The Top 100 Films of the Noughties
Thank you again for another evening steeped in merriment and friendship.
A decade which brought great change in the way movies are made and the way in which we watch them, the Noughties ended with the screening of Avatar, a film which will probably define the future of cinema as much as the first talking picture did over eighty years ago.
Yet for all its incredible CGI effects, Avatar was still beaten to the best picture Oscar by a smaller more intimate film about the Iraq war.
This is the beauty of movies, for all the modern technology and studio money, you still need a good story, characters we care about and a little bit of magic which can transport us to a world of make believe.
This is my personal list of the best films of the Noughties, its pretty subjective (as all lists are), there's no Bourne, no Batman, no Coen Brothers, there's only one best picture winner (The Hurt locker) and there's none of the Rings trilogy (I'm sorry, I just don`t get it).
I hope there's a little bit of everything in there for even the most discerning viewer. This is a hobby, I don`t do this for a living so I haven't seen every film released in the Noughties, this list will continue to change, that I'm sure of.
Enjoy the list and please let me know your views, good, bad or just plain ugly.
Please leave your comments at the bottom of the page or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
100 Superbad (2007)
McLovin? Yeah. Great name, It is, it just rolls off the tongue. 'Sounds like a sexy hamburger!
Starring:Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Michael Cera.
Bawdy, crude and foul mouthed, Superbad makes American Pie look like a watered down version of Grange Hill, but beneath all its Gross out humour and crass comedy, there beats a heart of gold.
A coming of age movie which is honest, accurate and sometimes so wince inducing that you can't help but cry with laughter.
An incredibly likable cast who are surely destined for bigger things seem to be having a lot of fun and the script and direction is inspired and intelligent.
A tale of adolescent boys on the prowl for sex and booze it may be, but Superbad is also sweet, good natured and surprisingly romantic.
Dare I say it, Superbad is Supergood.
99 The Miracle Of Bern (2003)
Every nation needs heroes
Starring:Louis Klamroth, Peter Lohmeyer, Johanna Gastdorf.
It would be difficult to dispute the fact that "The Miracle of Bern" is almost certainly the best football film ever (although to be honest, there are few rivals).
Meticulously detailing the German footballs teams success at the 1954 World Cup against all odds, Bern is a poignant, sentimental and gloriously choreographed delve into the history books.
Significantly dealing (through the eyes of a child) with post war life in a divided country still coming to terms with events in World War Two, The Miracle Of Bern is also a coming of age film which deals with the guilt, anger and suffering of the people in Germanys industrial heartland. At its core though this is simply a rollicking good underdog story, even if as England football fans will testify, it's the Germans who win again.
98 The King (2005)
The devil made me do it.
Starring:Gael Garcia Bernal, William Hunt, Pell James, Paul Dano, Laura Harring.
Elvis(Gael Garcia Bernal) recently released from the Navy seeks out the father he has never known.
His father, David Sandow (William Hurt) is now a hellfire preacher in the bible belt of America and is married with 2 children and at first wants little to do with his long lost son.
Elvis begins an illicit affair with Sandow's 16yr old daughter and begins to slowly worm his way into the pastors family structure.
If you are currently on suicide watch or suffering from a serious bout of depression, I would strongly advise you not to watch this film, feel good movie is definitely not the way I would describe it.
This shouldn't put you off though, this is an impeccably acted film which deals with the everyday subjects of incest, redemption,family and religion.
The king is unsettling and at times difficult to watch, it is also potent and shocking.
Bernal is mesmerising as the lonely drifter and continues to prove his versatility as his star-meter continues to grow. He is ably backed up by Hurt who subtly convinces the audience of his obsessive faith.
A troubling movie that wallows in its own degradation and challenges the very fabric of life itself, how far can forgiveness stretch and do we all pay for our past sins.
A picture that is challenging and entertaining, the King is a morally twisted parable that defies pigeonholing but ends up been one of the best films of the year.
97 Apocalypto (2006)
A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.
Starring: Dalia HernÃ¡ndez, Rudy Youngblood, Morris Birdyellowhead,Jonathan Brewer.
A nerve shredding chase movie form Mel Gibson which is visceral, bloody and so over the top, it's hard to dislike.
The downfall of Mayan civilization is examined leaving nothing to the imagination, jungle savagery, human sacrifice and unrelenting sadism abound but taken at face value, Apocalypto is a cracking action adventure movie.
A story about an ancient history and culture and a world that is long forgotten is significantly free of sermons and messages and delivers a frenzied, visually stunning portrayal of one mans battle for survival in a cruel and savage world.
96 Me, You and Everyone We Know (2005)
I don't want to have to do this living. I just walk around. I want to be swept off my feet, you know? I want my children to have magical powers. I am prepared for amazing things to happen. I can handle it.
Starring: John Hawkes,Miranda July.
A simple but very effective film which deals with relationships, love and adolescence and the funny and sometimes painful journey through life in pursuit of happiness. Quirky (with a capital Q) offbeat and unashamedly provocative, this is a movie which fails to tread a distinctive path and delivers a touching bittersweet comedy that features bizarre characters who genuinely act like real people.
Unexpectedly honest, poignant and romantic, this is a movie that me, you and everyone we know should know about.
95 Far From Heaven (2002)
I've learned my lesson about mixing in other worlds. I've seen the sparks fly. All kinds.
Starring:Julianne Moore, Dennis Quaid, Dennis Haysbert, Patricia Clarkson, Viola Davis, James Rebhorn.
A slice of nostalgic history long gone is lovingly created in Todd Haynes critique of 1950s American society.
A perfect recreation of the melodramas of that decade touches on subjects that would have been definitely taboo in an era of repression and narrow mindedness.
Totally relevant to society today, Far From Heaven is a stunning achievement, superbly realized with handsome design and impeccable performances form all concerned.
94 Watchmen (2009)
This city is afraid of me. I've seen its true face.
Director Zack Snyder
Starring: Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Patrick Wilson, Carla Gugino.
Alan Moore's seminal graphic novel has long been deemed unfilmable. Usually touted as the greatest comic book ever and even popping up on any number of greatest literary works of the 20th century, the movie adaptation of Watchmen was sure to come under a lot of scrutiny.
Director Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead, 300) generally makes a good fist of it. Word of warning though, if you haven't read the book, the film pretty much fails to take this into account and prefers to preach to the converted.
What you get for your money is a faithful and visually striking film which is violent, complex and undisputedly entertaining.
Watchmen is a superhero film strictly for adults, philosophical, symbolic, dark and twisted definitely but it is also widely ambitious and an incredibly brave effort which makes the movie flawed yet highly commendable.
93 Almost Famous (2000)
Rock stars have kidnapped my son!
Starring:Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, Frances McDormand, Jason Lee, Noah Taylor, Fairuza Balk, Anna Paquin, Bijou Phillips, Zooey Deschanel.
Although Almost Famous is a fictionalized account of a teenage journalist working for Rolling Stone magazine, director Cameron Crowe based it on his own experiences touring with rock bands, The Allman Brothers Band, Led Zeppelin, The Eagles, and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Crowe's Magical Mystery Tour is an endearing and nostalgic look at a time of hope and idealism where the problems in the world could be solved by rock and roll and innocence was not yet lost. A bittersweet coming of age movie, which deals with friendship, family and the desire to be someone.
An exuberant cast of fresh new faces, an awe inspiring soundtrack and an Oscar winning screenplay all help to make Almost Famous, almost perfect (if a little over-long).
92 Good Night And Good Luck (2005)
We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.
Starring:David Strathairn, George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr, Patricia Clarkson, Rose Abdoo, Alex Borstein, Robert John Burke, Ray Wise, Frank Langella, Jeff Daniels.
Although covering a period of history that may be slightly unfamiliar to British audiences, "Good Night" concentrates on issues still relevant today in America.
It is the year 1954 and television journalist Edward R Murrow and his team of dedicated staff challenge the tactics used by "Commie bashing" senator Joe McCarthy. In an era of extreme anti-communist suspicions and fear brought on by the Cold War between America and the Soviet Union, Murrow attempts to discredit McCarthy and his unsubstantiated claims.
McCarthy's Claims of Soviet spies and Communist party members in American government and the armed forces are challenged live on TV in the CBS show "See It Now" as Murrow defies Public and internal pressure.
Continuing a seemingly never ending character assassination of Joe McCarthy, Good Night is nevertheless a riveting good watch.
Shot in beautiful black and white Monochrome and flawlessly directed by George Clooney, this movie spotlessly resembles the very era it is trying to emulate.
A short running time hardly stretches the thespian skills of the majority of the talented actors on display. David Strathairn is the exception as the seemingly honest and credible Murrow. His performance is nigh on perfect as his anguished face betrays his determined stance and makes you genuinely believe this is a man who is struggling with his inner demons.
The interspersion of the real Joe McCarthy ( and his hearings) into proceedings, although gimmicky, works well and provides a genuine fly on the wall feel.
Clooney continues to move away from his pretty boy persona and is now becoming a filmmaker of some note, this is a movie obviously close to his heart ( he majored in Journalism at College and his father was a TV journalist for many years) and it shows on every level.
Sub plots in the movie involving a clandestine marriage and a suicide of an estranged journalist are slightly jarring within the context of the movie and fail to add anything to proceedings.
Good Night works well as an excellent dramatisation and portrays a turbulent and challenging period of American Modern History, this film recreates the golden age of television and delivers a morality play in which the main protagonists eventually get their comeuppance.
91 Hellboy 2- The Golden Army (2008)
World, here I come
Director:Guillermo Del Toro
Starring:Seth MacFarlane, Luke Goss, Anna Walton, Brian Steele, Doug Jones, Selma Blair, Ron Perlman, Jason Alexander, John Hurt, Jeffrey Tambor.
The advancement in CGI and the rise and unprecedented success of Marvel studios has led to a whole slew of superhero/comic book movies. Any superhero worth his salt is currently lined up to appear in a special effects blockbuster, even many of the minor and secondary Marvel characters seem to be getting in on the act (Ant Man anyone?). DC are also not resting on their laurels either, The Dark Knight was an absolute smash at the box office and Superman Returns while not entirely super still set the cash tills ringing. One of the more shall we say unusual superheroes to take a shot at the big time was Hellboy, a red skinned devil looking guy with sawn off horns, a tail and a shoot first, ask questions later kinda attitude.
