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

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.


John Wick (2014)

More fun list than essential. But a badass movie. It made money, and people know about it, but it still feels like one of the hidden gems of the year. It’s about a hitman who goes on a killing spree after his dog gets killed. The premise is so dumb, and yet — hilarious movie. So well-made. This is the kind of movie that was made for the fun list.

The Lego Movie (2014)

At this point, this has to be considered essential. The cultural impact it had can’t be discounted. Time will tell if it remains that way. But I’m making a list of essential movies a year out. This has to be on it.

Locke (2014)

Fun list. Real hidden gem from last year. Tom Hardy is in a car for 90 minutes, talking to people on the phone. That’s the entire movie. But it’s really engrossing.

A Most Violent Year (2014)

This is straddling the line between fun and essential. Time will tell which it is. For now, I say it’s essential, but that’s just because I loved it. We’ll see how it shakes out. Either way, see it.

Nightcrawler (2014)

REALLY curious to see if this ends up essential or just fun. Right now, essential. See this movie right now.

Snowpiercer (2014)

More fun than anything. An action movie that takes place on a train, from the back to the front. Badass. Not essential, but deserves to be seen.

The Theory of Everything (2014)

Will probably end up more fun than essential, but I’m curious to see how it turns out. We really don’t have the gift of time on this one yet, so I don’t know what to tell you.

Top Five (2014)

Fun list. But it’s great. One of the best movies of the year, and was criminally underseen.

Under the Skin (2014)

Fun list. Doubt it’ll become essential. But it’s great. Definitely one of those movies that’ll become a cult favorite over the years.

Whiplash (2014)

Essential. 100%. Will continue to be essential. This is gonna be one of the movies of the decade in a few years.

– – – – – – – – – –

That actually does it for all the lists. Gonna wrap things up tomorrow with a giant article.

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