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

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.

2013

Escape from Tomorrow (2013)

I hope time proves this to be essential. I’d hate if I have to leave this on a fun list. Either way, people should see this. Just because of what they accomplished with it. (This is the movie they shot covertly at Disneyland without Disney knowing at all. Incredible feat.)

Frozen (2013)

Disney is essential. This is good Disney.

Gravity (2013)

Interesting call here. I don’t know if this will end up being all-time essential or not. For now it’s essential. But let’s see what ten years does to this. I’m liking this exercise. Time is gonna prove real interesting for a lot of these movies.

The Great Gatsby (2013)

Tough call on whether this is essential or not. It sure as shit works for the fun list, though. How great is this movie? It’s like Moulin Rouge and Romeo + Juliet. Both of those feel close to essential. Here’s hoping this gets to that point too.

Her (2013)

Essential. This is gonna be one of the films of the decade. Not 100% essential yet, but it’s getting there.

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)

Coen brothers. Essential.

Nebraska (2013)

Alexander Payne is pretty much essential all around.

Out of the Furnace (2013)

Great performances, really good film, and sadly only fun list. But since we’re so close to these films having come out, the fun list is really where it’s at.

Prisoners (2013)

Fun list, but I hope it becomes essential over time. Because it’s great and should be seen by everyone. Because it’s legit one of the best movies of its decade.

12 Years a Slave (2013)

Essential. And a Best Picture winner. Don’t need to say shit about this one. Straight up essential already.

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