The first Hellboy movie was a disjointed, campy but enjoyable effort; the sequel though upped the ante. Creating a fantastical world with bizarre but genuinely likable characters, director Guillermo Del Toro once again works his magic.
An enriched universe, eye-popping visuals and wall-to-wall action coupled with a surprisingly intelligent plot and extraordinary character interaction, Hellboy 2 is unquestionably one of the best superhero movies of the Noughties.
90 The Wrestler (2008)
I don't hear as good as I used to, and I ain't as pretty as I used to be. But I'm still here - I'm the Ram.
Starring:Mickey Rourke,Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood, Ernest "The Cat" Miller.
An absolute pile driver of a movie, The Wrestler does all its talking in the ring.
Less a sports movie and more a character study, the comeback kid, Mickey Rourke is amazingly good as the wrestling has- been who is battered, bruised and alone.
There is no condemnation of the fakeness of wrestling or any attempt at airbrushing, this is a warts and all depiction of a tormented soul living on past glories.
Cleverly documented, choreographed and staged, The Wrestler punches well above its weight.
89 Battle In Heaven (2005)
Batalla en el cielo
Starring:Marcos Hernandez, Anapola Mushkadiz, Bertha Ruiz, David Bornstien, Rosalinda Ramirez.
An art movie not for all tastes, Battle In Heaven is a slowly paced and hypnotic examination of sex, religion and redemption in a modern day Mexico rarely seen on the screen.
Explicit, daring and a little pretentious, this is a film that fails to take the easy option and delivers a haunting and disturbing fable of ordinary people battling for their souls.
A film, which is as perplexing as it, is ambitious.
88 Coraline (2008)
Be careful what you wish for.
Starring (Voices) Dakota Fanning,Teri Hatcher,Jennifer Saunders,Dawn French, John Hodgeman, Keith David,Ian McShane.
Destined to be a cult classic, Coraline is a rare beast of a movie, a children's film that is scary, creepy and genuinely macabre.
A fantastical fable with dazzling visuals, stunning stop motion animation and a storyline that neither condescends or attempts to preach.
An almost old fashioned un PC story along the lines of Roal Dahl or Alice in Wonderland blends seamlessly with modern technology overflowing with inventive design.
Coraline is a vibrant, haunting and imaginative horror story, which while aimed at children, should appeal to all ages.
87 V For Vendetta (2005)
Penny for the Guy?
Starring:Hugo Weaving, Stephen Fry, John Hurt, Natalie Portman.
English writer Alan Moore best known for his work in comics and graphic novels may constantly distance himself from the film adaptations of his work, but Watchmen and in particular, V For Vendetta are both well made and thought provoking movies.
V nicely captures a dystopian society on the edge of rebellion and becomes an interesting parable of the terrorist threatened world today.
Interesting ideas abound and the acting is top drawer. Visually, V is stunning and offers a London of the future as a grim fearful place.
As a popcorn movie, V is great escapism, as a political allegory, it is a meaningful and highly intelligent piece of work.
86 Adventureland (2009)
Two options: I can play it safe, pick them off from back here, or I can rush into the breach guns a blazing, make a run to the cortex and... bombs away!
Starring:Kristen Stewart, Margarita Levieva, Sue O'Malley, Bill Hader, Jack Gilpin, Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Wiig, Martin Starr, Wendie Malick, Ryan Reynolds.
A deft rites of passage movie with its feet firmly in the Rom-Com mould, Adventureland is an intelligent, quirky and nostalgic slice of 1980s life exploring the pitfalls and pratfalls of a gawky teen (Jesse Eisenberg) as he looks to win over the girl of his dreams (Kirsten Stewart) who has a few issues of her own.
Definitely a gentler, more intimate and much more subtle film than director Greg Mottolas previous effort "Superbad", Adventureland has a pitch perfect script, super cool acting and a decent quota of laugh out loud moments.
An excellent retro film with a sublime soundtrack and believe it or not, the whole story's set in a funfair, how good is that?
85 Junebug (2005)
God loves you just the way you are. But He loves you too much to let you stay that way.
Starring:Amy Adams, Embeth Davidtz, Benjamin McKenzie, Alessandro Nivola, Celia Weston, Scott Wilson, Frank Hoyt Taylor.
Very good character driven movie that gets better and better the longer it goes on.
A great cast of familiar if not totally well know faces pull out all the stops and deliver a great slice of middle class America.
Extremely realistic in its portrayal of ordinary people and the effect a newcomer can have on an unbalanced family.
Superb acting all round and not a false note to be seen.
84 King Kong (2005)
Ladies and Gentlemen... I give you... KONG! THE EIGHTH WONDER OF THE WORLD!
Starring:Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody, Andy Serkis.
An undisputed labor of love for director Peter Jackson, King Kong is both a delightful homage to the original 1933 version and a marvelously entertaining fantasy epic with spectacular technical wizardry on display.
Almost old fashioned at times, Kong (even at three hours long) is a fast paced, emotive and visionary effort, which at its heart is a simple (if strange) love story. Amid the destruction, chaos and multitude of savage monsters there lies an intimate tale that is heartrending and tragic.
A modern day creature feature that you should rightly go bananas over.
83 Wanted (2008)
Welcome... to the Fraternity. This gun you're holding belonged to your father; he could conduct a symphony orchestra with it.
Starring:Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy, Thomas Kretschmann, Morgan Freeman.
Ultra slick, extremely explosive, action packed adaptation of the graphic novel by Mark Millar (which, believe me, makes the film look pretty tame). Angelina Jolie has never been better in a role she seems very well suited to and there's a nice change of pace for the talented and upcoming James McAvoy.
Gratuitous violence galore and an adrenaline pumping storyline help paper over a few cracks and the level of stunts, gunplay and mind blowing visuals are enough for even the most discerning of viewers.
Top notch editing, over the top set pieces and bullets that fly round corners, what more could you wish for.
82 Wall E (2008)
Computer, define dancing.
Starring (voices) Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight,John Ratzenberger,Sigourney Weaver
In a world of sequels, remakes and largely undistinguished so-called crowd pleasers, Pixar still refuses to play safe.
A post apocalyptic almost silent movie about two robots (who look like trash cans) falling in love hardly whets the appetite but Wall E is another audacious and simply brilliant effort from the studio of dreams.
Subtle, creative and strangely inspiring, Wall E belies its roots as a children’s film and succeeds as a serious Sci Fi epic with an eco friendly message about saving the planet.
A magical, captivating odyssey, which deserves its place among the stars.
81 Oldboy (2003)
Revenge is good for your health, but pain will find you again.
Gloriously violent and extremely brutal revenge thriller, which could only come from the Far East.
Complex, disturbing and at times cartoonish, Oldboy offers many questions and few answers yet remains a mesmerizing and challenging ride.
Bold, belligerent and beautiful, Oldboy will not be everyone's cup of tea, but its style and substance far outweigh its few flaws.
An enigmatic journey of revenge, murder and redemption.
80 Gomorra (2008)
Italy's Other Mafia:
Starring:Salvatore Abruzzese, Salvatore Ruocco, Vincenzo Fabricino, Carlo Del Sorbo, Maria Nazionale, Italo Renda, Gianfelice Imparato, Simone Sacchettino, Vincenzo Altamura, Salvatore Striano.
Billed as an expose of the Naples Mafia (the Camorra) and based on a controversial bestselling book, Gomorra is a superb gangster movie in the mould of "City Of God".
Unflinching, brutal and incredibly powerful, this is a compelling and totally authentic look at a society dominated by corruption and violence.
As realistic as any documentary, Gomorra doesn't desensitise or glamorise the mob rule prevalent in this movie, it shows it as a fearful, unsentimental and excessively dangerous place to be.
No heroes, no villains, just ordinary people caught up in a web of an urban underworld there is no escape from...
79 London to Brighton (2006)
Innocence has nowhere to hide
Starring:Lorraine Stanley, Georgia Groome.
Gritty urban crime thriller while disturbing is also compelling and highly suspenseful.
London to Brighton is a grim portrayal of life in the underbelly of British society which deals with the fragile nature of existence, redemption and the everyday battle for survival in a society, many of us hate to admit exists.
Expertly directed by newcomer Paul Andrew Williams, LTB is a shot in the arm for the British gangster genre and even through all the impeding doom which prevails, there is a flicker of hope at the end of this nicely constructed movie.
78 The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
This tornado just came and erased the Hollywood sign. The Hollywood sign is gone. It's just shredded.
Starring:Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal
Subtlety is not an option. The movies of Roland Emmerich are usually dumb, loud and highly entertaining, The Day after Tomorrow is no exception. In an era of extreme weather and scientist predictions regarding the malevolent force of Global warming TDAT is a timely if rather overblown warning of things to come if we fail to heed the doom mongers.
Filled with exceptional special effects, seat of the pants last minute escapes and scenes of destruction and devastation on a grandeur scale, TDAT does exactly what it says on the tin.
Put your brain in neutral, take the phone off the hook and enjoy one of the best popcorn movies of the decade.
77 Kill Bill Vol 2 (2004)
Revenge is a dish best served cold.
Starring:Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Vivica A Fox, Daryl Hannah, Julie Dreyfus, David Carradine, Michael Madsen.
A different animal to the first Kill Bill movie, Volume 2 displays more restraint, less action and much more character driven dialogue worthy of a Shakespearean tragedy.
Filled with tributes and homage’s, Tarentino stylishly creates his own world filled with revenge, redemption and regret.
Exploitive to be sure but there is enough visual imagery, pitch black humour and emotional resonance to satisfy the most impatient of viewers.
Already a visionary director, Tarentino`s showmanship creates another masterful slice of "Pulp Fiction"
76 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
Do you think we'll ever just have a quiet year at Hogwarts?
Starring:Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Brendan Gleeson, Jason Isaacs, Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman.
The fourth in the series, Goblet of Fire is a much more assured and bravely ambitious movie than the first three.
A faster paced action packed special effects extravagance of a movie, Harry Potter is now maturing and adolescence and death have a much more prominent role to play as the boy wizard faces the trials of the Triwizard Tournament.
