Best of 2000




Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon crushed the competition in 2000, as it appeared on 139 of the 243 lists collected.

50. Pola X (11 lists; 1 top spot)


“Faithful readers will know I have an affection for raving lunatics and am grateful for films that break free of the dismal bonds of formula to cartwheel into overwrought passionate excess.” — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

47. Sunshine (12 lists)


“Legendary Hungarian director Istvan Szabo (who won an Academy Award in 1981 for best foreign film with “Mephisto”) has created one of the most powerful movies in years.” — Paul Clinton,

47. Judy Berlin (12 lists)


47. Unbreakable (12 lists)

“A humorous, melancholy look at a suburban community in Long Island whose characters include lonely housewives, frustrated teachers, and aspiring actresses, with wonderful performances by Edie Falco, Barbara Barrie and Madeline Kahn in her last role.” — Emmanuel Levy,

45. Timecode (12 lists; 1 top spot)


“Surprisingly breezy to watch, because Figgis smashingly manipulates sound to focus our attention from one place to another.” — Stephen Rosen, Denver Post

45. Wonderland (12 lists; 1 top spot)


“Wonderland is well crafted from the editing to the acting, but it often feels like a television pilot for a calculatedly hip soap opera.” — Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail

44. Human Resources (13 lists)


“All the more engrossing for its organic, near documentary style.” — Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

42. Bamboozled (15 lists)


“Spike Lee’s sharp, riotous satire, from 2000, zeroes in on the grotesque misrepresentation of blacks in American media-and their underrepresentation in the corporate offices that control it.” — Richard Brody, New Yorker

42. The Filth and the Fury (15 lists)


“Temple’s visually inventive collage of newsreel footage, television commercials, weather reports and similar ‘found art’ fits neatly into the Sex Pistols saga.” – Ed Kelleher, Film Journal International

40. Girl on the Bridge (15 lists; 1 top spot)


“What’s best about the movie is its playfulness.” — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

40. Time Regained (15 lists; 1 top spot)


“Even if it lacks the emotional power of Manuel, Time Regained is a lot closer to Ruiz’s best work than it is to his worst.” — Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader


38. Girlfight (16 lists; 1 top spot)


“While it wonderfully confounds our narrative expectations as a coming-of-age story and a romantic drama, it works on another level as a great sporting experience.” — Peter Howell, Toronto Star

38. A Time for Drunken Horses (16 lists; 1 top spot)


“The nonprofessional cast of Bahman Ghobadi’s remarkable, slow, rough edged feature reveals a simple, piercing grimness and determination framed by the gray, icy landscape of Iranian Kurdistan.” — Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

37. Hamlet (16 lists; 3 top spots)


“Icy-cold in its palette and unwaveringly cool in its application of modern settings and gizmos to a text that stands up to endless reinvention, this is a Hamlet that brings imagination matched by thoughtfulness to its appeal to both eye and ear.” — Susan Stark, Detroit News





35. Not One Less (17 lists)


“For Chinese viewers, this film will play as a human drama. For Western viewers, there’s almost equal interest at the edges of the screen, in the background, in the locations and incidental details that show daily life in today’s China.” — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

35. Thirteen Days (17 lists)


“Bruce Greenwood is exceptional as JFK — quite a surprise after his smarmy villainous turns in Double Jeopardy and Rules of Engagement.” — Mike Clark, USA Today

34. Shadow of the Vampire (17 lists; 1 top spot)


“Wholly absorbing and inspired in parts, this carefully crafted curio dares to suggest that Murnau made a Faustian pact with an actual vampire to play the title role in exchange for the neck of the film’s leading lady at production’s end.” — Todd McCarthy, Variety

33. State and Main (18 lists; 1 top spot)


“Has the hermetic, vacuum packed atmosphere of all the films that David Mamet has directed, yet cleverness, heightened to a pitch of acid tongued amorality, is both its flavor and its meaning.” — Owen Gleibermann, Entertainment Weekly

