REWIND & RANK: TOP 10 Movies 2002

RANKING THE YEAR’S BEST: FROM OSCAR MOVIES TO BLOCKBUSTERS

Walk down memory lane… And let the movie nerd debate begin.

rewind2002

Let’s REWIND to the year 2002.

These are personal TOP 10s ranking Oscar-nominated movies right alongside popcorn-munching blockbusters, indie films, b-movies, and cult classics. You never know, you might even uncover a hidden gem or two.

2002 was the year of the foreign film. This year, I loved so many movies that didn’t come out of Hollywood. Each one was stellar for different reasons. However, for most movie fans this was the year of ATTACK OF THE CLONES and THE TWO TOWERS. The second in Peter Jackson’s blockbuster LORD OF THE RINGS movies was the #1 movie at the box office with $926 million worldwide.

My TOP 10 is followed by HONORABLE MENTIONS and the Best of ART VS POPCORN.

Let’s dig in…


THE TOP 10

10. THE BOURNE IDENTITY

The familiar cliche of the hero having no memory is executed rather well with this action-packed political thriller. Matt Damon became a  movie hero with his performance here, using his environment to kick some ass, and showing us that the pen can be mightier than the (proverbial) sword. Stylishly filmed and crackling with energy, this conspiracy never gets boring.

9. CATCH ME IF YOU CAN

Steven Spielberg once again turns to history. This real-life con man was chased across the world by a determined opponent. Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks portray memorable characters in this exciting true life thriller. It’s not all one tone either, there is a surprising amount of humour and charm to enjoy.

8. SIGNS

M. Night Shyamalan (SIXTH SENSE) helms another exciting thriller. This time he switches it up, going from ghosts to aliens. His restrained approach to visuals and deliberately paced thrills fuel an incredibly exciting story. Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix create relatable characters with this small-scale, yet intimate small-stakes, alien invasion flick.

7. 8 MILE

Eminem proved he could act with his impressive performance in this semi-biographical story. Too bad he hasn’t returned to a starring role since. This underdog tale almost feels like a sports movie as a small-time rapper tries to take his talent and make it in the music industry. The focus on rap battles kept the drama exciting. A surprise hit.

6. BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE

Michael Moore’s controversial documentary is rather illuminating. A lot of important social issues are explored, including the Columbine massacre, gun control, and America’s obsession with violence. Marilyn Manson delivers the most intriguing interview. Despite being a bunch of talking heads, the movie is never once boring. A lot of cynical humour balances out the edgier political views. Worth watching. One of the best documentaries of the decade.

5. SPIRITED AWAY

Hiyao Miyazaki (PRINCESS MONONOKE, NAUSSICA) directs another visually mind-blowing animated feature. Rich themes compliment the rich story. Imagination runs wild as a little girl is whisked away to a world full of spirits. Jaw-dropping and beautiful. The animation is glorious. The best part is how much substance compliments the imagery.

4. SPIDER-MAN

Sam Raimi, legendary cult classic horror director of the EVIL DEAD movies, exploded into the mainstream with his comic book adaption of everyone’s favourite web-slinger. Tobey Maguire introduced the world to the cinematic Peter Parker. With a focus on character and story, the over-the-top visuals never overwhelm the heart.

3. INFERNAL AFFAIRS

Later remade into the Oscar winning THE DEPARTED by Martin Scorsese, the Korean original is even better. There are a few different twists and turns, but the concept is just as engaging for those familiar with the story. Undercover cops, undercover gangsters, all get tangled up in this violent crime thriller.

2. WHALE RIDER

This was the little movie that could. A passionate indie about a young girl coming of age, the story is also steeped in Maori culture. While girls aren’t respected or allowed to be ‘warriors’, our hero chases her dreams anyways. One of the best performances by a child actor ever. This was such a special movie filled with breath-taking emotion. WHALE RIDER is a true hidden gem.

1. CITY OF GOD

Another foreign film. That makes 4 of my TOP 5 picks coming from international cinema. Hot out of Brazil, this crime-based thriller follows young boys as they become young men in a city soaked with violence. Told through the decades, this sprawling tale has Scorsese vibes all over it. The cinematography is astounding, as are the performances by these unknown young actors. Brutal realism. Shocking. Illuminating. Phenomenal. One of the best films of the decade!


HONORABLE MENTIONS

listed alphabetically

ADAPTATION / ANTWONE FISHER / CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND / DOG SOLDIERS / GANGS OF NEW YORK / HERO / LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS / MINORITY REPORT / THE RING / VAN WILDER


THE BEST OF ART VS POPCORN

listed alphabetically

25TH HOUR / AUSTIN POWERS: GOLDMEMBER / BLADE 2 / BUBBA HO-TEP / BUS 174 / CITY BY THE SEA / DIRTY PRETTY THINGS / EQUILIBRIUM / FEMME FATALE / FRAILTY / FRIDA / FUBAR / INSOMNIA / JACKASS / MEN IN BLACK 2 / NARC / ONE HOUR PHOTO / PANIC ROOM / PHONE BOOTH / PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE / QUEEN OF THE DAMNED / RESIDENT EVIL / ROAD TO PERDITION / THE SCORPION KING / SECRETARY / SOLARIS / STAR WARS: EPISODE 2 / SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE / TALK TO HER / THE TRANSPORTER / A WALK TO REMEMBER / XXX


MY MUST-WATCH LIST

notable films i haven’t seen

ABOUT SCHMIDT / BLOODY SUNDAY / CHICAGO / THE HOURS / JOHN Q. / THE MAGDALENE SISTERS / MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING / THE PIANIST


What do you think?

Stay Tuned for REWIND & RANK: 1992.


 

9 thoughts on “REWIND & RANK: TOP 10 Movies 2002

    1. Thanks buddy. I appreciate you checking out these Top 10s. Infernal Affairs was one of those hidden gems I found after its release, and before Departed was a plan. It was just fascinating storytelling. I’m glad I’m not the only one who digs on it.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Even though Pianist is Polanski, I worried about melodrama. I heard great things about Magdalene Sisters though. I think it might be Canadian even. Thanks for the tips! 🙂 I have both movies from owning a video store for nearly a decade, so I just have to rummage through the boxes and watch them. Hehehe.

      Like

      1. Thanks for the info… So, basically Canadian 😉 I wonder if Canadian producers helped get it made like last year’s Oscar picks Room & Brooklyn? Either way, it’s hard to know if these hidden gem word of mouthers are worth seeing. Thanks for the advice.

        Like

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