Creating a sprawling yet seamless epic, director Mike Newell delivers the quintessential Harry Potter Movie which is magical, atmospheric, imaginative and highly effective.
75 In Bruges (2008)
Ray, you are about the worst tourist in the whole world.
Starring:Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, Colin Farrell
A movie that promises hit men, shootouts and violent action metamorphoses into a different beast altogether.
Pitch black humour blends with machine gun dialogue which is uttered with extreme relish by three actors having a whale of a time.
A profane, suspenseful and very funny film about trust, honour and redemption, In Bruges turns the gangster thriller on its head and delivers an unpredictable road movie which is compelling and totally unique,
Surprisingly also works well as a travelogue for the fairytale medieval city of Bruges.
74 The Devils Backbone (2001)
The living will always be more dangerous than the dead.
Director:Guillermo Del Toro
Starring:Marisa Paredes, Eduardo Noriega, Frederico Luppi, Inigo Garces.
A creepy, potent and atmospherically charged ghost story set during the Spanish Civil War.
Creating a genuine fear and a taut dread through its beautifully paced plotting, The Devils Backbone tells its damning story which is as engrossing as it is sad.
A political fable which is haunting, visceral and stylishly imagined and in which director Guillermo Del Toro enters the realms of storyteller extraordinaire with this tale of revenge and redemption, an arc he would later revisit with his masterful movie "Pans Labyrinth".
73 Mean Creek (2004)
What do you guys say we play some Truth or Dare?
Director:Jacob Aaron Estes
Starring:Rory Culkin, Ryan Kelley, Scott Mechlowicz, Trevor Morgan, Josh Peck.
It is rare to see a coming of age drama that is as perceptive, astute and as realistic as Mean Creek.
A routine story is handled with a moral complexity missing in most teen movies and the acting has a brutally honest edge, Mean Creek is a taut, suspenseful little thriller with honest dialogue and a young cast that is convincing and assured.
This is a surprisingly good movie that is confrontational and incredibly earnest and handles the sometimes-painful transition from child to adulthood with a sincerness, which can only be admired and feared.
72 Cache (2005)
Can you think of someone who might do this as a prank?
Starring:Daniel Auteuil, Juliette Binoche, Maurice Benichou, Annie Girardot, Bernard Le Coq, Daniel Duval, Nathalie Richard, Denis Podalydes, Aissa Maiga.
Intellectual and cerebral thriller that demands the full attention of the viewer.
Metamorphosing from a simple riddle into a complex and challenging mystery-encompassing relationships, lies and secrets, Cache (or Hidden as it is known in the UK) never takes the easy route.
Stirring performance from the two leads help to create an aura of suspense and even bewilderment in this multi layered, expertly crafted movie.
71 Letters From Iwo Jima (2006)
For our homeland. Until the very last man. Our duty is to stop the enemy right here. Do not expect to return home alive.
In 2006, iconic actor and director Clint Eastwood released two movies dealing with the World War 2 Battle of Iwo Jima. Flags of our Fathers dealt with the American marines who raised the American flag in the legendary photograph taken at the time.
Letters from Iwo Jima explored the battle from the Japanese perspective and is a far more personal and intimate movie.
In examining the hardship and unbearable conditions endured by soldiers facing in surmounting odds, LFIJ humanizes the combatants without being over sentimental.
Fresher and more focused than Flags, this is a movie that portrays the horrors of war using superb and assured cinematography and turns an emotionally charged war movie into a near classic.
70 Ratatouille (2007)
What do I always say? Anyone can cook.
Starring (voices) Patton Oswalt,Ian Holm,Lou Romano,Peter O'Toole.
Pixar continues to lead the field in Computer animation and in Ratatouille, it has once again created a visually stunning and delicious dish fit to put before a king.
Attempting the almost impossible in making rats likable and dare I say it lovable, this is a movie which transcends the barriers of a kid’s film taking the viewer into culinary heaven and a magically enchanting journey through the streets of Paris.
Awash with colour and vibrancy, Ratatouille also contains a delectable turn from Peter O`Toole.
A scrumptious, appetising feast of imagination and wonder.
69 Into The Wild (2007)
Mr. Franz I think careers are a 20th century invention and I don't want one.
Starring:Catherine Keener, Jena Malone, William Hurt, Hal Holbrook, Marcia Gay Harden, Kristen Stewart, Zach Galifianakis, Vince Vaughn, Emile Hirsch.
A sombre and eloquent road movie based on real events, Into the Wild is an engrossing ride.
Director Sean Penn has gathered together an excellent cast and has worked his magic with this idealistic and eco-friendly film.
Cinematography of the highest standard lovingly creates an American outback seldom seen and although the main character is headstrong, foolish and a little naïve, he comes across as a young man with a vision and principles the viewer feels obliged to embrace.
A carefully constructed tale of a free spirit exploring a life few of us can ever envisage.
68 Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005)
Listen carefully. Everyone make mistakes. But if you committed a sin, you have to make an atonement for that sin. Atonement, do you know what that means? Big Atonement for big sins. Small Atonement for small sins.
Director: Chan-wook Park
Starring: Yeong-ae Lee, Min-sik Choi.
Recently released from prison after spending 13 years inside for the kidnapping and murder of a young child, Lee Geum-Ja begins her rehabilitation and plots her revenge against the man really responsible for the heinous crime.
South Korea is one of the few countries in the world where, until recently, Hollywood productions did not enjoy a dominant share of the domestic market and with movies such as A Tale Of Two Sisters, Oldboy and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, Western audiences continue to be equally delighted and perplexed.
Sympathy is not a straightforward revenge thriller, it's a tale of redemption and distortion and is played out on a grandeur scale.
Lee Geum-Ja (as played by the excellent Lee Young Ae) has a complex disposition and is portrayed as kindhearted and generous and brutal and psychotic (sometimes, in the same scene).
Her motives soon become clear and we are subject to savage prison scenes as Lee Geum-Ja makes many allies amongst her fellow inmates.
Early in the movie director Park Chan-Wook masterfully draws the audience in with his dazzling visuals, the opening credits being a highlight, later on the lighting becomes darker as the movie takes on a more profound tone.
Sympathy is at times mesmerising, there are no body ridden shootouts and much of the gore and violence happens off screen yet this is a cold and calculating movie and at times is very disturbing. It is unflinching in its portrayal of retribution and its characters are fleshed out in such a way that we understand their anguish and terror.
This is Korean cinema at its very best tackling subjects Hollywood would never touch, Sympathy is also the best of Parks "revenge" trilogy beating even "Oldboy" with its majestic storytelling.
A Gothic, potent and dark tale, sympathy is a movie that believes in its own convictions and drags the viewer into its sordid tale of revenge and suffering.Highly recommended.
67 Right At Your Door (2006)
Terror just hit home.
Starring;Rory Cochrane, Mary McCormack.
Low-key yet incredibly tense semi post apocalyptic movie, which hits all the right buttons.
Plays on the fears of the public and the serious threat of terrorism and creates a wave of fear which is chilling and scarily realistic.
A movie, which also deals with relationships, commitment and the desire to live, come what may.
Superior acting, solid camerawork and a twist ending that although bordering on the ludicrous ends up the right side of brilliance.
66 United 93 (2006)
Are you guys ready? Let's roll! Come on, let's go!
Director; Paul Greengrass
Starring; Polly Adams,J.J. Johnson,Gary Commock.
The first film to recount events that took place during the September 11 terrorist attacks deals with the only aircraft that failed to reach its intended target.
United 93 is a powerful, honest and sometimes deeply disturbing picture that tells its tale without resorting to Hollywood schmaltz.
With an ending we all know, this film still manages to be engrossing, mesmerizing and incredibly tense.
A superbly directed movie, hard to watch yet ultimately a fitting tribute to the many innocent people who died on September 11th 2001.
65 Zombieland (2009)
In Mexico, you know what they call Twinkies? "Los submarinos."
Starring:Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Abigail Breslin.
I’m a sucker for Zombie films, who isn’t. The Noughties saw an absolute explosion of movies featuring the undead, Dawn of the Dead, Shaun of the Dead. Diary of the Dead, Land of the Dead, 28 Days Later. 28 Weeks Later, hey I even liked the Resident Evil films (well the first two anyway).
The accolade of the highest grossing Zombie film of all time though goes to Zombieland, a lighthearted excursion to the end of the world which happens to be funny, fast paced and surprisingly savvy. Eschewing any real scares and making full impact of the gore on show, Zombieland introduces the audience to characters who are actually likable (not always the case in Zombie flicks) and because of this we don’t want to see them get eaten (usually the case in Zombie flicks).
A great cast seem to be having a lot of fun and (although I’m sure it won’t be the case) make the Zombie apocalypse seem a good place to be.
Witty, fresh and ever so slightly bonkers, bring on the sequel.
64 The Class (2008)
Between the walls
Starring:Juliette Demaille, Francois Begaudeau, Cherif Bounaidja Rachedi, Arthur Fogel, Laura Baquela, Olivier Dupeyron, Vincent Caire, Patrick Dureuil, Dalla Doucoure, Nassim Amrabt
A remarkable film charting life in an inner city multicultural high school in Paris.
Exploring the honest (if sometimes misguided) attempts of a teacher to help his pupils even when faced with apathy and racial divide, The Class is a refreshing, exhilarating and totally compelling movie. Taking into consideration that the ensemble cast are all non-actors and a lot of the dialogue was improvised only makes it even more of a sensational effort by director Laurent Cantet.
A film without stereotypes and clichÃ©s, the 2008 Palme d'Or winner is a uniquely thought provoking tale which raises many important questions without offering up easy answers.
63 Cloverfield (2008)
Okay, just to be clear here, our options are: die here, die in the tunnels, or die in the streets. That pretty much it?
Starring:Michael Stahl-david, Lizzy Caplan, Mike Vogel, Odette Yustman, Jessica Lucas
A movie event, Cloverfield was a film hyped up by a clever and canny marketing campaign.
Billed as Godzilla meets the Blair Witch project, Cloverfield simply takes the old Giant Monster attacks New York concept and runs with it to an incredibly effective degree.
Intentionally shaky camerawork gives the movie a documentary type feel even though you can't quite believe what you are seeing as real, the effect is startling. Tense, Innovative and exhilarating, there is little time to catch your breath.