32. Ratcatcher (19 lists; 1 top spot)


“Some may find such wrenching realities shocking, if not reprehensible. Others may glean meaning in their starkness — a meaning that transcends the film’s despair with the power of its truth.” — Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicles

31. George Washington (21 lists; 2 top spots)


“It remembers a summer that was not a happy summer, but there will never again be a summer so intensely felt, so alive, so valuable.” — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times




29. In the Mood for Love (22 lists; 1 top spot)


“In one sense it’s like an erotic dream that dissolves before fulfillment; in another sense In the Mood suggests that the lovers are remembering the fragmented incidents of this tale from the distance of time.” — Edward Guthman, San Francisco Chronicle

29. L’ Humanite (22 lists; 1 top spot)


“You probably won’t feel comfortable when Humanité is over, but as you leave the theater you will feel more alive than when you entered.” — Stephen Holden, New York Times

28. Best in Show (23 lists)


“…it’s always a pleasure to watch this ensemble of gifted talents do what they do best — be spontaneous and funny and surprising. What we get is a master-class demonstration of the distinction between comic actors and comedians who try to act.” — Mark Bourne,

27. Chuck & Buck (24 lists; 1 top spot)


“What makes Chuck & Buck a brave movie is that it doesn’t attempt to sugarcoat or elevate childish qualities the way movies such as Disney’s The Kid and Forrest Gump do.” — Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune

26. The Color of Paradise (24 lists; 3 top spots)


“This is a transcendent film, deeply committed and beautifully wrought. It will make anyone who sees it look at the world with new eyes.” — Bob Graham, San Francisco Chronicle

25. Jesus’ Son (26 lists)


“The film uses dreamlike quality to evoke youth subculture of the 1970s, and Billy Crudup is perfectlt cast as a man who believes he possesses healing powers and wants to do good, but his attempts always end disastrously” — Emanuel Levy,

24. Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (28 lists)


“Jarmusch has introduced historical references … that have opened up his imagination and extended his thematic and affective range well beyond that of his first five features.” — Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader






23. Cast Away (31 lists)


“A brave film, and a surprisingly absorbing and finally affecting one, partly because it’s about that least American of trinities — silence, solitariness, and the spiritual deepening impossible to achieve without both.” — Jay Carr, Boston Globe

22. Quills (31 lists; 1 top spot)


“It argues its case fairly, acknowledging the implicit dangers in its position, and dramatizing the price that inevitably will be paid for its cherished goal of untrammeled personal expression.” — Stephen Hunter, Washington Post

21. The Virgin Suicides (32 lists)


“[Coppola] has the courage to play it in a minor key. She doesn’t hammer home ideas and interpretations. She is content with the air of mystery and loss that hangs in the air like bitter poignancy.” — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

20. The Wind Will Carry Us (32 lists; 3 top spots)


“A film poem of sometimes humbling beauty: a movie that opens up a new world to us – in the mountains of Iranian Kurdistan – with an enchanting freshness and austerity of vision.” — Michael Wilmington, Chicago Reader

19. Before Night Falls (34 lists; 3 top spots)


“It’s a struggle not just to make art but to exist, which is itself an art. And to that goal, the cast members, led by the astonishing Bardem, allow themselves to be devoured by the roles they are playing.” — Michael O’Sullivan, Washington Post

18. Nurse Betty (36 lists)


“In his third, most accomplished film, LaBute puts aside the inquiry of misogyny that dominated his previous work and immerses himself in a lighter romantic fable about the collision of fantasy and reality, with a terrific performance from Renee Zelwegger” — Emanuel Levy, Variety



17. Billy Elliot (36 lists; 1 top spot)


“Julie Walters … is spirited and colorful as the ballet teacher, and Gary Lewis is somehow convincing as the dad even when the screenplay requires him to make big offscreen swings of position.” — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

