Best Movies of 2000

10. REQUIEM FOR A DREAM

Requiem for a Dream

94 LISTS | 7 TOP SPOTS
Darren Aronofsky | 102 mins | Drama
Ellen Burstyn | Jared Leto | Jennifer Connelly | Marlon Wayans

“For decades, filmmakers have tried to capture the experience of what it’s like to be on drugs, but no one has come as eye-grippingly close as Darren Aronofsky, who in his second feature takes a leap into dizzy, harrowing virtuosity. There’s a mind-bending dark dazzle to his syntax – the rapid-fire montages, the hallucinations that loom up like evil brain scans out of the everyday. Yet it may not be until this adaptation of Hubert Selby Jr.’s 1978 novel is over that you realize what a chemical number Aronofsky has done on your brain as well. He casts a spell, tapping not just the rush of addiction but the antic horror and overload – the dislocation of soul by sensation. Jared Leto, Marlon Wayans, and Jennifer Connelly are gripping as junkies in peril, but it’s Ellen Burstyn, as a lonely Brooklyn yenta lost in a tangled power surge of uppers and downers, who touches a nerve of pathos, enacting an ordinary woman’s descent into madness. Requiem for a Dream is a true nightmare – and a great one.” – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

9. DANCER IN THE DARK

Dancer In the Dark

100 LISTS | 8 TOP SPOTS
Lars von Trier | 140 mins | Crime/Drama/Musical
Björk | Catherine Deneuve | David Morse | Peter Stormare

“Danish director Lars von Trier has hit the high note–maybe the high symphony–of his career with this masterpiece, which won Cannes’ prestigious Palme d’Or this year. Working with Bjork (who won the Best Actress award and wrote the movie’s unforgettable musical numbers), he has created an extraordinary modern allegory about a woman (Bjork) with failing sight but lasting vision. Sure, you’ll come out of this movie moved and even disturbed. But no other movie comes close to this deeply spiritual experience.” – Desson Howe, Washington Post

8. GLADIATOR

Gladiator

108 LISTS | 11 TOP SPOTS
Ridley Scott | 155 mins | Action/Adventure/Drama
Russell Crowe | Joaquin Phoenix | Connie Nielsen | Oliver Reed

“The audiences in the Colosseum of ancient Rome demanded blood; the summertime movie audience in today’s air-conditioned theaters demands spectacle. (Or is it the other way around?) Either way, the year’s most satisfying old-fashioned blockbuster delivered on both fronts. Ridley Scott’s rousing epic about Maximus, a general-turned-warrior slave, made a star out of the protean Russel Crowe, who bit into the role with brute gusto; it also reinvigorated the tradition of the “sword and sandal” movies of the 1950s and ‘60s, re-creating the brotherhood of chesty fellows like those in Ben-Hur and Spartacus. The contemporary twist, though, is that this is an old-style story about a new-style egalitarian hero, an ordinary guy in extraordinary circumstances.” – Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

7. WONDER BOYS

Wonder Boys

114 LISTS | 5 TOP SPOTS
Curtis Hanson | 107 mins | Comedy/Drama
Michael Douglas | Tobey Maguire | Frances McDormand | Robert Downey Jr.

“I said in my original review of “Wonder Boys” that it’s always a good sign when a studio doesn’t know how to market a film made by talented people. Paramount misrepresented this movie so badly the first time around that it took the gutsy, unprecedented step of re-releasing it with an entirely new ad campaign later in the year. Nobody saw it then, either.
Michael Douglas stars as Grady Tripp, a floundering novelist-college professor who’s escaping his crippling writer’s block via a misery-go-round of marijuana and noncommittal sex. Maguire is the gun-toting, equally despondent student who brings Grady back to the land of the living. The process through which he accomplishes this is far from conventional, with Douglas taking full advantage of the chance to finally cut loose on screen.
You can sense Grady gaining inner strength even as he drags the weight of his self-devised nightmarish existence behind him. This is a superior, intelligent performance by Douglas, the best of his career. Bob Dylan also lends a hand. “Things Have Changed,” his specially-written theme to “Wonder Boys,” perfectly captures the movie’s sardonic, ruminative tone. It’s a funky little stomper, and he moans the hell out of it. Take a bow, Zimmy.” – Paul Tatara, CNN

6. CHICKEN RUN

Chicken Run

115 LISTS | 6 TOP SPOTS
Peter Lord and Nick Park | 84 mins | Animation/Adventure/Comedy
Mel Gibson | Julia Sawalha | Phil Daniels | Lynn Ferguson

“What could it mean that the year’s truest reincarnation of the classic Hollywood crisis-of-conscience melodramas of the 1930’s and 40’s should feature a cast of animated clay barnfowl? Who cares? Nick Park and Peter Drake, the claymation geniuses behind the beloved ”Wallace and Gromit” shorts, make their feature debut in grand style, creating a world full of improbable gadgetry, unlikely heroism, and much madcap humor. A perfect movie.” – A.O. Scott, New York Times

5. ERIN BROCKOVICH

Erin Brockovich

120 LISTS | 3 TOP SPOTS
Steven Soderbergh | 131 mins | Biography/Drama
Julia Roberts | Albert Finney | David Brisbin | Dawn Didawick