Cloverfield traces its origins back to the experimental monster films of the 50s yet has its feet firmly in the technologically advanced 21st Century.
62 The Incredibles (2004)
Put these on. Your identity is your most valuable possession. Protect it. And if anything goes wrong, use your powers.
Starring:Craig T Nelson (Voice), Holly Hunter (Voice), Samuel L Jackson (Voice), Jason Lee (Voice), Spencer Fox (Voice), Sarah Vowell (Voice), Brad Bird (Voice).
It isn’t just the stunning visuals that make Pixar films so good and amazingly popular; it’s the heart warming stories, the wry dialogue, the frequent laughter and the stunningly created action scenes.
Beautifully crafted with engaging characters, The Incredibles is ... well, incredible. This is a superhero movie that Marvel and DC can only dream about making. Providing a genuine homage to the superheroes of old, yet able to connect to the domestic everyday family problems, this is a film which is enticing, profound and monumentally entertaining.
61 Sophie Scholl:The Final Days(2005)
The sun is still shining!
Starring:Julia Jentsch, Alexander Held, Fabian Hinrichs, Johanna Gastdorf, Andre Hennicke.
This movie is a historical recreation of the last days of Sophie Scholl, a member of a non violent German resistance movement during the Second World War.
After the German army suffered heavy losses at the battle of Stalingrad, a small number of University students appalled with the stories of Nazi atrocities that were filtering through to them set up an anti war group called the White Rose.
In and around Munich University, a campaign is Spearheaded by the students as they organise leaflet handouts and daub graffiti over government buildings attacking Hitler and his policies.
After a leaflet drop in the main square of the University, Sophie and her brother Hans are spotted by the janitor and are subsequently arrested by the Gestapo.
After a period of interrogation and cross examining, Sophie, Hans and their friend Christoph Probst are charged with high treason, troop demoralization and aiding the enemy. They are sentenced to death and are executed by guillotine only six days after their arrest.
German Cinema continues to reach deep into its soul in examining and questioning the actions of the Nazis during the Second World War
Following on from the utterly stunning "Downfall", Sophie Scholl offers a realistic and convincing backdrop of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances anchored by a truly unforgettable performance by Julia Jentish (bearing a remarkable resemblance to the American Actress Claire Danes) as Sophie.
As the opening scenes play out like a first rate espionage romp, the movie soon turns into a courtroom thriller and Jentish finds the perfect pitch along with the rest of the cast.
Alexander Held as Sophie's interrogating officer who is subtlety forced to re-examine his beliefs has the other standout performance.
The director Marc Rothemund meticulously recreates the era working from long buried historical records, many of the protagonists are depicted as flawed individuals and only the President of the peoples Court, Roland Freisler comes across as a stereotypical fanatical Nazi. This is a straightforward tale of heroism and bravery, there are no fancy camera angles or gimmicky editing and the audience are subjected to a matter of fact re-telling from one of the darkest periods of modern history.
Many stand out scenes include Sophie's last meeting with her parents before her execution and the actual executions which are carried out as the viewer sees a blank screen, but it is the courtroom scenes which have the most impact as we watch a powerful and evil regime (represented by Freisler) challenged by 2 young students.
Sophie Scholl is not a familiar name in Britain but it is hard to overestimate the regard she has in Germany. A recent magazine in Germany with a readership of 4 million voted her "the most important women of the 2oth century and young viewers of a German TV channel voted her "the most important German of all time".
This is a film people need to see, it has a far greater impact due to the fact it is actually German rather than an American or British production.
As a movie, Sophie Scholl offers a lasting tribute and makes a statement relevant to today's society, as people all over the world have much greater freedom of speech, we must never forget the reasons we are in that position.
60 Y tu mamÃ¡ tambiÃ©n (2001)
Truth is cool but unattainable... the truth is totally amazing, but you can't ever reach it.
Starring:Gael Garcia Bernal, Maribel Verdu, Diego Luna
A sexually charged and provocative movie based in Contemporary Mexico and directed by one of the best in the business, Y tu mamÃ¡ tambiÃ©n (and your mother too) is frank, open minded and extremely honest.
Two post adolescent teenagers who are looking for liberation through sex, recreational drugs and alcohol take a road trip with an older and seemingly more sophisticated women.
As their trip progresses, fantasy and reality intertwine and there is an excellent chemistry and wonderful character development. A subtle examination of the current state of modern Mexico prevails throughout and the journey of the three main protagonists reflects that through their actions and discovery of each other.
Bold, raunchy and a visual delight, Y tu mamÃ¡ tambiÃ©n is another excellent Mexican film spearheading the current renaissance in that country.
59 Antichrist (2009)
Director: Lars von Trier
Starring: Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg.
Definitely not a film for all tastes, Antichrist could be construed as a sick grotesque and pretty depraved movie.
Controversial to say the least, this is a film, which for all its despair and sadism is absolutely mesmerizing.
Frequently disturbing and unflinching, Antichrist is nevertheless potent to the max and never becomes boring or obvious.
Although director Lars Von Trier may have some serious issues, his work is always unique and challenging.
Not for the squeamish or easily offended.
58 Sideways (2004)
That's 100% pinot noir. Single vineyard. They don't even make it any more.
Starring:Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen, Sandra Oh
A couple of middle aged slackers living with nothing but disappointment end up on a bachelors week sampling wine in California in this affable and entertaining comedy.
A leisurely stroll which introduces us to characters who are not totally likable yet illicit a genuine interest in their affairs, Sideways is a meandering journey dealing with human weakness and emotion. Scoring points for honesty and perceptiveness, this is a movie which won't blow you away but will stay in your minds eye for days after.
57 Amelie (2001)
It's better to help people than garden gnomes.
Starring:Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz, Yolande Moreau, Dominique Pinon, Michel Robin
The word "Feelgood" was invented for this whimsical and magical fairy tale.
Visually brilliant, charming and imaginative beyond words, Amelie is a joyous journey of wonderment nudged along the way by Audrey Tautou`s extraordinary performance as the naïve, sweet and innocent Parisian.
A film of discovery and romanticism which is as captivating as it is memorable.
One of the best French films of the 21st Century directed by one of the most ingenious directors in the business.
56 The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Your life is defined by its opportunities... even the ones you miss.
Starring:Brad Pitt,Cate Blanchett,Tilda Swinton.
Spellbinding and wildly ambitious fantasy which celebrates the journey of life through all its joy, sadness and regrets.
Using state of the art (but very subtle) CGI, (check out an extremely young Brad Pitt), Button is a delightful and admirable vision of an unusual mans leisurely odyssey from birth to death or old age to youth as is the case.
Pitt has an innocent like charm which reverberates throughout the film and he is ably supported by Cate Blanchett and the wonderful Tllda Swinton.
A curious reminder of mortality, Button is an imaginative, charismatic and heartbreaking tale brought to life by an extremely talented and ultimately audacious director.
55 Pans Labyrinth (2006)
A long time ago, in the underground realm, where there are no lies or pain, there lived a Princess who dreamed of the human world.
Director:Guillermo Del Toro
Starring:Ivana Baquero, Maribel Verdu
A grim fairytale definitely not for Children, Labyrinth is an immaculately shot movie with majestic set design.
Blending the horrors of war with the surreal fantasies of a child, this is a movie that is dark, brutal and ultimately devastatingly sad.
Set in post war Spain, Labyrinth could also be construed as a political allergy with its anti fascist commentary but it undoubtedly works best as a captivating and imaginative dark fable.
Guillermo Del Toro continues to excel as one of the most visually impressive directors in the business.
54 Chopper (2000)
Jimmy, if you keep stabbing me, you're going to kill me.
Starring: Eric Bana, Simon Lyndon, David Field, Kate Beahan, Vince Colosmo, Kenny Graham, Dan Wyllie, Bill Young.
Brutal, graphic and highly stylish criminal melodrama featuring a barely recognizable Eric Bana as real life Aussie hard man Mark Brandon Read a.k.a Chopper.
Typically Australian (tough, ruthless and uncompromising) in tone, this movie manages to make a homicidal, repellent and nasty piece of work into a largely charismatic and likable character thanks in main to Bana`s performance.
Perversely funny, disturbing and wildly unpredictable, Chopper serves as a mesmerizing slice of an Australian underbelly few are familiar with.
53 Donnie Darko (2001)
Life is one long insane trip. Some people just have better directions.
Starring:Jake Gyllenhaal, Drew Barrymore, Noah Wyle, Patrick Swayze, Mary McDonnell, Katharine Ross, Jena Malone, Holmes Osborne.
The word "cult" was invented for movies like Donnie Darko, a film which unquestionably splits opinion.
Difficult to define and even harder to pin down, Darko is an astonishingly good debut movie by director Richard Kelly (who so far has failed to live up to his potential). This is a film which explores the pain of growing up and blends it into a time travelling Sci Fi Fantasy.
Audacious, moving and highly imaginative with a star making performance from Jake Gyllenhaal, this is a film which defies convention and is a surreal and mind bending trip into a unique and visually impressive world.
52 Amores perros (2000)
You and your plans. You know what my grandmother used to say? If you want to make God laugh... tell Him your plans.
Director:Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Starring:Emilio Echeverria, Goya Toledo, Alvaro Guerrero, Vanessa Bauche, Jorge Salinas, Laura Almela, Jorge Arellano, Gael Garcia Bernal.
Superb multi layered Mexican anthology which is raw, brutal and highly compelling.
Borrowing unashamedly from Tarentino, this is an audacious and incredibly ambitious tale featuring deeply flawed and at times unlikable characters who nevertheless elicit sympathy and equal measures of despair.
Human nature and sometimes the lack of human kindness are explored fully through three intertwining stories tenuously linked to a horrific car crash.
A story about loss, betrayal and responsibility is brilliantly realised in this masterpiece of Mexican cinema.
51 Spirited Away (2001)
I'd like to help you, dear, but there's nothing I can do. It's one of our rules here. You've got to take care of your parents and that dragon boyfriend of yours, on your own.
The highest grossing movie in Japanese history, Spirited Away offers so much more than an animated children's fantasy.
