarthy’s novel. Javier Bardem gives a career performance as the villain, and Tommy Lee Jones as a sheriff and Josh Brolin as a thief match him repping law and moral disorder. Screw the whining about the gore (grow up, we’re a violent country) and an ending that no one gets except those who pay attention. I challenge you to name a better, more blistering movie this year. Call it, Friendo.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

2. LOST IN TRANSLATION

Lost in Translation

320 LISTS | 51 TOP SPOTS
Sofia Coppola | 102 mins | Drama/Romance
Bill Murray | Scarlett Johansson | Giovanni Ribisi | Anna Faris

“You’ve read enough about this movie by now, haven’t you? Emotionally and visually, it’s pitch-perfect; with this one film, Sofia Coppola jumps to the head of the indie-god class. (Quentin’s got to get out of the basement and return all those Hong Kong videos.) Bill Murray deserves the Oscar and might even get it; Scarlett Johansson is almost as good but won’t win anything (except the, um, hearts of guys all over the world). Making a movie about Yanks in a bizarro-world foreign culture is kind of cheating, and using karaoke scenes as a shorthand for falling in love is really cheating. But somehow Coppola makes it all work; she takes the fraught topic of older-guy/younger-woman love and cooks it down to irreducible human reality. It’s a miniature, but it’s a wonderful miniature.” – Andrew O’Hehir, Salon

1. THE HURT LOCKER

349 LISTS | 71 TOP SPOTS
Kathryn Bigelow | 131 mins | Drama/Thriller/War
Jeremy Renner | Anthony Mackie | Brian Geraghty | Guy Pearce

“Kathryn Bigelow’s nail-bitingly intense Iraq War movie works on multiple levels: it’s at once a smashing action film, an astute study of warrior psychology, a tribute to the courage of the men who risk their lives working on bomb-detonation squads, and a cautionary tale about a man’s addiction to danger. War, for Jeremy Renner’s adrenaline-hooked hero, is the ultimate drug. Bigelow has always been a superb director of action; here she surpasses herself.” – David Ansen, Newsweek

Full Top 100:

