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

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 Informant! (2009)

Pure fun list. One of Steven Soderbergh’s most underrated movies.

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Tarantino always feels essential.

In the Loop (2009)

Fun list. But also really underrated and hilarious.

The Invention of Lying (2009)

Fun list. Do people realize how intelligent and funny this movie is?

Moon (2009)

Fun list. It’s a nice little oddity that’s worth seeing.

Observe and Report (2009)

Fun list. This movie is hilarious. This movie got a bad rap when it came out and is so dark and funny people need to go back and revisit it.

Ponyo (2009)

Miyazaki. Essential.

Precious (2009)

Feeling less essential as time goes on. Fun list just because of how ubiquitous it was when it came out and how much it actually entered the cultural lexicon.

A Serious Man (2009)

I want to say essential because of Coen brothers, but this feels more like a fun list entry than an all-time essential.

Up (2009)

Pixar. Essential.

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