Playing on the themes of childhood to Adulthood and the conflicts between Modern society in Japan and the past, this is a movie rich with colourful characters, extraordinary situations and imaginative storytelling.
Weird and wonderful, this surreal "Alice in Wonderland" fully deserves the many plaudits it received.
50 Downfall (2005)
In a war as such there are no civilians.
Starring:Bruno Ganz, Corinna Harfouch, Ulrich Matthes
The final days Of Nazi Germany and its maniacal leader Adolf Hitler are stunningly told in this unforgettable movie.
Even 60 years on from events, there is still a lot of sensitivity regarding the portrayal of Hitler in German cinema and this film earns its fair share of controversy.
Blending matter of fact, almost banal everyday occurrences with disturbing and shocking images, Downfall creates a claustrophobic induced aura that hooks the viewer in.
Neither condemning nor (heaven forbid) glorifying Hitler, this is a movie, which tells a story about the end of one of modern history's darkest hours. It also offers a bleak and chilling reminder of the destructiveness and chaos of human life.
49 Finding Nemo (2003)
If this is some kind of practical joke, it's not funny, and I know funny. I'm a clownfish.
Starring:Albert Brooks (Voice), Alexander Gould (Voice), Ellen DeGeneres (Voice), Willem Dafoe (Voice), Brad Garrett (Voice), Alison Janney (Voice), Stephen Root (Voice), Austin Pendleton (Voice), Joe Ranft (Voice), Vicki Lewis (Voice).
Every film critic worth his salt is sharpening his pen waiting for Pixar to make a bad film, it just hasn’t happened yet and with their recent fare, WALL E and Up, they seem capable of taking any medium and transforming it into something magical and enchanting.
Finding Nemo, their second best feature (just after Toy Story 2) is very Disney, it contains unforgettable characters, sterling voice work, beautifully timed comic moments and divine animation that has such a kaleidoscope of colour, it almost hurts your eyes.
Mesmerizing, unforgettable and stunningly realized, it is difficult not to fall for Nemo, hook, line and sinker.
48 The Mist (2007)
So... any boogeymen?
Starring:Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden, Andre Braugher, Toby Jones.
Criminally overlooked horror thriller with a first rate pedigree (directed by Frank Darabont from a story by Stephen King).
A box office dud in the States, The Mist is a superior, compact and incredibly intense movie, which is heads above a lot of the teen friendly shockers currently been churned out by the major studios.
Cranking up the tension to an unbearable level, The Mist uses atmosphere, scares and the feeling of paranoia rather then opting for all out gore.
A top performance from Marcia Gay Harden and a gut wrenchingly savage twist ending which could be construed as depressing and nihilistic if it wasn't so brilliant.
47 Dog Soldiers (2002)
There are some places you really shouldn't go.
Starring:Sean Pertwee, Kevin McKidd, Liam Cunningham.
Director Neil Marshall is beginning to carve out a decent career for himself as a director of seriously good movies. His feature film debut, Dog Soldiers is an unashamedly derivative, all action and gutsy Horror film which just happens to be one of the finest werewolf films ever made.
Crammed with in jokes, movie references and cheesy character names (Bruce Campbell anyone?), Dog Soldiers is a delight from start to finish.
Considering the low budget, the effects are gloriously bloody and highly effective and the actors are all incredibly boisterous and realistic.
Unpretentious and extremely tongue in cheek, Dog Soldiers is a little gem of a movie which quite comfortably deserves a place on anyone's list of all time horror movies.
46 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
Cornelius, I implore you to see reason. The evidence that the Dark Lord has returned is incontrovertible.
Starring:Brendan Gleeson, Richard Griffiths, Robbie Coltrane, Estelle Harris, Emma Watson, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Daniel Radcliffe, Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman.
Without a doubt, the most successful movie franchise of the Noughties are the adaptations of JK Rowlings Harry Potter books.
The boy wizard has now enthralled audiences for over a decade and even has his own theme park.
The films have significantly grown in stature over the years and Harry Potter, his friends and his enemies have grown up on screen. There has been little tinkering with the cast and formula and this has significantly helped to produce an entertaining and highly enjoyable series.
Order of the Phoenix may not have pleased everyone, large slices of the book were altered or simply left out but as a movie, Phoenix raises the bar. Not encumbered with too many special effect shots, there is ample room for character development and meaningful content. The actors involved continue to grow into their roles and the sheer familiarity with the characters helps to smooth out any rough edges.
This is also the Harry Potter film most in touch with the real world dealing with adolescence, friendship and responsibility.
The best of the series followed by the painfully disappointing Half Blood Prince.
45 The Machinist (2004)
Stevie, I haven't slept in a year.
Starring:Christian Bale, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Intelligent and pretty dark drama which hinges on one of the most extraordinary performances of the decade. Allegedly Christian Bale lived on 1 cup of coffee and an apple (or a can of tuna) a day for 4 months to lose 62lb for his role as the haunted Trevor Reznik .
The film does his astonishing sacrifice justice and is an admirable psychological and disturbing movie which keeps the viewer guessing until the final frame.
Grainy and atmospheric, The Machinist is the type of film which crawls underneath the skin and stays there for a number of days.
You'll be glad to know Bale put all the weight (and more) back on for his portrayal of Batman in his next film "Batman Begins".
44 Babel (2006)
It's almost new. Three hundred cartridges. The guy who gave it to me said you can hit as far as three kilometers.
Director:Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Starring:Cate Blanchett, Brad Pitt.
Another fascinating multi layered movie from the director of Amores Perros.
Intelligent filmmaking of the highest standard, Babel is a story of fate and circumstance.
Seemingly unrelated tales from Morocco, Japan and Mexico blend effortlessly together into a mature and intimate tale, which provides excellent acting performances from the entire cast.
Class barriers, cultural differences and the simple act of communicating are all explored and fully developed and the eventual effect is one of immense achievement.
43 Gran Torino (2008)
Get off my lawn!
Starring:Clint Eastwood, Christopher Carley, Ahney Her, Dreama Walker, Brian Haley, William Hill, John Carroll Lynch, Bee Vang, Brian Howe, Geraldine Hughes.
As he approaches his 80th birthday, film legend Clint Eastwood shows no sign of slowing up, seemingly concentrating on his directorial duties these days, Clint appeared as an actor in only four films in the Noughties ending the decade with one of his finest performances ever.
Playing a cantankerous grizzled veteran of the Korean War, Eastwood is simply magnificent in a tale, which explores racism, old age and redemption.
Gran Torino is a suspenseful and gripping drama tightly plotted and compactly directed by the man himself, more intimate than most of Eastwoods later films, Gran Torino plays like a "Harry Callahan" in retirement kind of movie yet ends as an enthralling character study of a man forced to confront his demons and make peace with himself.
42 Funny Games US (2007)
What do you think? Think they stand a chance?
Starring:Tim Roth, Naomi Watts,Michael Pitt, Brady Corbett.
A shot by shot remake of Director Michael Hanekes 1997 original (Which I'm ashamed to say I have yet to see) Funny Games is an indomitable and disturbing exercise in endurance. It is in essence, a movie that you feel compelled to stop watching. It pushes the viewers patience to the limit and continues to manipulate the emotions.
Funny Games could hardly be classed as entertainment, its a challenging and gruelling ride and is intentionally horrific.
I watched this movie after a lovely day out at the seaside with my family. I actually went to bed feeling distressed and drained. This feeling didn't subside for a couple of days; surely this is the true meaning of horror.
41 Out Of The Blue (2006)
From the last place on earth comes a true story of courage and survival.
Director: Robert Sarkies
Starring: Karl Urban, Matthew Sunderland.
A movie based on the Aramoana Massacre in New Zealand in which unemployed gun collector David Gray went on the rampage and fatally shot 13 people.
Out of the blue sensitively handles events without wallowing in violence and produces a gripping and taut thriller.
Whilst stark and disturbing, this film also concentrates on the reactions and courage of ordinary people plunged into an extraordinary situation.
Expertly crafted and cannily directed, Out of the Blue is a small film which demands a bigger audience.
40 Red Road (2006)
Have we met?
Starring:Kate Duchene, Natalie Press, Tony Curran, Martin Compston.
A cold, bleak and raw thriller which takes the viewer on a journey of uncertainty right up until the stunning dÃ©nouement.
The harsh streets and tower blocks of Glasgow are the backdrop for this interestingly shot movie.
Filmed using handheld cameras and natural light, Red Road is the first movie in a concept called "Advance Party” which follows a set of rules similar to the Dogma 95 method of avant-garde filmmaking. For a lot of people, what I’ve just wrote won’t make a lot of sense but you need to be aware, Red Road is a gritty, unflinching and fairly explicit film dealing with regret, redemption and the all too familiar story of inner city urban decay.
One of the best British films of the decade.
39 Dawn Of The Dead (2004)
36 billion people have died since the reign of humanity. For the new Dawn, there's a reunion...
Starring:Ving Rhames, Sarah Polley, Mekhi Phifer
The biggest compliment I can pay to Zack Snyder's Dawn Of The Dead remake is that it is on a par with the original. Making some bold and innovative changes, Snyder develops a tense, gory and action packed Zombie flick. Derided by some critics for changing the undead from shuffling and clumsy protagonists to fast and furious flesh eating monsters, this is never the less a worthy and entertaining successor. Grotesque, visceral and less political than its predecessor, DOTD delivers the goods tenfold while always showing respect to Romero's classic (even throwing in a number of cameos from the original). Snyder's apocalyptic zombie vision benefits greatly from Indie Queen Sarah Polleys magnificent performance. All in all, the end of the world has never looked so gruesomely good.
38 Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Once upon a time in Nazi occupied France...
Starring:Brad Pitt, MÃ©lanie Laurent,Christoph Waltz,Eli Roth,Diane Kruger,Michael Fassbender,Daniel BrÃ¼hl,Til Schweiger, Gedeon Burkhard.
Tarantino does it again, his long awaited World War 2 epic, Inglourious Basterds is 24 carat movie gold.
Incredibly wacky, totally unconventional and lovingly crafted, Tarantino completely pulls the rug out from under your feet any number of times and delivers numerously unexpected twists and turns. Tagged as a men on a mission movie, Basterds is so much more.
