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My 50 Favorite Films of the Decade

50. Battle Royale

49. The Wrestler – Darren Aronofsky

48. Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India – Ashutosh Gowariker

47. Punch-Drunk Love – Paul Anderson

46. Cache – Michael Haneke

45. Donnie Darko – Richard Kelly

44. Dancer in the Dark – Lars Von Triers

43. Cast Away – Robert Zemeckis

42. About Schmidt – Alexander Payne

41. Monsters, Inc. – Pete Docter and David Silverman

40. About a Boy – Chris Weitz and Paul Weitz

39. The Departed – Martin Scorsese

38. Bad Santa – Terry Zwigoff

37. Once – John Carney

36. Before Sunset – Richard Linklater

35. The Station Agent – Thomas McCarthy

34. Saw – James Wan

33. Superbad – Greg Mottola

32. No Country for Old Men – Ethan Coen and Joel Coen

31. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl – Gore Verbinski

30. You Can Count on Me – Kenneth Lonergan

29. Cloverfield – Matt Reeves

28. In the Loop – Armando Iannucci

27. J.S.A. Joint Security Area – Chan-wook Park

26. Adaptation – Spike Jonze

25. Napoleon Dynamite – Jared Hess

24. In the Mood for Love – Wong Kar Wai

23. Sexy Beast – Jonathan Glazer

22. A History of Violence – David Cronenberg

21. Spirited Away – Hayao Miyazaki

20. The Bourne Ultimatum – Paul Greengrass

19. Gwoemul (The Host) – Joon-hu Bong

18. Far from Heaven – Todd Haynes

17. Hero – Zhang Yimou

16. 28 Days Later – Danny Boyle

15. Chopper – Andrew Dominik

14. Oldboy – Chan-wook Park

13. Pan’s Labyrinth – Guillermo del Toro

12. Toy Story 2 – John Lasseter, Ash Brannon, and Lee Unkrich

11. 2046 – Wong Kar Wai

10. Janghwa, Hongryeon (A Tale of Two Sisters) – Ji-woon Kim

9. Hedwig and the Angry Inch – John Cameron Mitchell

8. Y Tu Mama Tambien – Alfonson Cuaron

7. Kill Bill Volumes 1 & 2 – Quentin Tarantino

6. Cidade de Deus (City of God) – Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lund

5. Audition – Takashi Miike

4. Kung Fu Hustle – Stephen Chow

3. United 93 – Paul Greengrass

2. Together – Lukas Moodysson

1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – Michel Gondry

PS I have excluded my own films.

PPS This may all change tomorrow.

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Category: LISTS

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  • We did something like this at JGAS.

    The only thing is that I don’t know if I can prioritize one film as better than the other past the top three. I pretty much love all those films and for completely different reasons. I also modified my list from a top 10 from the original thread on account that I kept forgetting shit.

    12. Mulholland Dr. (David Lynch)

    11. The Devil’s Backbone (Guillermo del Toro)

    10. The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow)

    9. Serenity (Joss Whedon)

    8. Monster Man (Michael Davis)

    7. Wild Zero (Tetsuro Takeuchi)

    6. Battle Royale (Kinji Fukasaku)

    5. Training Day (Antoine Fuck-yeah!)

    4. The Convent (Mike Mendez)

    3. Evil Aliens (Jake West)

    2. The Specials (Craig Mazin)

    1. Bronson (Nicolas Winding Refn)

  • Just Linda

    I love you for loving Hedwig!

  • Amy

    I’m afraid that I must demand a justification for A History of Violence because, other than the stair sex, it was one of the worst movies I have ever seen.

  • tonicat

    I pretty much agree with this whole list!

    I so love Together!
    I make everyone I know watch it.. especially my American friends who claim they hate subtitled movies!
    The kitchen scene in the beginning is so hilarious!

    And Two other of my favorite movies, The Host and Battle Royal, is on it!

    I’m actually pretty surprised on how many of these I agree on!

  • hitmandj

    Awesome list! I agree with a lot of the films, a few I haven’t seen so I’ve added to my que. I personally would have put Battle Royale much much higher, great to see The Host so high on the list though, wonderful movie. Love that you have a couple Pixar films on the list…no Incredibles? And completely agree with your number 1, possibly my favorite movie of all time personally, brilliant film. Thanks for sharing the list!