“Soderbergh and Roberts combine with the veteran British star Albert Finney to show commercial American filmmaking at its best. Roberts brings style and edge to the brassy single mom who pushes her way into a small law office then takes on a fight against a huge utility company whose wastes are poisoning an entire town. One of the strengths of Soderbergh’s film arises from his ability to individualize the people pursued and converted by the determined, unstoppable Erin (the real Brockovich is seen in a cameo).” – Malcolm Johnson, Hartford Courant

4. TRAFFIC

Traffic

151 LISTS | 26 TOP SPOTS
Steven Soderbergh | 147 mins | Crime/Drama/Thriller
Michael Douglas | Benicio Del Toro | Catherine Zeta-Jones | Jacob Vargas

“Adapted from a British miniseries about the international drug trade, Steven Soderbergh’s despairing film (the most powerful American ensemble film since ”Nashville”) interweaves the parallel stories of drug traffickers and law enforcers to create a riveting panorama of greed, corruption and social decay. Michael Douglas is a newly appointed American drug czar (with a teenage daughter who free-bases cocaine) investigating this treacherous territory. The brilliant cast includes Don Cheadle, Benecio Del Toro, Luis Guzman, Dennis Quaid, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Amy Irving. The movie makes absolutely clear why the war on drugs as it has been waged so far in the United States cannot be won.” – Stephen Holden, New York Times

3. YOU CAN COUNT ON ME

You Can Count On Me

163 LISTS | 15 TOP SPOTS
Kenneth Lonergan | 111 mins | Drama
Laura Linney | Matthew Broderick | Amy Ryan | Michael Countryman

“Boasting no cinema to speak of, this film stakes its claim to greatness on such old-fashioned virtues as incisive writing, expert acting and deep understanding of human relationships. Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo play the most believable screen characters of the year: an adult sister and brother, orphaned as children and living diametrically opposite lives, who after some estrangement discover just how much they cherish one another’s influence. The directing debut of playwright Ken Lonergan, it offers hope that there’s still room for real people in the movies.” – Bob Strauss, Los Angeles Daily News

2. 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

1. 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

Full Top 50:

RTITLEL#1ARL%#1%TCLTCL1TCL%TCL1%
1Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon196533.7953%18%1253960%24%
2Almost Famous163273.9044%9%83940%5%
3You Can Count On Me162154.4344%5%1031150%7%
4Traffic150264.0741%9%851241%7%
5Erin Brockovich11734.9632%1%54126%1%
6Chicken Run11364.8331%2%61429%2%
7Wonder Boys11354.5231%2%70334%2%
8Gladiator10494.6028%3%52325%2%
9Dancer In The Dark10084.3027%3%60429%2%
10Requiem For A Dream9474.8926%2%51525%3%
11High Fidelity8814.9824%0%42020%0%
12Yi Yi76224.5821%7%551626%10%
13Billy Elliot7245.0520%1%35017%0%
14Cast Away6935.4919%1%32215%1%
15Croupier6845.2819%1%45222%1%
16O Brother, Where Art Thou?6754.9818%2%41520%3%
17Nurse Betty5845.4916%1%34116%1%
18Quills5634.9515%1%34216%1%
19Beau Travail55113.9215%4%44921%5%
20The House Of Mirth5434.1815%1%41220%1%
21Best In Show4905.7313%0%21010%0%
22The Virgin Suicides4804.9113%0%30014%0%
23Before Night Falls4244.3711%1%28313%2%
24The Wind Will Carry Us4034.0411%1%31215%1%
25Ratcatcher3914.9311%0%29114%1%
26Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai3715.3310%0%22011%0%
27Jesus' Son3716.0010%0%22011%0%
28The Color Of Paradise3444.559%1%1949%2%
29George Washington3023.958%1%1718%1%
30Chuck & Buck2925.528%1%1929%1%
31Thirteen Days2805.878%0%1909%0%
32Time Regained2723.337%1%21110%1%
33Shadow Of The Vampire2626.107%1%1718%1%
34L'Humanité2513.287%0%1919%1%
35Hamlet (2000)2545.757%1%1336%2%
36Bamboozled2506.197%0%1507%0%
37State And Main2516.267%0%1306%0%
38Unbreakable2425.137%1%814%1%
39Girl On The Bridge2315.576%0%1618%1%
40Wonderland2343.916%1%1015%1%
41Time Code2226.196%1%1216%1%
42The Filth And The Fury2216.556%0%1005%0%
43Girlfight2015.385%0%1417%1%
44Not One Less2004.865%0%1507%0%
45Sunshine (1999)1905.005%0%904%0%
46The Claim1904.335%0%904%0%
47A Time For Drunken Horses1814.695%0%1316%1%
48Chocolat (2000)1714.835%0%804%0%
49Human Resources1505.254%0%1105%0%
49Meet The Parents1504.924%0%603%0%
49American Psycho1504.674%0%904%0%
49The Contender1504.734%0%703%0%

Lists Included 367 | Top Critics’ Lists Included 208

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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