Pretentious? without a doubt, over the top?, certainly, indulgent, hey this is a Tarantino flick but if you can find an all out more entertaining film than this, then you need to hang on to it for dear life, and as the final line reminds you "This might just be my masterpiece."
37 Borat (2006)
My country send me to United States to make movie-film. Please, come and see my film. If it not success, I will be execute.
Starring:Sacha Baron Cohen, Pamela Anderson, Ken Davitian
It's difficult to tick off an entire country but Sasha Baron Cohen pretty much manages it with his portrayal of Borat, the bumbling TV reporter from Kazakhstan. It's also a kick in the teeth when the most famous person in your country doesn't actually exist.
Borat is crude, vulgar and seriously over the top yet it has a unique and fresh approach in its humour which has been long overdue in the world of movie comedy.
At its best when genuinely duping members of the American public who in the majority of cases fully deserve the humiliation they endure, Borat is unlike anything ever seen.
An incredibly funny, controversial and uniquely brilliant movie.
36 Shooting Dogs (2005)
1994, 800,000 killed in 100 days. Would you risk your life to make a difference?
Starring:Hugh Dancy, John Hurt.
Based on a real life story and actually filmed on the original location, Shooting Dogs is the harrowing recreation of events in Rwanda during the genocide in 1994.
A film that touches on political indifference and the total inadequacy of the UN focuses more on the human turmoil suffered in such an atrocity.
Difficult to watch at times but utterly compelling, this is a movie, which holds no punches eliciting pure anger and outrage.
Intense and gripping with a performance from John Hurt straight out of the top drawer, Shooting Dogs is an important and worthwhile film that is uncompromising, honest and deeply moving.
35 Casino Royale (2006)
The name's Bond... James Bond.
Starring:Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Eva Green.
Bond is re-invented for the 21st century; stepping into the shoes of the suave quintessential secret agent, Daniel Craig surpasses all expectations and reinvigorates a tried and trusted franchise.
Grittier, more vulnerable and evidently colder than an icebox in Alaska, Bond is given a major overhaul and the evidence is there for all to see.
Opening with one of the finest action scenes ever seen on film, Casino Royale is an intriguing, gripping and hard-hitting film, which has three dimensional characters, glamorous locations and sublime direction.
One of the best Bond films ever, it’s only a shame they went and blew it with Quantum of Solace.
34 Mulholland Dr (2001)
I'm sorry. I'm just so excited to be here. I mean I just came here from Deep River, Ontario, and now I'm in this dream place. Well, you can imagine how I feel.
Starring:Justin Theroux, Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Ann Miller, Robert Forster.
Mind bending, surreal and bizarre, Mulholland Dr is pure David Lynch. Cinematically brilliant, this movie makes no sense at all, it is a complete and utter mystery as to what the plot is yet it is somehow mesmerising and highly watchable.
Undoubtedly pretentious, unquestionably self indulgent, this is still a magical, rewarding experience which is as captivating as it is unique.
33 The Last King of Scotland (2006)
You promised to me you would help me build a new Uganda. You swore an oath.
Starring:James McAvoy, Forest Whitaker, Gillian Anderson, David Oyelowo, Kerry Washington, Simon McBurney.
A fictionalized account detailing the events surrounding Ugandan dictator Idi Amin and a young Scottish doctor who becomes Amins personal physician.
The Last King of Scotland is a powerful and searing drama which has an exemplary performance from Forest Whittaker as the ruthless yet strangely charismatic despot. Brutal and disturbing images intercut with a seductive romanticism of a young man in an alien land suddenly thrust into a glamorous and wealthy lifestyle.
This is a movie which once again explores a dark, corrupt and murderous chapter in African political history
Delivering a superior and thought provoking tale involving the loss of innocence and the all too familiar transformation of saviour to destroyer, The Last King of Scotland is a triumph and another historical warning for the future.
32 Der Baader Meinhof Komplex (2008)
The children of the Nazi generation vowed fascism would never rule their world again.
Starring:Martina Gedeck, Bruno Ganz, Hannah Herzsprung, Alexandra Maria Lara, Moritz Bleibtreu, Nadja Uhl, Johanna Wokalek, Karoline Herfurth
Historically accurate and highly authentic recreation of a 1970s Germany rocked by the distinct threat of a new type of terrorism.
The Red Army Faction (originally known by the media as "The Baader Meinhof Complex", after two of its originators Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof) considered themselves to be a Communist and "Urban Guerrilla" group who carried out a number of attacks against the then Federal German Government who they deemed as Fascist.
The movie chronicling these events is a well written and sharply directed dissection of the group's motives and failures. The camerawork brilliantly captures the chaos, violence and turbulence of the period.
A fantastic cast compliment this gripping and startlingly impressive thriller.
31 Eden Lake (2008)
Follow the blood!
Starring:Michael Fassbender, Bronson Webbe, Kelly Reilly, Thomas Turgoose
The day after I watched Eden Lake, I read a story in the local rag about a 19yr old disabled girl who had been literally taken prisoner, tied up, physically and mentally abused and then left in a local park at 5.30 in the morning, her captors were young aimless hoodies.
Almost the very next day I read about a 17yr old boy who was tied to a tree, doused in petrol and set alight to die a horrible death by youngsters not much older than him. This is what makes Eden Lake so frightening and shocking, its grip on reality is very close to the knuckle and although it has many contrivances it delivers a voyeuristic and all too familiar story of 21st Century Britain and the major problems of today's society that all politicians fail to comprehend.
Eden Lake disturbed the hell out of me; it's not a conventional horror movie by any stretch of the imagination. It's real, too damn real.
30 Switchblade Romance (2003)
I won't let anyone come between us any more.
Starring:Cecile De France, Maiwenn Le Besco, Philippe Nahon, Franck Khalfoun.
Better known as Haute Tension in its native country, this is a rare beast, a French Slasher movie, which seems like a blood soaked relic from the 80s.
Pushing the Gore and bloodletting to the very limit, Switchblade Romance is not for the faint hearted or those easily offended by gruesome video Nasties.
What lifts this movie from the behind the counter bargain bin is its style, its relentless pace, superior bloody makeup effects (by legendary makeup artist Gianetto De Rossi) and a daft but incredulous twist that is so insane, its almost brilliant.
29 My Summer Of Love (2004)
Apparently I'm a bad influence on people.
Starring:Natalie Press, Emily Blunt, Paddy Considine
A very simple coming of age movie which works beautifully.
Stunningly shot, acted and meticulously plotted, My summer of love is a complex portrait of the rites of passage of two disillusioned girls on the verge of full adulthood.
A provocative, hypnotic and sometimes dark tale of love, obsession and innocence which evokes memories of long hot summers.
Demands comparison to Peter Jacksons "Heavenly Creatures", which considering that was the best film of the Nineties, then you can understand the power of My Summer of Love.
28 District 9 (2009)
When dealing with aliens, try to be polite, but firm. And always remember that a smile is cheaper than a bullet.
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Starring: Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, David James, Mandla Gaduka, William Allen Young, Vanessa Haywood, Kenneth Nkosi.
Exceptional Science fiction movie with a unique take on the alien invasion of Earth scenario.
Unashamedly borrowing ideas from a number of Sci Fi classics, District 9 is still highly original and deliriously innovative.
Hardly subtle and with a certain political agenda, this film has electric pacing, genuine inventiveness and a core performance from Sharlto Copley which is second to none.
A revelation that is both incredibly entertaining and morally thought provoking.
27 Spiderman 2 (2004)
Now... lets see who's behind the mask
Starring:Tobey Maguire, Daniel Gillies, Alfred Molina, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Willem Dafoe.
An epic comic book move which has glorious set pieces, sublime characterisations and state of the art special effects.
Improving dramatically on the disjointed original, Spiderman 2 stays true to its roots and delivers a typically classic Marvel story with a villain as equally colourful as its hero.
Sam Rami has a ball and reminds viewers why he is one of the most inventive directors on the planet, blending CGI seamlessly into the numerous action scenes.
Worth watching for two scenes alone, Doc Ock waking up in the hospital and the Subway fight scene.
A riotous bundle of fun.
26 This Is England (2006)
Get me... 'undred fags, two bottles of wine, a bottle of whisky, and ten cans of lager now.
Starring:Thomas Turgoose,Stephen Graham, Frank Harper, Joseph Gilgun, Keiran Hardcastle, Jo Hartley, Vicky McLure, Jack O'Connell, George Newton, Andrew Shim, Andrew Ellis.
Shane Meadows continues to justify his tag as the British Martin Scorsese with this riveting portrayal of life in Thatchers Britain circa 1983.
Thomas Turgoose plays Shaun, a 12 year old boy a troubled and alienated boy who is bullied at school. Shaun's father has recently been killed fighting in the Falklands War.
Finding friendship with a gang of jovial and older skinheads, Shaun gradually becomes accepted and discovers a world of Ben Sherman shirts, Doc Martins, Parties and girls.
The return of Combo (Stephen Graham), an older more extreme skinhead threatens to tear the group apart and Shaun believing he has found a suitable role model begins to drift into a more dangerous and radical lifestyle.
Dead Mans Shoes is one of my personal favourite movies of the 21st century, it is a raw and unflinching film depicting life at the bottom end of British society, This Is England carries on this theme but moves the action back 20 years.
An astonishingly understated performance by Turgoose matched by a fierce (and almost sympathetic) one by Graham is the anchor of this gripping movie. In fact all the performances are top drawer and at times you almost believe you are watching a documentary.
Meadows seems to have been meticulous with the wardrobe and the sets and one of my impressions was of actually watching a film made in 1983 (although with very high production standards).
Grahams racist, almost psychotic character is not a stereotype, hes real in a brutal and raw way and he reflects a violent and selfish British society that existed in the early eighties.
The racist overtones are handled well and we are subject to a look at what life was really like for Black and Asian people in Britain at this time.
I have seen this film likened to American History X on some Websites which I think is nonsense, the racism card is only a small part of This is England whereas in x its the whole story.
This Is England is essentially a coming of age movie, a dark, grim, relentless and at times very funny film that also offers a little bit of hope, Woody's skinhead gang look like serious troublemakers but in actual fact are genuinely nice people. They just happen to be young social outcasts looking to survive with nothing to look forward to but a bleak future.
