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

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.


I Am Sam (2001)

Full retard, not full essential.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

100% essential. No one will argue that.

The Man Who Wasn’t There (2001)

Coen brothers movies all feel essential.

The Mexican (2001)

Not essential. But fun. This is one of those underrated movies I fight for that people don’t seem to either know about or agree with. I think this movie is great.

Monsters, Inc. (2001)

Pixar is essential.

Moulin Rouge (2001)

Feeling like an all-time essential movie. Though Baz Luhrmann is a weird space in cinema history. I don’t know. I’m gonna say yes.

Mulholland Drive (2001)

Essential. Already all-time essential.

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

This feels essential, given the talent involved and how culturally known it is.

The Pledge (2001)

Not essential. But wholly underrated and great. People forget this movie (if they even know it exists). It’s great.

The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

Wes Anderson. Everything post-Rushmore feels essential.

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