RANKING THE YEAR’S BEST: FROM OSCAR MOVIES TO BLOCKBUSTERS
TOP 10 Lists are always tons of fun. You can debate my choices, while getting a better idea of how I review newer movies. With looking back on years past, you can also stroll down memory lane. You never know, you may uncover a hidden gem or two.
Let’s REWIND to the year 2000.
These are personal TOP 10s that combine Oscar-nominated movies right alongside popcorn munching blockbusters, indie films, and cult classics.
2000 had some fantastic cult classics and hidden gems, but also had some shining turds like BATTLEFIELD EARTH (considered one of the worst movies ever made) and the disappointing THE PATRIOT (with Mel Gibson directing). Meanwhile, dominating at the megaplexes was a well-polished turd (and guilty pleasure), John Woo’s MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 2. It was the #1 movie at the box office in 2000 was with $546.3 million.
My TOP 10 is followed by HONORABLE MENTIONS and the BEST OF ART vs POPCORN.
Let’s dig in…
Future editions will hop around the decades.
THE TOP 10
Coming hot off of THE SIXTH SENSE, Shymalan directed this surprising superhero flick starring Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson. It took the subject seriously in a time before super-powered beings were on every theater screen.
The first big comic book movie. Coming hot off of THE USUAL SUSPECTS, Singer updated these superheroes for the big screen. The action was tons of fun, but once again the serious approach was unexpected. Who thought X-MEN would be rooted in the Holocaust?
A fantastic blend of art and popcorn. Russell Crowe became a star in this Ridley Scott sword and sandals epic. Filmed rather stylishly, this one focused on entertainment more than history, which resulted in a satisfying tale of vengeance.
7. AMORES PERROS
Crisp narrative fueled by intense energy. Edgy and stylish with Tarantino and Scorsese vibes. The less you know about this better. It launched the careers of Gael Garcia Bernal and director Alejandro Inarritu (THE REVENANT, BIRDMAN).
A sprawling crime epic with several stories woven together. Strong themes are explored with multiple characters. Stylish direction from Steven Soderbergh. Helped make a star out of Benicio del Toro and Don Cheadle.
5. BATTLE ROYALE
A true cult classic. An amazing premise. Brutal. Unflinching. Incredibly exciting. HUNGER GAMES ripped this off and Disney-fied the concept. I heard about this because Tarantino was a fan. If you dig on grindhouse cinema. You will love this unsettling action flick.
4. AMERICAN PSYCHO
This year is filled with darker material. The exception is how brilliant they all are. This one starred Christian Bale and made a stunning impression. He’s been in demand ever since. This satirical tale isn’t for everyone. It’s another brutally unflinching story. Strong themes fuel the suspense and dark comedy. Stylish in every moment, from the cinematography to the music.
Brilliant narrative. Stylish cinematography. This one birthed Christopher Nolan. A conventional thriller feels brand new because of its unique storytelling. This mystery is told in reverse. It’s perfectly complicated and entirely enthralling.
2. REQUIEM FOR A DREAM
Bleak as the starry sky. This poetic story is nuanced but grimy. Once again, this is an unflinching portrayal of dark subject matter. Addiction takes center stage, suffocating each character in different forms. Outstanding performances. Astounding direction. Beautiful writing. This is as dark as cinema gets, but it is a dark corner worth exploring. Stars Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, and Ellen Burstyn.
1. CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON
This one has a little more hope. I remember lining up around the block opening night for this one. It was playing in a select cinema. One in town. The hype was building. To clear the line, me and my buddy started talking about subtitles and watched it thin. Which is a shame… for them 😉 Those willing to read along are in for an incredible adventure. This is an action film that means something. Emotions fuel the fighting. There are multiple standout martial arts sequences. Choreographed by the master Yuen Wo-Ping (MATRIX, IRON MONKEY) and beautifully directed by Ang Lee (LIFE OF PI, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN), this is the best martial arts movie ever made. A true spectacle with a beating heart and amazing action.
ALMOST FAMOUS / CASTAWAY / CHOCOLAT / FINDING FORRESTER / GIRLFIGHT/ LOVE & BASKETBALL / O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? / SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE / SNATCH / YOU CAN COUNT ON ME
BEST OF ART vs POPCORN
noteworthy films listed alphabetically
THE BEACH / BEST IN SHOW / BILLY ELLIOT / BRING IT ON / THE CELL / CHARLIE’S ANGELS / COYOTE UGLY / DANCER IN THE DARK / DINOSAUR
DUDE, WHERE’S MY CAR? / ERIN BROKOVICH / FINAL DESTINATION / FREQUENCY / THE GIFT / GONE IN 60 SECONDS / HIGH FIDELITY / M:I2 / THE PERFECT STORM
PITCH BLACK / ROAD TRIP / SCARY MOVIE / SCREAM 3 / TIGERLAND / WAY OF THE GUN / THE WHOLE 9 YARDS / WONDER BOYS
Stay tuned for more REWIND & RANK.
Next up… 1990.