/ sound + vision:

“a film is more like music than like fiction.” —Stanley Kubrik

Best of the Decade: Films

I can’t pretend that this is some erudite, New Yorker-style list of the decade’s very best films. Far from it. This is simply a list of the movies I most enjoyed this past decade. Some truly are great films. Some are guilty pleasures that I found myself watching and re-watching despite, or perhaps due to, their decidedly light yet charming stories.

You’ll note there are only a couple of foreign films included here (why are foreign films so…foreign?). And, surprising even to me, most are not independent films. This year’s list has more than its share of big-budget Hollywood films driven by major stars. It seems La-La Land’s shlock-infested green-light district finally granted residency to truly artful films possessed of integrity and soul (even as the Academy continues to reward culturally pandering, heart-string yanker-wankers–ahemSlumdog–over darker, more complex material). More accurately, this list reflects the fact I’m getting old, lazy and soft. I’ve clearly lost my edge. Sigh.

Countering that sentiment (and nepotism aside), I’ve included two award-winning documentaries made by personal friends. I am most awed by directors Marshall Curry (Racing Dreams) and Benjamin Niles (Note By Note) for their will, passion, perseverance, courage, taste and talent. Their positions on this list were hard-fought and well-deserved. If you love independent film, you won’t find two better examples than these. Run, don’t walk, to see them.

And the winners are…

By release date:

2000 American Psycho
2000 Best in Show
2000 High Fidelity
2000 Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?
2000 The Replacements
2000 Requiem for a Dream

2001 Donny Darko
2001 Vanilla Sky

2002 24 Hour Party People
2002 28 Days Later
2002 The Bourne Identity
2002 Drumline
2002 Punch Drunk Love
2002 Secretary

2003 The Corporation
2003 Finding Nemo
2003 House of Sand and Fog
2003 Lost in Translation
2003 Shattered Glass

2004 The Bourne Supremacy
2004 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
2004 The Incredibles

2005 Batman Begins
2005 Good Night and Good Luck
2005 A History of Violence
2005 The Squid and the Whale
2005 Syriana

2006 Casino Royale
2006 The Devil Wears Prada
2006 The Lives of Others
2006 Marie Antoinette
2006 Stranger Than Fiction

2007 The Assasination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
2007 Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
2007 Breach
2007 Control
2007 Helvetica
2007 I’m Not There
2007 Michael Clayton
2007 Mongol
2007 No Country for Old Men
2007 Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037
2007 Once
2007 There Will Be Blood
2007 Tom Petty: Runnin’ Down a Dream

2008 The Bourne Ultimatum
2008 The Dark Knight
2008 Frost/Nixon
2008 Ironman
2008 Revolutionary Road

2009 District 9
2009 Racing Dreams
2009 Star Trek


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