The B+ Movie Guide for the 2000s (Part IV)

The obvious drawback to my original list was that it stopped at 1999. Because it was easier. I wrote it up in 2012, and I wanted to give at least a decade’s worth of time before I made any of those decisions, because can we really say something that came out last year is essential? And at that point, it was just easier cutting the list off at 1999 and not dealing with any of it.

But since we really just combed through a lot of movies, I figure I should at least give it a shot. This is all pretty fluid anyway. It’s more meant to be about giving people things to watch that they probably should rather than making proclamations about the end-all, be-all list of “essential” movies. Think of it this way, if at least 90% of my list s comprised of movies people would say, if they found out you haven’t seen them, “Oh man, you gotta watch that,” then it accomplished what I wanted it to accomplish).

Here’s how this is gonna work: I’m gonna give you a giant list (I’ll cap it at a round number), going from 2000 to 2014, of all the movies you should see. And I’ll specify for each one whether it would go on an “essentials” list or that secondary “fun” list.


Wonder Boys (2000)

Fun list movie. Completely underrated. This is what the fun list exists for.

X-Men (2000)

This is the first good superhero movie (in the modern era). Feeling kind of essential. But also feels like it’s not really all that essential.

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A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

Really tough call. I have a weird history with this one. I err on the side of not essential, but I admittedly don’t feel sure enough to make a call on this one.

Amélie (2001)

Essential. It’s proven essential over the last fifteen years.

A Beautiful Mind (2001)

Best Picture winner. You have to consider all of these for an essentials list.

Black Hawk Down (2001)

I need to see this one again. I can’t make the call on this. To me, it always felt essential, but I really need to go back and watch this. Not quite sure about this one.

Donnie Darko (2001)

Still haven’t seen this movie. No idea. Figure I need to mention it. Definitely not essential. Otherwise I’d feel more pressure to have seen it by now.

Enemy at the Gates (2001)

Fun list movie. But great. Snipers. World War II. Great stuff here.

Gosford Park (2001)

Fun list. Not essential. But Robert Altman. So recommended.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

Say what you will about the rest of the franchise, but this movie on its own is 100% essential for everyone. This is a big deal in the history of movies, and I don’t know if everyone realizes that yet. This brought about the modern franchise era as we know it.

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