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

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.

2012

Amour (2012)

Feels essential for now. This will end up on a lot of essentials lists by the more pretentious folk (they ejaculate for these foreign movies. Already I’m sure people put stuff like A Separation on all-time essentials lists). Let’s see. These things need time. Five years minimum.

Anna Karenina (2012)

Fun list. It’s more of a unique little oddity of a film than anything. You get to talk about how he shot this and tell people to see it, even though the story’s been done before.

Arbitrage (2012)

Fun list all the way. Rich white guy gets away with murder. No one’s seen it. Hidden gem. Pure fun list movie.

Argo (2012)

Now it feels essential. I don’t think it’ll end up all-time essential. This is more fun list. Though, to be fair, Best Picture status helps a lot.

Bachelorette (2012)

Fun list all the way. This is the better version of Bridesmaids. Sadly, that film might end up essential (it won’t) and this one has no chance (none).

Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

Doesn’t seem like it’ll have the legs to end up all-time essential. But I’m rooting for it.

Cloud Atlas (2012)

Fun list. I can’t see this getting enough acclaim to go essential. But we’ll see.

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

The trilogy is feeling pretty essential. Though I’m thinking maybe just the one entry people remember takes the all-time list. Which is not this one.

Django Unchained (2012)

Tarantino feels pretty essential every time.

End of Watch (2012)

Fun list movie. Some people will want to call it essential. But it’s fun list. It’s one of those movies you put on there because it was shot in a unique way and is really great.

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