RTITLEL#1ARL%#1%TCLTCL1TCL%TCL1%Year
1The Hurt Locker349713.8565%15%1784162%15%2009
2Lost in Translation318513.5963%12%2053463%12%2003
3No Country for Old Men3781013.4662%19%2035263%18%2007
4Sideways384783.6762%15%2345065%16%2004
5Far From Heaven248443.7859%13%1552659%13%2002
6WALL-E338473.9658%9%1672654%10%2008
7Memento220383.9357%12%1201752%9%2001
8Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind351773.8557%14%1893752%12%2004
9The Departed307503.7456%11%1683054%11%2006
10The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King270913.9254%21%1665451%19%2003
11Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon196533.7953%18%1253960%24%2000
12United 93280593.9151%12%1543050%11%2006
13The Dark Knight296783.5751%15%1373044%11%2008
14Inglourious Basterds270363.9550%8%1311746%6%2009
15Brokeback Mountain320723.4150%13%1933752%11%2005
16The Queen268234.3149%5%1541550%5%2006
17Up254314.3647%6%1191541%6%2009
18Ghost World183114.7247%3%119851%4%2001
19Mulholland Dr.183294.1847%9%1151949%10%2001
20Slumdog Millionaire267553.7346%11%1292742%10%2008
21A History of Violence289424.1845%8%1913751%11%2005
22Y Tu Mama Tambien189234.3145%7%1131943%9%2002
23Almost Famous163273.9044%9%83940%5%2000
24There Will Be Blood269743.5644%14%1544048%14%2007
25Up in the Air238594.3644%12%1153140%12%2009
26You Can Count On Me162154.4344%5%1031150%7%2000
27Milk252234.5644%5%1181138%4%2008
28Adaptation181184.2343%5%1101142%5%2002
29Mystic River216404.1543%9%1302740%10%2003
30Good Night, and Good Luck.268224.1042%4%1451139%3%2005
31Capote267434.0542%8%1461839%6%2005
32The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring161383.8442%12%902439%12%2001
33Amelie161224.7942%7%891238%6%2001
34American Splendor209194.1642%4%1331041%4%2003
35Traffic150264.0741%9%851241%7%2000
36Finding Nemo203104.4340%2%122538%2%2003
37The Aviator246354.3340%7%1421539%5%2004
38The Wrestler225264.4839%5%1071235%5%2008
39A Serious Man206214.0539%4%1231343%5%2009
40Zodiac231284.5538%5%1272039%7%2007
41Fantastic Mr. Fox204114.7438%2%116640%2%2009
42The Incredibles229174.3437%3%1421039%3%2004
43In The Bedroom143154.0337%5%901139%6%2001
44Little Miss Sunshine197174.8336%4%98632%2%2006
45Shrek138104.4836%3%80634%3%2001
46Before Sunset220404.1136%7%1452940%9%2004
47Moulin Rouge137194.2035%6%711030%5%2001
48Million Dollar Baby215353.8035%7%1392638%8%2004
49Borat19095.0535%2%97631%2%2006
50About Schmidt145163.9735%5%831132%5%2002
51King Kong214274.8933%5%1221433%4%2005
52Gangs of New York139194.4733%6%831332%6%2002
53In The Mood For Love126163.6033%5%871237%6%2001
54The Royal Tenenbaums127124.6233%4%84736%4%2001
55Pan's Labyrinth180234.5633%5%1101836%6%2006
56Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers137194.0733%6%79830%4%2002
57Erin Brockovich11734.9632%1%54126%1%2000
58Crash198324.2431%6%971926%6%2005
59Chicken Run11364.8331%2%61429%2%2000
60Wonder Boys11354.5231%2%70334%2%2000
61Chicago129194.3931%6%651025%5%2002
62The Squid and the Whale194194.4430%3%1291034%3%2005
63Juno180174.3130%3%84926%3%2007
64Talk to Her121134.1229%4%83932%4%2002
65Kill Bill: Vol. 114495.1429%2%95629%2%2003
66Letters from Iwo Jima157253.9929%5%911429%5%2006
67The Diving Bell and the Butterfly172304.1728%6%892128%7%2007
68Gladiator10494.6028%3%52325%2%2000
69Capturing the Friedmans142164.4428%4%92828%3%2003
70The Curious Case of Benjamin Button163154.1928%3%74524%2%2008
714 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days168174.0528%3%100931%3%2007
72Let the Right One In162155.1128%3%89929%3%2008
73Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World139115.1128%3%88827%3%2003
74Ratatouille167114.5828%2%85826%3%2007
75Dancer In The Dark10084.3027%3%60429%2%2000
76Punch-Drunk Love114104.5527%3%70727%3%2002
77Kill Bill: Vol. 216784.6527%1%99427%1%2004
78Children of Men145294.1326%6%871428%5%2006
79Once159124.7926%2%80725%2%2007
80Munich167234.2526%4%981126%3%2005
81District 914055.2926%1%55219%1%2009
82Spirited Away109114.2726%3%841032%5%2002
83In America131134.8126%3%76823%3%2003
84Grizzly Man164104.3126%2%103628%2%2005
85Requiem For A Dream9474.8926%2%51525%3%2000
86Man on Wire14754.8725%1%84127%0%2008
87Avatar135194.7725%4%51418%2%2009
88Rachel Getting Married146144.9725%3%80826%3%2008
89The Pianist106114.2925%3%70727%3%2002
90Frost/Nixon14374.7625%1%77325%1%2008
91I'm Not There148204.8524%4%861327%5%2007
92Waking Life9474.9724%2%65428%2%2001
93Half Nelson13375.1224%1%71323%1%2006
94Happy-Go-Lucky140124.6224%2%80526%2%2008
95Kinsey14874.8924%1%87224%1%2004
96High Fidelity8814.9824%0%42020%0%2000
97The Man Who Wasn't There9225.6724%1%53223%1%2001
98Into the Wild141144.5623%3%69721%2%2007
99Bowling For Columbine9744.9023%1%58122%0%2002
100Precious12494.4023%2%53518%2%2009

R Rank
L Total number of lists where the film was selected as one of the top 10 films of the year
AR Average position on ranked top 10 lists
#1 Total number of lists where the film was selected as the best film of the year
L% Percentage of total lists where the film was selected as one of the top 10 films of the year
#1% Percentage of mentions where the film was selected as the best film of the year
TCL Number of times that the film was selected as one of the top 10 films of the year on top critics’ lists
TCL1 Number of times that the film was selected as the best film of the year on top critics’ lists
TCL% Percentage of times that the film was selected as one of the top 10 films of the year on top critics’ lists
TCL1% Percentage of lists where the film was selected as the best film of the year on top critics’ lists

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