SJ’s Best Movies of the Aughts

Wednesday, December 30 by

Unlike our stance on orgasming, we waited until the last possible minute to do this list. You’ll probably angrily chant "Rabble, rabble, rabble!" in disagreement, but that’s what makes these ridiculous compilations so much darn fun. Even WE had to do two separate lists because one of the two of us (Wookie Johnson) is stupid. So without further ado, here are the Screen Junkies editors’ lists for the best movies of the decade. Don’t forget to tell us how much we suck in the comments section. 
Col. Hans Longshanks’s Picks:
Up
The five minute montage in the beginning of this whimsical Pixar film is better than most movies hitting theaters these days. Carl and Russell are the best odd couple to come along in a long time, and talking animals never cease to make me giggle.
The Dark Knight
Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker clearly made this movie what it is, but Christopher Nolan’s taut writing and direction turned what could have been another banal superhero flick into an epic crime saga. If you think it’s too long than you should pop another Riddlin.
There Will Be Blood
Daniel Plainview is another villain we love to hate. Daniel Day-Lewis in a mustache brings so many more emotional levels to his character than Daniel Day-Lewis without a mustache Paul Thomas Anderson managed to bring tension and depth to subject material about black gold. Texas tea. 
Requiem for a Dream
Darren Aronofsky’s style was clearly evident throughout this entire film, which why it’s such a pleasure/pain to watch. The quick cutting, bombastic music, and mesmerizing performances by Ellen Burstyn and Jennifer Connelly‘s ass make me never want to smoke crack again. The jonesing always ends with Keith David pulling his d*ck out.  
The Prestige
Christopher Nolan obviously knows how to weave together a story that’s compelling and keeps you guessing up to the last frame. In a story about magicians, he turned the film into a trick of his own. Even the sci-fi elements, which I usually shy away from, grabbed my interest. And I can never get enough of David Bowie’s two different colored eyes. 
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Never has a love story been so hopeful and depressing at the same time. Jim Carrey turns out what will probably be the best performance of his career, and Kate Winslet looks good with orange hair. Most of the credit goes to Charlie Kaufman though for imagining up a story in that twisted brain of his that makes so much sense while being completely ridiculous.
Kill Bill: Vol. 2
I prefer dialogue over action, which is why I chose Volume 2 over Volume 1. Get rid of the pretentious David Carradine Spiderman vs. Superman monologue and this film is almost perfect. Tarantino, without a doubt, knows how to make cinema fun, bloody, and for some reason without nudity.

Little Children

Being a product of the suburbs, I’m fascinated by all the seedy happenings underneath its polished exterior. Some might say this film is a rip off of American Beauty and other movies before it, but to them I say, "You’re a rip off!" Also, Jackie Earle Haley’s performance makes you feel sorry for a pedophile, which wrinkles my brain. 
Old School
It’s hilarious and you know it. I don’t understand why people are so reluctant to put comedies on a "Best Of" list. Everyone loves to laugh, and Old School, although formulaic, provides endless witty dialogue and set pieces. Earmuffs! 
The Patriot
Mel Gibson hacks soldiers to pieces with a hatchet and Jason Isaacs as Col. William Tavington turns out one of the best villainous performances of all time. Sometimes the dialogue is cheesy as hell, but when Isaacs shoots Gibson’s son in the back you know it’s on like Donkey Kong.
 

Wookie Johnson’s Picks:

Spider Man 2
For my money, this is the best superhero film made to date. It perfectly depicts the great responsibility that Peter Parker must find a balance for now that this great power has been forced upon him. And Alfred Molina manages to bring a gravity to Doctor Octopus that was never intimated toward on the comics page.

The Royal Tenenbaums 

Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson really hit their stride with The Royal Tenenbaums and Gene Hackman made amends for a "lifetime of crap work." My words, not his.

Up 

Pixar is just showing off at this point. In 2008, they proved that they could melt your heart with a mostly dialogue-free film about a trash-picking robot. And then with Up, they proved that they could make you instantaneously vascilate between laughter and tears far more often than a bottle of Hot Damn ever could.

King Kong

Nobody will agree with me on this one but I urge you to keep in mind that this movie features both a brontosaurus avalanche and an eight-minute brawl with a trio of V-Rexes, the most-feared of all fictional dinosaurs.

Cloverfield 

I love that a movie like this was able to get made. Though its lack of a Hollywood ending (ie: Vin Diesel ordering the monster to eat a bomb before blowing it up with said bomb) was its undoing, I found it to be a perfect mix of horror, action, suspense, and despite the lack of pants-crapping, realism.

Me, Myself, and Irene 

This film has done what no other has been able to do since — made me enjoy an Anthony Anderson performance. Granted, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen it but I remember laughing really hard at the time. And I REFUSE to believe that I have grown emotionally in the past ten years.

Team America: World Police

Trey Parker and Matt Stone step out from behind thei South Park brand to satarize action movies, global politics, and Sean Penn in one fell swoop. I would give this movie an A++ if I were allowed within 100 yards of a school.

Gone Baby Gone 

Not sure if this one was so well-received because of the breakthrough performances or the morally complicated question it left the viewer with. Or maybe it was graded on a curve because Ben Affleck directed it. If that is the case, wouldn’t Emilio Estevez’s Bobby have done better?

In America 

Jim Sheridan’s story of an Irish immigrant family adjusting to 1980′s Hell’s Kitchen is unexpectedly grabbing. Unlike Up, this film waits to the final moments to jerk the tears out of your face.

Junebug

Hicks. So like us.
 
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