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

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.


Across the Universe (2007)

What a great movie. Not an all-time essential, though. All-time fun for sure.

American Gangster (2007)

Nope. Didn’t quite pan out enough to be essential. Just fun.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

100% essential for all time. This movie’s reputation is only gonna grow. I’m totally biased, but trust me on this. It’s only gonna get stronger.

Atonement (2007)

I’m thinking this is all-time essential, but it’s too early to tell. We’ll see.

The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

I think this is the one Bourne movie that ends up on the all-time essentials list, with the other two mentioned beneath. Because you don’t need the first two to see this, and this is really the one that peaked.

Charlie Wilson’s War (2007)

So much fun, but not a perfect movie and can’t be considered essential. But man, everyone should see this.

The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

Not essential. I know Wes Anderson is essential, but if any of his movies aren’t (post-Rushmore), it’s this one.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)

Probably an all-time essential. Most people consider it as such, and the way it’s shot… it’s hard to argue.

Eastern Promises (2007)

Not essential, but arguably better than A History of Violence.

Enchanted (2007)

I want to call it essential, but it’s not. It’s just a really fun Disney movie that pokes fun at all the tropes brought about from the essential ones.

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