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Mike’s Top Ten of 2004

2004. Quietly amazing year. I mean, yes, I’m partial to most of the years of the 2000s just because they were my teenage years and that’s when I was most impressionable. So I made the strongest connections to movies during these years. That said, there are some really awesome movies this year.

Part of the top ten list is a very consensus set of movies. But I guarantee there’s at least one almost no one’s heard of or would think to put on their list, one that is very specific to me that most people probably won’t agree with, and a third that I don’t think enough people get that most people wouldn’t have anywhere near their list. But that’s what makes my lists unique. You get my favorites, and not what everyone else would put.

Wouldn’t it be crazy, though, if my #1 movie was Welcome to Mooseport? Don’t laugh, I considered it. Read the rest of this page »

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Pic of the Day: “Leon, what exactly do you do for a living?” “Cleaner.” “You mean you’re a hit man?” “Yeah.” “Cool.” (25th Anniversary)

Mike’s Top Ten of 2003

Love me some 2003. This is the 2000s sweet spot for me, where I was really all in on movies and really understood everything I was watching, who was making them, and really felt fully aware for the first time.

This is an interesting list in that it’s got not one, not two, but three Christmas movies on it. It’s got one franchise that ends, one that begins, and part of a two-parter in it. It’s a very outlier kind of list. It’s hard enough to get a single Christmas movie, but three? In the same year? That’s nuts.

There’s also some really cool stuff in the lower tiers as well. A lot of hidden gems that I feel like not enough people go back to or never saw in the first place. It’s a good year. Read the rest of this page »

Mike’s Top Ten of 2002

This is one of my favorite years of this decade. This is quite possibly my strongest top ten list of the 2000s. I’m not gonna go so far as the proclaim it the strongest year of the decade (that’s probably 2007), but I think this is arguably the strongest of the top ten lists. Every movie on it is great.

What’s great to me about it is that almost all of it (save one) is something I saw right as it came out and loved from the jump. I always appreciate those lists, because it means I’ve lived with the films more and have a certain closeness to them that I don’t necessarily have with something I only came to later on.

What’s also great about this list — here are the directors in the top ten: Spike Lee, Spike Jonze, Doug Liman, Steven Spielberg (twice), Martin Scorsese, Peter Jackson, Roman Polanski, Paul Thomas Anderson and Sam Mendes. Not bad company, right? That’s why I think this might be the strongest list of the decade. Read the rest of this page »

Mike’s Top Ten of 2001

2001 is the turning point in my life when it comes to movies. It was the year I stopped regularly going to the movies and instead started branching out on my film education, and watching all those big early movies that every film person watches in the early days. It’s also the year I got into the Oscars in full. So for me, that stuff will always be the big takeaway from this year over any of the films.

Though I will say, there’s some great stuff that happened this year. What’s interesting to me is how the list is bisected between stuff I saw that year and loved immediately versus stuff I saw years later that became my favorites. What’s also interesting is that there are the starts of three franchises on this list, plus another that’s a kind of institution in its own right.

This is also one of the final years with what I call the ‘films of my childhood’, which is a lot of stuff that I remember very well from that age that defines my taste as a kid before I truly got into movies. So for that, I’ll always have an affinity for this year. Read the rest of this page »