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

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.

2004

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)

All-time comedy. Essential for the 2000s. Probably not all-time essential though.

The Aviator (2004)

2000s essential.

The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

The franchise is essential, but I feel like only Ultimatum gets the singular distinction on the all-time list.

Before Sunset (2004)

This entire trilogy is all-time essential.

Collateral (2004)

2000s essential. And great.

Crash (2004)

Essential for many reasons. I think that should be self-explanatory.

Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)

So great. Fun list movie. (And Mona Lisa Smile.)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

All-time essential. The title speaks for itself.

EuroTrip (2004)

Pure fun list. One of the great comedies of the past fifteen years.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

If someone hadn’t seen this franchise, and wanted to know which ones they needed to see, I’d say to watch the first one, and this one. The first one is essential because it establishes the world and the characters, but this one set the tone and the look of 75% of the entire franchise. It’s considered the best of all of them. It’s the one you should see.

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