The B+ Movie Guide for the 2000s (Part IX)
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.
Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
Probably not all-time essential, but it probably should be. It’s definitely a “lesser” Anderson movie. But it’s great. So we’ll see.
Road to Perdition (2002)
I feel this is all-time essential. Not sure where this is shaking out. I feel too close to all these movies.
Not essential. Fun, and a great movie until the last ten minutes.
Russian Ark (2002)
Might be all-time essential for being a movie done in one take, but on the other hand, might be better off as a fun list movie, because… let’s face it, who really is gonna go out and see this movie? This is more film student essential.
All-time essential. Yes, this one. Not the second one. This ushered in the era of the superhero.
25th Hour (2002)
I think, next to Do the Right Thing, this is Spike Lee’s best movie. That doesn’t make it essential, but it makes it something people should see.
28 Days Later (2002)
Not an all-time essential. A great horror movie, though.
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Big Fish (2003)
Not all-time essential. Fun list.
American Splendor (2003)
Not an all-time essential movie. Pure fun list gem.
Bad Santa (2003)
All-time essential comedy. All-time essential movie? I don’t know. But this is so great everyone should see it just because of how good it is.
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