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

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.


The Score (2001)

Fun list movie. Very underrated. Brando, De Niro and Norton.

Shrek (2001)

Shrek is an important movie for the past 20 years. Might be essential. Not sure I can make that call just now, but it’s close.

Spirited Away (2001)

Miyazaki is essential.

Spy Game (2001)

Love this movie. Fun list, not essential.

Super Troopers (2001)

Essential comedy. Not all-time essential movie, though.

Training Day (2001)

Great movie, not essential. But awesome as shit.

Wet Hot American Summer (2001)

Essential comedy. Don’t know if cult status translates into all-time essential status. This feels like fun movie entry that becomes essential because of the peer pressure factor.

Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001)

People will consider this all-time essential. Doesn’t feel that essential to me, but it’s definitely in the conversation.

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About Schmidt (2002)

Alexander Payne feels essential all around.

Adaptation (2002)

Charlie Kaufman/Spike Jonze feel essential all around.

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