Combo although morally repugnant almost finds redemption at the end and he is haunted by the life he has not had and the life he never will( his scene with Lol in the car borders on the heartbreaking).
Meadows has delivered the goods again, his direction is faultless and the soundtrack is brilliant. (although one of my only quibbles concerns a few to many Reservoir Dogs type procession shots).
This is England is without a doubt one of the best movies of the year and its nice to see a British director sticking to his guns and proving that this country can provide more than Period and costume dramas and East end gangster flicks (Guy Ritchie, take note).
25 Fish Tank (2009)
I hate you! I hate you, too!
Starring:Katie Jarvis, Rebecca Griffiths, Michael Fassbender, Kierston Wareing, Sydney Mary Nash, Harry Treadaway.
Following on from her debut feature "Red Road" director Andrea Arnold once again revisits the urban squalor and decay so often on the edge of British society.
An unflinching, gritty and more importantly realistic look at the painful throes of adolescence in an environment filled with despair and hopelessness.
Katie Jarvis is a revelation as the feisty confused teenager grappling with her feelings and disaffection.
At times sad, disturbing and funny, Fish Tank could also be construed as a pessimistic and slightly depressing tale but it is in its final scenes that a little bit of hope, vulnerability and love finally surfaces.
One of the best British films of the Noughties.
24 Waltz With Bashir (2008)
Do you ever have flashbacks from Lebanon?
Movies often produce vital history lessons for those ignorant or unaware of certain events.
Waltz with Bashir, a unique animated documentary graphically depicts events during the Lebanon War through the eyes of filmmaker Ari Folman.
A movie which is banned in most Arab countries (although this is not unusual for Israeli films) Bashir, although politically controversial and highly ambiguous is still a remarkable achievement. Capturing a turbulent and merciless past, Bashir acts as a blueprint for the future and its anti war stance should be applauded rather than vilified.
23 8 Mile (2002)
You know everyone's caling you a loser from the other night?
Starring:Eminem, Mekhi Phifer, Brittany Murphy, Kim Basinger, Evan Jones, Omar Miller, Eugene Byrd, Anthony Mackie, Taryn Manning, Mike Shannon
Love him or loath him, its difficult to deny Eminem’s influence on the music scene, in his debut movie, he plays a semi autobiographical version of himself which is hardly a stretch for Slim Shady but his screen magnetism is unquestionably visible..
8 mile is a unique almost "Rocky" like picture which uses Hip Hop as its fulcrum yet develops into something far more substantial.
A rags to rich story with an edge, a sprawling examination of the ghetto and urban poverty all seen through the eyes of an outsider
22 The Lives Of Others (2006)
The best way to establish guilt or innocence is non-stop interrogation.
Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Starring:Martina Gedeck,Ulrich MÃ¼he,Sebastian Koch.
A staggeringly good movie which looks at the totalitarian state of East Germany before the fall of the Berlin wall.
As important as a History Lesson in Germanys recent troubled past as it is as a cracking political thriller, The Lives of Others never puts a foot wrong.
A meticulous and subtle production that carefully structures a storyline rife with suspense, the characters never take obvious routes and even in an oppressive society dominated by the East German State, there is a fine line between the good guys and the bad guys.
A well deserving winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
21 The World's Fastest Indian (2005)
If you don't follow your dreams, you might as well be a vegetable.
Starring:Anthony Hopkins, Diane Ladd, Juliana Bellinger, Chris Bruno, Martha Carter, Jessica Cauffiel, Brian Clark, Campbell Cooley, Wesley Dowdell, Todd Emerson.
Simple, heart-warming and very effective tale (based on a true story) about an old codger from New Zealand who unbelievably set a number of world motor cycle speed records.
An awe inspiring film hinging on a sincere and wonderfully canny performance from Anthony Hopkins.
Part road movie, part Rocky like underdog prevailing, The Worlds Fastest Indian is paced immaculately with genuine characters, superb interplay and a finale which will have the whole audience cheering.
20 Avatar (2009)
As head of security, it's my job to keep you alive. I will not succeed - not with all of you.
Starring:Stephen Lang, Wes Studi, Sam Worthington, Peter Mensah, Joel David Moore, Matt Gerald, Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver, C C H Pounder, Laz Alonso.
Truly one of the most jaw dropping, mind blowing and visually stunning cinematic experiences ever, Avatar is without doubt a milestone in Movie History. Beautifully rendered special effects masterfully created in 3D help to create a fantastical world which is simply awesome.
James Cameron is without question a visionary trailblazer of the highest calibre.
Is Avatar a "great" film, its certainly a very, very good one, some of the dialogue is a little clunky, the storyline is pretty much formulaic and the "green" save the rainforest message is fairly righteous but Avatar is an action packed rollicking good movie with interesting characters, grandeur battle scenes and a heart well and truly in the right place.
This could well be where the future of film making begins.
19 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
What exactly am I being accused of other than surviving a nuclear explosion?
Starring:Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Shia LaBeouf, Ray Winstone, John Hurt.
Of all the movies made in the 21st Century, very few were more eagerly anticipated than the fourth instalment in the Indiana Jones Saga.
Although some critics may disagree, Crystal Skulls didn't disappoint, harvesting all the old magic and delivering a whole host of new and unforgettable characters, Skulls works on every conceivable level.
Pure and utter escapism, death defying stunts and intensely fun action scenes all help to deliver a highly entertaining and memorably nostalgic treat.
18 The Hurt Locker (2009)
The rush of battle is a potent and often lethal addiction, for war is a drug.
Starring:Evangeline Lilly, Ralph Fiennes, Anthony Mackie, Guy Pearce, David Morse, Jeremy Renner, Brian Geraghty, Christian Camargo, Suhail Aldabbach, Christopher Sayegh.
A war movie devoid of politics, the Hurt Locker is an action packed suspenseful tour de force.
Following the actions of a United States Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team in Iraq, the movie captures the chaos, violence and sheer ferocity of been in a warzone. The location shooting is second to none and the journey of the three main characters and their differences is sublime.
Free of any subtext and criticism of the war, the Hurt Locker is simply an adrenaline fuelled rollercoaster ride that also happens to be realistic, edgy and intense.
Easily the best movie yet about the Iraqi war and arguably one of the finest war movies ever.
17 Secretary (2002)
This isn't just about typos, tapes, staples and pencils, is it, Lee?
Starring:James Spader, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jeremy Davies, Lesley Ann Warren.
A Rom-Com with a difference, Secretary treads a fine line veering from the uncomfortable to the downright weird.
A love story that is honest, refreshing and utterly absorbing with two of the finest acting performances you will ever see. This is a film that is completely un-PC and it may shock and it may disturb but it is always riveting viewing.
The two main characters may be a little strange and twisted but you still end up rooting for them all the same.
Open your mind, throw off the shackles and enjoy one of the best films of the Noughties.
16 The Station Agent (2003)
It's funny how people see me and treat me, since I'm really just a simple, boring person.
Starring:Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson Paul Benjamin, Jase Blankfort, Paula Garces, Josh Pais, Richard Kind.
Charming, wondrous and gentle film which deals with loneliness, friendship and tolerance.
Virtually plot less; this is a movie, which tugs at the heartstrings without resorting to over sentimentality. Unashamedly quirky and unassuming, much pleasure is derived from the genuine interaction between the three main protagonists.
Genuine world-class acting tour de forces from Peter Dinklage and Patricia Clarkson crown this extraordinary achievement
As quaint as they come, The Station Agent is an absolute gem.
15 Shaun Of The Dead (2004)
Buy Milk. Ring Mum. Dodge Zombies
Starring:Simon Pegg, Bill Nighy, Dylan Moran, Lucy Davis, Nick Frost.
Horror and comedy are not always the most comfortable of bedfellows (Scary Movie, anyone) but over the years, a number of movies have managed to pull it off, American Werewolf In London (1981) and Evil Dead 2 (1987) instantly spring to mind. Shaun Of The Dead takes the humour to another level, lets face it, a romantic comedy with Zombies doesn't sound too appealing when you think about it but SOTD succeeds in remarkable fashion.
SOTD is not a spoof, its a full blown homage to George A Romero Zombie movies which also happens to be extremely funny, the movie doesn't poke fun at its source material, it embraces it wholeheartedly to the point where the audience cares compassionately when the characters are in danger.
There is not a piece of false writing in SOTD and all the characters are fleshed out superbly, when their everyday mundane life's are interrupted by extraordinary events, each character reacts accordingly without them slipping into characture.
This is an extremely funny movie which also happens to be gory, heart rending and destined for all time greatness.
14 Birth (2004)
I guess we'll meet in another life.
Starring:Nicole Kidman, Lauren Bacall, Cameron Bright, Danny Huston
Birth is a haunting masterpiece, a movie which provokes real emotions and asks many questions.
Stunningly shot and directed with acting of the highest calibre, this is a film which will not sit well with some critics.
Difficult to pigeon hole and highly ambivalent, Birth invokes a feeling of awkwardness and disbelief at times all the time tugging at the heartstrings.
A brilliant, challenging and moving story which flirts with obsession, madness and love yet never takes the easy route, leaving the viewer open to intense emotional feelings.
13 Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Purple in the morning, blue in the afternoon, orange in the evening.There's my three meals, Mr. Smartypants.
Starring:Jared Leto, Ellen Burstyn, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans, Louise Lasser, Christopher McDonald.
The excellent film magazine, Empire recently ran an article on “The 10 Most Depressing Films Of All Time” of which Requiem For A Dream was one. It would be very, very difficult to dispute this and I have no intentions of doing so, this is definitely not a “Feel good” Movie.
Visually, though, Requiem is an astonishing achievement offering a kaleidoscope of vivid ideas and stylized images. Disturbing, haunting and truly terrifying, this is a film, which pulls no punches chronicling the devastating effects of addiction on four individuals.
Truly wonderful acting, especially from Ellen Burstyn and a peircing score that will live with you for days, Requiem is an impressive tale of self destruction, difficult to watch, yet hard to ignore.
12 28 Days Later (2002)
Be Thankful For Everything, For Soon There Will Be Nothing...
