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

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 Bourne Identity (2002)

The Bourne movies are tough. This one, I love, but it’s not Greengrass. They’re essential, but if you’re gonna put them on an all-time essential list, I don’t think you put all three.

Catch Me If You Can (2002)

Don’t know if this is all-time essential. But I don’t know. Post-Private Ryan Spielberg is hard to gauge. Has enough time passed on this?

Changing Lanes (2002)

Not essential. Wholly underrated. Nobody remembers this movie. I contend that it’s great.

Chicago (2002)

Best Picture winners mean a lot for the essential conversation. Have to consider it.

City of God (2002)

A lot of people consider this essential already. Don’t know. I say give it ten more years to know for sure. Or seven. Give it 20 since it came out to really tell.

Death to Smoochy (2002)

This movie doesn’t deserve to be essential. It needs to be on the fun list. It’s so divisive. I love this movie.

8 Mile (2002)

Culturally important, but not essential. Fun list all the way.

Far from Heaven (2002)

Not essential. Fun list movie that harkens back to Douglas Sirk.

Gangs of New York (2002)

All Scorsese movies are in the essential conversation. Maybe we need more time to really decide?

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

I can’t see all eight of the Potter movies ending up on an all-time essentials list. The first one, yes. This one? Not essential. It just goes along with the franchise.

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