  • Joseph – Yes, I hate Almost Famous, but I still love you – I like every other film in your top fifty, except Tenenbaums, Munich, and a couple others. As for Toy Story 2, yeah, that’s my fuck up. Oh well, I love it, so I’m glad to have it in there.
    That German Guy – I always forget shit. That’s why my lists are ever-shifting. I change my mind about movies too.
    CJ – Yeah, About a Boy didn’t get a lot of love at the time of its release. However, I’ve noticed it in a lot of lists for the decade, so it seems to have made an impression on some of us.

  • CinemaJunkie

    WOW! I am so glad you put About A Boy in there and Hedwig. When I tell my friends I loved those movies they just look at me funny and ask why. Also, I cry every time I see the Toy Story 3 trailer. That is probably the first trailer that has ever made me cry. United 93 made me hyperventilate, it was just so real you felt like you were right there on that plane with them. Charlie Kaufman is an amazing writer I have vowed to see anything he writes. This is a damn good list and the few I haven’t see I will have to see now.

  • Interesting list. I remember doing something like that for the 90’s, back in 2003 or so and people tore me a new one. (To be fair: Shittng through two holes is more comfortable than it sounds.) But the reason why I don’t bother with making a list for the last decade is that I’m way too scared to forget some of the best movies and then I have to write the list AGAIN!

  • Fuck it, here’s a rough draft of the rest of my top 50 I’ve been working for over the past hour. Mostly instincts in terms of inclusions, and a lot of shuffling.

    50. “Revolutionary Road”
    49. “Wall-E”
    48. “Far From Heaven”
    47. “Russian Ark”
    46. “Collateral”
    45. “The Aviator”
    44. “Milk”
    43. “Inglourious Basterds”
    42. “Brokeback Mountain”
    41. “Bridget Jones’s Diary”
    40. “Sexy Beast”
    39. “Old Boy”
    38. “Shaun of the Dead”
    37. “Mean Girls”
    36. “The Bourne Ultimatum”
    35. “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind”
    34. “All the Real Girls”
    33. “Sideways”
    32. “Spider-Man 2”
    31. “Donnie Darko”
    30. “Anchorman: the Legend of Ron Burgundy”
    29. “Slither”
    28. “Knocked Up”
    27. “The Hurt Locker”
    26. “In America”
    25. “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”
    24. “Up in the Air”
    23. “Superbad”
    22. “Bad Santa”
    21. “Zodiac”
    20. “Adaptation”
    19. “The 40 Year Old Virgin”
    18. “About a Boy”
    17. “Once”
    16. “The Royal Tenenbaums”
    15. “Munich”
    14. “In the Mood for Love”
    13. “No Country For Old Men”
    12. “Minority Report”
    11. “City of God”

  • Oh, are you counting films that came out in 1999 or that you didn’t see until 2000? Just asking since “Toy Story 2” came out Thanksgiving of 1999.

  • Great list! A lot of surprises on there. Well, maybe not surprises. But definitely there have been movies where I’ve wondered if you’ve liked them or not, and looking at the list I can see you do like a few of those titles. Plus as someone who has followed your lists (movies of the year; all-time favorites) it’s cool to see the shifts in love. And several films on your list I’ve yet to see (particularly “Together”) which I have to.

    Not surprising to see “Eternal Sunshine” as your favorite though. I really like it a lot (seen it several times; I have the shooting script) but the development of the Kirsten Dunst character holds it back for me from calling it a masterpiece. Up until that third act I thought I was watching one of the greatest films I’ve ever seen.

    I don’t have 50 yet (though know a film of yours would definitely be in there) but I’ll throw up my 10 as of today. You’ll probably be completely disgusted and maybe disregard everything I may write in the future when I disclose my #1 film though.

    10. “The Departed”
    9. “A History of Violence”
    8. “You Can Count On Me”
    7. “Michael Clayton”
    6. “Punch-Drunk Love”
    5. “Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2”
    4. “United 93”
    3. “There Will Be Blood”
    2. “Before Sunset”
    1. “Almost Famous”