Starring:Cillian Murphy, Megan Burns, Noah Huntley, Christopher Eccleston, Marvin Campbell, Brendan Gleeson
Arguably one of the finest directors in the business today, Danny Boyle makes interesting and evocative films and even his misfires "A Life Less Ordinary (1997)" and "The Beach (2000)" are more emotive and challenging then a whole host of star loaded fodder that is served up this and every other week.
28 Days Later is without a doubt a directors movie, Boyle is on the absolute top of his game.
Tipping its hat to George A Romero's Zombie trilogy and throwing in a Day Of The Triffids style beginning, 28 Days is a gruesome, frightening and more importantly, a down right realistic apocalyptic saga.
Using every trick in the book (and inventing a few new ones), Boyle works his magic even under the constraints of an obviously tight budget. Throw in some intensely raw acting performances, a scattering of London shot filming locations and a horde of "rage" infected zombies who actually run (rather than shuffle along) and you have one hell of a Horror Movie.
11 Grizzly Man (2005)
I will die for these animals, I will die for these animals, I will die for these animals.
Truly remarkable documentary about one mans fascination with wild bears and his ultimate death at the hands of the creatures he loved and cared for.
A nature film which explores the tract of human behaviour rather than the unpredictable characteristics of the Wild Alaskan grizzly bears.
Painstakingly put together by director Werner Herzog with revealing interviews and footage that comes across as sad, funny and emotionally charged.
Wonderfully challenging and a mesmerizingly brilliant exercise in filmmaking.
10 Battle Royale (2000)
So today's lesson is, you kill each other off till there's only one left. Nothing's against the rules.
Starring:Fujiwara Tatsuya, Maeda Aki, Yamamoto Taro, 'Beat' Takeshi Kitano.
Gloriously sick, twisted and brutal action movie which is as brilliant as it is controversial. Hollywood is in no hurry to remake a film that only the Japanese could make.
Although the bloodletting and scenes of gore are frequent, this is a movie which never wallows in violence, instead focusing on the reactions and actions of a desperate band of schoolchildren.
At times sentimental, sad and surprisingly funny, Battle Royale is the ultimate guilty pleasure and one of the finest Japanese movies ever.
9 Children Of Men (2006)
As the sound of the playgrounds faded, the despair set in. Very odd, what happens in a world without children's voices
Starring:Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine, Chjwetel Ejiofor, Peter Mullan.
An absolute revelation, Children of Men surpasses all expectations.
No film ever set in the future has ever looked so realistic and genuine thanks to mind blowing cinematography (catch the scene where blood is splattered on the camera and remains there for a few minutes).
Tackling touchy subject matters including terrorism and immigration, COM never shies away from controversy and through significant religious symbolism offers immense hope even in the face of extreme futility.
Thought provoking, intelligent and intensely entertaining, Children of Men is one of the best movies of the 21st Century.
8 The Descent (2005)
Hey, there's something down here...
Starring:Alex Reid, Shauna Macdonald,Natalie Jackson Mendoza,Saskia Mulder.
Neil Marshall's highly anticipated follow up to Dog Soldiers (2002) is an atmospherically brilliant horror flick that is literally dripping with unrelenting tension. Boasting an all female cast, this is a white-knuckle roller coaster ride that offers no mercy. Brutal, terrifying and gloriously sadistic, The Descent is a nerve wracking and claustrophobic nightmare that takes no prisoners.
7 Little Children (2006)
There are four columns of lonely women in here, and only one of lonely men. The odds are on our side. Now why wouldn't any of these women want to meet a nice person like you?
Director: Todd Field
Starring:Kate Winslet, Jennifer Connelly, Patrick Wilson
Rich, sharp, multi layered and sharply observational adaptation of Tom Perrottas novel.
A brilliantly complex pseudo love story which interweaves between the life's of Suburbanites living out a mundane and highly flawed existence.
A powerful and mature film with a first rate screenplay and acting that is off the scale, Little Children is one of the finest American kitchen sink dramas ever.
6 Dead mans Shoes (2004)
God will forgive them. He'll forgive them and allow them into Heaven. I can't live with that.
Starring:Paddy Considine, Gary Stretch, Toby Kebbell
Gritty, disturbing and ultimately powerful revenge thriller that also conveys a pitch black sense of humour.
A raw and uncompromising slasher movie with highly intellectual overtones that has realistic characters, plausible dialogue and a thoughtful moralistic tone on the themes of retribution and exploitation.
A truly astonishing turn by Paddy Considine helps to cement the reputation of Director Shane Meadows as one of the best in the business.
5 There Will Be Blood (2007)
There's a whole ocean of oil under our feet! No one can get at it except for me!
Director:Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring:Ciaran Hinds, Kevin J O'Connor, Daniel Day-Lewis, Dillon Freasier, Paul Dano
Not content with delivering two of the best movies of the nineties, (Boogie Nights and Magnolia), Paul Thomas Anderson pulls another rabbit out of the hat with the sprawling old fashioned epic, "There Will Be Blood".
Hinging on an astonishing performance from Daniel Day Lewis, this is a movie that deals subjectively with mans dangerous obsession for wealth and the startling parallels between capitalism and religion.
Cinematography of the highest calibre complements this highly intellectual movie which was (unbelievably) beaten to the Best Picture Oscar by the highly overrated Coen Brothers movie "No Country for Old Men".
4 City Of God (2002)
You need more than guts to be a good gangster, you need ideas.
Director: Fernando Meirelles
Starring:Matheus Nachtergaele, Seu Jorge, Alexandre Rodrigues, Gera Camilo, Karina Falcao, Leandro Firmino da Hora, Graziela Moretto, Roberta Rodriguez Silvia, Renato de Souza.
A mesmerising crime epic which has the most realistic depiction of Gang warfare ever committed to film.
Astonishingly brutal and engrossing, City of God is sometimes difficult to watch; nevertheless, the intimate and revealing portrayal of life in the slums of Rio is daring and dynamic.
Pitch perfect (and kinetic) editing, coupled with acting so good, you can't help feel your watching a documentary, enhances one of the finest gangster movies ever.
Another amazing movie incredibly snubbed at the Oscars.
3 The Aviator (2004)
Actresses are cheap in this town - and I got a lot of money.
Starring:Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Kate Beckinsale, Adam Scott, Kelli Garner, Alec Baldwin, Gwen Stefani, Willem Dafoe
An astonishingly good film, lavishly crafted and designed, The Aviator is an admirable testament to the skills of director Martin Scorsese.
The best movie ever about the movies and Hollywood, a stirring biography with immense production values.
A 3 hour epic that flies by, it was an absolute travesty that Clint Eastwoods Maudlin "Million Dollar Baby" snatched the Best Film Oscar instead.
2 Kill Bill:Vol 1 (2003)
Those of you lucky enough to have your lives, take them with you. However, leave the limbs you've lost. They belong to me now.
Starring:Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Vivica A Fox, Daryl Hannah, Julie Dreyfus, David Carradine, Michael Madsen.
Of all the extraordinarily talented and greatly imitated directors working in the movie business today, nobody’s movies are more highly anticipated than Quentin Tarantinos.
Kill Bill is a masterpiece of bravura filmmaking, which is ultimately cool, adrenaline pumping and outrageously brilliant.
It also contains some of the most inventive and snappy dialogue ever seen on celluloid and possibly the finest fight scene in the history of the movies.
What is there not to like (oh and the soundtracks not bad either).
1 Let The Right One In (2008)
Are you a vampire?
Director: Tomas Alfredson.
Starring:Kare Hedebrant, Peter Carlberg, Anders T Peedu, Karin Bergquist, Pale Olofsson, Henrik Dahl, Lina Leandersson, Ika Nord, Karl-Robert Lindgren, Per Ragnar.
Literally coming out of nowhere, Swedish chiller, Let The Right One In is unquestionably the finest Horror Film of the last 25 years.
Essentially a movie about relationships, love and vampires, LTROI is a mesmerising and hypnotic coming of age drama.
Expertly crafted by director Thomas Alfredson with a perfectly paced screenplay by John Ajvide Lindquist (who also wrote the original novel) this is a film which explores dark and complex issues head on yet is enchanting and perversely uplifting.
Complemented by unbelievably good performances by its two young leads, LTROI sets an extremely high standard for all future horror films to follow and sends a message to Hollywood directors that can only elicit awe and admiration.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2009)
What has happened to you? How did you turn out this way? You know everything about me.
Director: Niels Arden Oplev
Starring:Michael Nyqvist ,Noomi Rapace,Lena Endre,Peter Haber.
A literary sensation across the World, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first in a trilogy by the late Stieg Larsson.
Following the book closely, the movie introduces us to hard bitten Journalist Mikael Blomkvist and troubled but brilliant computer hacker and researcher Lisbeth Salander. As the movie beautifully entwines and unfolds, this seemingly odd couples paths cross as they attempt to solve a 40 year old mystery which itself leads to serial murder, Nazism and other brutal horrors.
If you can imagine a cross between Agatha Christie and Hannibal Lecter, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a compelling and stylish whodunit with a truly mesmerising performance by Noomi Rapace as the lead character, an engaging, eccentric and mentally unstable avenger who comfortably lays claim to being one of the 21st century most relevant heroines.
Almost an old fashioned murder mystery, TGWTDT is also Brutal, dark and hypnotically engaging, it also graphically exposes the underbelly of Swedish society.
As is the want, a Hollywood remake is on its way, catch this one while you can.
The new words of the day are: "Sea", "Highway", "Road trip" and "Shotgun".
Starring:Christos Stergioglou, Michelle Valley, Aggeliki Papoulia.
The phrase "Not for all tastes" could have been invented for this ambiguous black comedy from Greece and I would genuinely be careful of who I recommend this movie to.
Weird with a capital W, Dogtooth is also terrifyingly unnerving, seriously disturbing, bizarrely deranged and perversely demented but (and it's a big but) it also happens to be one of the freshest and uniquely adventurous viewing experiences of the year. You could liken this movie to a serious road traffic accident where you know you shouldn't be rubber necking but you can't turn your head away. A truly remarkable depiction of family values, isolation and disfunctionality that knows no bounds, this is the most unpredictable film you will ever see.
Profoundly deep, savagely surreal and ultimately brilliant, Dogtooth is one of the best movies of the decade.