16. Beau Travail (40 lists; 9 top spots)


“A movie so tactile in its cinematography, inventive in its camera placement, and sensuous in its editing that the purposefully oblique and languid narrative is all but eclipsed.” — J. Hoberman, Village Voice

15. The House of Mirth (42 lists; 1 top spot)


“Stick with the film, accept the rules of the time and the meditative rhythm of the language that Davies has woven into his story, and you won’t be disappointed.” — David D’Arcy

14. O’ Brother, Where Art Thou? (45 lists; 4 top spots)


“This particular excursion into screwball madness is often heavenly, and frankly leaves critical explication somewhat unnecessary.” — Robert Horton,



13. High Fidelity (48 lists)


“Mr. Frears has managed for the most part to retain the velocity of the narrative without sacrificing the psychological coherence of the characters.” — Andrew Sarris, New York Observer

12. Gladiator (48 lists; 1 top spot)


“Though the digital effects lack the weight and conviction of their equivalents in old Cecil B. De Mille movies, Ridley Scott’s sword-and-sandal epic has some of the intensity of old Hollywood in terms of storytelling, spectacle, and violence.” — Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader


11. Croupier (49 lists; 4 top spots)


“With its fascinating, multi-layered plot, intelligent screenplay, and subtle-yet-undeniable tension building, Croupier is an engrossing, stylish thriller that never threatens to wear out its welcome.” — James Berardinelli

10. Chicken Run (56 lists; 1 top spot)


“It’s immensely satisfying, a divinely relaxed and confident film. Mr. Park and Mr. Lord brilliantly integrate everyday objects into the story.” — Elvis Mitchell, New York Times

9. Yi Yi (56 lists; 13 top spots)


“It’s a delicate film but a strong one, graced with the ability to see life whole, the grief hidden in happiness as well as the humor inherent in sadness.” — Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

8. Requiem for a Dream (61 lists; 3 top spots)


“Dream proves a number of things: the audacity of director Darren Aronofsky’s eye, the brilliance of Ellen Burstyn’s acting and an apparent poverty of discernment or intelligence on the MPAA ratings board.” — John Anderson, Newsweek

7. Erin Brockovich (64 lists; 1 top spot)


“From the opening to the perfect final shot, Roberts is in nearly every scene of Erin Brockovich, and there isn’t a second when we’re not on her side.” — Charles Taylor,

6. Dancer in the Dark (66 lists; 6 top spots)


“Graced with a particular genius for absorbing the past to suggest an exciting cinematic future.” — Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

5. Wonder Boys (72 lists; 3 top spots)


“Michael Douglas gives the best perfromance of his career (to be remembered at Oscar time) in this screwball comedy about a college professor who’s pushed into maturity by forces beyond his control; a well-acted coming-of-age saga for adults.” — Emanuel Levy, Variety

4. Almost Famous (83 lists; 10 top spots)


“As a director [Crowe] has an extraordinary gift for drawing out rounded, complex performances even in supporting roles and for indicating the fine emotional shadings in the relationships among his characters.” — A.O. Scott, New York Times

3. Traffic (87 lists; 14 top spots)


“Traffic looks like the Oscar best-picture front-runner, and so does Soderbergh, for best director. But long after everyone has forgotten who won the statues, it will be remembered as one of film’s most stylish and electrifying wake-up calls.” — Jay Carr, Boston Globe

2. You Can Count on Me (107 lists; 11 top spots)


“The characters in You Can Count on Me have been freed from the formulas of fiction and set loose to live lives where they screw up, learn from their mistakes and bumble hopefully into the future.” — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (139 lists; 33 top spots)


“Once in a great while, a movie engages us so thoroughly that we slip the surly bonds of Earth and experience a rare moment of transcendence. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is such a movie.” — Charles Ealy, Dallas Morning News

3 thoughts on “Best of 2000

  1. What is your film number 27? I only see 39 films for year 2000.

    I love your site. I have been using your lists for ideas for catching up on my movie watching.

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